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Daoism -> Dao De Jing -> 17

(The unadulterated influence)
In the highest antiquity,
(the people) did not know that there were (their rulers).
In the next age
they loved them and praised them.
In the next
they feared them;
in the next
they despised them.
Thus it was that when faith (in the Dao) was deficient (in the rulers)
a want of faith in them ensued (in the people).
How irresolute did those (earliest rulers) appear,
showing (by their reticence) the importance which they set upon their words!
Their work was done and their undertakings were successful,
while the people all said, 'We are as we are, of ourselves!'

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