The Prince: Is it Better to be feared or loved?
“It ought to be remembered that there is nothing more difficult to take in hand, more perilous to conduct, or more uncertain in its success, than to take the lead in the introduction of a new order of things. (23)” This excerpt is no less true today than when it was written five-hundred years ago in “The Prince” by Niccolo Machiavelli. He makes this comment at the beginning of his infamous political treatise because he recognized that men are stubborn creatures of habit; hence, any ideological innovation is hindered by the fear of change. Nevertheless, Machiavelli ventured boldly into uncharted waters with the intention to repudiate the ideals of his predecessors. He calls into question all previously conceived notions of morality and societal norms regarding the means by which a state should be ruled. Subsequently, “The Prince” represented a seismic shift in political thought during the Italian Renaissance, and is considered to have laid the foundations on which modern day realism was built on. As a result of Machiavelli’s departure from the ways of old he creates practical methods by which he believes a ruler should abide by to be successful in all matters concerning his ability to obtain and maintain power. Machiavelli designed “The Prince” to function like a guidebook for rulers, and suggests unequivocally that he is not concerned with appealing to the idealistic or imaginary methods of his predecessors. Therefore, he never attempts to sugar coat any of his viewpoints because “The Prince” was intended for practical application. He believed a ruler shouldn’t be burdened by the imaginary constraints society had created, and he must play by his own rules to have total authority. Above all, he wanted to portray the “effectual truths” of mankind as they are, and not how he imagines them to be. Machiavelli makes this point clear when he states, “since my intention is to say something that will prove of practical use to the listener, I have thought it proper to represent things as they are in real truth, rather than as they are imagined; the gulf between how one should live and how one does live is so wide that a man who neglects what is actually done for what should be done learns the way to self-destruction rather than self-preservation” (61).With this in mind, he emphasizes a number of concepts he believes to be quintessential for a ruler to acquire and sustain power. He stresses that by understanding the way the world actually works a ruler can exploit the corrupt and predictable nature of man. To that end, this paper aims to interpret one of Machiavelli’s most compelling and well known concepts from “The Prince” whereby he asks, “Is it is better to be feared than loved?” Firstly, he suggests that man lacks the moral fortitude to be trustworthy, loyal and obedient without fear being the key motivation behind these characteristics. This is based on the reasoning that love is established on a bond of obligation which man will break without hesitation when it is no longer to his benefit. Whereas, the fear of punishment is enduring and can become stronger at the ruler’s discretion to keep his subjects loyal. Machiavelli says that this is due to man’s is inherently corrupt nature. Therefore, a great ruler must devise a mechanism to prevent the manifestation of this corruption, which he continuously notes must be based on fear. Likewise, if his loyalties are cemented on the basis of fear rather than love then it will never appear convenient to disobey or become disloyal. “For one can say this generally of men: that they are ungrateful, fickle, pretenders and dissemblers, evaders of danger, eager for gain. While you do them good, they are yours, offering you their blood, property, lives, and children. When the need for them is far away; but, when it is close to you, they revolt. (69)” Therefore, in accordance with Machiavelli’s methods, it is vital for a ruler to...
...According to Nicolo Machiavelli, fear should play a very significant role when it comes to the world of politics because it is the central driving vehicle to success as well as power, control, and reliability; it is because of fear that societies agree to justice and security. He believed that fear was an essential aspect to politics because of its relation to love, control, and hatred.
When taking in Machiavelli’s perceptions of both the concepts of fear and love, it is clear that fear takes precedence over love in his opinion. This is shown in his book, The Prince, when he wrote “since love and fear can hardly exist together, if we must choose between them, it is far safer to be feared than loved” (The Prince, 1994). Essentially Machiavelli is stating that although it is desired by many to be both feared and loved, it is very difficult to be both feared and loved by everyone, and that fear is more reliable since one of them must be lacking in some aspect (The Prince, 1994). In addition, Machiavelli argued that a Prince himself should not show fear, since it would weaken his appearance and/or his reputation which, according to Machiavelli, should be carefully monitored (The Prince, 1994). Machiavelli also argued that fear...
