A Prince By Lao Tzu

1754 Words Feb 27th, 2016 8 Pages
Rattling the Cages
The actions of individuals are controlled essentially by one thing, the mind of that individual. The citizens of this world are able to partake in any actions they desire. People should forget the thought of limits and restraints and everything should govern itself. Doing nothing will allow everything to harmonize with each other. These ideas come from the writer Lao-tzu in the piece called “Thoughts from the Tao-te Ching.” Lao-tzu presents many idealist ways in his writing. The main focus is on the idea that people are able to govern themselves and partake in the actions they desire without restraint. As he wisely states, “Practice not-doing, and everything will fall into place (206, Lao-tzu).” This advice is not, however, agreed upon by all humans. Machiavelli, the author of “The Qualities of a Prince”, presents many thoughts about how one should govern. Through many harsh and seemingly unfair words, Machiavelli disagrees with several of the ideas of Lao-tzu. The prince should rule with a showmanship of power and military intelligence. His people must fear him in order to maintain control. There is not freedom of action under a prince following the words of Machiavelli. While there are several differences in the advice given by the two authors, the most interesting advice is on restraint. Even though Lao-tzu believes that people are free in their actions, he does discuss one idealistic aspect that requires restraint. The idea of…

More about A Prince By Lao Tzu

Open Document