These ideas are actually in direct contradiction to the prevailing religious philosophies of the time. Machiavelli does not seed men judged by God, or even by other men -- but instead by whether the deed one sought was accomplished or not; and if that deed has eventual ramifications that may be good. This Prince may come to power through evil means from himself, from others, or through historical forces. However, Princes who come to power based on criminal acts will not last in their position, nor will they be perceived as innately a leader. Cruelty, which by its very nature is evil, may be applied once at the outset and then only when the greater good of the subjects demands it.
In seizing a state, the Prince ought to examine closely into all those injuries which it is necessary for him to inflict (evil), and to do them all…… [Read More]
hen he first came in contact with God in Midian where he was tending sheep for his father-in-law Jethro, he saw a burning bush and prostrated before God. After the mission was explained, "Moses said to God, "ho am I that I should go to Pharaoh, and bring the sons of Israel out of Egypt?" (Exodus 3:11). He questioned God continuously during this exchange and showed himself to be a coward even when he was repeatedly told that God would be with him.
Another time, when the Israelites were marching across the desert, the people wanted Moses to find them a place to drink and water their animals. Moses applied to God, but Moses did not believe what God said. The account in Numbers 20:11,12 says "11 and Moses lifted up his hand and struck the rock with his rod twice; and water came forth abundantly, and the congregation drank,…… [Read More]
In the sixteenth century, Florence was in a period of turmoil and political instability due to the clashes between different ruling elite. It was in this social and political climate that Niccolo Machiavelli wrote The Prince. The book is a practical guide to world leadership. The author focuses on the qualities of successful and unsuccessful leaders, the nature of their actions and decisions, and how they can and should react to various situations when they arise in the political arena. Machiavelli uses historical examples to substantiate his claims, when possible. One of the defining features of Machiavelli's The Prince is that the author is primarily concerned with maintaining political order and stability, rather than on making ethical choices. This stems directly from the historical context of political instability in which Machiavelli wrote. Similarly, Machiavelli's primary concerns are for how leaders can remain strong and powerful in their domains and…… [Read More]
Niccolo di Bernardo dei Machiavelli emerged as one of the first true secularist philosophers to come out of the Christian est. In succeeding years his name would become infamous; his views, associated with Satan and immorality. However, Machiavelli's most significant contributions to estern thought never overtly favored scheming or devious methods to more morally acceptable ones. But rather, he generally acknowledged that any actions taken in the acquisition and sustention of power were tolerable and necessary for a lasting society. Essentially, Machiavelli threw out all previous notions regarding morality and ethical behavior. Instead, he adopted the premise that all people were prone to corruption and ambition; accordingly, they would employ any means at their disposal -- given the opportunity -- to achieve their goals. It was Machiavelli's insights into the workings of government -- presented in both The Prince and The Discourses -- that marked his true contribution to…… [Read More]
Machiavelli and the Role of Religion
Machiavelli, in his works, has used his political outlook and views about the power given to the Church and Christianity to present both his religious and political views to the readers keeping them in a constant thought process of what he really believes in and why.
Throughout the paper we will discuss Machiavelli's political expressions and views in the light of his three writings; "The Prince," "The Discourses" and "The Florentine Histories." In all the three writings, the author has used his characters and plots to describe a setting that would eventually lead him to express his views about the political mishaps and mistakes that led to inflated problems.
It is extremely vital to present, from the commencement of the essay, what Machiavelli's politics is and how he attains his viewpoint so as to comprehend and appreciate his point-of-view on religion in politics. Machiavelli…… [Read More]
This belief came in response to the realities of the time that saw corruption and lust for riches as the main interests in the political life. oth Gandhi and Machiavelli saw self restrain as an important quality, even though the reasons deferred.
In today's political life, there is more and more evidence of the applicability of the concepts advocated by Machiavelli centuries ago. The constant use of the notion Machiavellian is relevant in this sense. It comes to define the belief that the final outcome is the most important one in the overall process of history. In the end, according to Richelieu, who was inspired by the ideas of the Italian politician, history would eventually judge a leader not for the means he used, but for the aims, he had set beforehand. (Kissinger, 1995) the so-called raison d'etat governed international relations for centuries after the Westphalia Peace in 1648 and…… [Read More]
Mainly, the ideals of modern science and philosophy have allowed the religious humanists to meet the stresses of modern life and they would state that their philosophy is for the here and now. Religious Humanism offers a foundation in philosophy which includes moral values, ideals, coping methods and ways to deal with adversity such as flood, hurricane or famine. How would a person like Machiavelli feel about the modern issues like teenage sex and how would his ideas be compared to the Catholics' view that protected sex and abortion should not be options for those sexually active teens.
I believe that Machiavelli would side with religious humanists and therefore be more adaptive in use of science and principles of human rights. This notion is based on the fact that the Prince is a very philosophical study of political goals, objectives and concepts and it took a very scientific mind to…… [Read More]
As they approach Guhasena's home, they find a nun who would assist them in their venture. They lay their plan before the nun who agrees to help them. Again, this is a prime example of the rashness of youth. These four young men were traveling many miles on the idea that they would be able to take advantage of a young maiden's loneliness and solitude. They did not plan on Devasmita's ability to see through their machinations, and to plan retaliation accordingly. Fortune does not smile on these young men at all. They not only do not succeed at absconding with Devasmita's virtue, they also are marked for life as Devasmita's slaves.
