Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Chinese philosopher Lao Tzu the first Libertarian?

Murray Rothbard a libertarian scholar believes that there is evidence that demonstrates that Lao Tzu was the First Libertarian. He bases this on historical information and quotes that were attributed to by Tzu such as:
government, with its 'laws and regulations more numerous than the hairs of an ox,' was a vicious oppressor of the individual, and 'more to be feared than fierce tigers.'"

'The more artificial taboos and restrictions there are in the world, the more the people are impoverished.... The more that laws and regulations are given prominence, the more thieves and robbers there will be.' The wisest course, then, is to keep the government simple and for it to take no action, for then the world 'stabilizes itself.' As Lao-tzu put it, 'Therefore the Sage says: I take no action yet the people transform themselves, I favor quiescence and the people right themselves, I take no action and the people enrich themselves....'"

I did some additional searching on my own and found a few quotes of interest as well that are attributed to Lao Tzu:
The more laws and order are made prominent,
The more thieves and robbers there will be.

Govern a great nation as you would cook a small fish. Do not overdo it.

1 comment:

Hooda Thunkit said...

Not knowing the Oriental naming conventions is a limitation of mine; yet I found it interesting that Sun TZU (perhaps a relative) wrote "The Art of War..."