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以正治国,以奇用兵,以无事取天下。 吾何以知其然哉?以此: 天下多忌讳,而民弥贫; 民多利器,国家滋昏; 人多伎巧,奇物滋起; 法令滋彰,盗贼多有。 故圣人云: 我无为而民自化,我好静而民自正; 我无事而民自富,我无欲而民自朴。

以清静无为之常道治国,只针对出格的反常事态动用兵力,通常则以 无所事事而执掌 天下。我怎么知道应该这样呢?根据在于: 天下越是多忌讳,人民就越是贫穷;民间的武器越多,国家就越是陷于昏乱;人们的 技能越巧,反常之事物就日益纷繁;法令越森严,盗贼反倒更多。所以,圣人说:我 无为,人民就自然顺化;我好静,人民就自然端正;我无事,人民就自然富足;我无 欲,人民就自然淳朴。

If you want to be a great leader,
you must learn to follow the Tao.
Stop trying to control.
Let go of fixed plans and concepts,
and the world will govern itself.

The more prohibitions you have,
the less virtuous people will be.
The more weapons you have,
the less secure people will be.
The more subsidies you have,
the less self-reliant people will be.

Therefore the Master says:
I let go of the law,
and people become honest.
I let go of economics,
and people become prosperous.
I let go of religion,
and people become serene.
I let go of all desire for the common good,
and the good becomes common as grass.