Machiavelli's Prince Essay

1047 words - 4 pages

Throughout time, everybody has his or her own opinion on what it takes to run successful government. Niccolo Machiavelli was no different. He was the author of many books. Including The Prince, in which Machiavelli explains how he feels a state should be governed and how the people of the state should act. However, his views are sometimes drastically different from other humanists of his time. And it is ironic that his views of people are still in effect today. Machiavelli theorized that the state is only created if the people of the state cooperate and work to maintain it. The state is also one of mans greatest endeavors, and for that one's primary focus should be on maintaining it (Machiavelli, 32). Since all states are founded on the strength of its military, a strong one is necessary. He believes that when a military is given the opportunity to destroy another state, they should destroy it completely. If they do not, they are running the risk of being destroyed themselves (34). The train of thought of a good military should be kill or be killed. The leader of the military should be the Prince. A Prince that is intelligent and can make quick decisions about the problems that arises before him. He must also be talented, strong, smart, and confidant individual. He cannot be uncertain. For uncertainty is a sign of weakness. It is vital to the success of the state that the Prince take full advantage of situations based solely on if it will further advance the state. A Prince should not consider whether his acts are moral or immoral, but rather act in an unbiased manner for the state. Also, it does not matter how the state achieves its goals, just as long as the goals are achieved. Finally, the Prince should be glorified if he does well for the state and condemned if he hurts it (42). Machiavelli tells us that the Prince must take whatever action is necessary to maintain order in society. He explains that in the past those who used cruelty were the one's who achieved obedience and order (72). One way to petrify the people of the state would set up a number of highly visible executions. This can be a very effective means of controlling the people and in preventing a major outbreak of violence and murder. Machiavelli further states that it is difficult to be loved and feared simultaneously. It is a fine line and once crossed a rebellion could begin. Therefore, one should always prefer to be feared than to be loved because during adverse times, the fear of punishment is far more effective in maintaining control and order than depending on the people's goodwill and love (71). Machiavelli has a very low opinion of people throughout history. In general, he feels that men are "ungrateful, fickle, liars, and deceivers. They shun danger and are greedy for profit; while you treat them well, they are yours. They would shed their blood for you, but...

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