In a disordered country, those who are praised by the multitudes are richly rewarded though devoid of accomplishments. Those who stick to their duties are punished, though free of guilt. The ruler is in the dark and does not understand. Worthies do not offer proposals. Officials form factions; persuasive talkers roam about; people embellish their actions. Those who are taken to be wise devote themselves to artifice and deceit; high officials usurp authority. Cliques and factions become widespread. The ruler is eager to carry out projects that are of no use, while the people look haggard and worn.
From the Huainanzi https://cup.columbia.edu/book/the-huainanzi/9780231142045 a second century BCE book of statecraft commissioned by Lui An, king of Huainan.
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Image: Wikimedia Jordaens King Drinks.jpg