Friday, 10 April 2009

Law does not produce virtue

I've just seen this quote from Harriet Martineau, and it reminded me of a passage from the Tao Te Ching.
"Laws and customs may be creative of vice; and should be therefore perpetually under process of observation and correction: but laws and customs cannot be creative of virtue: they may encourage and help to preserve it; but they cannot originate it."

- Harriet Martineau

If you want to be a great leader,you must learn to follow the Tao.
Stop trying to control.
Let go of fixed plans and concepts,
and the world will govern itself.

The more prohibitions you have,
the less virtuous people will be.
The more weapons you have,
the less secure people will be.
The more subsidies you have,
the less self-reliant people will be.

Therefore the Master says:
I let go of the law,
and people become honest.
I let go of economics,
and people become prosperous.
I let go of religion,
and people become serene.
I let go of all desire for the common good,
and the good becomes common as grass.

- Lao Tsu

If you want something too much, you end up producing the opposite; if you create laws to control people, you end up tempting them to do the opposite, because they resist oppression.

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