Use justice when leading the people, employ cunning when conducting a war. But it is through non-action that the world is won over.
How do I know this is so? Where there are more restrictions and prohibitions, there is also more poverty. Where there are many sharp weapons, there is also more chaos. Where the people are full of clever schemes, there are also strange outcomes. Where there are many laws and edicts, there is also an abundance of criminals.
Therefore, the wise person: Practices non-action so that the people are naturally transformed. Welcomes quietude so that the people will naturally be civilized. Does not interfere so that the people will naturally be prosperous. Avoids desires so that the people will naturally choose to live simply.
(from Tao Te Ching, verse 57, translation by Robert Brookes)