Don't reward excellence, and people won't get competitive;Wing-tsit Chan lets this pass by without comment. Arthur Waley says it is "bait for Realists." I am too ignorant to know what that means; whether this is because someone has been trying to empty me out to keep me from making trouble I am unsure. The implication of Waley's comment is that the chapter is not to be taken seriously, but I suspect that's just because Waley didn't want to.
Don't cherish rare goods, and they won't steal.
What they can't see they can't wish for, can't stir up their hearts with unruly desires.
This is the inspired leader's governance:
Empty their mindsLet them be ignorant, free of aspiration.
Fill their bellies
Weaken their wills
Toughen their bones.
Make the ones who think they're clever too afraid to act.
Act without acting. Govern all.
But I have no grounds for this assumption, of course. I guess that means I have to read the whole rest of the gunfunned book, an undertaking that has never appealed to me. It is become necessary to me, however, to investigate my suspicion that the self-actualizing wispy egalitarians one is likely to espy drifting about in the vicinity of a bookcase with Daodejings on it are addled by incense and have got it all wrong.
Now I shall go back to my reading, and then perhaps later on I shall sit myself down to dine upon my hat.