...The New South
Want to industrialize with cheap labor
Southern workers are paid half of what the Northern workers are earning
Businesses in the North have the capital and will take most of the profits from the South
South lacks education and diversification in labor as well
Cities prominent in South are Birmingham (steel), Memphis (lumber), and Richmond (tobacco)
South sees more growth than any other region, in part because the north already had these things (industry)
Can get away with cheap labor because the workers are limited through what jobs they can get because of their limited education
Half of all white farmers are tenants
2/3’s of African American farmers in the South are tenants or share-croppers
Plessy vs. Ferguson legalized segregation by saying that courts can not legislate against discrimination of private citizens
Whites are put back in charge of race relations
Redeemers wanted to restore it to how it was before (the hierarchy of the class structure)
Business leaders and white supremacists
Business leaders are profitable of racism because of cheap labor for poor whites (they can threaten to hire African American workers)
Supreme Court is overturning the Reconstruction acts
Saying that it is constitutional for private business to practice discrimination
The government does not have the right to interfere how a private business runs its business (can’t legislate against private businesses practicing public...
...government maintain order and the safety of its people yet at the same time preserve its citizens' natural right to be free? The ideas from Niccolo Machiavelli, an Italian aristocrat, who published "The Prince" in 1513 for a Medici prince as a guideline on how to rule a country, gives a conservative approach to how one should govern. Henry David Thoreau's "Civil Disobedience" published in 1849, offers a liberal approach on how one should be governed. Machiavelli stresses the importance of maintaining order while Thoreau suggests reform.
Although their views are different both men approach their positions in an aggressive manner. Machiavelli's approach for his audience would be through fear and power while Thoreau's approach for his audience would be through nonviolent acts, such as being a nuisance to the government. Machiavelli's audience would be any person in a position of power, particularly that of a prince. Machiavelli uses aphorisms and historical references when introducing his argument. Not only would he present his argument but he also presents an opposing point of view and discredits it. Thoreau's audience would be people who share his views on a less controlling and a moral government. Thoreau appeals to his audience through the use of aphorisms as well as analogies with which people would be able to identify.
Machiavelli insists that a ruler must do whatever is in his power to rule his...
...Lao-tzu vs. Machiavelli
Government is the essential authority of a country or state, which is directly, affects society because it provides key securities. Two of history’s greatest thinkers Lao-tzu, authors of the Tao-te Ching, and Niccolo Machiavelli, author of The Prince have similar but very contrasting ideas of government, and how people should be governed.
Lao-tzu was born in the Chinese state of Ch’u. He spent most of his life working in the library of the Chou dynasty. Once he decided to leave a gate keeper convinced him he would write down his thoughts, Thus creating the Tao-te Ching.
Lao-tzu’s view of government is the master should not have optimal power over the people. He feels as though people should be ignorant of government. A good leader will not try to impose power of his people. There is a plan already set for the universe. No human can change that, so you should not try to control your own destiny. In the end what is destined to happen will and life will be much easier if you let it do so. For example, in the Tao-te Ching Lao-tzu states, “If you want to be a great leader, / you must learn to follow the Tao./ Stop trying to control./Let go of fixed plans and concepts, / and the world will govern itself” (Verse 57). Another example holds true in line 16 verses 29 of the Tao-te Ching, “The Master sees things as they are, without trying to control them. / She lets them go their own way, / and resides at the...
...Is Liberate Art A Way of Life?
In many instances, individuals neglect to acknowledge the importance of school and a higher education. The individuals who view education as their number one priority see staying in school is important. Why is it important? Is staying in school going to benefit the student/individual? In this essay, I will explain why the literate arts are important and for what they are good. I will also give the opinions of others and what my views are.
Richard Miller, the writer of " The Dark Night of The Soul" writes, " I have these doubts, you see, doubts silently shared by many who spend their days teaching others the liberate arts. Aside from gathering and analyzing information, aside from generating critiques and analysis that forever fall on deaf ears, what might the literate arts be said to be good for?" (424). I agree when Miller says that the doubts are silently shared by many people.
