Lao-tzu and Machiavelli are political philosophers writing
in two different lands and two different times. Lao-tzu was an ancient Chinese philosopher from 6th century BC, the
author of Tao-te Ching, and Machiavelli was an Italian
philosopher who lived 2000 years after Lao-tzu's time,
author of Prince. They are both philosophers but have totally different perspective on how to be a good leader. While both philosopher's writing is instructive. Lao-tzu's advice issues from detached view of a universal ruler; Machiavelli's advice is very personal perhaps demanding. Both philosophers' idea will not work for today's world, because that modern world is not as perfect as Lao-tzu described in Tao-te Ching, and not as chaotic as Machiavelli illustrated in Prince.
Perhaps Lao-tzu and Machivelli's political system will not work for today's world, but some of their philosophies are still exist in some of modern issues. One of those issues is gun control, which has become a dividing line in America. Lao-tzu advised in Tao-te Ching "weapon are the tools of violence; all decent man detest them. Weapon are the tools of fear; a decent man will avoid them except in the direst necessity and, if compelled, will use them only with the utmost restraint." On the other hand Machiavelli wrote in Prince, "Francesco Sforza became Duke of Milan from being a private citizen because he was armed; his sons, since they avoided the inconveniences of arms, became private citizens after having been duke. For, among the other bad effects it causes, being disarmed makes you despised; this is one of those infamies a prince should guard himself against" (page 36) in which he pointed out that taking arms from a people can make a difference between a prince and a citizen. To gun control activists, the issue is about crime and the regulation of the weapons used to commit crimes. In their opinion, law-abiding citizens should have no need for guns, which is similar to Lao-tzu's idea....
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