Dao de Jing: The Book of the Way

By Laozi; Moss Roberts | Go to book overview
Save to active project

1. Do not promote those who excel
2. And folk will have no cause to quarrel.
3. Prize not goods too hard to find
4. And people won't be turned to crime.
5. These objects of desire unviewed,
6. The people's thoughts remain subdued.
7. Thus under a wise man's rule
8. Blank are their minds
9. But full their bellies,
10. Meek their wills
11. But tough their bones.
12. He keeps the folk
13. From knowing and craving,
14. And the intellects
15. From daring to lead.
16. By acting himself without taking the lead
17. Inside his kingdom all is well ruled.

COMMENT The slogan “promote those who excel” (shangxian) comes from Mozi, who urged the appointment of able commoners to government office in preference to nobles and royal kinsmen. Commoners would be rewarded for their knowledge and expertise, both technical and administrative. Laozi opposed this type of state activism (wei). In his view this recruiting policy in the service of state building would only hasten the kingdoms along the path toward modernization and war, taking the common people farther and farther away from the simple life that Laozi thinks they once enjoyed. 1

An important thinker of the generation after Confucius, Mozi


Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Cite this page

Cited page

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Dao de Jing: The Book of the Way


Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen
/ 226

matching results for page

Cited passage

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?