The Tao and Laissez-Faire Self-Sufficiency

While reading a translation of The Tao Te Ching available online, I came across the following passage:

57. SIMPLIFICATION
With natural justice, people must be ruled,
and if war be waged, strategy and tactics used.
To master one’s self,
one must act without cunning.
The greater the number of laws and restrictions,
the poorer the people who inhabit the land.
The sharper the weapons of battle and war,
the greater the troubles besetting the land.
The greater the cunning with which people are ruled,
the stranger the things which occur in the land.
The harder the rules and regulations,
the greater the number of those who will steal.
The sage therefore does not contrive,
in order to bring about reform,
but teaches the people peace of mind,
in order that they might enjoy their lives.

Having no desires, all he does is natural.
Since he teaches self-sufficiency,
the people who follow him return
to a good, uncomplicated life.

Interesting.

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Filed under Austrian Economics, fiscal policy

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