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Books

Analysis Of Machiavelli’s Vision On Politics In The Prince

June 23, 2022 by Essay Writer

Political thinkers such as Aristotle and Plato have been forcing ideas of human justice down leaders’ throats. That being said, Aristotle’s vision of politics focuses on the presence of a necessary state (Aristotle). The idea was developing, and commanding states close to a utopian reality, a feat which, never once held the potential of success. On the other hand, Machiavelli’s ideas revolutionized the whole system of leadership as he redefined the very role of a true and competent leader, both in the public and in the private domain. Few may have accepted Machiavelli’s truth to this day, a fact that only gives evidence to another greater fact that his ideas were of truth. This, coupled with the fact that those ideas were stemmed from real-life examples, is what makes his ideas truly revolutionary. Throughout The Prince, Machiavelli makes his audience aware of the actualization of his ideas by stating, “I have thought it proper, to represent things as they are in real truth, rather than as they are imagined”. Ideally, this indicates that Machiavelli’s vision of political is flexible to changing circumstance and fortune; thereby making it more compelling.

Nature is the fact that politics involve a lot of social interactions. Machiavelli knows this, and he is considered a master in the mastery and recognition of human nature and all its associative elements. The things he speaks of can even be witnessed in our day-to-day lives. How many times has a formerly trusted friend switched sides and loyalties to powers you cannot even fathom? It is necessary not to trust anyone. Indeed, it is quite unimaginable for a few to comprehend the sanity of Machiavellianism. Many may wonder if, in applying his principles to real life, they would only be covering up evil deeds and comforting themselves and their inner senses that what they did is what had to be done. The Prince continuously reiterates the notion of “the results of actions being what matter most” and “the end as justifying the means”. Most ‘good’ people are easily put off by the unethical activities that Machiavelli encourages and recommends in the order of keeping stability in a nation. Machiavelli envisions the leaders’ ambitions to be complemented by the people’s needs.

The essence of what is included in the book is fueled by the contempt with which Machiavelli viewed the Italy in the 1500’s. According to Machiavelli, despite being “leaderless, lawless, crushed, despoiled, torn, overrun,” Machiavelli in effect desired better leadership for the people of his generation and yearned to aid in bringing about a more powerful nation, which no one in his generation could afford to stand up in the face of greatness. In light of this understanding and the subsequent need to set the political arena to fit his standards as well as idealism, Machiavelli “calls for a new prince to introduce a new order”. This step would aim at bringing the utmost peace and stability in a state of war. In as much as he advocates for the use of extreme actions in the order of preservation of power, Machiavelli likewise calls for a form of democracy where different opinions from different groups are heard and listened to. Strictly speaking, this sets the stage for a really important leadership concept: the principle of being formless and adapting to every circumstance in the best ways one sees fit where it frees a leader from the potential threats that are faced by keeping rigid guidelines. Now, this last portion that seems to dislike his previous ideas seems to spark up debates among the contemporary readers of The Prince. Machiavelli’s audience is torn between believing that he speaks for peace or if he is just another tyrannical opportunist offering comfort to fellow like-minded tyrants.

Machiavelli criticizes the traditional view of authority based on a deep-rooted essence of morality. The difference between legitimate and illegitimate use of power cannot, in any way, be subjected to a moral compass. Therefore, authority and power exist in an essential coequal relationship. This has the meaning of command falling onto the individual with the most power. This has no roots whatsoever in the ideology of goodness, ensuring power. No goodness or right has ever been sufficient enough to maintain one’s political power. Power is in existence to be used not only to lift one’s status but also to be secure in his or her role of office. “Since there cannot be good laws without good arms, I will not consider laws but speak of arms”. He, in essence, realizes the legal position that is created by force of the state. It is, in his words, therefore better to instill fear in one’s subjects than friendship and love. He tags the obligation of giving back to love that one’s people have for him. In the presence of fear, however, a leader is more likely to be obeyed, and his interests furthered without any mishaps. “Love is a bond of obligation which these miserable creatures break whenever it suits them to do so, but fear holds them fast by a dread of punishment that never passes”. Therefore, this indicates that Machiavelli’s vision of politics likewise favors for true love and proper implementation of punishment the bond of obligation.

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