It is a simple matter to state that Machiavelli's premise that the young act in a much more rash manner than do the old. Both characters show that such rashness is the manner of youth. The young men…… [Read More]
Leaders today must regularly make decisions that may, at times, greatly impact the lives of thousands of people. In order to be successful, they have to be able to analyze as many of the choices, plans and strategies possible and determine which of these will be best for the most individuals. Sometimes such decisions have to be made very quickly.
Executive power, Mansfield notes, is one of the most essential principles that comes from Machiavellian rationale to the separation of power in today's government. Every where in both the government and business institutions, it is possible to see examples of one-person rule, and it is readily accepted. This is an important constitutional principle retained from the past. The executive in charge can be strong or weak, according to the challenges that face him or her. However, the most successful executive is the individual who can govern under the acceptance of…… [Read More]
Machiavelli and Thucydides share remarkable similarities in their thoughts about human nature and the role of the state, but differ somewhat in their ideas about leadership. Machiavelli and Thucydides share a similar view of human nature as basically selfish, and both note that rule is most often disassociated from considerations of morality. Machiavelli argues that a ruler must ultimately be concerned with his own self-interest, while Thucydides noted that self-interest often came at the expense of the state.
Machiavelli was born in 1469 in Florence, Italy to an influential but poor old Florentine family. He became involved in politics as early as 1498, when he was appointed as head of the Second Chancery, a government agency overseeing diplomacy and war. He traveled to France, Germany, and Rome, and played an important role in conquering Pisa in 1509, in addition to acting as an important advisor.
After 14 years of service,…… [Read More]
The hierarchy of politics in ancient times was clearly defined. Kings rules many kingdoms thus they were heads of the various kingdoms. Their sons inherited the thrones since the system was patriarchal. The women were to be princesses, but the sons took the throne and continued their duties as kings and princes. Machiavelli used his scholarly tricks to bring out the philosophy of the renaissance in that century. It is important to note that scholars and kings occupied the top echelons of the social class, and were charged mainly with major decision making responsibilities. This is as a result of the revelation and adoption of various classical works. The renaissance included the adoption of works from the Greek philosophers’ school of thought, philosophical theories on humanity and commercial revolution towards adoption of modern states. Machiavelli was an interesting character since he ensured that his theories were sold in various…… [Read More]
Cleandro has learned everything from Nicomaco, but is not grateful enough to share the prize with Nicomaco. (Phillipakis, 2011, p. 13). According to Phillipakis, "…they are competitors for a prize that cannot be shared. Fortune is a kingdom 'safeliest when with one man manned.'" (Phillipakis, 2011, p. 13)
Phillipakis concludes that Machiavelli "must remain the philosopher who generates thoughts but not deeds," simply "…because he cannot be anything more." (Phillipakis, 2011, p. 13).
Phillipakis appears to have something against philosophers and bookish men in general. Men who are thinkers, rather than doers. Or perhaps only against bookish men who presume to be manly men, such as Machiavelli.
Phillipakis' rage seems to stem from certain passages in Machiavelli's The Prince that could be perceived as misogynistic. She appears to dwell particularly on Machiavelli's comments about raping "Fortuna," the female characterization of fortune. Machiavelli is, of course, speaking metaphorically here. Though…… [Read More]
According to Machiavelli, there are several different characteristics that must be exhibited to include: balanced generosity, compassion, honesty and the ability to listen to only select advisors. When looking at the first characteristic, balanced generosity, this means that a leader can not be too generous with the citizens. Otherwise, they will expect this generosity at all times, the moment that the leadership must increase taxes and have other financial burdens on the citizens, is when they will turn on them. This can affect the stability of the state, where the revenues generated from taxes are used to provide various services to the citizens. During times of crisis, the government may not have the funds necessary to fight wars or other situations that can come out of nowhere. While doing the opposite, being to frugal, will result in resentment from the citizens. This is because of the lack of services that…… [Read More]
" ("Selections from the Prince" 281) What this shows, is that those leaders who engage the citizens in conquered territories by allowing them to maintain their laws will perceive the Prince to be weak. In order to rule effectively, the Prince must show that he is a strong leader. This is significant, because it highlights how the ideal leader is: someone who will show what they mean through actions. Once this take place, the conquered citizens of the Prince will have respect for his rule and policies.
This has caused debate as to if the ideas of Machiavelli are more humanist or from a realist perspective. This is challenging, because he shows the importance of having a strong central government that will protect the general public. However, the tactics that he advocates using to achieve this objective are: questionable at best.
As a result, Machiavelli is not a humanist, where…… [Read More]
Machiavelli, Thomas More, Thomas Hobbes
Under what circumstances is it just (or right, or ethical) to go to war? Why? Compare and contrast how Machiavelli, Thomas More, and Thomas Hobbes might answer this question.
Because of the rather negative perception of Niccolo Machiavelli's theories of political survival and expediency at all costs, one might be tempted to assume that the Italian political theorist believed that the ideal leader, The Prince, should go to war at any opportunity to demonstrate his strength as a leader. However, Machiavelli was not nearly so bloodthirsty or foolish. In fact, Machiavelli believed in self-promotion and the promotion of the existence of the Prince's political future and the state at all costs. War occasionally might serve as a means to this end but only should be undertaken in extreme circumstances. For instance, in discussing a specific political situation that plagued Italy at the time, he noted,…… [Read More]
If virtue only bolsters the spiritual merit of the leader or assuages his conscience, then the ruler is foolish.
