MY IDEAL GOVERNMENT After reading both the Lao-tzu and Machiavelli, I believe that a good government should be concerned about the people more than themselves. Governments are built from the people to serve the people and to help make the world a better and safer place. Laws need to be put into place to help keep and control what happens and punish whom does not abide by those laws. Machiavelli and Lao-tzu both had good points on how a government should be run, but Machiavelli was too strict in some areas and Lao-tzu was too lenient in many areas.
Machiavelli’s illustration of a government was closer to my illustration because he was stricter in laws, his idea of being a feared leader, and how he puts the priorities of his people first. A good government should always be looking for ways to help the people and always listen to the people’s needs. Machiavelli made a great point when he said that a fearful leader is better than a loved leader, but there should be limitations to what a leader should allow the people to do and what he should be strict on.
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People will not obey a loved leader’s laws because they know he is lenient and most people will take advantage of that. The world will turn in to a big disaster and no one will follow the law. But when you have a leader that is feared by the people, they will obey him and follow the laws he sets on them because they are afraid of the consequences. The leader needs to be on a different level than the people. He should be known as the leader that people need to follow and if anyone disobeys any rules, consequences will be met.
At the same time, the leader will have to respect that power that was given to him by using it to help the people. He should not show any kind of fear from them and they should also have love for him for what he does for them. The fearful leader discourages people from trying to overthrow the government because he will be setting the laws to help the people and will be prosecuting those who don’t follow. So they will not need to over throw him because the current leader is treating them fairly. Lao-tzu had some good points on becoming a good leader, but I think he was too lenient which can create people not obeying him.
If a leader is too lenient, people will take advantage and will do whatever they please because the laws will be so flexible and there won’t be any punishments. And if there were punishments, the leader is too lenient and will let most of the people go. That will lead to more people breaking the laws and the world will be a big disaster. Transportation is a good example, traffic violation rates will increase dramatically because no one will obey the traffic laws and that will cause more problems for the government.
Lao-tzu says “Throw away 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” (Jacobus 23). All these are not logical in this current century. Without wisdom, we will not have all this technology that we currently have. Without justice, there will be no peace. Without profit, nobody will go to work. So we need all these things in our current century in order to survive.
Lao-Tzu also mentioned that “when taxes are too high, people go hungry. When the government is too intrusive, people lose spirit” (Jacobus 30). That’s true, if taxes are too high, people will starve. They should have laws for low income and laws for higher income. Lower income should pay lower or almost no taxes and higher income should pay more taxes. Governments should have an influence on the lives of the people in a good way. Lao-Tzu also says that because of all the rules, laws, regulations, etc. here are always people that will do opposite of what is intended, which is true but that does not mean that we remove the laws completely and just everyone do as they please. Instead, we should adjust them to make them better and more beneficial to the government and the people. Machiavelli says “Nevertheless he ought to be slow to believe and to act, nor should he himself show fear, but proceed in a temperate manner with prudence and humanity, so that too much confidence may not make him incautious and too much distrust render him intolerable” (Jacobus 46).
Like Machiavelli said that a government should not get too confident and start taking control of people to benefit itself, it will destroy the people and it will destroy itself. Look at what’s going on in the Middle East right now, it’s all because the leaders are unjust and are too selfish trying to only benefit themselves and leaving the people out of the picture. People eventually gave up and a revolution occurred.
A just leader should treat the people fair and be open minded to listen to what their needs are and do what’s best for people in order to become a successful government. The government is for the people to help the people and not to destroy the people. They should rule fairly and work with the people to be an inspiration to others. WORK CITED Lao-Tzu “Thoughts from the Tao-te Ching. ” A World of Ideas: Essential Readings for College Writers. By Lee A. Jacobus. 7th ed. Boston: Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2006.