Friday, September 16, 2011

Political Philosophy

I started reading the Tao Te Ching, the booklet attributed to Laozi. While reading through this scripture, the foundation of Taoism, I realized the link to today's libertarian political movement. The Tao Te Ching holds clues to how a country should be governed. Vincent Shen writes in the Encyclopedia of Chinese Philosophy on pp. 359 (Section Laotzi):

Laozi’s political philosophy concerns mostly the art of governing, which, for him, should refer to the dao, follow the dao, and unfold the de of all people and all things. An ideal state is, negatively, a state with no political domination and, positively, a place where people and things can spontaneously unfold their own virtue. The unfolding of the creative abilities or sponta- neous virtues of the people is therefore the greatest wealth of a state. In order to attain this, the ruler should adopt a politics of nonaction (wuwei). This does not mean ruling without any action; rather, it means ruling according to the dao—that is, no particular action or no action of particular interest but universal action, acting for all things; no artificial action but spontaneous action. The politics of nonaction is a politics of nonintervention.

Isn't there a clear correlation? As we know all things are connected. All ideas are recycled and built upon. Often without knowing it we base our thoughts on century old ideas.

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