The new prince is therefore a self-confident leader who effectively wields power through swift decisiveness. By alluding to the great rulers of ancient Greece and Rome such as Alexander, Machiavelli notes how the new prince can seek to expand his territorial realms and take over existing nations. To do this the new prince relies heavily on strategic warfare rather than sheer brute force. The new prince's military strategy is as much intellectual as it is physical. The new prince gets to know any culture he tries to overtake, and plans his military strategies accordingly and should even be willing to live in foreign lands. For example, if the new prince were to take over a democracy, he would have to completely devastate and destroy the country; otherwise, the populace so used…… [Read More]
However, it was after his imprisonment that Machiavelli showed 'Machiavellian' traits, as he tried to pursue his political philosophy by gaining his once-deferred power by the Medici family. Machiavelli shows his Machiavellianism by devising ways to win their favor once again, and these ways include creating discourses that reflect the family's method of governing Italy. By reflecting through the image of the Medici family the image of resolute and wise leaders, he shows that he has the ability to win others' favor through "clever trickery" -- that is, by making the Medici family believe that he is an avid follower of their administration, and eventually, win their trust. However, Machiavelli had failed to receive the desired results of his philosophies, but the strategies he adopted to achieve the reforms he wanted to introduce in Italy was nevertheless successful, at least through his truly Machiavellian writings and discourses.… [Read More]
Lao-Tzu's concept of Tao Te Ching
The Lao-Tzu's concept of Tao Te Ching is fundamental to leadership and management in various societies of the world. Lao Tzu exemplifies various responses and characteristics that should be dominant in every leader. As compared to the modern approaches used by Machiavelli, Lao Tzu has increasingly ushered a number of steps that should be used by a leader in relaying justice and equitable living. According to Lao-Tzu's concept of Tao Te Ching, a ruler is supposed to be wise and with the intention of manipulating the public. Lao Tzu proposes that any ruler should exemplify cases of unselfishness, sage, and corporate thinking skills where he or she thinks of his people as a priority. According to Lao-Tzu's concept of Tao Te Ching, leaders should have the ability to appear invisible and quietly in order to lead people through minute interventions that have no conflict…… [Read More]
In exchange, the words which drive Machiavelli's work are very much a reflection of the groundswell of discontent with the ideological hegemony of the church and the feudal system. Thus, though we regard Machiavelli's contempt for terms of 'good' and 'not good' as inherently permissive to severe violation of the rights and experiences of others, we must also understand it as something of a reaction to such forces as well. The period to which Machiavelli helped reveal the threshold may be "summed up in that broadening of physical and mental horizons known as the Renaissance. The 'humanist' movement in northern Europe enlarged the options for thinking people beyond the ways of thinking, teaching, and explaining the world which had evolved as common property in the Middle Ages." (Cameron, 5) in Machiavelli's work, this accomplishment would be made through a deconstruction of a moral hierarchy designed to retain existing class and…… [Read More]
Frank Lautenberg's career may be described as "mostly Machiavellian" because of the way in which he used negative campaign ads early on in order to secure his hold on power, before shifting towards more outwardly benevolent means of maintaining that power. Taking Machiavelli's advice to commit all the cruelties one needs all at once, instead of piecemeal over a longer period, Lautenberg ran a vicious campaign against Pete Dawkins that relied almost exclusively on the former's ability to paint Dawkins as an opportunist and a charlatan, effectively using Dawkins' own robust resume against him. Having solidified his hold on power by winning his first reelection, Lautenberg proceeded to curry the favor of the two groups whose favor Machiavelli sees as necessary for ruling any participatory form of government, namely, the general populace and the corporate elite whose money ends up funding the majority of political activity in America. In this…… [Read More]
Machiavelli's approach to government could be found morally and ethically acceptable in utilitarianism because, despite the individual suffering that might occur at the hands of a Machiavellian prince, if this makes the nation as a whole stronger, safer, and more prosperous then the overall good of the prince's actions outweighs the overall (or individual) bad.
Autonomy ethics could condemn Machiavelli's proposed system of ruling because it specifically does not allow individuals to retain any real freedom of choice in society, but rather specifically and explicitly makes the prince the wielder of supreme power, able to cut off choices for any other citizen or individual as he sees fit; the prince is the only one with any autonomy.
Ludwig and Longnecker assert that success can lead to complacency, amongst other things, and from the standpoint of virtue ethics this erodes the morality of these leaders as they become less tied…… [Read More]
In Chapter 25 of the Prince, Machiavelli addresses the topic of fortune and its effect on rulers and their states. Machiavelli makes two main statements about fortune. First, the author claims that the good leader transcends fortune's vicissitudes. Free will, notes Machiavelli, trumps luck. Second, Machiavelli urges rulers to control and command fortune.
Fortune is female in the Prince for two reasons. One, females are associated with nature, and Machiavelli uses a metaphor from the natural world to describe fortune as a raging river: "which when in flood overflows the plains, sweeping away trees and buildings, bearing away the soil from place to place; everything flies before it, all yield to its violence, without being able in any way to withstand it," (Chapter 25). Two, fortune is female because men can control it using brute force. Females and fortune are depicted as wild, natural, and untamed. ulers are by default…… [Read More]
Parableman. 11 Aug etrieved from: http://parablemania.ektopos.com/archives/2008/08/rightreason2.html]
Machiavelli notes how the smart and successful ruler never allows the public to know his true intentions. This brings to the light of day the knowledge that what one sees is not what one always gets and that the most pleasing ruler might in reality be the most evil and corrupt ruler but who is smart enough and strategic enough to pull a sleight of hand and deceive those over whom he rules. Suppose for instance that Lucifer is already residing in a major world city. Then consider what city he might choose. According to Machiavelli, the city would be one that demonstrated "great enterprises" and from the view of Machiavelli's theory the city would exude the magnificence of its ruler. Two cities come to mind in the contemporary age and those being the cities of New York City and the city of Dubai…… [Read More]
Mahiavelli's Understanding of the Populae in the Prine and the Disourses
The fous of this study is Mahiavelli's Understanding of the Populae in the Prine and the Disourses. This study will answer the question of what makes the populae of his ontemporary era different from that of other plaes and times. Seondly this work will ompare the populae of Mahiavelli's ontemporary era with past soieties and republis.
