The Classic of the Way and Its Virtue

Before Rick and I agreed to meet for breakfast this morning we agreed to read, or, in my case, to re-read the Tao Teh Ching, this time translated by John C.H. Wu. Of course, I tended to skim large parts of it, paying particular attention to passages I’d marked as liking in previous readings.

As I read, I was again struck by chapter:


If only I had the tiniest grain of wisdom
I should walk in the Great Way,
And my only fear would be to stray from it.

The Great Way is very smooth and straight;
And yet the people prefer devious paths.

The court is very clean and well garnished,
But the fields are very weedy and wild,
And the granaries are very empty!
They wear gorgeous clothes,
They carry sharp swords,
They surfeit themselves with food and drink,
They possess more riches than they can use!
They are the heralds of brigandage!
As for Tao, what do they know about it?

Know any politicians who seem to “prefer devious paths“? Any who wear “gorgeous clothes,” “carry sharp swords?” Any who “possess more riches than they can use?”

Is it any wonder that “brigandage” pervades the Republican party when party leaders are willing to sell themselves to the highest bidder in order to ensure their re-election?

Do you really think they’ve insisted on cutting taxes for the wealthiest one percent of the population without extracting some benefit from the betrayal of the democratic dream of equality? I’d love to hear an argument that tried to prove that the multi-millionaire executive who runs the company and a the laborer who earns $10, 712 a year, the amount working a full year at minimum wage for that company are EQUAL in any real sense of that word.