The Cost Of Pursuing Power Essay

2485 words - 10 pages

Power is essential to maintaining order and instilling rules within society, relationships and almost all aspects of life. With the appropriate control of power, individuals are able to attain anything that they desire. Once power is obtained, maintaining power and control is also important. Often once power is obtained, individuals believe that they don’t need to focus on the upkeep of maintaining power, this is what often leads to one’s downfall. Although power often comes with success, there are also downfalls to having power. Power can be dangerous and can lead to greed. Power can ruin relationships and often causes conflict as individuals tend to struggle with the shift in power or the new imbalance of power. Power has the ability to demonstrate one’s true morality and ethics. The pursuit of power has its costs.

The topic of power is portrayed in many books and is used to demonstrate what a person will do when given power. Essential books that deal with power are Machiavelli’s The Prince, Sun Tzu’s The Art of War, and Mordecai Richler’s The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravits. The Prince and The Art of War are not books of fiction but books of strategy on gaining power on how to maintain it. The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz is a book of fiction where Duddy strives to acquire power in any means necessary. Relevant in each book are themes that relate to power and how one can pursue it, these themes are: morals, ethics and fortune.

The Prince was written in 1513 as a means to tutor a Prince. The book was intended for Lorenzo de’Medici, who was the aspiring prince at the time, of Florence, Italy. It describes methods an aspiring prince can use to acquire a throne, as well as methods for an existing prince to keep their reign. The Prince examines the acquiring, maintaining, and use of political power in the western world. Machiavelli justified rule by force rather than by law. Machiavelli offers “practical advice on a variety of matters, including the advantages and disadvantages that attend various routes to power, how to acquire and hold new states, how to deal with internal insurrection, how to make alliances, and how to maintain a strong military.”(Machiavelli, p.)

Machiavelli wrote The Prince to prove his proficiency in the art of the state, offering advice on how a prince might gain and keep power. His book shows the importance of past events and what was either done right or wrong in each situation. Machiavelli goes on to say that an individual can become a prince by fortune, skilled ability or chance, as well as how to maintain that power. He lays the foundation in each branch as they flourish with many ideologies and prospects.

The Prince depicts the theme of morals can be seen when Machiavelli states, “…there arises a dispute: whether it is better to be loved than feared, or the contrary. The reply is that one should like to be both the one and the other, but as it is difficult to bring them together, it is much safer...

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