Mahiavelli's Understanding of the Populae in the Prine and The Disourses
Mahiavelli stated in 'The Prine' in Chapter Three that when dealing with the publi or the populae that it is better to either aress or to rush them beause if only minor damage is done to them they will seek out revenge however, aording to Mahiavelli "if you ripple them there is nothing they an do." (p.9-10) It was the belief of Mahiavelli that are two diretions whih a Prine may take…… [Read More]
Republicans recently overtook Democrats in fundraising, for instance, yet they will continue to play the underdog on most issues because the "good" qualities of security and being disadvantaged (which is generally viewed favorably in the country) are mutually exclusive, and because the appearance of being the underdog helps their cause regardless of its truth.
This also reflects a singularity of purpose and a determination that one's own conclusions, and not those derived from the advice of others, should be the guiding principles of leadership.
Political parties and leaders still tend to use this singularity while attempting to appear as populist leaders; the former allows for strength and true achievement, while the latter allows for the support of the people. Both are necessary, but they cannot be held at the same time. Machiavelli understood this, but this doesn't make him evil.
The Prince cannot be good or bad on its…… [Read More]
Furthermore, that the intent of all princes should be to use all means necessary to maintain their powerbase.
The works of Thomas Hobbes were revolutionary during his time period. He used his understanding of human nature and extrapolated the need for absolutism within government. The Leviathan was revolutionary in that it expounded Hobbesian concept of a material universe. His essential premise is that everything in the universe consists only of matter in motion. Hobbes believes that all things have a material existence even God, and this allows him to derive a natural philosophy that fits within a framework for modern political thought. Hobbes main contribution is that he postulates a framework for human understanding, that we are in effect beasts in nature, until we have a framework of government. This understanding differs substantially from early philosophers who had a generally positive light of inherent human nature. Hobbes instead, believes that…… [Read More]
Prince by Machiavelli [...] what Machiavelli believes are the qualities of the best rulers and of the best states. It will also look at the questions: Why does he support these qualities? Why do they need to have such qualities? Do you think he's right? If so, pick a good ruler and show that he (or she) has these qualities. If you don't agree, choose a counterexample and do the same. Machiavelli's work "The Prince" illustrates how power and those who wield it have not changed throughout the centuries. Power has always corrupted, and those who wield it tend to be those most easily corruptible. This is easily evident in the modern conflict between the United States and Iraq. Each state believes the other is corrupt and led by a corrupted and corruptible leader, capable of using deadly force against its enemies. These problems seem to have plagued nation-states for…… [Read More]
Plato and Machiavelli, and how their ideas on leadership compare and contrast with each other. To do this, their respective works the epublic and the Prince will be used.
In addition to the works by the two main authors considered, The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy will provide important insight on Machiavelli and his work. Indeed, the piece authored by Nederman (2009) contains a section that specifically considers The Prince and Machiavelli's concept of leadership. In addition, Farmer's work also contains several good chapters on leadership, ethics, and how Machiavelli's concept of these is to be understood. For Plato's work, Goethals and Sorenson (2005) provided some good insight into his ideas of leadership and what these mean for ethical leadership today.
These works provide a valuable addition to the primary works by the authors themselves, as well as how the two might be compared with each other.
Application to Ethical Leadership…… [Read More]
Lao-Tzu and Machiavelli
The Toa-te Ching is a text which was written many centuries ago. The work is attributed to Loa-tzu and functions as a treatise on the Tao religion. The primary purpose of the writing is as a religious tome designed to instruct and also to inform about the basic tenets of the religion. However, its secondary function is to impart knowledge to potential leaders on what is the best way to deal with the population under their influence. Loa-tzu wrote a treatise to all future rulers of the community to practice in order to be more successful in their leadership and to ensure that they keep control of the population even if they are challenged by other such potential leaders. Similarly, in Machiavelli's The Prince, an unnamed narrator dictates an instruction manual to up and coming members of the monarchy about the correct ways for a royal to…… [Read More]
It was not so different for Agathocles, who freed Sicily from Carthage (30). Of a humble beginning as a potter's son, Agathocles rose to be King of Syracuse because he was able to take the reins of power and to defend himself and his sphere of control (30). His win over Carthage demonstrated that Agathocles was a tactician, capable to assessing a defensive and offensive military strategy (30). Agathocles won his place in Syracuse, by confronting the opposing forces and winning over them with sheer force and strategic attack (30). He did not let loyalty, friendship, faith, or family stop him from winning the prize upon which he had set his mind on having; Syracuse (30). Machiavelli says that Agathocles cannot be judged a poor military tactician, but he was, like Hiero, was a ruthless and murderous leader (31).
