Dao House...
Political Dao
What China Badly Needs is Market Taoism
James A. Dorn (CATO Institute) argues that:
"What China needs is not market socialism.  Rather, it needs market liberalism, or what could be appropriately called market Taoism, the economic version of one of the great underlying principles of Chinese thought -- the natural way (tao) of freedom and noninterference."
The Dao of Capitalism
Max Cafard begs to differ.  From the Research on Anarchism forum.
"In short, Lao Zi's Dao is the absolute antithesis of all forms of domination--including concentrated economic power, the centralized state, patriarchy, and the exploitation of nature.  So it came as a bit of a shock to me when I began to find the world's first philosophical anarchist invoked in defense of right-wing ideology and capitalist economies."
Taoism and Anarchism Music
Tao of...
Essay from Matthew and Daniel Coate's Magical States site (originally from the oat.tao site) argues that:
"The first clear expression of an anarchist sensibility may be traced back to the Taoists in ancient China from about the sixth century BC.  Indeed, the principal Taoist work, the Tao te Ching, may be considered one of the greatest anarchist classics... The anarchistic tendency comes through even stronger in the writings of the philosopher Chuang Tzu..."
Principles of Marxist-Taoism
2002 article by Brian Milani (environmentalist, Toronto) presents "13 Radical Propositions" for a postindustrial, decentralized, "neo-primitive" society in which self-actualization is no longer "confined to small inner circles of mystics and artists."  From the Green Economics site.
"Economic development is (or should be) in the process of transition from quantitative to qualitative development.  In an earlier period, 'seizing the means of production' meant seizing factories and offices.  Today seizing the means of production means SEIZING OURSELVES.  And this means recovering the repressed yin energies of primitive life in a new individuated consciousness."
The Ancient Chinese Libertarian Tradition
Murray N. Rothbard (1926-1995, economist, libertarian scholar) traces laissez-faire principles back to Laozi and Zhuangzi.  From the Ludwig Von Mises Institute site.
"Chuang-tzu was also the first to work out the idea of 'spontaneous order,' developed particularly by Proudhon in the nineteenth and by F. A. Hayek of the Austrian School in the twentieth Century: 'Good order results spontaneously when things are let alone."
Mysticism and the Idea of Freedom: A Libertarian View
Long paper by Neal Donner (violin instructor, Libertarian candidate for CA State Senate) from the Friesian e-journal.  Ayn Rand, Murray Rothbard, Friedrich Hayek, and the "non-theistic mysticism" of Laozi (Lao-tzu) and Zhuangzi (Chuang-tzu) are mobilized for the cause.
"Nature is understood as mated with man in indissoluble unity -- it 'happens' without having to be pushed.  Citizens of a state, too, can 'happen' without being pushed.  The elements of nature (even if apparently inert) and the elements of society (human individuals) are spontaneously alive and active, without exception legitimate and unique expressions of the Source (Tao).  This being the case, we can safely let them act on their own (laissez-faire), trusting them as we would trust the Tao itself.  There is here no suggestion of original sin.  On the contrary, one cannot help thinking that Lao-tzu would have applauded Eve and Adam for following their inner light."
Participating in the Tao
By Brian Davey, social activist/ecological economist, from his site A Strategy for Losers.  A long, critical analysis of Fritjof Capra's The Web of Life.  Not much mention of Daoism here, but lots on language, conditioning, power systems, the market economy, and grass-roots organizing.
"The author of a book called the 'Tao of Physics' seems not to have noticed enough that the 'Tao Te Ching' by Lao Tzu, as well as later Taoist classics, are principally writings about the way human power relationships warp our integration in the process of nature."
Tao and the Aperspectival World
1990 presentation by Eiichi Shimomisse (California State University, Dominguez Hills, Philosophy) at a cultural studies conference, on the Western world's transition from traditional values to relativism, focusing on Jean Gebser's historical studies and the Way of Laozi and Zhuangzi.
"...it is unquestionably obvious that even in the case of Gebser's pursuit of the integral consciousness a laborious, rather painstaking effort may be necessary to be fully awaken to the aperspectival consciousness.  Until that new insurgent spiritual reality has become the major structure of consciousness, further numerous efforts in various genres of culture may be necessary."
The "moral universe" from the perspectives of East Asian thought
1978 journal article by Confucian scholar Tu Wei-ming (Harvard, Chinese History and Philosophy) proposes that Daoism, Confucianism, and Ch'an (Zen) Buddhism see human beings as "perfectable through self-effort in ordinary daily existence."  From the Digital Buddhist Library and Museum.
