Hanfeizi was a prince of the Warring States and part of the royal family of Han.He believed that in order to create a strong society you can not trust anyone not even family."It is dangerous for a ruler to trust others. He who trusts others can be manipulated by others." This shows he didn't even trust his family. another he would have ruled is to have strict laws and never change them. "When you hear any statements made, do not alter or shift them. Just compare them with the actions, and observe whether the statements and actions correspond with each other." He really did not care if the rules were very strict all you do is follow them and you are good to go. Legalism is very harsh i would know from personal experience ( my classroom) and all you have to do is follow them.
Criticizing the government
The image above shows to women whispering/criticizing the government. According to Legalism if these women were caught doing so they shall be severely punished or put to death."People caught criticizing the government should be banished to China's northern frontier." Since people were forbidden to criticize the government they shall be thrown out of China. Rulers did so because they want all power to rule!
The image above represents that Hanfeizi will punish you harsher than he will reward you for telling the truth."Fa means law. This subject means that the ruler should consider that all people are equal before the law. The public should know the law codes clearly. Therefore, it should be written. The people who disobey the law should be punished." This quote shows that if you want to be reward than punished you need to follow the laws and you will be treated like an equal.
Not only did this bring Hanfeizi to the strict laws and punishments, he wanted absolute power. "The intelligent sovereign offers rewards that may be earned, and establishes punishments that should be avoided.
The seven tacts [a sovereign should use] are:
1. Comparing and inspecting all available different theories
2. Making punishment definite and authority clear
3. Bestowing rewards faithfully and everybody exert his ability
4. Listening to all sides of every story and holding every speaker responsible for it
5. Issuing spurious edicts and making pretentious appointments
6. Inquiring into cases by manipulating different information
7. Inverting words and reversing tasks."
Hanfeizi used these seven acts to know how to rule and gain the absolute power he needs to gain victory and kingship.