With these backgrounds, Machiavelli still puts both of these men in…… [Read More]
By giving benefits little by little, a ruler can close old wounds. (Chapter VIIII)
10. The injuries should be done quickly and swiftly. If a city must be destroy, it must be destroyed all at once. It should be done in such a way so as to ensure no unexpected circumstance pop up. This is despotic way of ruling in my opinion, and the people deserve better. (Chapter VIIII)
11. In order to stay in power, it is important to have the support of other rulers, so they will defend you if your principalities are in danger of being seized. The people ought to fear a ruler, when it is convenient for the ruler to appear all-powerful. Otherwise, if the people believe they are serving some good, they will be more willing to work for the general good. A happy shrewdness can make the people think they are doing this.…… [Read More]
" (Prince: 61)
The second important thing to focus on is the military strength of that person. Does the ruler possess greater military might than the displaced ruler? If yes, then there is no point in rejecting him as the new ruler. This is because with his military weapons, he is likely to prove valuable to the country in the long run. Michaela's views on the art of war and possession of arms make it clear that a well-armed ruler deserves our respect because he can be relied on in difficult times
Liberty is an important concept in this connection. Liberty is the collection of various rights, which must be safeguarded at all costs, or else the public will reject the new ruler. It is thus important to remember that even when the people of a country give up their freedom because of fear of the new ruler, the ruler…… [Read More]
Hamlet act3 sene3 Machiavelli chapter 7-15-25-26 Lens Machiavelli concept Hamlet Intro - text author, content, method Paragraph1- Machiavelli concept explain applied hamlet compare Hamlet act3 sene3 Machiavelli chapter 7-15-25-26 work enables misunderstand play's ending significant relevant divergence hamlet Machiavelli Second essay compare Hamlet act 4.
Unlike Prince Hamlet, who is a man who is concerned with the morality of kingship as well as is an aggrieved son avenging his father, King Claudius of Shakespeare's Hamlet is primarily concerned with holding onto his power. Claudius does have some moral qualms about his actions, but not enough to repent. This is seen when Claudius tries to pray for forgiveness but is unable to do so: "O, my offence is rank it smells to heaven" (3.3). However, the political theorist Niccolo Machiavelli would diagnose Claudius' problem as being insufficiently ruthless up to this point in his dealings with his nephew. Claudius…… [Read More]
Cohn, Erasmus and Machiavelli
Political theory inevitably arise from the influences which affect a society at the time of their formation. During the time which communist leaders ruled Russia with an iron fist, the social order, or lack thereof, demanded a heavy handed approach to political leadership in order to bring order out of the chaos remaining after the olshevik revolutions, and the First World War. In America, the establishment of a state in which freedom of the individual is held as one of the highest moral goods of the people evolved in part due to the unfair and unjust monarchies of the European continent. The founders of the United stated had suffered under the tyranny of 'divine right' for centuries, and as a result, vowed to establish a country in which the guaranteed individual freedoms of each citizen formed the glue that would bond the country together.
Looking at…… [Read More]
Aristotle, Hobbes, Machiavelli and Bellah
hat are the different conceptions of knowledge that inform Hobbes's and Aristotle's respective accounts of politics? Be specific about questions of individualism, virtue, and justice. In Bellah's terms, what kind of politics would they support? How are they related to Bellah's views on the relationship between social science and social life?
Aristotle stated repeatedly that the needs of the state and society overrode individual pleasures, desires and happiness, while Hobbes regarded unchecked individualism as a menace to public peace and good order. Public virtue and justice for Aristotle were not based on purely individual feelings, desires or personal happiness, for "which it is satisfactory to acquire and preserve the good even for an individual, it is finer and more divine to acquire and preserve it for a people and for cities" (Aristotle 2). Virtue is the chief end of political life, but only the vulgar…… [Read More]
Fortune and Machiavelli
Fortune in the Prince
During the Medieval and Renaissance periods political theorists often wrote books which were intended to be used as instructions for the rulers of the time. This was referred to as the "mirror of princes" technique, and the most famous of these instructional manuals was written by Niccolo Machiavelli and called The Prince. Although some versions of this book were around as early as 1513, the official printed version of his book actually was published in 1532, some time after the author's death. In his book The Prince, Macchiavelli discussed everything a ruler should know from how to gain and keep power to the qualities which make for a good prince. The author even discussed the concept of fortune, or luck, and how it should be dealt with by a prince. Fortune, according to Macchiavelli, was a real force of nature which a prince…… [Read More]
Marx would therefore react negatively towards the idea that some economic power cannot be distributed in an absolutely equal sense. Communism entails the equal distribution not only of wealth, but also of economic power. Liberalism does therefore fit into this ideal to some degree, but not entirely.
Machiavelli had a number of beliefs related to his economic paradigm. According ot this philosopher, human beings, society and culture can all be improved by means of education, and that central to such education stood manly virtues. This paradigm is more or less proved by means of the evolution of liberalism in the United States. A system that began as yet another form of coercion has developed to become an altogether improved paradigm. Indeed, the variety of ideologies within society at any given time greatly influenced the evolution of the liberalist ideology. This can be seen above, with the historical movements from World…… [Read More]
This potential is in fact each man's ability to perform a certain task and fulfill a certain role in society. It is very important to note here that this role is determined by man's capacity to reason which is in fact, the key to understanding Aristotle's view on human nature. Regarding political regimes, Aristotle characterizes monarchy, aristocracy and polity as the good type of regimes whereas tyranny, oligarchy and democracy are labeled as 'corrupt'. The basic feature of a good government is that it rules in favor of the common interest while corrupt governments rule according to their own interest.
