Comparison of Lao Tzu and Machiavelli

Topics: Coca-Cola, Tao Te Ching, Laozi Pages: 4 (743 words) Published: March 16, 2004
Comparison of Lao Tzu and Machiavelli

It is obvious to most people the differences between black and white, light and darkness, or Pepsi and Coca-Cola. Many people have different preferences for each of these things, as well as different views about them. While one person may argue that Pepsi is the ultimate cola beverage, another person may claim that Coca-Cola is the best by far. This is such the case with many different people in this world, on many different topics. A prime example of contrasting views on many issues is Niccolio Machiavelli and Lao Tzu. Among the issues that they address include war and violence and the qualities of an ideal ruler.

The issue with the most differences is obviously that of war and violence. In his work "The Qualities of a Prince" Machiavelli claimed that a good ruler must always be prepared for war. Even when their country is not at war, the ruler must be constantly considering combat. They must take the time to look at the land in which any battle will be fought, whether that is in their kingdom or that of their enemies.

"He must, therefore, never raise his thought from this exercise of warm and in peacetime he must train himself more than in time of war; this can be done in two ways, one by action, the other by the mind. And as far as action is concerned, besides keeping his soldiers well disciplined and

trained, he must always be out hunting, and must accustom his body to hardships in this manner; and he must also learn the nature of the terrain, and know how the mountains slope, how the valleys open, how the plains lie, and understand the nature of rivers and swamps..." (38).

Lao Tzu's "Thoughts from the Tao-Te-Ching" took a more pacifistic approach. He believes that no man had the right to defeat enemies by using violence and

weapons. When violence is used against somebody, it will eventually rebound and come back upon the person who inflicted it.

"Whoever relies on the Tao in governing men

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