Photo by Sam Beasley on Unsplash

The people were the source of the Han’s revenue, but could also be a source of danger. Thus, keeping them happy worked for everybody. Now that the State has chosen other sources of revenue, such as its salt and iron monopolies, they no longer depend on or fear the people. With their wealth assured, the State forgets the utilitarian value of humaneness and lets its focus shift to these new sources of wealth; the ruled become a distraction. Instead of a humane and familial relationship, the people are now looked…