Act for the people’s benefit, trust them; leave them alone
Machiavelli’s government has no trust in their own people, as Lao-tzu’s government puts trust within the people. A government for the people by the people is one of the best ideas anyone has ever had. When a government and/or leader bases society and its purposes of the government on the people, its order is effectively established. The obligations of the Tao leader, and their ultimate purposes along with the main work of the government would comfortably suit my living needs as compared to Machiavelli’s idea of how government should be.
One of Machiavelli’s purposes in government is to maintain overall power, whether it is within its own government or in all the lands in general. Lao-tzu’s form of government relies around the common people. As I quoted in the beginning, “Act for the people’s benefit. Trust them; leave them alone,” (31) this implies the government relies around the people, rather than power, war, and deception. Many aspects of the Lao-tzu government rely around the people. For instance, “I let go of the law, and people become honest. I let go of economics, and people become prosperous. I let go of religion, and people become serene.” (27) Lao-tzu refers to many things in the cause and effect sense towards the happiness of the people. “Throw away peoples holiness and wisdom, and people will be a hundred times happier. Throw away morality and justice, and people will do the right thing. Throw away industry and profit and there won’t be any
Thieves.” (23) It seems that in Machiavellian government his people are none of his concern only war and power. One of the other main purposes of Lao-tzu’s government is to have a peaceful way of life. “Peace is his highest value.” (25) The Lao-tzu form of government detests weapons and violence while Machiavelli’s government is centered on it. Machiavelli expresses that the princes people should be used for war and willing to fight at any time.
Machiavelli’s obligations as a leader, war and power, were the same as his purposes in government. One obligation of Lao-tzu is to make people feel trustworthy, and not let people be aware that their master exists because the people will think they accomplished achievements all by themselves. (23) Machiavelli’s leader had to role-play, manipulate, and have strict rules. The Tao master must have the characteristics of being simple, patient, and compassionate. “Simple in actions and thoughts, you return to the source of being. Patient in with both friends and enemies, you accord with the way things are. Compassionate toward yourself, you reconcile all beings in the world.” (30) Those are three important obligations that the Master of Tao must fulfill to be successful and loved. In the government of Lao-tzu, the master must be successful within the people love, and fear must be acquired by the leader. Obtaining a government that is characterized by the people and for the people, is another obligation of Lao-tzu. The master of Lao-tzu’s government acts as a guide to the people. Machiavelli is deceiving and just appears to do have a society for the people by the people. Machiavelli’s only goal is to maintain security and appear to keep his word.
The main work of the Lao-tzu government is to keep peace and happiness among the people. The actual government doesn’t really do anything against the people. “The
Tao never does anything, yet through it all things are done.”(25) Lao-tzu does not to try rule the world by war or gaining power. The government must place themselves below the people, and learn how to follow them. This gives people comfort within the fact that the people who are inferior are in the same position in society. Lao-Tzu government tries to keep the taxes low so people don’t go hungry and not to be too intrusive. “When taxes are high, people go hungry.” (30) Instead of Machiavelli keeping peace within his people, the government tries to be in control because the government must be prepared for war at all times.
The Lao-tzu form of government is governed wisely with respect towards its people and land. People have no limits on their freedoms. They have no desire to do anything wrong or harmful because they are not exposed to war and killing. In the Machiavellian government there are no freedoms, he is self-centered and unpleasant. It also seems as if there is no happiness in his society. Machiavelli is too intrusive for me. “And if men were all good, this rule would not be good; but since men are a sorry a lot and will not keep their promises to you, you likewise need not keep your to them.” (21) He is full of deception, and his government is based upon war and power. Therefore, I would not want to live in a society full of deception and lies.
Guns, Germs, and Steel written by Jared Diamond and Things Fall Apart written by Chinua
Achebe both share key similarities and differences between how a civilization could be affected by outside influences. Diamond’s work focuses upon the ultimate factors that lead to Eurasia’s dominance over the modern world. Going back over 13,000 years Guns Germs, and Steel emphasizes that geographic factors, continental differences, and rates of diffusion lead to Eurasia’s dominance over other cultures. In Things Fall Apart, evidence from Diamond’s work can be seen played out on a smaller scale. A lower Nigerian tribe that is connected to several villages is dominated, and desecrated by an enlarging Christian influence. The Nigerian culture is dominated by a diffusion of the Christian religion. While, diffusion lays a common ground between these two
books, the authors’ intentions and values waver based upon the culture they came from. Thus, providing some different views.
In Guns, Germs, and Steel Eurasia came to dominate the modern world because of the diffusion of food producing packages from the Fertile Crescent, and a few strokes of luck. “The rise of food production in the Fertile Crescent was facilitated by the Mediterranean climate favoring non-woody annuals, a large number of larger-seeded annuals, hermaphroditic self-pollinators, a high percentage of plants suitable for domestication, a high number of prized large grass seeds (e. g., barley and emmer wheat), multiple usable domestic able mammals, the early domestication of eight founder crops, etc.” While the Fertile Crescent and Eurasia, were equally on the same foot geographically, the Fertile Crescent soon fell behind because the once fertile area underwent desertification, and eroded. With its advanced agriculture and land, Eurasia was then able to begin conquering other cultures, and inventing new technologies. In Things Fall Apart, the Nigerian tribe can relate the Christians that polluted their culture largely with the Eurasians in Diamond’s writing. Six missionaries arrive to Mbanta and try to convert the people of the Nigerian tribe. Also, the District Commissioner of the white colonial government begins to take over and pollute the Nigerians culture because he believes he knows everything about them. The white colonial government is a lot like the conquering Eurasians, taking everything with their superior technology when the
author states, “Does the white man understand our custom about land?» «How can he when he does not even speak our tongue? But he says that our customs are bad; and our own brothers who have taken up his religion also say that our customs are bad. How do you think we can fight when our own brothers have turned against us? The white man is very clever. He came quietly and peaceably with his religion. We were amused at his foolishness and allowed him to stay. Now he has won our brothers, and our clan can no longer act like one. He has put a knife on the things that held us together and we have fallen apart.» Although, religion was never a major factor in Eurasia’s appeal to conquering territories, therefore religious diffusion didn’t play a large role in Eurasia coming to dominate. The authors of these two books must have differing religious opinions.
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