Comparison Of Lao-Tzu And Machiavelli's Views Of Government

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There are many different governments in the world and they are all run differently. The United States has a republic, Russia is a capitalistic country, and North Korea is a dictatorship to name a few. The ideas of governments and politics have changed around immensely since the beginning of civilization. The 6th Century’s B.C. Lao-tzu’s Thoughts from the Tao-te Ching, and 15th Century’s Machiavelli’s The Qualities of a Prince have different views on use of money, war, and how to rule a functioning society. Both sides have great points on these topics which are all big factors of the idea of government. Everyone has their opinions on their favorite sort of government, but there may never be a day where the people of the world can agree on one,…show more content…
Lao-tzu and Machiavelli have completely opposite views on war. Lao-tzu believes in a peaceful, harmonic society with very little crime. Any sort of war would be a last resort for him and his society and must be avoided at all costs. Weapons causes chaos in the native state and people suffer and die everyday that the war is going on for both sides. Lao-tzu detests war whereas Machiavelli says war is a key part to ruling a society. A prince must be trained physically or strategically, preferably both, in the art of war in order to be ready for it if it ever breaks out. He states that the state would be lost without military power and if he didn’t know the art of war. A ruler that has no knowledge of war is essentially unarmed and their military may rise up and take over the state seeing this as one of the ruler’s weaknesses. Topography or knowing the land of the country is very important to Machiavelli in case an invasion ever took place and he needed to strategize based on location. The ancient philosophers views on war are on completely opposite ends of the spectrum, and a happy medium should be found in order to ensure protection and keep away chaos in the…show more content…
The Chinese philosopher Lao-tzu feels the people should be treated as children until they “grow” into an adult and can handle life on their own. He approves of helping out the society and providing them their needs. Peace is the main component of a perfect society for Lao-tzu. He hates war and in order to avoid it, Lao-tzu believes in isolating the state from other states so the society can function and grow on it’s own. The less governed a society is, the better it will turn out is a view of his. Using things such as force would make the people resent him and not look at him as the “Guardian of the State.” The same goes for being narcissistic or boasting about their power. Even though they were from two different time periods, Lao-tzu and Machiavelli agree on some rules of ruling a society. Both want to help the people out with their basic needs, Machiavelli having military protection as the main one. Also, they want to have adaptable ruling to make the people happier and less likely to cause chaos in the society. Stepping back and letting the society do it’s own thing sometimes is another agreed upon view. Keeping the people from knowing most of your ruling methods and letting them live life helps ruling because no one will be able to take those methods and use them to overthrow the ruler. In Machiavelli’s ideal kingdom, the throne is
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