The Prince By Machiavelli Essay

1237 words - 5 pages

Living in a tumultuous era, filled with political and religious conflicts, warring city-states, and a continent ruled by a government who used the church to control and conquer, an exiled Machiavelli wrote the book The Prince to give politicians a basis on how to rule a nation and as a way to continue to make a statement in Florence’s politics. The book itself was unlike the regular “mirrors for princes”, in a sense that instead of telling the prince how to be morally sound it told him how to be effective as a ruler. Within the book there were three characteristics that were expressed that can be considered of high importance for every prince/ruler. These three were every prince should rather be feared than to be loved, study war and always be ready for it, and that in the case of two states in war always pick a side and never stray away from it. These characteristics were present in a strong and merciless ruler who used the three features above to govern over an entire country. Joseph Stalin might be seen as a mass murder, but his achievements and contributions to Russia proved that by being feared rather than loved, studying war and perfecting it, and his ability to choose his allies in war, would ultimately lead to the prosperity of his nation.
Machiavelli clearly stated in The Prince that in order for a ruler to become successful, he must always think of war and its institutions. In the book Machiavelli states, "He should, therefore, never take his mind from this exercise of war, and in peacetime he must train himself more than in time of war...” (Page 70 eBook edition; Machiavelli). Joseph Stalin showed this mentality about war when he began to take from the already diminished poor classes of Russia to help aid in the support of the military. The army was already associated with the peasant farms because of the battle-ready tone of the First and Second Five Year Plans. The rapid mechanization and agronomic mindset of the 1930 era also portrayed the military’s involvement as a sort of threatening pressure of the peasantry and middle class by the Soviet government. This would in turn show that Stalin was a military leader, which would use war to his own advantages for the prosperity of the nation.

Within the treatise, Machiavelli also states that an idyllic prince must be feared, and neither loved nor hated in order to keep order and justice. "A prince must be nevertheless make himself feared in such a manner that he will avoid hatred, even if he does not acquire love; since to be feared and not to be hated can very well be combined..." (Page 90 eBook edition; Machiavelli). Joseph Stalin upholds to the characteristic of being feared rather than loved because of the expulsions of people that he caused; most notably the series of campaigns of political suppression and tyranny in the Soviet Union orchestrated by Stalin from1936 to 1939, which didn’t end till his death in 1953. The eradications were Stalin’s way of jettisoning any and...

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