The Prince By Niccole Machiavelli Essay

1030 words - 4 pages

The controversial Niccolo Machiavelli guides us to be a successful ruler in his novel, The Prince. Machiavelli explains the best ways for a prince or any ruler to rule a territory, prosper the society, and maintain their position. The book was intentionally just for Prince Lorenzo The Magnificent, a ruling member of the Medici family, but today, anyone can read this book to get some pointers on political issues. Because Machiavelli had ideas that were referable to evil and brutality, he raised a lot of eyebrows, and was called the devil by many. He believes that the ruler*s main focuses should be conquering, remaining in control of the people, and to always keep war in mind. It was very easy to understand him with his simple logic and I like his ideas, despite a few disagreements I had on his solutions to some problems. Some of his specific ideas were to be better off feared than loved by the people, to not be neutral, and to shun flattery.In Chapter 17, Machiavelli states it clearly that being feared by the people is safer thenbeing loved by them. He explains that every prince must desire to be considered merciful and not cruel, but should not misuse the mercifulness, or he would be taken advantage of. Those who inject a little cruelty now and then, will keep his subjects united and faithful, as they are afraid to disobey him in the sense that they will be punish severely. If the prince was to be merciful to all, though loved, he would cause disorders to arise, that would affect the whole society, instead of only the few that his cruelty has affected upon. A prince must not also be feared to a point of great hatred, because it leaves a door open for a rebellion by the people. Fear in an army would only make them stronger, since " . . . It is extremely necessary that he should not mind being thought cruel; for without this reputation he could not keep an army united or disposed to any duty." Pg 90. To find that perfect level, where the people fear you, yet remain loyal to you is achieved only if you were to use cruelty for proper justification or with sensible reasons. Machiavelli sums it up by saying, " . . . that man will love at their own free will, but fear at the will of the prince . . . [the prince] must rely on what is in his powers and not on what is in the powers of others . . . " pg 91.Whether to be neutral or not, referring to warfare, it hits home for us today. Machiavelli thinks that being neutral is a dangerous place to be for a prince, politically. Because if the prince is neutral, both sides would be against him. And that would lower his reputation which is something he cannot afford to lose is what I translate what Machiavelli is saying in Chapter 21. "Irresolute princes, to avoid...

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