Rule Through Non-action
不过度作为而把国家治理得很好。“治”指国家治理达到良好状态；“无 为”不是不作为，而是不妄为。在道家那里，其要义在于顺其自然，即治国 者充分尊重治理对象（民众）自身的禀性、状态和趋向，不过分干预民众的 生活，使之遵循人自身固有的本性、意愿和逻辑，自我发展，自我实现，以 无为而达到无不为，其哲学基础是“道法自然”。在儒家那里，其要义在于以德化民，即治国者不以政令、刑法等强加于人，而是从自身做起，以自身 的道德和功业使民众受到影响和感化，使民众“不令而行”，实现天下大治， 犹言“人文化成”。儒、道两家的共通点在于：治国者不妄加作为，不过度 干预，充分尊重民众或社会的主体性。
Zhi?(治) here means a state of good governance;?wuwei?(无为non-action) does not mean doing nothing, but instead not acting in an over-assertive manner, inother words, not imposing one’s will. In Daoist thinking, this expression means the ruler must respect the natural conditions of those governed (the people); he must not interfere unduly in their lives but allow them to follow their own desires and ways to fulfill themselves. Through “non-action” everything will be actually achieved. The focus is “Dao operates naturally.” In Confucian thinking, “non-action” means the ruler governs by influencing and motivating his subjects through his moral example and achievements, not through decrees, or coercive punishments, so that they act without being ordered, and social harmony is achieved. The focus here is something similar to “teaching people essential ideals and principles and guiding them to embrace goodness so as to build a harmonious social order.” Both the Confucian and Daoist schools of thought advocate governance through respect for the intrinsic nature of people and society, not through too much interference or imposition.
- 道常无为而无不为。侯王若能守之，万物将自化。 （《老子?三十七章》）） （道永远是顺任自然而无所作为的，却又没有什么事情不是它作为的结果。 君主如果能够持守住它，万事万物就会自我生长。）
Dao always makes all things possible through non-interference with them, and yet nothing can be achieved without acting this way. If the ruler can strictly follow this, then all things and creatures will grow of their own accord.? (Laozi)
- 子曰：“无为而治者，其舜也与！夫何为哉？恭己正南面而已矣。” （《论语?卫灵公》） （孔子说：“能够无所作为而天下治理得很好的人，大概只有舜吧？他做了些 什么呢？只是庄严端正地坐在天子之位上罢了。”）
Confucius said, “Who was the best at ruling through non-action? Probably Shun. And what did he do? Just sat solemnly upright on his imperial throne.”? (The Analects)