man4zyu2 民主 (Democracy) according to Mencius
Today we are going to talk about man4 zyu2民主 or democracy in classical Chinese culture.
More than two thousand and three hundred years ago, Mencius already said, “The people are the most important; the country comes next; the ruler is the least important.”
In Cantonese, man4 wai4 gwai3民為貴，se5 zik1 ci3 zi1社稷次之，gwan1 wai4 hing1君為輕
man4 wai4 gwai3，The people are the most valuable. man4民means people, wai4為is classical Chinese meaning is; gwai3 貴means valuable, important.
se5 zik1 ci3 zi1, the country comes next. se5 zik1社稷 means the country; ci3 zi1次之secondary
gwan1 wai4 hing1, The sovereign is the least important. gwan1君 means king or sovereign. wai4為 is. hing1輕 means light or unimportant.
民man tone 4, means people. 主zyu tone 2 means ruling.
This is the pictograph for 民. It originally means crowd budding, now it means people.
So, man4zyu2 literally means people ruling, that is democracy.