Machiavelli versus Lao Tzu

Topics: Tao Te Ching Pages: 2 (746 words) Published: March 11, 2014
Kayla Kessler
English 101
11 September 2013
Machiavelli versus Lao Tzu
There are many kinds of leaders in this world that believe that their style of leadership is the best. Machiavelli and Lao Tzu were two people that believed that their style of ruling was the best way to rule. They were both extremely outspoken and they stood by their ways. Both Machiavelli and Lao Tzu were very clear about how they thought a government should be run. Even though they both held strong opinions on how a government should be ran, they could not be any more different. If Machiavelli agreed with one topic, most likely, Lao Tzu would be completely against it. Their beliefs are the exact opposite of each other. Machiavelli thought that a ruler should be very strict while Lao Tzu thought that they should be laid back and let the people live their lives the way they wanted too. In The Prince, Machiavelli believed that in order to run a government efficiently, you must rule with an iron fist. If a Prince rules liberally, he will be given a good reputation, but it can hurt you in the long run. Just having a good reputation won’t help out the people. It’s better to have a bad reputation and govern the right way, than to have a good reputation and destroy your land. A government should also be ran on the greediness of money and supplies. A ruler must always be rapacious with money. If he needs to spend a lot of money for something, he won’t have to tax the people even more than they already are. “…had not moderated his expenses, he would have destroyed his government.” “Nothing wastes so rapidly as liberality.” (Machiavelli 187) Machiavelli also wrote that to be a great leader, one must know how to be cruel to his subjects. If the Prince’s people feared him, then they would obey him rather than if they didn’t. If they didn’t fear him they may think that they can overpower him and rebel. “…it is much safer to be feared than loved” (Machiavelli 188) Lao...

Cited: Machiavelli, Niccolo. “The Prince.” Reading the World: Ideas that Matter. 2ndEd. Marilyn Moller. New York: W.W. Norton & Company, 2007. Pages 184-191. Print.
Tzu, Lao. “Tao Te Ching.” Reading the World: Ideas that Matter. 2nd Ed. Marilyn Moller. New York: W.W. Norton & Company, 2007. Pages 158-168. Print.
Hacker, Diana, Nancy I. Sommers, Thomas Robert. Jehn Jane Rosenweig, and Van Horn, Marcy. Carbajal. A Writer’s Reference. Sixth Edition Ed. Boston: Bedford/St. Martins, 2007. Print.
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