The Tao Teh King: A Short Study in Comparative Religion, by C. Spurgeon Medhurst, , at sacred-texts.com
Rule the Empire with uprightness. The employment of the military is a strange device. The Empire is won by non-concern. How do I know this? Thus—The more superstitious restrictions in the land the poorer the people; 1 the more the people are concerned with the administration the more benighted the state and the clans; 2 the more craftiness is displayed the greater the number of novelties which arise. The more legislation there is the more thieves and robbers increase.
It is for these reasons that a sage has said 3—'I do nothing, but the people spontaneously reform. I love tranquillity, and the people spontaneously become upright. I have no concerns, and the people naturally grow wealthy. I am without desire, and of their own free will the people revert to primitive simplicity.' 4
96:1 Where weeds abound flowers are scarce.
96:2 See chap. 36.
96:3 There were Sages before Lao-tzu, and their teachings were his, but their names have been forgotten, and their works lost.
96:4 "He who would have good government in his country must begin by putting his house in order, and to do that, he must begin by attending properly to his personal conduct."—The Great Learning. Comp. chap. 19.