Miller and Friere have specified their outlooks on specific parts of literate arts. The literate arts can be explained in a plethora of different ways. Friere explains, "Yet only through communication can human life hold meaning. The teachers’ thinking is authenticated only by the authenticity of the students’ thinking. The teacher cannot think for his/her students, nor can she impose her thoughts on them. Authentic thinking, thinking that is concerned about reality, does not take place in ivory tower isolation, but only in communication”(322)....
November 9, 2011
When utilizing the rhetorical strategy of comparing and contrasting in relationship to literature, a number of pieces of can qualify. In particular, the idea of leadership is arguably one of the most written about topics with regard to comparing and contrasting. Throughout history, it can be argued that the majority of successful societies have been based upon effective divisions of leadership. Accordingly, in their pieces of literature, The Tao-te Ching and The Qualities of the Prince, Lao-tzu and Machiavelli have sought to convey a more complete and concrete understanding of their respective definitions and duties of a ruler (leadership). The theme of political leaders and their intricate relationship with society indeed validate itself within both texts. However, both Lao-tzu and Machiavelli approach this issue from almost entirely opposite positions, though sharing minute similarities. Lao-tzu appears to focus the majority of his attention on letting problems or situations take their course, and consequently good would prevail. On the contrary, Machiavelli advocates the necessity for a successful leader, or prince, to take control of his deeds, and the skills or qualities necessary to maintain power. Since both writers propose a question as to what is in essence the same dilemma, effective leadership, it becomes almost natural...
...Lao-tzu vs. Machiavelli
Government is the essential authority of a country or state, which directly affects society because it provides key securities. How directly involved should the government be in the personal lives of society? To answer this I will look to the ideas of Lao-tzu (sixth century B.C.), believed to be author of the Tao-te Ching, and Niccolò Machiavelli (1469-1527), author of The Prince There are few ways in which they are similar, but have very opposite views and ideas of government.
Lao-tzu’s view is government should not have optimal power over the people He feels as though the less people know they are being governed, the happier they will be. For example, in the Tao-te Ching Lao-tzu states, “If you want to be a great leader,/ you must learn to follow the Tao./ Stop trying to control./Let go of fixed plans and concepts,/ and the world will govern itself.” (Verse 57)
In Lao-tzu’s writing he refers to the governing body as master. If things happen as nature intends them there will be no need for the Master to make promises he cannot and does not intend to keep. For instance line 16 verse 29 of the Tao-te Ching, “The Master sees things as they are/ without trying to control them./She lets them go their own way,/ and resides at the center of the circle.” Lao-tzu takes into consideration the individuals and what they can do for themselves, not what they can do for the master. The Master completes the task at...
...Plato’s Republic and Machiavelli’s The Prince each present an “ideal” state along with a description of what an “ideal” founder of such a state would be like. The ideals of these two great men differ immensely and the foundation for these differences can be found in their distinctive views regarding human nature. Once this is assessed the picture that each man paints of their ideal ruler or founder becomes much clearer. Plato promotes the concept of philosopher-kings who rule over his imagined Utopian society, while Machiavelli endorses a ruthless and at times amoral prince whose primary objective is the preservation of the state.
Plato’s view of human nature can be seen when considering his view of the soul, which, according to him, is comprised of three distinct parts; one of reason, one of appetite, and one of spirit. One’s inclination towards a particular part of the soul determines his place in society. The spirit-dominated soul is one of courage and bravery, therefore, these people are the soldiers in Plato’s ideal society. The workers or craftsmen are those with an appetitive soul, one that yearns to fulfill only life’s basic needs. Finally, we have the souls that are inclined towards reason and these select few are those that Plato deems worthy of ruling. For Plato there is no greater goal in life than the pursuit of knowledge. An intelligent man is just and therefore fit to preside over the state for he will always have the best interests of...