As far as the rule of law, Aristotle argues that in a good state, i.e. with a good government, there is a rule of law, and not of men, in other words, that man is to judge man according to laws which apply to everyone. In this sense, the rule…… [Read More]
In Machiavelli's The Prince, an unnamed narrator dictates an instruction manual to up and coming members of the monarchy about the correct ways for a royal to behave if he wants to be successful. Many of the pieces of advice provided in the pamphlet seem absurd or even cruel . Among these are the ideas that a leader must be above his people, specifically that a feared ruler will be less likely to be discounted or his rule threatened and that a ruler who is beloved by his people will appear to be weak in the eyes of his enemies. Similarly, "The Ascent of Mount Vertoux" by Petrarch is a letter discussing the exploits of a man and how he is superior to others and the famed character of Don Quixote is a man inferior to many who refuses to see this in himself. These stories all satirize the…… [Read More]
He had an opportunity to utilize his theories when he became head of the Florentine militia and helped overthrow the de Medici family rulers. His byword was "force and prudence," and he believed that demonstrating a combination of these two things is the mark of an effective leader. Kotter may agree that prudence is a valuable characteristic in a leader, but disagrees with the outdated principle of force, saying that change cannot be forced, it must be incorporated into one's life and future:
Change sticks only when it becomes "the way we do things around here," when it seeps into the very bloodstream of the work unit or corporate body. Until new behaviors are rooted in social norms and shared values, they are always subject to degradation as soon as the pressures associated with a change effort are removed (Kotter, 1996, 14).
Jean-Jacques Rousseau was an influential philosopher, artist and…… [Read More]
Aquinas / Machiavelli Edit
Comparing Aquinas and Machiavelli
Aquinas and Machiavelli both had an important position in the study of historical development of Western political theory. They were Italian giants of medieval philosophy and politics. One of their common arguments is that nature is the basis of politics, including the nature of human beings and the nature of nations. Some may argue that in the totality of comparison that the work of Machiavelli was superior to that of Thomas Aquinas.
Aquinas's political thought started from the study of human nature. According to him, human beings are creations of the God. He agreed with Aristotle in that a human is a union of a body and a soul- a body is the matter, while a soul is the form. Also, bodies are under control of souls. He believed that humans have rational souls, which are abstract forms independent of…… [Read More]
It is more about keeping ahead of your competitors, always staying ahead of the game, and playing all the positions adroitly. It is all about power and prestige, and it is fairly amazing that anything constructive gets accomplished when there is so much political posing going on. In that, it is quite difficult to think positively of politics and politicians after reading this book, but that was probably one of Matthews' objectives when he wrote the book. Most Americans want to believe that the politicians they elect have their interests at heart, and there may be some that actually do. They, however, seem to be in the minority, and according to this book, they probably will not be very successful, anyway.
Matthews notes that Machiavelli thinks the best leader is part lion and part fox (Matthews 152), and that is another apt analogy for today's politicians - it is evident…… [Read More]
Comparison of Locke, Machiavelli, Hobbes and Rousseau
The philosophies of Machiavelli, Hobbes, Locke, and Rousseau encompass a spectrum of thought on how a state should be governed.
At one end is the cynicism of Machiavelli and, to some extent, Hobbes. Their ideas are countered by the democratic optimism of Locke and Rousseau. At the heart of each of these essays is each philosopher's assessment of the fundamental character of people and how much they can be trusted to govern themselves.
How we live is so far removed from how we ought to live, that he who abandons what is done for what ought to be done, will rather learn to bring about his own ruin than his preservation," wrote Machiavelli in The Prince. (Santoni 116).
Machiavelli is writing in the context of giving advice to a prince, or head of state, on how to govern. His statement demonstrates his…… [Read More]
Iraq under the reign of Machiavelli's Prince and Socrates' Golden Guardian
"Insurgent groups in Iraq warn that democracy could lead to passing un-Islamic laws, such as permitting homosexual marriage, if the majority of people agreed to it. 'Democracy is a Greek work meaning the rule of the people, which means that the people do what they see fit. This concept is considered apostasy (abandoning what one believed in) and defies the belief in one God-Muslim's doctrine." (San Francisco Chronicle, 31 December 2004, A3).
