The Book of the Right Way of Laozi – 61


The great state is like a vast underground reservoir
Into which everything in the world flows, as everything flows towards the feminine.
Because she is yielding, tranquil, and subordinate, the feminine principle’s strength overcomes that of the male.
Similarly, a great country that makes itself subject to a small country will nonetheless absorb the small country,
And the small country, by making itself subject to the great country, will also gain.
Therefore, each region takes from the other and yet gains.
Therefore, each country, by submitting to the other, can benefit.
The big country does not need people but needs resources,
The small country does not need resources but needs work (for its population).
Each group gets what they want and need. Thus it is mutually advantageous for the superior to submit to the inferior.