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there's a kinda funny part in the Daodejing (or, Tao Te Ching, by the old Giles-Wade latinization of Chinese):

(3) Not to value and employ men of superior ability is the way to keep the people from rivalry among themselves; not to prize articles which are difficult to procure is the way to keep them from becoming thieves; not to show them what is likely to excite their desires is the way to keep their minds from disorder.

Therefore the sage, in the exercise of his government, empties their minds, fills their bellies, weakens their wills, and strengthens their bones.

He constantly (tries to) keep them without knowledge and without desire, and where there are those who have knowledge, to keep them from presuming to act (on it). When there is this abstinence from action, good order is universal.


I think our elites most of the time do a good job at the "empty their minds" bit. Spread a lot of confusion, FUD, and nobody dares to do anything. They are failing on the "fill their bellies" front, that's something to work on.

I find the passage kinda funny, since eastern philosophies are very popular nowadays mostly because of a hippie outlook on what they say. This part is in a way very cold and calculated. Daoism is pretty level-headed, my favorite of all eastern schools, along with some elements of Zen.

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