Machiavelli's advice regarding the conflict between the Iraqi insurgents and President Bush would be explicit, regarding the governance of Iraq -- do not leave governance up to the democratic will of the people, for this will only stimulate chaos and revolt and allow minority clerics to stimulate discontent amongst fundamentalist sympathizers in Iraq. Instead, install a New, pragmatically governing Prince who will neither rule by majority rule,…… [Read More]
Machiavelli, Luther, And Muntzer
Must a good politician be morally bad? In the context of the Reformation, this question revolves around how Christians would define what is "morally bad" had become suddenly and seriously complicated by competing definitions of what constitutes "morally good" behavior. The rhetoric very often yielded more heat than light: Luther's and Muntzer's apparently sincere eschatological belief that the Vatican was to be identified with the hore of Babylon in the Book of Revelations made the question of cooperation with wicked temporal powers more than a purely academic one. Yet it is arguably the religious situation of Roman Catholicism in the first place that leads to the ethical differences in the political philosophies of Machiavelli, Luther and Muntzer. Indeed, the religious distinction that Luther upheld against the Vatican -- insisting on salvation sola fide, by faith alone, rather than by deeds -- indicates that in response to…… [Read More]
Machiavelli and Shakespeare:
The Influence of Machiavelli on Shakespeare's Plays
The Italian enaissance-era philosopher and political adviser Nicolo Machiavelli is one of the most famous and infamous writers on the subject of politics. Despite the common use of the synonym Machiavellian for evil, Machiavelli's seminal tract The Prince was considered so ground-breaking because of his emphasis on the practical nature of holding principalities versus a philosophy of the divine right of kings. Cunning rather than religion was the reason leaders triumphed, according to Machiavelli. Machiavelli was not necessarily opposed to democracy but rather advocated strong-armed techniques because simply from the prince's perspective that these methods were superior in holding territories. Machiavelli offered hard-headed words of wisdom versus ethical theories. Machiavelli's unsentimental and irreligious attitude towards kingship was very controversial at the time and influenced many of the depictions of villains in the Elizabethan playwright William Shakespeare's plays, including Julius Caesar,…… [Read More]
38); a Prince should also appear to keep at least some of the old ways so the people will readily accept the new ways (Machiavelli, Discourses on the first decade of Titus Livius, 2007, p. 98). hile the circumstances may change, it is clear that a Prince must be willing and able to manipulate appearances in order to convince others to give their power over to him.
Niccolo Machiavelli's ideas on appearance, reality and power stem from his background and place in the political shifts of 16th Century Italy. A career politician who used and was used by the politics of the time, Machiavelli developed certain unvarnished "truths" about gaining and retaining power. It was during his political exile that he wrote the Prince, his most famous work and a book that is still read 500 years after its publication. For Machiavelli, reality was quite different from the…… [Read More]
hat is almost funny about this tactic is that Machiavelli notes the importance of specific circumstances throughout the chapter immediately before making generalized statements, but when it comes to actually judging the efficacy of fortresses, he refrains.
However, this does not mean that he does not come up with a general pronounce, it just means that this general pronouncement takes the form of a discussion of the importance of specific circumstances, and in this instance, the specific circumstances that matter are the degree to which a ruler is loved or tolerated by his or her subjects. Machiavelli ends the chapter by saying that fortresses may be useful or harmful, depending on the relationship between ruler and ruled, and furthermore, that fortresses or a lack of fortresses will not matter if a ruler is hated by the ruled. The way Machiavelli reaches this point is interesting because he is one the…… [Read More]
Unlike Plato, Machiavelli had a much less idealistic view of leadership in mind. or, rather, his view of leadership was not wrapped up in a personal view of ethics and virtue. Plato obviously believed, after all, that the best leader would be the wisest and the most moral. It was these qualities that should be encouraged and these qualities that would make said individual a superior leader. Machiavelli argued implicitly that this was an erroneous understanding of human nature and the characteristics that constitute excellent leaders. At the heart of Machiavelli's description of the perfect leader, his idealized prince, is the argument that personal virtue and ethics are completely unrelated to public success (Kemerling). Hence, from this we see that the good leader will not necessarily be the same as the virtuous individual. This assertion stands in stark contrast to Plato's argument about the nature of leadership and highlights the…… [Read More]
So I am glad to see something slow this massive reform down.
Nietzsche: Piddle! "Man does not repudiate suffering… he desires it" (598). He heaps guilt upon himself as a means of achieving meaning. hy should I pay for anything to benefit my fellow man. A pox on healthcare reform!
Rousseau: As I have written, "the sovereign cannot impose on subjects any fetters that are of no use to the community" (33). e do have some obligation to help each other out, and through doing so, help ourselves with the cost savings proposed. I am sad to see abortion offered as an obstacle.
Machiavelli: ell, princes should not be afraid of being seen as mean to those whom they are not likely to get anything from anyway (XVI, 1). So by passing reform in spite of objections, they get the dual benefit of being seen by liberal by those whom…… [Read More]
Plato and Machiavelli can be considered theorists of the ideal state, and each gives a high position to the military and military arts in achieving and maintaining order in society. However, they do have different views of the ultimate place and purpose of the military. hat each has to say about the military reflects on the nature of the rest of their philosophies as expressed by Plato in The Republic and by Machiavelli in The Prince.
In Plato's Republic, the philosopher uses Socrates to investigate the nature of the city-state and what the ideal city-state should be. The philosophical inquiry in this dialogue addresses two primary conceptions, conceptions which are linked under the heading of idealism, with one detailing Plato's epistemology and the other his political philosophy. The first is a metaphysical consideration of the nature of life and the world and how we can know what we know, while…… [Read More]
A significant aspect of court pageantry of the time was the performance known as masking, in which the courtiers themselves assumes other roles while wearing masks. The anonymity of the performance permitted them to engage in behavior that might otherwise be considered inappropriate. However, the custom of masking also gave concrete form to Castiglione's metaphor of the courtier as one who was continually playing a role. As Federico states in Book II of the Courtier,
But if a Courtier who is accustomed to handling affairs of importance should happen to be in private with his lord, he must become another person [lit., put on another mask], and lay aside grave matters for another time and place, and engage in conversation that will be amusing and pleasant to his lord, so as not to prevent him from gaining such relaxation.
In this situation, the courtier is not only, once again, assuming…… [Read More]
The Machiavellian Characteristics of President George . Bush
George . Bush has followed in his fathers' footsteps, becoming the 43rd President of the U.S., holding office between 2001 and 2009. He is a president that held power during a notable period, with the 9/11 attacks occurring only a year into his presidency. Like any U.S. president, there will be a number of controversial issues associated with his presidency, including the way action was taken in Iraq. In hindsight it may be argued that President Bush was acting in a very Machiavellian manner, aligned with Machiavelli's ideal Prince.
