Machiavelli's Ideal Ruler, Based Off His Book: "The Prince".

1581 words - 6 pages

Governing countries and states properly has been a difficult task from the beginning of time. In every country there will be people who are unhappy and will disagree with the rules put in place, causing the system to fail. So, century after century, people have tried new ways to make their politics appeal to everyone's needs. However, the art of politics is a complicated issue that will always be challenging. "The Prince", written by Machiavelli, was a guide for all the rulers (the book was intended for Lorenzo de Medici) of his time who wanted to gain power and to find solutions to their political problems. Machiavelli's writings in The Prince are concerned with the principles on how a state is founded and by what means the state can then be implemented and maintained. In the book many themes were expressed in order to fulfill the role of a prince but only an important few will be discussed in the following essay.During Machiavelli's time, it was commonly thought that events were ruled by fate and by God only. Not only that, but men could do nothing to stop or protect themselves from those events. Machiavelli did believe in fate, but he did not believe in the fact the fate controlled all events that occurred. If he did believe that it would mean that princes rule by chance. Machiavelli proves this when he states he is not unaware that many have held and hold the opinion that the events are controlled by fortune, because of this, one would conclude that there is no point in sweating over things, but that they should submit to the rulings of chance. Machiavelli argued that fate controlled one half a person's life but the other half was governed by the people themselves. Machiavelli also suggests that princes are fortunate when fate and time are in harmony with each other.Machiavelli is inexperienced in actual ruling and in many ways promotes violence. However, in so doing, he offers a way of separating morality or religion from politics. Politics is a cruel game, and sometimes politicians must lie in order to ensure good. Machiavelli states, "The main foundations of every state, new states as well as ancient or composite ones, are good laws" (p. 40) On the subject of flattery Machiavelli warns that total honesty is not always what a good Prince needs to hear, and that flattery should be shunned. He writes, "The only way to safeguard yourself against flatterers is by letting people understand that you are not offended by the truth; but if everyone can speak the truth to you then you lose respect. So a shrewd prince should adopt a middle way, choosing wise men for government and allowing only those the freedom to speak the truth to him, and then only concerning matters on which asks their opinion, and nothing else." (p. 75 - 76). What Machiavelli is saying is that, when every one is free to tell you the truth, respect falls short. Therefore a careful Prince should chose only certain discreet men from among his subjects, and allowing them alone free...

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