"It is the sense of togetherness in the secular world, I suppose, that accounts for the concerted efforts of the Three Teachings to eradicate the alleged fallacy of 'individualism.'  The Confucian instructions on the falsehood of self-centeredness, the Ch'an warning against egoist attachment, and the Taoist advocacy of self-forgetfulness all seem to point to the necessity of going beyond the private in order to participate in a shared vision."
Lao Tzu-s Idea of "Governing with Non-Doing" and Modern Management
Shen Enming's chapter from the online book Beyond Modernization: Chinese Roots for Global Awareness sees Laozi's wu-wei as a viable alternative to Western management methods.  From the Council for Research in Values and Philosophy site (Washington, DC).
"Let us clarify the real difference between 'doing' and 'non-doing' and the real implication of the latter.  'Doing' is a rash action which is done regardless of the situation; the action is resistant to the nature of the thing.  By 'doing' we could have a temporary success, but one that leads to a later imbalance.  The difference between 'doing' and 'non-doing' is not whether we attain success by our efforts, but the way of reaching a goal and whether the success generates an intrinsic maladjustment."
The TAO of the Internet
"Gonzo" journalism by Jesse Hirsh (The McLuhan Program) applied to "the relationships between Western anarchism and eastern Taoism" and between globalization and the Internet.  From the Razon y Palabra site, Mexico).
"Confucius is alive and on earth right now.  As an archetype he is alive with the leaders of empire.  Manifest as their Christ, their Bill Gates, or even as himself, Confucius is at the helm of spaceship earth... Consumerism is the Confucian religion that unites church and state... We need the archetype of Lao Tzu to rise within the hearts of all, shedding the mental chains that internalize our pain, and allow the Tao to shine through."
How Valid is Cultural Identity? - A Taoist Perspective
David Camacho's presentation to the Hong Kong Philosophy Cafe grapples with the question: Is culture relevant to a Daoist?, and concludes:
"As long as there is an 'us' (Culture) there will be 'them' (everyone else), as long as there is a 'me' there will be a 'you.'   The Taoist acknowledges the duality but does not differentiate.  By this it means that he views the world and its inhabitants with equanimity."
Problem Solving in Technology Education: A Taoist Perspective
Journal article by Jim Flowers (Ball State University) explores using a Daoist approach in classes on product design.
"...few, if any, of today's products are designed (by technology students or professional product designers) to meet actual needs.  They are almost always designed to meet open markets, and then human wants can be engineered to meet the product availability.  A common joke asks, 'If necessity is the mother of invention, how come so many inventions are unnecessary?'"
"Wu-Wei and the Question of the Other"
Long, densely written dissertation abstract by Changchi Hao (Fordham University, NY) on ethics and deconstruction, comparing the role of individual and Other in Lao-Zhuang, Confucius, Heidegger, Derrida, Foucault, and Levines.
"The aim of wu-wei or reduction is to reveal the fundamental relation between wu-dai and you-dai, the relation between Dao and the ten thousand things (the world or worlds).  It is to deconstruct the human fabrications about Dao... I have shown that three interpretations of Daoist philosophy represented by Feng You-lan, Robert Allison, and Guang-ming Wu are exactly what wu-wei tries to deconstruct."
A Daoist Philosophy
Much food for thought (and argument) in this philosophical/political essay by Peter Myers on Daoism and: Marxism, Platonism, Buddhism, Heraclitus, Sunzi, Rousseau, Hegel, Wittgenstein, Crowley, et al.  Includes an excerpt from Henry C. K. Liu's "Taoism and Modernity."
"...the Daoist approach is to leave all debates open.  Living with uncertainty is part of the 'negative way'; it is in keeping with the best scientific method expressed by Karl Popper: unless a proposition has been disproved, it may be true."
Confucianism, Taoism and Constructive Realism
Interdisciplinary reflections on the role of science and technology in culture, by Vincent Shen (National Chengchi University, Taipei, Philosophy).  Chapter from the online book Philosophy of Science and Education: Chinese and European Views, on the Council for Research in Values and Philosophy site (Washington, DC).
"Although Tao is understandable, its understandability does not equal an ability to be spoken; thereby Taoism sets a limit to our language.  Where Wittgensteins thesis, 'that which cannot be said should be kept in silence', is interpreted by constructive realism as positing a constructed reality in language and the denying of all meta-language, Taoism would add the thesis that what should be kept in silence is still understandable; it is not to be 'said', but is rather to be 'shown.'"
