The Tao gets political again. As I mentioned in my previous post, the Tao was a reaction to the rigid, hierarchical Confucianism of the time and wanted a more organic government. I wonder how Chapter LVIII would really work out though. It’s a bit like Communism: great in theory, but falls apart in practice. There needs to be a middle ground in everything and that’s why reactionism very rarely works.
If a country is governed with tolerance,
the people are comfortable and honest.
If a country is governed with repression,
the people are depressed and crafty.
When the will to power is in charge,
the higher the ideals, the lower the results.
Try to make people happy,
and you lay the groundwork for misery.
Try to make people moral,
and you lay the groundwork for vice.
Thus the Master is content
to serve as an example
and not to impose her will.
She is pointed, but doesn’t pierce.
Straightforward, but supple.
Radiant, but easy on the eyes.