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  •  Very little is lost in translation of Dao De Jing (0+ / 0-)

    but a lot is added. Dao De Jing as a piece of writing is extremely vague; translators often inject their own interpretation into the text and call it Chinese wisdom.

    One case in point is the concept of "wu wei er zhi (无为而治)" or "govern by doing nothing." The original text is 夫圣人之治也,使民实其腹,虚其心,强其体,弱其志,使民无知无为,使其知者不敢为。为无为,则无不为矣。

    Literal translation: the saint's way of governing is: to fill people's stomachs and empty their hearts; to strengthen their bodies and weaken their wills; to make people know nothing and do nothing; to make those who know not dare to do; thus [the ruler can] achieve everything by doing nothing.  

    Ancient Rome had a similar method called "bread and circuses." Chinese rulers have been using this method for thousands of years.

    For a critical view of Dao De Jing, see (if you can read Chinese):

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