Lao-tzu and Machiavelli are political philosophers writing

In 1986 an article about bodywork in “Yoga Journal” ascribed the saying to Lao-Tzu:

One of the ideas they stressed was that you cannot make everyone happy. If you attempt to, you invite uprisings and chaos. They go on to say, though, that you must be merciful to the people. Lao-tzu speaks of being merciful toward most anything the people might do; Machiavelli simply states that you should appear merciful even if you aren't always merciful. [...practicing them at all times is harmful...appearing to have them is uesful...merciful, faithful, humane...but...] summarizes Machiavelli's idea on mercy into a nice little package, whereas Lao-tzu just reiterates that you should be tolerant and leave the people to themselves. Each man agreed that the leader must avoid being despised. If a leader became despised, he would fall from power quickly because the people would rebel and demand a new leader in his place.

Both have different ideas on how a leader should be seen: Lao-tzu's leader should not draw attention to himself and that he shouldn't force his will on others. Machiavelli's leader should be feared and are able to do what they want, within reason. They also disagreed over war. Lao-tzu's felt that [weapons are a tool of violence...] and if they must go to war, it must only be on defense, not to gain more things for themselves, and they should keep in mind that the people they are fighting are also human beings. Machiavelli encouraged the opposite of this and states that the Prince [...must not have any...profession but war...] and that it was ok to go to war, because then

The contrast in Machiavelli’s ideal ruler and that of Lao Tzu is drastic. Machiavelli thinks that the ideal ruler should be careful when it comes to being generous. He believes that if a ruler is too generous, the people he governs will become unappreciative of their good fortune. A prince should be feared by his people, but they should not despise him because of it. “A prince must nevertheless make himself feared in such a manner that he will avoid hatred, even if he does not acquire love; since to be feared and not to be hated can very

in two different lands and two different times. Lao-tzu was an ancient Chinese philosopher from 6th century BC, the

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.

Machiavelli and Lao Tzu on Government Summary - BookRags…

Lao Tzu has many views that are in great opposition to those of Machiavelli. He believes that the best ruler is one that the people don’t even realize is there. A leader should be loved, and not feared or hated. He acts upon things, and when he is a success, the people of his kingdom get the full credit for his work.

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Lao-tzu or “Old Master,” the author of the Tao-te-Ching wrote not only about the moral behavior one should live their life by, but also about the ways to create a functional government. Lao-tzu wrote mainly for politicians as a guide to follow in order for them to become good leaders. Lao-tzu informs his readers that one can only help people by allowing them to help themselves. One powerful statement from the Tao-te-Ching is, “When they think that they know the answers, / people are difficult to guide.” This statement is not only applicable for followers of the Tao-te-Ching, but it can also apply for people of today as well. There are many examples of the previous Lao-tzu quote that apply to today. A perfect example of people being difficult to guide when they feel they know the answers would be teenagers rebelling against their parents. Teens feel this way because they feel they know as much as their parents if not more which causes this rebellious side. Another good example I have found that relates to Lao-tzu would be students who feel they do not need to have respect for their teachers.

The second example that is significant in reference to Lao-tzu is students who believe they do not need to respect their teachers. I attended a Catholic high school called Santa Margarita

Deconstructing and Comparing the Works of Machiavelli’s The Qualities of a Prince and Lao Tzu’s Tao-te Ching

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author of Prince. They are both philosophers but have totally different perspective on how to be a good leader. While both philosopher's writing is instructive. Lao-tzu's advice issues from detached view of a universal ruler; Machiavelli's advice is very personal perhaps demanding. Both philosophers' idea will not work for today's world, because that modern world is not as perfect as Lao-tzu described in Tao-te Ching, and not as chaotic as Machiavelli illustrated in Prince.


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One of the ideas they stressed was that you cannot make everyone happy. If you attempt to, you invite uprisings and chaos. They go on to say, though, that you must be merciful to the people. Lao-tzu speaks of being merciful toward most anything the people might do; Machiavelli simply states that you should appear merciful even if you aren’t always merciful. [...practicing them at all times is harmful...appearing to have them is uesful...merciful, faithful, humane...but...] summarizes Machiavelli’s idea on mercy into a nice little package, whereas Lao-tzu just reiterates that you should be tolerant and leave the people to themselves. Each man agreed that the leader must avoid being despised. If a leader became despised, he would fall from power quickly because the people would rebel and demand a new leader in his place.

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Perhaps Lao-tzu and Machivelli's political system will not work for today's world, but some of their philosophies are still exist in some of modern issues. One of those issues is gun control, which has become a dividing line in America. Lao-tzu advised in Tao-te Ching "weapon are the tools of violence; all decent man detest them. Weapon are the tools of fear; a decent man will avoid them except in the direst necessity and, if compelled, will use them only with the utmost restraint." On the other hand Machiavelli wrote in Prince, "Francesco Sforza became Duke of Milan from being a private citizen because he was armed; his sons, since they avoided the inconveniences of arms, became private citizens after having been duke. For, among the other bad effects it causes, being disarmed makes you despised; this is one of those infamies a prince should guard himself against" (page 36) in which he pointed out that taking arms from a people can make a difference between a prince and a citizen. To gun control activists, the issue is about crime and the regulation of the weapons used to commit crimes. In their opinion, law-abiding citizens should have no need for guns, which is similar to Lao-tzu's idea. However in opposite, the nation's powerful gun lobby, the National Rifle Association, argues that gun control is a violation of freedom and rights to protect themselves, which correspond to Machiavelli's idea. I think that if American government take either sides, will end up in total chaos. Gun control, which means law-abiding citizens lose their right to protect themselves, and outlaw, will be the only one "legally" own firearm. But if there are totally no gun control, a five year old boy can bring a gun