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The Notion of Wuwei in Huang-Lao Taoism and Its Governance Wisdom(PDF)

《南京师范大学学报(社会科学版)》[ISSN:1006-6977/CN:61-1281/TN]

Issue:
2015年03期
Page:
20-
Research Field:
政治理论与实践
Publishing date:

Info

Title:
The Notion of Wuwei in Huang-Lao Taoism and Its Governance Wisdom
Author(s):
ZHANG Shi-wei
Keywords:
Huang-Lao Taoism governing by wuwei political thought governance theory governance wisdom
PACS:
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DOI:
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Abstract:
Huang-Lao Taoism, a political theory characterized by governance, can be traced back to Lao Zi. As a mixture of thoughts from various schools in the late Warring States period, Huang-Lao Taoism is a relatively mature theory of governance reflecting ancient governance traditions. Among its thoughts on governance, “governing by wuwei(literally, taking no action)” plays a pivotal role which highlights Taoism. From the perspective of content, “governing by wuwei” requires rulers to streamline administration and delegate more power to lower-level governments. Also, it demands self-control of rulers in accordance with Lao Zi’s idea of cleansing one’s heart and overcoming one’s desires. Moreover, this notion, when used to describe a political tactics, focuses on how a ruler can avoid getting cheated by the dishonest members in his cabinet. Nowadays, “governing by wuwei” is still of great significance and practical value. It reminds governors in modern society with great complexity of their so-called rationality. Besides, it helps governors willingly streamline administration, weaken their desire to transform society, and correctly deal with the relationship between the wealth of nation and that of people. On this basis, it is likely to keep our society in order with vitality, thus realizing a common and long-lasting prosperity.

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Last Update: 2015-06-15