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Elite Philosophers: John Locke, Niccolo Machiavelli, Karl Marx And Friedrich Engels

1576 words - 7 pages

In the early nineteenth century after the recession had nearly wiped out peoples hope in Europe, there emerged four elite philosophers who gave people something to believe in: John Locke, Niccolo Machiavelli, Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels. New perspectives on people and politics soon started to surface and arguments arose about what ideologies others had. It could be said that Locke saw Machiavelli to represent the interests of the monarch without any consent of the people because of how in Prince, he explained how a growing leader should rule through intimidation as that is the only way to maintain control compared to Locke who believed people are independent to make their own decisions. ...view middle of the document...

Machiavelli states that “fear is supported by the dread of pain”. (Machiavelli 67) He is acknowledging the fact that a prince should feel complete power as it is the prince who decides the fate of the state. It goes to show that a leader would go to extreme measures just so he gets what he wants which is the control of his land rather than the trust of his people. Machiavelli emphasizes that it could be necessary to take someone’s life or confiscate their property in order to establish a point and arise fear in them. (Machiavelli 68) Once again, Machiavelli is doing something that would merely benefit the leader rather than the society as a whole. By showing to the people what kind of power the leader holds, he hopes to get the respect of the people through fear. This also suggests that Machiavelli has no concern to morality; he believes it is okay to take another humans life without even considering what losing a person in a society can do and more importantly shows how much more he cares about the leader being successful than a human life. This thus ensures that people have no opinion in the system because if they do decide to say something, they could be disciplined for not agreeing with the monarch. This system is necessary only to show how successful a monarch can be and how that the monarch is the only person that can make change in a state for he is the only one that can maintain control. Machiavelli believes that people would just accept the fact that they have a leader who is making all the right decisions for them but does not take into consideration of what the people might have to say about the leader’s actions. He justifies the actions of a leader by claiming that the leader does what is best for the state which ultimately can be argued by John Locke although Locke had never specifically stated anywhere in his book that he did.
Locke had a different approach to the well-being of a state as his ideas were completely opposite of Machiavelli’s. Locke believed that people were born independent and were entitled to rights that gave them a voice in government and collectively make decisions as a society. Locke argues that kings can lose their power if they plot to destroy government or put it under foreign control. (Locke 129-30) This shows an indirect argument to Machiavelli as Machiavelli never took in account that the people could revolt and ultimately bring the monarch’s rule to an end. Locke is further trying to prove that the “Ultimate source of authority is the people” (Locke 132). The idea of a democracy comes to mind when thinking about Locke as it was from his beliefs that the idea of a “president” arose; someone who is voted by the people to lead them to a better direction and collectively make a decision for the benefit of the society. Locke tends to focus more on how the strengths of humans can help build the state into a better environment simply by communicating whereas Machiavelli argued how the weaknesses of a human...

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