Machiavelli, Jefferson, And Lao Tzu. Relating Their Works To Modern Times And Their Attitudes Of People.

1185 words - 5 pages

"In framing a government which is to be administered by men over men the great difficulty lies in this: You must first enable the government to control the governed, and in the next place, oblige it to control itself."-Alexander HamiltonGovernment exists for the sole purpose of creating a social system of which people are to be held accountable to. Over the many years of human history, different forms of government have been created, from despotism to the modern day "democracy", each differing from minute ways to having great differences in doctrine, but all with the purpose of seeking the system that is best for the people whom are under it. Three authors, three "great thinkers", Jefferson, Machiavelli, and Lao Tzu, each have outlined their basic beliefs and plans for the perfect government through their different works. While the works of each of the authors were created hundreds of years ago some of their ideas remain universal while others are impossible to achieve in the present day.Machiavelli, in the Prince, writes about the role that a monarch should play in the leadership of his kingdom. As the basic foundation of Machiavelli's work there lies a belief that the masses cannot govern themselves and must be led by a solitary person who acts according to the best interests of the kingdom."How praiseworthy it is for a prince to keep his word and to live by integrity and not be deceit everyone knows; nevertheless, one sees from the experience of our times that the princes who have accomplished great deeds are those who have cared little for keeping their promises and who have known how to manipulate the minds of men by shredness..." - Machiavelli (p. 19)Machiavelli's ideas, while written in the times of the Renaissance, can still be seen as impacting the modern era. One example of how Machiavelli's ideas transcend time is, to some extent, the controlling the people's minds. Throughout much of the Prince, Machiavelli puts a large emphasis on how a prince should have a favorable image in the people's minds; for, if the people see the prince in a non-favorable way, they would be closer to rebellion and harder to control. In a way, that is how the politics today is run. Many times politicians choose to ignore the more controversial issues that exist in the world in order to maintain an image that the people like. Politicians also lie to the people in order to have higher approval ratings; for instance, a politician in a campaign may give many promises on how the government will be run if they are elected, yet ignore their promises once elected into office because they held no true weight.Where Machiavelli has a firm stance that the masses should have no decisions, Thomas Jefferson takes a step closer to the sovereignty of the general public.Thomas Jefferson, one of the founders of the American republic, wrote in the Declaration of Independence about the basics of what his ideal government would be. At the forefront of Jefferson's beliefs, is the...

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