Structure, Meaning and Critique
Dust off your synapses for Vincent Shen's chapter from Psychology, Phenomenology and Chinese Philosophy, a critique of structuralist semiology "as a framework for looking at society and culture."  From Husserl and Heidegger to Confucius and Laozi.
"It seems that for Lao Tzu social problems were produced by the political domination of rulers themselves, rather than by the disproportion between desired values and their channels of realization... Lao Tzu even criticized Confucian ideology in that it overemphasized deliberate actions taken with anthropocentric self-consciousness, which by do doing were inclined to forget the spontaneity of man and his roots in Tao."
Heidegger on Technology, Alienation and Destiny
Yu Xuanmeng's (Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences) chapter from the online book Morality, Metaphysics and Chinese Culture, finds Daoist elements in Heidegger's philosophy.
"Throughout the long history, Chinese intellectuals looked down upon technology, so the word technique should replace technology.  But they did not deny that doing technique is also a way to experience the Tao.  So, they maintain, 'Go through technique to the Tao.'  This has the same meaning as Heidegger's saying 'To watch over the destiny of Being' is the essence of modern technology."
Heidegger and the Role of the Body in Environmental Virtue
2002 journal article by Simon P. James (University of Durham, UK, Philosophy) links Heidegger's views on technology to the Daoist concept of wu-wei, noting that both are as much "frame of body" as "frame of mind."
"Central to both is the idea that one can realize one's belonging to the world in a practical attunement to things."
Chinese Strategic Culture: Part 1 - The Heritage from the Past
1994 paper by Rosita Dellios (Bond University, Australia) discusses "contemporary Chinese defence thinking" in terms of "three stages in Daoist development."
So the first stage of retreat is understood to be a saving mechanism against the dangers of the ideologically corrupt human world.  The need for a second stage derives from the inadequacies of retreat... In strategic terms, avoidance behavior is not enough to ensure inviolability, let alone one's 'rightful place under heaven.'  With this in mind, one may develop from the first stage of retreat to the second stage of return."
The Chinese Dao of Language
2001 essay from Eric Gans's weekly column, "Chronicles of Love and Resentment," in Anthropoetics: The Journal of Generative Anthropology (UCLA).  Postmodern musings on the shifting of historical dialectics Eastward.
"As Hansen shows, Chinese thoughts' refusal to lose sight of the interpersonal nature of language has been associated with the domination of language and society by a centralized despotism rather than the seemingly utopian proliferation of 'Ways' encouraged by Daoist thought."
Daoism as a Source for Democracy in China
Chapter by Pan Hungchao, Cedric (National University of Singapore) from the 1997 online book The Human Person and Society, summarizes Western models of democracy, and Confucian vs. Daoist conceptions of society and individualism, then argues that:
"A streak of political anarchism is quite evident in both Lao Tzu and Chuang Tzu, but this may well be an over reaction and overstatement directed against the Confucian feudal sense of order... Taoist ideas can serve as a homegrown source, foundation and theoretical justification for a Chinese form of democracy."
Japan and Cultural Development in East Asia - Possibilities of a New Human Rights Culture
Article from the Asian-Pacific Human Rights Information Center by Kinhide Mushakoji (Meiji Gakuin University, Tokyo) explores the meeting of East and West and predicts three trends in post-modern Japan and East Asia:
"Firstly, the Daoist trend will prevail over the Confucian, and the Pax Japonica which stresses the latter will gradually fade leaving the leading role to the more flexible variant of the Pax Cinica, i.e., the overseas Chinese networks.  Secondly, this trend will encourage the emergence of different human values and social models basid on the sub-regional cultures, and they will strengthen the endogenous initiatives of a Daoistic self-organizing style.  Thirdly, this will create in the Asian Pacific a less hierachical (yet containing some factors of verticality) fuzzy structure which will enable the manifestation of different human aspirations and demands."
How American Eagle and North Korean Tortoise Can Get Along
By way of his "Taoist Enlightenment on Mt. Huashan," Alexandre Y. Mansourov (Asia-Pacific Center for Security Studies, Honolulu) discovers "the 'Way' out of the current confrontation."  Journal article from the Nautilus Institute's Policy Forum Online.
