The Development of Governmental Ideals:
A Synthesis of Lao Tzu, Machiavelli, Jefferson, and Ortega y Gasset Theories
What is an ideal government? Have we as human beings found the perfect balance for society? The ideals of government have been debated for centuries; this paper will synthesize just four of the many ideals on government. History has given us many views on how civilizations ruled and continue to rule successfully. The numerous debates, texts, and important figures in society have shaped the government we know to exist today. In this essay Lao Tzu’s, Thoughts from the Tao-te Ching , Niccolo Machiavelli’s, The Qualities of a Prince, Thomas Jefferson’s, The Declaration of Independence, and Jose Ortega y Gasset’s, The Revolution of the Masses, will be synthesized and thoroughly analyzed pertaining to the topic of government and the society it forms. Although these influential leaders have the same goal in mind, their views on qualities an ideal leader should possess, human nature, and of government differ greatly.
Each author has their own personal stance on the qualities an ideal leader must possess. Depending on a reader’s view of leadership, might be similar or different from what they agree with. Lao-Tzu (551-479B.C.) worked in the court of the Chou dynasty for the most of his life. Upon his decision for self-imposed exile a gate keeper urged him write down his thoughts and ideas for his society. The Tao-te Ching is a document written about government being purely good and possessing excellent moral behaviors. It urges its readers to look beyond your means, circumstances, and predicaments, to see the good in everything and everyone around you. Lao Tzu states ““Governing a large country is like frying a fish. You spoil it with too much poking” (Verse 60); because he believes that a leader should not be intrusive on their people and only step in to their affairs when absolutely necessary. Niccolo Machiavelli (1469-1527) originally had a career in...