Analysis Of The Prince By Niccolo Machiavelli

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In Niccolo Machiavelli’s The Prince, he discussed the need for rulers to occasionally make choices that are evil, but may assist in achieving a common good. He argues that these decisions are required from time to time, regardless of what people may think of the ruler. Although Machiavelli says that these acts of evil, while still evil, must be committed only on occasion to help the state, his diagnosis of the issues wrong with governments at the time is often looked down upon as being much harsher than it is. Many people hear of Machiavelli and immediately think of the ideal that the ends justify the means. The reality, however, is very different than this for Machiavelli, as he did not really hold this view. Machiavelli held the belief that a ruler, or prince, as he refers to them, should under most circumstances act in a morally upright manner. However, he recognizes that from time to time, a morally unjust decision must be made for the benefit of the state. He argues that this immoral act must not be committed whenever the ruler pleases, but rather must be repeated very few times and cannot be made into a pattern. The reason for this is that members of the nation or state will start to lose faith in their ruler if they act immorally constantly. Machiavelli states that acts of immorality are more appropriate in times of war, rather than peace. He states that only in times of war are these acts “praiseworthy and glorious,” and they should not be done in times of peace. He is morally condemning those who commit these acts at any time they please, stating that while it may bring them spoils and land, no glory will come from these choices (Parkinson). Machiavelli holds that just because a ruler may be exemplary at gaining territory and making treaties does not mean that they are a person to be admired and looked up to. He argues that a man may fall short of all the glory one may think is due to him if he is not a morally upstanding person, as there is a certain amount of glory that is due only to those whose moral compass is strong and accurate. Surprisingly, Machiavelli still holds that even though these actions may be necessary to advance the interests of the state, they are still immoral, which is
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