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Comparative Political Philosophy Essay

1612 words - 7 pages

Comparative Political Philosophy
Throughout history, each type of political system has condoned something that benefits their way of life. For example, for many years slavery was condoned as a means for the economy. As time progresses, equality emerges. Equality being one of the three focuses of government: equality, freedom, and order. Each philosopher picks one of the three to believe to be the main focus of government and forms of the other two will follow. Machiavelli, Plato, Cicero, and Aristotle accounts were taken into consideration in the founders of the United States, and even in today’s politics.
First and foremost, Machiavelli creates a blue print for rulers; especially for the Medici family for whom he is hoping can restore the power back to Italy (167). The backbone of his philosophy is the ends justify the means. It condones the actions of the Prince and tells him it is best to commit all the villainous deeds at one time to gain respect and people tend to forget over a long period of time (Machiavelli 177-178). Machiavelli believed there were four principalities: Hereditary, annexed, fortune, and skill-ability. Each was to be handled differently, for a hereditary system was the easiest one because of the history already established with the people, the annexed system would only work if one learns their history and submerges themselves with the culture, run it by a proxy, recreate their history, or run it by military rule. The differences between fortune and skill principalities he uses the story of Francesco Sforza and Cesar Borgia to describe how it is hard to continue to obtain by means of fortune: the people will not respect you and some may not believe you are legitimate, whereas gaining power through skill and ability, may be harder to do, but it is the epitome of a good ruler, one who will be able to keep his hold on the government (168-177). He later concludes that it is best to be feared rather than loved because men tend to be selfish and spontaneous when in an instant they no longer want to serve you, therefore feared without hatred will suffice because they would not want to turn their backs on you (Machiavelli 183).
Machiavelli did not come outright and define citizenship as some of the other philosophers have, but he defined the ruler instead. A ruler, however, cannot rule without a state, and he creates each predicament of gaining a state and how to rule the state. He seems to favor a tyrannical rule in The Prince, but later corrects his viewers that he believes that a republic is best in The Discourses (Machiavelli 166). Everyone in the state is considered to a citizen, whether or not they can participate or not. Our founding fathers in America did exercise this idea to a point, where they did believe all to be citizens not just residents but they only gave white males, with property, rights as a participatory republic-democracy. People might have viewed his work as how not to rule, but in many instances his work...

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