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The More Machiavellian The Better Essay

697 words - 3 pages

Machiavelli, a philosopher from the Renaissance, makes a profound statement in his work, The Prince. An excerpt from this book, "The Morals of the Prince", clearly establishes a view which, at the time of its publishing, was very controversial. Now, however, his work can be related to today's society, and it is very useful in regards to helping someone understand how mankind should be managed. He posits the importance of using virtues and vices in moderation in order to be a successful leader.
In today's rambunctious and contemporary society, men are not governed as they should be, due to corruption and neglect. Leaders of countries, such as the U.S. president, do not use their power to the extent where the nation is united, because most are afraid of being viewed as tyrants and cruel men. This, therefore, contradicts what leaders should do, and Machiavelli points this out when he says, "[a leader] should not be too worried about incurring blame for any vice without which he would find it hard to save his state" (Machiavelli 222). Without authoritative leaders it is not possible for a nation to be considered united. Uniting a people is not an easy task to undertake, as humans generally look at the flaws and vices of their leaders and tend to disregard all the accomplishments a person has achieved.
Leaders should not be afraid to be "stingy" when they are behaving so in order to improve their government and bring about unity (Machiavelli 222). It is important for a ruler to unite his people in order to maintain peace. Unity, however, does not necessarily mean that all people are treated equally. The concept of vices and virtues was brought up by another philosopher, Plato. Plato, unlike Machiavelli, said that a leader should rule in "virtue and wisdom" (Plato 299). He does not acknowledge the idea that vices may have to be used in order to keep the nation together. The problem with this view is that it is impossible to rule a nation successfully without using some vices, such as cruelty.
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