Ideas of Rulers in "Tao-te Ching" and "The Prince" Essay

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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 …show more content…
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 reputation. While these two ideas might seem to have little relevance to one another it is just an example of how Lao-tzu’s and Machiavelli’s ideas about how important the rulers public persona was to their ability to rule successfully.
Finally one major difference is that Machiavelli believes that the ruler should always keep arms and be ready to fight off a threat. Lao-tzu has the idea that the only need to keep arms is for a last resort when all other options have been exhausted. This is an enormous difference; The Prince gives the idea that by not maintaining a military and a willingness to fight the ruler may be over thrown by either another country or by his own people. Lao-tzu gives the idea that if you rule properly you will not need the weapon except in the most extreme circumstances. He also gives the idea that if a ruler tries to rule by force another force opposing the ruler will come to him.
Both of these authors have good ideas on how to rule properly and have the greatest influence on their people. While neither one of the ideas is wrong nor right they are both good proposals for any one not just a prince or a master, but anyone who finds
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