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Machiavelli's Philosophy. Essay

5260 words - 21 pages

Machiavelli transformed the meaning of politics. He stated that the goal of politics is the pursuit of power. According to him, the most important elements of politics are the rule of law, with no exceptions or privileges, laws embodying common interest as opposed to factional and civic equality - the equality of citizens before the law equal access to the highest office on the basis of virtue. Machiavelli's ideas on politics were contested and critiqued by many. Many people argue with him and many argue otherwise. Most of the arguments are valid but no one can actually come up with theories and ideas that are accepted by all. Though Machiavelli has his share of detractors, many still believe in his ideas and apply them as the basis for their study of modern political science.Machiavelli stated these in his other work yet The Prince, the work he is most renowned for, gives different perspectives as to what Machiavelli says in his other work. Machiavelli, in this book, tries to deceive Lorenzo de Medici into fallowing false advice. Machiavelli first advises where a prince should live. He says that a Prince in the city is easier to find and to destroy. This first piece of advice that he gives seems to be focused on trying to change the residential strategy of the Medici Family.He then advises on how to behave saying that a prince should trust all people. Machiavelli goes on saying that the prince should always gain the favor of the people and that the saying "he who builds on people builds on mud" in not true. Machiavelli then continues by saying they the prince should be wary of the nobles because they are untrustworthy, dishonest, greedy and dangerous to the prince. Machiavelli writes:from hostile nobles has to fear not only desertion but their active opposition, and as they are always more far-seeing and more cunning, they are always in time to save themselves and take sides with only who they expect to conquer.By doing this, Machiavelli has told Medici to suspect those whom he needed the most during that time. Aside from this, Machiavelli also advises the prince to practice niggardliness.The last piece of advice was about whom a prince should arm. Machiavelli proceeds to write:A new prince has never been known to disarm his subjects, on the contrary, when he has found them disarmed he has always armed them, for by arming them these arms become your own, those that you suspected become faithful and those that were faithful remain so, and from being merely subjects become your partisans.Machiavelli continues by stating that disarming them may cause hatred while arming them on the other hand may cause them to be more loyal. Machiavelli, in stating this, has in his mind that arming the people increases the chances of rebellion. This attempt of Machiavelli to deceive Medici however, was unsuccessful.Many people say that the advice given in the prince was un-Machiavellian. Some theorists however say that this book was just an aberration. Some on the...

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