"No matter how far apart the North Korean and American positions on the nuclear issue may seem to be and how far their ultimate goals are considered to be from the current departure point in negotiations, if both sides were to adopt the first rule of Tao - 'small steps, holding hands together,' then they could make it all the way to their perceived final destination."
Globalization and the Moral Issue
Some far-reaching thoughts by Vladimir V. Maliavin (Tamking University, Taiwan, Institute of Russian and Slavic Studies) on dehumanized modernity, nihilistic postmodernity, and the salvific potential of Daoism.
"...the task of late modernity, as we can see now, is essentially a moral one.  It amounts to the restoration of the positive element in the modernist negativity, the reconciliation of man with himself.  Such a task demands the radical overcoming of modernity's subjectivist premises and accepting, as a necessary condition of thinking, the human communality, the very humanness of man.  The moral philosophy of ancient Taoist thinkers strikes me as the most promising for fulfilling this task."
The Dynamics of Tradition
Book chapter by Ellen M. Chen (St. John's University, Jamaica, NY), from the online book The Human Person and Society, traces the divergence and rapproachment of Western Chinese traditions.
"If in the classical and medieval periods Western thought was diametrically opposed to Chinese thought, if even 100 years age China and the West had completely different outlooks on the relationship between humans and the natural world, contemporary Western spirituality, developed from within the Western tradition, has reached a vision of the world very close to that of the ancient Chinese."
The Rotten Root
Far-ranging speculations by Drew Hempel (activist, Minneapolis) on the role of nondualist knowledge and Daoist yoga in overcoming "the root of the problem that drives the interlocking oppressions symptomatic of Westernization." 
"Taoist yoga teaches a person how to perform 'needleless acupuncture,' whereby the practitioner consciously recognizes and activates the subtle energy of the mind/body, balances that energy, and then uses resonance to take in more energy and consciously connect with higher energy levels.  This is the process of going back to the root of a person's existence, of mind-body awareness - of understanding the power dynamics of not only the self, but also the interactions of the self with the outside environment."
Daoist Perspectives on Chinese and Global Environmental Management
2001 journal article by Rosita Dellios.  Interesting analysis of China's environmental problems, in terms of Daoist concepts of yin and yang, the elements, wu-wei.
"In essence, the Three Gorges Dam project represents a battle between the tradition for grand solutions, and its critics, the Daoists.  Grand solutions were epitomized in the Great Wall, the Grand Canal, the Long March, the Communist Revolution, the Great Leap Forward, the Tiananmen Square Crackdown, and even the Unification of China in 221 BC. (whereas Daoists prefer states which are small in size and population).  None of these was famous for their ostensible reason; they all cost dearly in terms of human lives." 
The Taoist Ecological Concept of "Nurturing All the Creatures"
Summary of a paper presented at a conference on Environmental Protection and Development in July 2000, by Li Yuanguo (Sichuan Academy of Social Sciences).  Draws on Laozi and Zhuangzi to argue that:
"We need a post-modernist stance in order to confront a post-industrial society.  Taoist thought provides us with a conception of the 'mystery within the mystery' (Laozi, chapter one) of universal value.  Humankind needs to dialogue with its predecessors in order to receive wisdom and strength for confronting its future."
Loving the World as Our Own Body: The Nondualist Ethics of Taoism, Buddhism and Deep Ecology
Journal article by David Loy {Bunkyo University, Chigasaki, Japan, International Studies), in which he builds his thesis on Daoist wu-wei and extends it through Buddhism - that we are the world..
"Instead of being the crown of creation, at the top of a great chain of beings, homo sapiens is only one of the ten thousand things which the Tao treats indifferently, like the straw dogs used in ceremonies and then thrown away...  The ten thousand things are related not vertically, with those of lesser value supporting those of higher value, but horizontally, all being citizens in the great commonwealth that is the natural world."
The End of Philosophy
Dave Pollard (knowledge management consultant, Canada) reviews Straw Dogs, a radical 2002 work of anti-humanist philosophy by John Gray (London School of Economics, Philosophy).
"[Gray] counsels the Taoist approach {'the good life is only the natural life lived skilfully; it has no particular purpose, and nothing to do with the will or trying to realize any ideal... The core of ethics is not choice of conscious awareness, but the knack of knowing what to do.  It is a skill that comes with practice and an empty mind; it means living effortlessly, according to our natures')."
Letting the World Do the Doing
1999 journal article by Freya Mathews (La Trobe University, Australia, Philosophy).  A sustained argument for the Daoist principle of letting go, and the political, economic, and environmental implications of "returning to nature."
