Zhuangzi glossary


Guan Zhong

管仲 Guǎn Zhòng was the advisor of Duke Huan of Qi, the first strong-man to keep the peace as the power of the Zhou emperor declined. There are a few important things about him. First, he was initially employed by Duke Huan's brother but switched horses during the course of several deadly palace intrigues, thus becoming a test case for the value of loyalty over pragmatism. Second, he was among the first to recognize the role of money alongside force in politics and so made economic policy central in Qi's rise to power. Third, he become tremendously rich himself in the process, adding personal wealth to the possible goals of the growing ranks of itinerant political advisors. (See "traveler.")