Chapter 17: The Unadulterated Influence of the Tao: Cycles in Politics

When truly Noble, Good people are allowed to rule,
those who are their subordinates and are affected by their decisions
hardly even notice that their rights and freedoms are affected.
These great rulers are barely even noticed, they fit so nice.

Next, there are rulers who are more like kind parents.
They are loved by the people and appreciated for their benevolence.
These new, stricter laws and increased taxes, are after all,
only for their own good and the good of the country, right?

The next generation of ruler, with the stricter rules in place,
And with the trust and cooperation of the people,
needs only to remain “common” in his leadership to maintain control,
but he will not have the love of his citizenry.

This leads, sadly, to the next leader: one who is feared.
Fear leads to insult and lack of faith;
both of the leader by the people,
of the people by the leader.

Where evidence of inadequacy exists, so will distrust.

Mark Twain was right!
Even the Tao agrees that
“It is better to keep your mouth closed
and let people think you are a fool
than to open it and remove all doubt.”

This is why the Noble Leaders of Old
were so sparse with their speech.

Every major achievement made within their country
was made by the common man, and was not touted as
“Another Project Brought To You By Your Government.”

Because the individual worker was appreciated for his personal efforts,
encouraged to take personal pride in and credit for his work,
the citizens felt as though they were fully independent
even when they were working on government-funded projects.

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