There has been demanding controversies concerning how a successful government should be maintained. Many writers and politicians have written a great deal of political propaganda, including several documents that exhibit different opinions on how an organization, such as a government, or club should uphold laws, written or unwritten. Such documents include Lao Tzus, Thoughts from the Tao-te Ching, Niccolo Machiavellis The Qualities of the Prince. Although each of these works contain important advice, as time progresses circumstances often change, and with that comes new and effective ways to maintain an organization, government, etc.. More importantly, the documents represent the authors opinion, thus contradicting other works. The objective of works such as these, is to create a powerful and flawless society – a society which does not, nor ever will exist. No document created by man can prove to be effective and dependable throughout time. I believe that as societies and conditions change, the laws and procedures must also change in order to have a successful government. Failing to do so would result in devastation and anarchy. Although no present document has gained complete trust and acceptance, perhaps it is necessary to combine the practical and logical aspects and conform them to todays society. Doing this would not create a perfect society, (as one does not exist) only perchance a stronger and more effective government. One must not seek perfection, only improvement. Rulers who have tried to do so in the past have been unsuccessful, as perfection is also a controversial subject. The ever-struggling controversies make it very difficult for people, of all cultures, to come to an understanding on subjects such as war and the way in which a government should be conducted.
The issue of war and its conditions and necessities has been an ever-struggling topic throughout time. According to Machiavelli,
A prince, therefore, must not have any other object nor another thought, nor must he take anything as his profession but war, its institutions, and its discipline; because that is the only profession which befits one who commands; and it is of such importance that not only does it maintain those who were born princes… (35).
In this, Machiavelli stresses the importance of being prepared for war other than the importance of all other aspects pertaining to governing. The positive side of running a government in a fashion such as this is the fact that a strong militia equals a strong government. A strong government has its commendable aspects. In such cases where a nation is facing a critical situation, whether or not it will survive strictly depends on the stability and power of the government. Despite the noble characteristics of a strong government, the question of how strong is too strong must be carefully examined. If we allow the government to have complete control over how we live our lives, what amount of individuality and consciousness would a person be permitted? Through a careful analyzing of present documents concerning issues such as this, a medium must be found to create a fair and effective government.
In reference to the cruelty of war, Machiavelli writes, But when the prince is with his armies and has under his command a multitude of troops, then it is absolutely necessary that he not worry about being considered cruel; for without that reputation he will never keep an army united or prepared for any combat (42). In this, Machiavelli believes that a prince must be considered cruel to earn the respect and fear for his troops as well as his enemy. This technique has proven to be practical.
The use of instilling this fear into those desired is realistic, yet Lao Tzu has a completely different approach:
Weapons are the tools of violence; all decent men detest them. Weapons are the tools of fear; a decent man will avoid them except in the direst necessity and, if compelled, will use them only with the utmost restraint…He enters a battle gravely, with sorrow and with great compassion as if her were attending a funeral. (A World of Ideas 23).
Lao Tzu believes that war is a last resort. A situation where this type of reasoning was used was in World War II. President Truman had to