Everything moves in cycles.  The earth.  The heavens.  Life . . . into death into life into death.  Even our leaders move in cycles.  Some people look at our new emperor and they say, "He's new!  Everything in China will be better now!"  But I know different.  Remember the emperor before this one?  How about the one before that?  They all rise the same.  They all fall the same.  Here, I'll show you . . .


We begin with an emperor.  A new, promising emperor that will come in and change everything.  A dynasty is a country's line of rulers chosen because of their family ties.  We have a new emperor now.  He is going to come in and make great changes in China.  He will fix the schools.  He will give more work for the farmers.  He will stop all wars.  All bow before our emperor.  May he be great forever . . . or not.  


If you ask most people in China, we do not choose our emperor.  Neither does the weather.  Neither do other countries.  The Mandate of Heaven is the idea that heaven selected Chinese emperors based on who would rule most fairly. The bright and silvery clouds look down upon all of man, they find which one behaves the best, and they shine most brightly on him.  Everyone around him sees this, and they put him in the throne.  If you look closely though, other things are work besides heaven . . .


How could this new leader go wrong?  He was chosen by heaven itself!  He builds new roads!  He helps the schools!  Trade booms.  People's bellies fill.  A claim is the rightful ownership over something, like the throne.   There is nothing but peace . . . until . . . the new emperor proves to be more like a man than we had hoped.


When an emperor believes he is chosen by heaven, he will start to believe that he can do no wrong.  He eats and drinks what he wants and however long he wants.  He taxes the people to keep up with his rich lifestyle.   Outsiders attack.  Corruption is when people in power are not honest.  It most often means using money to get more power.  Heaven isn't a place that can be changed by money, I don't believe.  Man can be changed by money.  But man can also be thrown out by us and replaced with a new one . . .


Life moves in a cycle.  Dynasties are a time of one family of rulers.  They rise and they fall and they are all the same.  A new leader comes to power because the people believe he was chosen by heaven, that he is the Mandate of Heaven.  He claims the throne and believes he belongs there, and soon he grows corrupt, stealing money to get even more power.  The people become unhappy and they rise up and choose a new leader who seems to shine with the silver of clouds.  It is the same.  Here's the new ruler, same as the old ruler.  It's sad.   Almost as sad as when the people revolt and overthrow an emperor because of an earthquake that wasn't his fault.  But that is another story. 


References:

Mirror of the Past.  "Dynasties of China"  weebly.com, 2013.  <http://mirrorofthepast.weebly.com/dynasties-of-china.html>

Across Vietnam.  "Dynasties"  weebly.com, 2013.  <http://acrossvietnam.weebly.com/uploads/9/7/5/0/9750375/dynastic_cycle.pdf>