Ideas Of Rulers In "Tao Te Ching" And "The Prince"

571 words - 2 pages

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, the people aren’t aware of him. However this entire idea is lost in The Prince where the idea seems to be what a ruler should do to be accepted by the people. Throughout The Prince are guide lines for a ruler to follow concerning matters of how he is going to be viewed by the people. Machiavelli says that a prince should take care to not be too generous or too cruel as either could have a negative effect on his...

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