以正治國,以奇用兵,以無事取天下。
吾何以知其然哉?以此:天下多忌諱,而民彌貧;民多利器,國家滋昏;人多伎巧,奇物滋起;法令滋彰,盜賊多有。
故聖人云:我無為,而民自化;我好靜,而民自正;我無事,而民自富;我無欲,而民自樸。
Rule a nation with justice.
Wage war with surprise moves.
Become master of the universe without striving.

How do I know that this is so?
Because of this!
The more laws and restrictions there are,
The poorer people become.
The sharper men’s weapons are,
The more trouble in the land.
The more ingenious and clever men are,
The more strange things happen.
The more rules and regulations,
The more thieves and robbers.

Therefore the sage says:
I take no action, and people are reformed.
I enjoy peace and people become honest.
I do nothing and people become rich.
I have no desires, and people return to the good and simple life.
(Translated by Gia-Fu Feng and Jane English )

Sunset of Maui

Lao Tzu lived in the era of the social unrest, and the grim reality made him feel that the rulers, under the authority of power and force, want only to run rampant and do their own thing. Therefore they caused the chaos in the world that resulted in poverty, civil unrest, and crime. Therefore, Lao Tzu put forward a plan for rulers: Inaction – Strive for nothing and be at peace, with no interference and with freedom from desires.