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The Perfect Government Essay

770 words - 4 pages

10 September 2013

The Perfect Government

Throughout history many leaders, both good and bad, have come and gone. Many leaders had their own opinions on what would make their government great, but sadly leaders soon find that what had originally sounded like a good idea, can quickly lead to the downfall of their land. Machiavelli and Lao Tzu both had strong opinions about how a leader should run a government. However, their ideas on what makes the ideal leader are wildly different. Machiavelli believed that a prince should be strict even if, at times, it appears cruel. Lao Tzu, on the ...view middle of the document...

Also directly contrasting Machiavelli, Lao Tzu believed a leader didn’t need to be controlling over his people, but rather he understands that things happen and that he should leave it alone to run its course. Most of all, though, Lao Tzu believed that “He who is great ought to be lowly” and “If he desires to put the people first, he must put himself after them.” (Lao Tzu 165) (Lao Tzu 166) He believed that to be a leader, he needs to know how to be one of the people and if he truly wants the best for them, he needs to put their needs before his own. The biggest difference between Machiavelli and Lao Tzu is just one factor: compassion. Lao Tzu, honestly, felt that a leader must be compassionate towards his people and in doing so, he can teach them to be the same to each other.
Although, these two men are extremely different in their views, they do share a common goal. They both had a passion for trying to create the perfect government. While they both had great points, there was no middle ground which makes it hard to believe either could truly succeed. Machiavelli’s ideas for control over finances are great ideas, but if a prince doesn’t love his people and is too cruel, his people could grow to hate him. In Lao Tzu’s...

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