Lao-Tzu Vs Machiavelli

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Reading the works of Machiavelli and Lao-Tzu in succession highlight how truly at opposition the messages are. Though both pieces express the desired way to govern a people, the “Tao-te Ching” speaks of peace, simplicity, and letting the universe work its will, while “The Qualities of the Prince” emphasizes the necessity for war, and the natural wickedness of men. There are no particular reasons that these two ways of thought should be in harmony, one written in the 6th century, and the other the 16th, but they are similar in that they are highly revered and the aphorisms taken from the text are often quoted and considered wise, brilliant, and true. Both authors seem to believe that they are experts in the ways of human nature, and at their …show more content…
Lao-Tzu states “Act for the people’s benefit. Trust them; leave them alone.” (214) He feels that people at the heart of it are simple and good, and that if only left to the ways of the universe, they would live simple and good lives without ambition, desire, or want. “I let go of the law, and people become honest. I let go of economics, and people become prosperous. I let go of religion, and people become serene. I let go of all desire for the common good, and the good becomes common as grass.” …show more content…
Next, one who is feared. The worst is one who is despised.” (207) Machiavelli insists that though to be both loved and feared would be best, being the two at once is impossible, thus “it is much safer to be feared than to be loved when one of the two must be lacking.” (227) On the subject of being despised, Machiavelli fest strongly that a Prince should avoid being considered that at all costs. “A prince must guard himself against being despised and hated[...]”

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