"To 'return to nature' is not to restore a set of lost things or attributes, but rather to allow a certain process to begin anew.  This is the process that takes over when we step back, when we cease intervening and making things over in accordance with our own abstract designs.  Such a process can recommence anywhere, any time.  It is not logically tied to those aspects of the world that we mistakenly reify as natural - the forests, swamps, instincts, bodily functions, etc. - but can start to unfold again in the midst of the most intensively urbanized and industrialized environments on earth in the most controlled and civilized of persons."
Responding to Heaven and Earth : Daoism, Heidegger and Ecology
Thought-provoking 2004 journal article by Eric Sean Nelson (University of Massachusettes - Lowell, Philosophy) proposes "new paths of interpretation," contrasting the Daoist/Heideggerian approach of "responsive participation" in the world to the usual understanding of nature as useful and exploitable.
"Insofar as environmentalism is another way to assert the power and dominance of the human subject, it undermines its own goal of preserving the environment from destruction.  Since Heidegger and Lao-Zhuang Daoism claim that the activity of the subject is the problem, it cannot be cured by another--although different--activity of that subject."
Following Nature with Mengzi and Zhuangzi
2002 conference presentation by Franklin Perkins (DePaul University, Philosophy) compares the Confucian's and the Daoist's treatment of nature, and draws implications for contemporary environmentalism.
"My tentative conclusion is that because Zhuangzi undermines distinctions, he is less able to justify things like wilderness preservation.  In fact, one reason for his consistent attack on distinctions is to undermine selective valuation of things and to avoid forcing the world to change according to our valuations."
Daoism and Environment Protection
Short conference paper by Chen Xia (Institute of Religious Studies, Sichuan University) quotes from various ancient and medieval tracts of the Daoist Canon to argue that:
"Daoism contains, in its creeds, tenets, and practices, many ideas compatible with the concept of environment protection."
Daoist Faith Statement
From the Martin Palmer (translator, UK) and Victoria Finlay (journalist, UK) book Faith in Conservation: New Approaches to Religion and the Environment, a World Bank publication containing "powerful core statements on ecology by eleven major world religions."  This one from the Quanzhen Dragon Gate tradition of religious Daoism.
"Daoism has a unique sense of value in that it judges affluence by the number of different species.  If all things in the universe grow well, then a society is a community of affluence."
Daoism and Ecology
James Miller's (Queen's University, Ontario, Religious Studies) introduction to the Daoist segmant of the Harvard Center for the Study of World Religions Conference Series, held between 1996 and 1998.  He empbasizes the "ecological sensibility" of religious Daoism, and "the importance of small beginnings and local perspectives."
"Daoism proposes a comprehensive and radical restructuring of the way in which we conceive of our relationship to nature and our cosmic environment."
Review of...Daoism and Ecology
Eric Sean Nelson's 2003 review of a book that grew out of the conference mentioned above. From Dao: A Journal of Comparative Philosophy.
"Whether it is communist China and North Korea or capitalist South Korea and Taiwan, there has been more ecological devastation in the last century than in the entire history of East Asian civilizations... Yet it should give these critics pause that this has occurred under the loss of traditional environmental practices--in which respect for nature was enforced with religious sanctions--and the dominance of Western ideologies and patterns of competition."
Envisioning the Daoist Body in the Economy of Cosmic Power
Essay by James Miller explores Confucian n vs. Daoist models of global climate change.  2001 article from the Daedalus Journal.
"In China... Daoist temples are recognized as valuable tourist attractions, and thus the functioning of Daoism is now authorized so long as it falls within the bounds of the economic goals of the state authorities. / The problem of relating 'Daoism' with a global phenomenon such as climate change is that it runs the risk of falling into this same paradigm of appropriation and control."
A Daoist Renaissance
Anthony Alexander (writer, artist, film-maker, UK) asks "Can China's ancient Daoist philosophy help its current ecological crisis?" and posits that yes, it can.  2006 article from the Resurgence Magizine "for ecological and spiritual thinking."  And see "notes and further reading" for this article here.
"The Daoist priesthood today encourages its millions of followers to cultivate new forest cover to repair denuded landscapes, to preserve wild habitats and to engage in social welfare and disaster relief.  By directly working with their local communities, Daoists offer a practical bottom-up approach to counter the commendable, but poorly enforced, top-down environmental pronouncements from the central Government."
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