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An empire is best administered by justice, an army by craft, and influence over people is gained by noninterference. The more people become selfish, the more the state is in disorder. The more people become artful and cunning, the more abnormal things become. The more laws and orders are multiplied, the more theft and violence increase.

Therefore, the perfect Sage reasons: If I practice wu-wei, that is, non-interference, the people will restrain themselves naturally. If I set an example of good behavior, people of themselves will become tranquil and prosperous naturally.

If I have no selfish desires myself, other people will become unselfish and simple.

Next: Chapter 58