My dear Kacvey,

Long, long before François Fénélon wrote “Dialogues des Morts” (pour l’éducation de Mgr Le Duc de Bourgogne), Laozi taught the way to govern the people.

In Chapter 72 of Dao De Jing 道德经,七十二章, Laozi 老子 said:
“When the people fear no longer your power,
“It is a sign that a greater power is coming.”

“Interfere not lightly with their dwelling,
“Nor lay heavy burden upon their livelihood.”
“无狎其所居, 无厌其所生。”

“Only when you cease to weary them,
“They will cease to be wearied of you.”

Furthermore, in Chapter 75 七十五章, Laozi added:
“Why are the people hard to manage?
“Because those above them are fussy and have private ends to serve.
“That is why they are hard to manage.”

Also in Chapter 31 三十一章 Laozi seemed to tell warmongers and hegemons that:
“As weapons are instruments of evil,
“They are not properly a gentleman’s instruments;
“Only on necessity will he resort to them.
“For peace and quiet are dearest to his heart,
“And to him even a victory is no cause for rejoicing.

“To rejoice over a victory is to rejoice over the slaughter of men!
“Hence a man rejoices over the slaughter of men cannot expect to thrive in the world of men.”