The alignment between the prince and Bush may not be surprising when it is realized that both a principle adviser to the president; Karl Rove, as well as Republic strategists and friend, Lee Atwater where both avid fans of Machiavelli (Phillips 147). However, to argue the likeness requires an examination of examples…… [Read More]
We all live within societies and we are the consistency of the society. As families and as individuals, we play roles and responsibilities that when combined point towards a given trend and charters of a larger group, hence the society.
An ideal society is one that constitutes people with similar life patterns which are mutual and beneficial to each member of that particular group. The infiltration of people with divergent interests interferes with the consistency of that society hence should be deterred by whatever means possible.
The Oxford Dictionary (2012), refers to a society as "The aggregate of people living together in a more or less ordered community." The society is also defined "The community of people living in a particular region and having shared customs, laws, and organizations."
More often than not, the term society is confused with family, it is worth noting that the family is just…… [Read More]
familiar with the adjective "machiavellian," very few are actually knowledgeable about the political philosophy of Niccolo Machiavelli. However, Machiavelli does in fact have a great deal to teach us and we should be careful not to dismiss Machiavelli's thoughtfulness and acuity as an observer of human society by relegating his contributions to a single, uncomplimentary adjective. Especially in his Discourses on the First Ten Books of Titus Livius (much more so than in the more famous The Prince), we see in this writer of the Italian enaissance a man who was truly engaged in the intellectual work required to create a system of government that was based on ideals and yet that also acknowledged the realities of human society as he understood them from his particular historical perspective. This paper examines the particular suggestions that Machiavelli outlined in Discourses for a well governed republic.
We may begin our analysis of…… [Read More]
Ferdinand of Aragon in "The Prince"
Ferdinand of Aragon is represented both directly and indirectly in the text. Ferdinand of Aragon is one of the few characters whom Machiavelli openly compliments. However, as the following research will demonstrate, Ferdinand of Aragon is indirectly mentioned in several instances that contradict the praises openly bestowed upon him. Ferdinand of Aragon is often referred to as Ferdinand the Catholic. The following research will support the thesis that when Machiavelli speaks of Ferdinand of Aragon, he his actually expressing his political views about he Catholic Church as a whole. Furthermore, the research will demonstrate how Machiavelli uses Ferdinand of Aragon and passages about other prominent figures in the Catholic Church to express ideals regarding the separation of church and state that will eventually lay the ground work for many modern political ideas.
Prior to the time of Machiavelli, Italy had lived in a period…… [Read More]
Modern Political Thought
The transition from a feudal serf economy to a capitalist market economy was one of the fundamental shifts which have produced modernity as we know it. This essay aims to understand how the authors of The Prince and Leviathan, Niccolo Machiavelli and Thomas Hobbes would think about the transition and how these two great minds would relate to the issue of capitalism. Capitalism is a funny game that continually creates a series of boom and bust cycles throughout our modern history. Take the 1926 real estate craze that occurred in Florida. The United States economy was cooking along on all cylinders and good times were everywhere. No one was thinking about the Great Depression that would occur just a few years later. The rich and happy of 1926 figured that all was well as often is the case in Capitalism. Prosperity and growth were infinite --…… [Read More]
He who would attack that state from the outside must have the utmost caution; as long as the prince resides there it can only be wrested from him with the greatest difficulty. (Chapter III)
So, then one must be present and able to seek ambitious gains and if he is not both these things difficulty and likely failure will arise and greater losses that what is gained can be realized. In this goal the Prince appropriately governs the people and thus a civil society is created.
Within Thomas Hobbes, there is a sense of knowing that defines the nature of man, as one that is comprised of five senses and all beyond that must be learned and improved upon by appropriate seeking of knowledge. (Leviathan, Chapters I-XVI) His discussion of state is the determination of a civil society, designed and created to determine the end of warfare and therefore instability…… [Read More]
history political philosophy sources political stability instability Machiavelli? Source: The Prince (Machiavelli), cited work the Prince My thesis Statement:The Prince, written 1513, intended a guide gave advice effective ruler stay power.
Niccolo Machiavelli's 1513 political treatise "The Prince" deals with a series of matters concerning political stability and the means available to make it possible. Considering that the writer lived in a period dominated by political instability, it is not surprising that some of the methods he proposed in order to restore order were somewhat unorthodox. From his perspective, moral acts were in certain situations pointless, as people actually needed to be controlled with the help of manipulating techniques. Machiavelli was basically interested in promoting the concept of evil, even with the fact that he attempted to mask this by posing in a person deeply concerned about his nation. He considered that in order to be able to control a…… [Read More]
Knowing the character of the principality the prince had acquired, and tailoring his use of repression and forms of coercion, and the degree, was essential -- a lesson that has proved, one might argue, quite difficult for the United States in its involvement in the Middle East, and its involvement with other territories with long and rich histories that are very different from the history of the relatively young United States.
Machiavelli's own work is inevitably affected by when he wrote, during an age characterized small, divided leadership centers, in one of the most fractious and back-biting of all of the Italian cities. However, although being ruled by his ideal prince may hardly be attractive to a resident of a modern democracy, many of his observations of people during times of war and peace are still useful. His guide can prove helpful as well to a citizen trying to interpret…… [Read More]