In The Essential Mengzi, I interpreted that Mengzi was a socialist. He believed in order and ruling, but he also believed in giving blame to the rulers, rather than the people. Mengzi said, “They had already done their utmost with the reflection of their hearts, so they went on to use governments that were not unfeeling toward others, and benevolence covered the world” (Mengzi 43). It appeared to be like Mengzi was saying that the people reflect the ruler, if there were problems arising throughout the society, it was possibly because the ruler was not doing their part. If I remember correctly, Mengzi mentioned in the book that if a person in charge cannot lead the people, they should reflect within themselves, rather than reflect upon the people. When Mengzi said, “When ‘gentlemen’ violate righteousness, petty people will flaunt punishments” (Mengzi 43), how can one not think Mengzi was a socialist? He believed in rulers who benefited the community as a whole, which is not a bad thing, but it is definitely different than how other rulers behaved. Mengzi believed human nature came from within, and if a person reflected on their inner good nature, they could transfer it outward. It can be said that he thought human beings were indeed human beings, and he believed in the potential of them. He believed people could be good, if their environment helped them become good, and if they supported their sprouts and helped them grow. Sprouts, are Mengzi’s analogy of human nature, in order for the sprouts to grow strong and healthy, they needed to be nurtured well. In other words, for the people to be good, they have to be raised in a good environment, so they could reach their full potential of being good. When a person cannot reach their full potential, it is not the person’s fault, but the society in which they are subjected to. A ruler is in charge of the society, therefore the well-being of those in that society should be the ruler’s number one priority, that was what Mengzi believed. Then again, I could be wrong, just my opinion.