Tuesday, 15 April 2008

Fentu Art of Business

粉兔問治計 . 憤豬曰 " 計之節有六 . 一曰樂二曰患三曰亂四曰按五曰刑六曰興 . 六節相追若四時相序 ." 粉兔曰 " 何謂樂 ?" 憤豬曰 " 計始 , 言形言機 , 願高願崇 , 不亦樂乎 ?" 粉兔曰 " 何謂患 ?" 憤豬曰 " 審其形機 , 知其差短 . 高臺易崩 , 不亦患乎 ?" 粉兔曰 " 何謂亂? " 憤豬曰 " 本謀圖延 , 實不中願 , 計不得成 . 不亦亂乎 ?" 粉兔曰 " 何謂按 ?" 憤豬曰 " 計過者罪也 . 罪者必按 , 犯者必搜 . 不亦義乎 ?" 粉兔曰 " 犯者則罰耳 " 憤豬曰 " ? ? ? (three characters missing from the original) 哉 ! 兔也 ! 上者過何謂罪 ? 首惷惑足必割 . 卑小見遷 , 不亦宜乎 ? " 粉兔曰 " 何謂興 ? " 憤豬曰 " 遷罪者義也 . 義者必興 , 興者為上 , 上者新計 ."
是古聖人開計無窮以持賞罰興貴亡卑 . 計者喜怨之節也賞罰之序也 . 計者其始終在虛也 . 計者大商之道也 .

Fen Tu asked about governing projects.
Fen Zhu said : “Projects have six phases. The first one is called happiness, the second worry, the third chaos, the fourth inquiry, the fifth punishment, the sixth promotion. The six phases follow each other, just as the four seasons unfold.”
Fen Tu said: “what is called happiness?”
Fen Zhu said: “when the project starts, they talk of designs and devices, they wish for the tall and the lofty, isn’t this happiness?”
Fen Tu said: “what is called worry?”
Fen Zhu said : “as they study its designs and devices, they realise its shortcomings and lacks. The highest towers easily collapse, isn’t this worrying?”
Fen Tu said: “what is called chaos?”
Fen Zhu said: “when original plans and previsions are delayed, when facts do not match expectations, and when the project cannot be completed, isn’t it chaos?”
Fen Tu said: “what is called inquiry?”
Fen Zhu said: “a project going wrong is a crime, crimes must be investigated, and culprits must be found, isn’t this just?”
Fen Tu said: “so, the culprits are punished, that is all.”
Fen Zhu said: “you’re a … (missing characters, isn’t it a blessing ?), Tu. If the leader is wrong, can this be called a crime? When the head is troubled and confused, the foot must be cut off. The humble and the small get banned. Isn’t this fitting?”
Fen Tu said: “what is called promotion?”
Fen Zhu said: “Banning criminals is good, and those who do good should be promoted. Those who are promoted become leaders, and leaders start new projects.”

Thus, the sage starts projects without end. Holding the rewards and punishments, he promotes the noble and dismisses the humble.
Projects are the cycle of happiness and grief, they are the succession of rewards and punishments.
Projects, at their origin and their end, reside in emptiness.
Projects are the Way of Big Business.


Marc Hamann said...

Are both the story and the Chinese translation yours?

I had a good laugh, since I'm involved in both Classical Chinese and hairy projects right now. ;-)

François said...

The story comes from an internet joke one of my coworkers had hung over her desk, a couple of years ago.

The chinese is unfortunately mine, but many famous authors have contributed sentences. It is more a patchwork than a creation...

But I'm glad you liked it !