Machiavelli vs LaoTzu

Essay by foreverpattyyCollege, UndergraduateA-, April 2012

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Machiavelli vs. Lao-Tzu

The writings of Machiavelli and Lao Tzu both show that they would disagree on the concept of how a government should run. Machiavelli believed that in a strong government, that the prince should act more practical and to maintain power without moral principles. Lao-Tzu took a more individualistic approach believing that a ruler will be respected and followed if he does not act powerfully and forced rules. Lao Tzu also contends that arranged rules and laws result in a society that is more difficult to care for ("Machiavelli").

Machiavelli believes that a government should be very structured, controlled, and powerful. He made it known that the only priorities of a prince are war, the institutions, and discipline. This is shown where he writes, "in order to maintain the state he is often obliged to act against his promise, against charity, against humanity, and against religion."

This shows how his views of how a government should run and his unethical conduct are both early signs of dictatorship.

A "prince must not have any other object or any other thought, nor must he take anything at his profession but war because that is the only profession which benefits one who commands; and it is of such importance that only does it maintain those who were born princes, but many times it enables men of private station to rise to that position; and on the other hand, it is evident that when princes have given more thought to personal luxuries than to arms, that have lost their state." He explains to his audience that a prince must always focus on his priorities because when he focuses on his personal life, he will have lost his power.

In addition, Machiavelli argues that a prince may have to be cunning...