Laozi (Lao Tzu) and Kongzi (Confucius) are the best-known and most admired ancient Chinese philosophers. Yet -- with apologies to Laozi enthusiasts (including many of the students in my Asian Philosophy classes) -- I myself find Laozi's philosophy hateful. And I don't think the secondary literature has done a very good job of exposing what is hateful in him.
Consider Laozi's views on government (all translations from P.J. Ivanhoe):
... sages bring things to order by opening people's hearts [or "emptying people's minds"] and filling their bellies.
They weaken the people's commitments and strengthen their bones;
They make sure that the people are without knowledge or desires;
And that those with knowledge do not dare act....
Reduce the size of the state;
Lessen the population.
Make sure that even though there are labor-saving tools, they are never used.
Make sure that the people look upon death as a weighty matter and never move to distant places.
Even though they have ships and carts, they will have no use for them.
Even though they have armor and weapons, they will have no reason to deploy them.
Make sure that the people return to the use of the knotted cord [i.e., that they abandon writing].
Make their food savory,
Their clothes fine,
Their houses comfortable,
Their lives happy.
Then even though neighboring states are within sight of each other,
Even though they can hear the sounds of each other's dogs and chickens,
Their people will grow old and die without ever having visited one another.
Heaven and earth are not benevolent;
They treat the myriad creatures as straw dogs [i.e., ceremonial offerings treated with respect during the ceremony but discarded and defiled afterward].
Sages are not benevolent;
They treat the people as straw dogs....
It is hard to imagine a more elitist and patronizing attitude than that expressed in these passages.
Laozi is also a devotee of what I take to be cheap paradox:
A Way that can be followed is not a constant Way.
A name that can be named is not a constant name....
What you intend to shrink, you must first stretch.
What you intend to weaken, you must first strengthen.
What you intend to abandon, you must first make flourish.
What you intend to steal from, you must first provide for....
...Great straightness seems crooked;
Great skillfulness seems clumsy;
Great speech seems to stammer....
Once one gets the hang of it, it is easy to generate Laozi-esque paradoxes: The darkest intention is the most benevolent. The oldest man seems the youngest. What is steady is unstable. To achieve certainty, you must be ignorant. The greatest toothbrush is the one that brushes least!
This is, it seems to me, sham profundity. It requires and reveals no deep thought or special insight. (See also my post on the "profound" in philosophy.) In fact, sham profundity perfectly fits Laozi's elitist and explicitly obfuscatory agenda: It baffles and frustrates the mind, destroys good thinking, and establishes Laozi as an authority whose insight one can't achieve or challenge.
(The other leading ancient "Daoist" (Taoist), Zhuangzi (Chuang Tzu), is another matter entirely, by the way. Where Laozi is authoritarian, self-satisfied, arrogant, and superficial, Zhuangzi is self-deprecating, anti-authoritarian, and his paradoxes seem to reflect genuine puzzlement and self-questioning.)