Tao Te Ching – Chapter Nineteen
Throw away holiness and wisdom,
and people will be a hundred times happier.
Throw away morality and justice,
and people will do the right thing.
Throw away industry and profit,
and there won’t be any thieves.
If these three aren’t enough,
just stay at the center of the circle
and let all things take their course.
States of the Unions
A Very Important Read for Present Circumstance Context
In 1961, as a young academic, I called on President Harry S. Truman when I found myself in Kansas City delivering a speech. To the question of what in his presidency had made him most proud, Truman replied, “That we totally defeated our enemies and then brought them back to the community of nations. I would like to think that only America would have done this.” Conscious of America’s vast power, Truman took pride above all in its humane and democratic values. He wanted to be remembered not so much for America’s victories as for its conciliations. All of Truman’s successors have followed some version of this narrative and have taken pride in similar attributes of the American experience. And for most of this period, the community of nations that they aimed to uphold reflected an American consensus— an inexorably expanding cooperative order of states observing common rules and norms, embracing liberal economic systems, forswearing territorial conquest, respecting national sovereignty, and adopting participatory and democratic systems of governance. American presidents of both parties have continued to urge other governments, often with great vehemence and eloquence, to embrace the preservation and enhancement of human rights. In many instances, the defense of these values by the United States and its allies has ushered in important changes in the human condition. Yet today this “rules-based” system faces challenges.
Henry Kissinger, World Order, Penguin Publishing Group, 2014
PS If you are not going to read the book at least gain an understanding of the Peace at Westphalia