Tthere is no greater illusion than fear,/ no greater wrong than preparing to defend yourself,/ no greater misfortune than having an enemy" (26). This is an ingenious concept, yet we all face fear everyday, for many of us, it affects our way of life and the way we think and do things. Reading the Tao can give much insight on the challenges and dangers that humans must face in this world, how a person should live his life, the dangers of a powerful ruler, how the state should rule, how citizens should serve the state, and the messages or forewarnings for us today.
Ideas of Rulers in "Tao-te Ching" and "The Prince"
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - When comparing Tao-te Ching to The Prince there are numerous differences. The authors of these two documents had almost completely opposite ideas of how a ruler should behave and how a government should be run. One believed that the ruler could accomplish the most by doing the least; the other believed that by controlling how the public perceived a ruler was what would make him a success or a failure. Machiavelli believed that to rule the prince must do things that would win approval with his people, and that the prince must always keep and maintain arms to remain in power. On the other hand Lao-tzu believed that the master ruled with as little involvement as possible, he believed that to “not do” would have the greatest effect, and that to use arms as only a last resort. With just these two examples it becomes clear how different the authors viewed leadership and government. Throughout Lao-tzu’s Tao-te Ching are examples that show he feels that a master should rule by doing as little as possible to persuade people to do what is right. He believes that when a master rules.
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