Lao Tzu (Laozi)

About Lao Tzu (Laozi)

Who is it?: Philosopher
Birth Place: Henan, Chinese
Era: Ancient philosophy
Region: Chinese philosophy
School: Taoism
Notable ideas: Tao, wu wei
Chinese: 老子
Literal meaning: "Old Master"
TranscriptionsStandard MandarinHanyu PinyinGwoyeu RomatzyhWade–GilesIPAWuSuzhouneseYue: CantoneseYale RomanizationIPAJyutpingSouthern MinHokkien POJTâi-lôOld ChineseBaxter–Sagart (2014): Transcriptions Standard Mandarin Hanyu Pinyin Lǎozǐ Gwoyeu Romatzyh Laotzyy Wade–Giles Lao-tzŭ IPA [làu.tsɨ̀] Wu Suzhounese Lâ-tsỳ Yue: Cantonese Yale Romanization Lóuh-jí IPA [lo̬u.tsǐː] Jyutping Lou-zi Southern Min Hokkien POJ Ló-chú Tâi-lô Ló-tsú Old Chinese Baxter–Sagart (2014) *C.rˤuʔ tsəʔ LǎozǐLaotzyyLao-tzŭ[làu.tsɨ̀]Lâ-tsỳLóuh-jí[lo̬u.tsǐː]Lou-ziLó-chúLó-tsú*C.rˤuʔ tsəʔ
Hanyu Pinyin: Lǎozǐ
Gwoyeu Romatzyh: Laotzyy
Wade–Giles: Lao-tzŭ
IPA: [lo̬u.tsǐː]
Suzhounese: Lâ-tsỳ
Yale Romanization: Lóuh-jí
Jyutping: Lou-zi
Hokkien POJ: Ló-chú
Tâi-lô: Ló-tsú
Baxter–Sagart (2014): *C.rˤuʔ tsəʔ

Lao Tzu (Laozi)

Lao Tzu (Laozi) was born in Henan, Chinese, is Philosopher. Lao Tzu or Laozi, who existed in the 6th century B.C, was the founder of the Chinese philosophical ‘School of the Tao’ or ‘Taoism’. He was known to be a contemporary of the great and the most revered Chinese teacher and philosopher ‘Confucius’, but some legends believe that they both were same person, whereas according to some he existed before Confucius. The origin and life of Laozi is extremely ambiguous and even after centuries of research very little is known about his life. Nevertheless, his teachings have been handed down through centuries and today his followers are manifold. Laozi’s philosophy was particularly known have been prominent during the Han Dynasty, though the philosopher lived in the Zhou Dynasty, the longest surviving dynasty in primeval China. It was in the Han Dynasty that Taoism was strongly established and was religiously followed. However, none of the original texts about Taoism have any reference about Laozi’s life. Due to less information, several speculations, confusions and also conflicts about the life and death of Laozi, have arisen in the past few decades. Many researchers are of the view that ‘Tao te ching’ the religious and philosophical book written by Laozi, was in fact not written by him alone. Some others are even of the opinion that the philosopher never existed and Laozi can be referred to any old wise man of the ancient China who preached philosophy.
Lao Tzu (Laozi) is a member of Philosophers

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The right-libertarian Economist Murray Rothbard suggested that Laozi was the first libertarian, likening Laozi's ideas on government to F.A. Hayek's theory of spontaneous order. James A. Dorn agreed, writing that Laozi, like many 18th century liberals, "argued that minimizing the role of government and letting individuals develop spontaneously would best achieve social and economic harmony." Similarly, the Cato Institute's David Boaz includes passages from the Daodejing in his 1997 book The Libertarian Reader. Philosopher Roderick Long, however, argues that libertarian themes in Taoist thought are actually borrowed from earlier Confucian Writers.


Laozi was a proponent of limited government. Left-libertarians in particular have been influenced by Laozi – in his 1937 book Nationalism and Culture, the anarcho-syndicalist Writer and Activist Rudolf Rocker praised Laozi's "gentle wisdom" and understanding of the opposition between political power and the cultural activities of the people and community. In his 1910 article for the Encyclopædia Britannica, Peter Kropotkin also noted that Laozi was among the earliest proponents of essentially anarchist concepts. More recently, anarchists such as John P. Clark and Ursula K. Le Guin have written about the conjunction between anarchism and Taoism in various ways, highlighting the teachings of Laozi in particular. In her rendition of the Tao Te Ching, Le Guin writes that Laozi "does not see political power as magic. He sees rightful power as earned and wrongful power as usurped... He sees sacrifice of self or others as a corruption of power, and power as available to anyone who follows the Way. No wonder anarchists and Taoists make good friends."

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