Friday, 21 June 2013

Lao-tzu, about rulers and rebellion.

Lao-tzu, about rulers and rebellion. More contemporary than ever. From Tao Te Ching

75. Rebellion
When rulers take grain so that they may feast,
Their people become hungry;
When rulers take action to serve their own interests,
Their people become rebellious;
When rulers take lives so that their own lives are maintained,
Their people no longer fear death.

When people act without regard for their own lives
They overcome those who value only their own lives.

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When taxes are too high,
people go hungry.
When the government is too intrusive,
people lose their spirit.

Act for the people's benefit.
Trust them; leave them alone.

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57. Conquer with Inaction
Do not control the people with laws,
Nor violence nor espionage,
But conquer them with inaction.

For:
The more morals and taboos there are,
The more cruelty afflicts people;
The more guns and knives there are,
The more factions divide people;
The more arts and skills there are,
The more change obsoletes people;
The more laws and taxes there are,
The more theft corrupts people.

Yet take no action, and the people nurture eachother;
Make no laws, and the people deal fairly with eachother;
Own no interest, and the people cooperate with eachother;
Express no desire, and the people harmonize with eachother.

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17. Rulers
The best rulers are scarcely known by their subjects;
The next best are loved and praised;
The next are feared;
The next despised:
They have no faith in their people,
And their people become unfaithful to them.

When the best rulers achieve their purpose
Their subjects claim the achievement as their own.
 
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