Lao-Tzu Vs Machiavelli

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Lao-Tzu and Machiavelli Many people believe that individuals need an organized authority to protect their well-being, while others quite disagree. The thought of too much government results in limitation of freedom, but too little government gives the idea of no control or protection. This debate has gone on for centuries and many people have given their opinions of how government should be, like Lao-Tzu throughout “Tao Te Ching” and Nicolas Machiavelli in “The Prince.” Lao-Tzu’s main concern in his leadership instruction was the well-being of the people but implied no specific form of government. While Machiavelli argues important values a leader should have in order to remain in power. Lao-Tzu and Machiavelli both share opposing views on…show more content…
Lao-tzu believes that a leader should have important qualities such as being patient, trustworthy, wise, and non-violent. He often implies control disguised in peaceful actions and qualities, making it seem as if government did not actually exist. He often proposes ideas like “if a country is governed with tolerance, the people are comfortable and honest,” referring to not having conflicts with the people because the people will be comfortable (Lao-Tzu verse 58). He believes that “a leader is best when people barely know he exists, when his work is done, his aim fulfilled” meaning that people should not know who is in charge, resulting in a better lifestyle for people (Lao-Tzu verse28). Lao-Tzu believes that people will live better when they do not feel someone is holding control over them, allowing them to live their lives more freely and how they choose. Another important quality he implies is getting to know the people, “to lead the people, walk behind them” so the leader knows what the people and how they are (Lao-Tzu verse 37). On the other hand, Machiavelli proposes other values that a leader should have to be successful, such as luck and character. Machiavelli views leadership differently, as something you study and physically prepare for and then do everything you can to get to the end. He expresses that “a prince must have no other objective, no other thought,…show more content…
When it came to the idea of war, Lao-Tzu would oppose based on his beliefs of non-violence. He believed that “weapons were tools of violence and all decent men detest them” (Lao-Tzu verse 31). He believes that the reasons for the use of weapons would bring the fear and the people would no longer trust which was complete opposite for what he believed. He only made one exception to use the “tools of fear”, “to only use/fight when necessary” (Lao- Tzu verse 31). However, even in that case, they would run the risk of losing people no matter how much they tried, and would have their interest above others. With Machiavelli, it was different; he promoted the use of weapons and war as an important part of government. He believed the “use of weapons” as a way “to stay in power,” providing dominance and power over the people, advising the Medici family what to do to avoid being overthrown again. He believed that the use of weapons would be necessary especially when the haters would up rise and rebel, although he would try to be at peace with them or destroy them instead. He believed it took “time and dedication in order to be good” at the art of war, “in order not to lose [the] state” (Machiavelli 29). For Machiavelli the use of weapons and war was important to stay in power but for the Lao-Tzu it brought fear and no longer

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