Taoism in the Service of the State – Sam Crane

The author of The Useless Tree wrote a commentary post about the Xinhua news on “China to build harmonious society with wisdom of Taoism:

Maybe the Party is making a big mistake. By bringing Taoism into the political discourse they are opening the way (Way?) for all sorts of ideas that push against authoritarian power. How about passage 75 of the Tao Te Ching:

The people are starving,

and it’s only because you leaders feast on taxes

that they’re starving.

The people are impossible to rule,

and its only because you leaders are masters of extenuation

that they’re impossible to rule.

The people take death lightly

and it’s only because you leaders crave life’s lavish pleasures

that they take death lightly,

they who act without concern for life:

it’s a wisdom far beyond treasuring life.

Do they really want people running around reciting such lines? [Full Text]

April 26, 2007 8:20 PM
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Categories: CDT Highlights