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Machiavelli’s The Prince: Examples Of Machiavellian Leaders

2344 words - 9 pages

Arguably, the most Machiavellian leader to ever exist would be Joseph Stalin. He abided by three major Machiavellian methods that were stated in the Prince: the ends justifies the means, crush any opposition, and displaying a false character. Stalin had a plan for Russia and did everything in his power to achieve that plan. He wanted to transform Russia into a industrial superpower, a military superpower, and a political superpower. To achieve his goals he committed many horrible crimes against humanity. To be more specific, Stalin killed more than sixty million people during his reign. He was a selfish cold-blooded, heart less, and evil leader; human life was nothing to him. What caused him to develop such evil traits? It all started from his childhood. Born in Georgia in 1879 to a poor and highly chaotic family, Joseph Stalin did not have a easy childhood. Throughout his childhood, Stalin always felt inferior to other educated people; as a result, he grew a hate towards them. Surprisingly, at a young age Stalin was given a opportunity to study to be a priest, but later was expelled and joined a variety of radical revolutionary circles, particularly Marxist groups. Stalin then joined the central committee in 1912. After the October Revolution of 1917, Stalin entered the Soviet cabinet as a people’s commissar. Displaying excellent leadership skill, Stalin was elected general secretary of the committee. Lenin, the current leader at the time, died, which presented a great opportunity for Stalin. As Stalin started to build momentum, he allied with Bukharin and betrayed his past friends Kamenev and Zinoviev. They attempted to derail Stalin’s rise to power but failed miserably. To strengthen his power, Stalin did what The Prince taught; he staged the assassination of his ally, Bukharin, so he would have an excuse to execute more than one hundred people in the opposing party. This strategy disposed Stalin of any political opposition, which helped him sustain his power. Another major method that Stalin used to maintain his power was the use of propaganda to portray himself as a benevolent father figure. While at the same time he was committing mass murder. In Ukraine alone he killed ten million people in only two years! Many historians agree that Stalin killed over sixty million people. Why did he kill so much people? This can be traced back to Machiavelli’s The Prince. As discussed before, The Prince teaches that a ruler should have the fear of the people. Stalin slaughtered so many people to prevent any opposition to his reign. He eliminated all the strong people, both the intellectual and physical; therefore the few left would be too afraid and too weak, physically and mentally, to resist. Stalin did exactly what Machiavelli stated in the Prince, which was also stated above, “ And here it has to be noted that men must be either pampered or crushed, because they can get revenge fore small injuries but not fore grievous ones.” Stalin stated “ Death...

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