In sum Machiavelli and Rousseau lived entirely different lives even though they didn’t really agree w each other’s ideas they did have similarities in their thoughts. Maviavelli and Rousseau both disliked factions, groups with a political purpose, often described as a "party within a party." Both of them distinguish between "conflicts that serve to protect and even invigorate the foundational principles of liberty from those that seek to advance private interests."They believe that conflict between the public and their leaders is necessary at times. Machiavelli and
The time of the reformation was a time of heavy politics, political wars, and religious attacks and conflicts. This was a period of growth for some countries, such as England, and a time of decline for other countries like Spain. These two particular countries, England and Spain, had two very powerful rulers who helped determine the fate of their nations. Phillip II of Spain was born into a very powerful family of extremely Machiavellian heritage. He had control of the Netherlands, Spain, parts of the North and South Americas, and parts of Asia and Brazil. He was also extremely Catholic and loyal to the Catholic Church. Queen Elizabeth I of England inherited a small country divided between Lutherans and Catholics, but she would turn out to be one of the greatest rulers of England in history. These two rulers would go head to head until their deaths, and while England rose up, Spain began to decline. Although Phillip II of Spain was a very Machiavellian ruler, Elizabeth I of England was much more Machiavellian, for Phillip of Spain was not governed by necessity, as Machiavelli advised; he was feared by his subjects, not loved; and Queen Elizabeth I of England was an effective ruler and near perfect example of the Machiavellian Prince.
"Machiavelli identifies the interests of the prince with the interests of the state." He felt that it was human nature to be selfish, opportunistic, cynical, dishonest, and gullible, which in essence, can be true. The state of nature was one of conflict; but conflict, Machiavelli reasoned, could be beneficial under the organization of a ruler. Machiavelli did not see all men as equal. He felt that some men were better suited to rule than others. I believe that this is true in almost any government. However, man in general, was corrupt -- always in search of more power. He felt that because of this corruptness, an absolute monarch was necessary to insure stability. Machiavelli outlined what characteristics this absolute ruler should have in The Prince. One example of this can be seen in his writings concerning morality. He saw the Judeo-Christian values as faulty in the state's success. "Such visionary expectations, he held, bring the state to ruin, for we do not live in the world of the "ought," the fanciful utopia, but in the world of "is". The prince's role was not to promote virtue, but to insure security. He reasoned that the Judeo-Christian values would make a ruler week if he actually possessed them, but that they could be useful in dealing with the citizens if the prince seemed to have these qualities. Another example of Machiavelli's ideal characteristics of a prince
While corruption existed in the Church during the Renaissance, the Reformation was as much about politics, theology, and individualism, as it was about rooting out corruption. When looking at the religious values that guide human choices, why did Martin Luther break away from the Catholic Church?
Machiavelli’s interpretation of human nature was greatly shaped by his belief in God. In his writings, Machiavelli conceives that humans were given free will by God, and the choices made with such freedom established the innate flaws in humans. Based on that, he attributes the successes and failure of princes to their intrinsic weaknesses, and directs his writing towards those faults. His works are rooted in how personal attributes tend to affect the decisions one makes and focuses on the singular commanding force of power. Fixating on how the prince needs to draw people’s support, Machiavelli emphasizes the importance of doing what is best for the greater good. He proposed that working toward a selfish goal, instead of striving towards a better state, should warrant punishment. Machiavelli is a practical person and always thought of pragmatic ways to approach situations, applying to his notions regarding politics and
Machiavelli concentrated more on the way things should be and how to manipulate them for his own personal gain rather than for the betterment of the state. He was well-known for being a political thinker who believed that outcomes justified why things happened. A key aspect of Machiavelli’s concept of the Prince was that “men must either be caressed or annihilated” (Prince, 9). What Machiavelli meant by
During the 1500’s a movement away from traditional Catholicism started to take hold. The most notable figure during this time was Martin Luther. He had ideals that, at the time, were extremely radical. As Gerald Strauss put it, “His doctrine of the two realms- the kingdom of Christ and the kingdom of the world, derived directly from Augustine – entailed the strictest segregation of things spiritual and things material” (22). He did not believe that the people of the church had any right to control the population at large. He believed that they were meant to be spiritual guides, not rulers, and that they wielded way too much control over the common people. One of the most radical things that he did, which was also the most influential
Niccolò Machiavelli was an activist of analyzing power. He believed firmly in his theories and he wanted to persuade everyone else of them as well. To comment on the common relationship that was seen between moral goodness and legitimate authority of those who held power, Machiavelli said that authority and power were essentially coequal.9 He believed that whomever had power obtained the right to command; but goodness does not ensure power. This implied that the only genuine apprehension of the administrative power was the attainment and preservation of powers which indirectly guided the maintenance of the state. That, to him, should have been the objective of all leaders. Machiavelli believed that one should do whatever it took, during the given circumstance, to keep his people in favor of him and to maintain the state. Thus, all leaders should have both a sly fox and ravenous wolf inside of him prepared to release when necessary.10
Martin Luther was a very important Christian figure of the Reformation. He began questioning the Roman Catholic Church and soon, he gained followers that split from Catholicism and began the Protestant tradition. Luther didn’t want to form a new church or go against the religious order of medieval Europe. He wanted to end the wrongs that were occurring in the churches and reform morals. (Historical Context)
Machiavelli considers society an immoral place. According to Machiavelli as stated in The Discourses on Livy, “for as men are, by nature, more prone to evil than to good”. The Prince is a manual for being a successful ruler in an immoral society. Often times that success is met by committing immoral acts. Machiavelli, an outsider to the inner workings of government gives what he thinks are the critical tools to being a successful ruler in modern society. “Sometimes you have to play hardball” is a saying from today that I relate to his philosophies.
Niccolo Machiavelli is a very pragmatic political theorist. His political theories are directly related to the current bad state of affairs in Italy that is in dire need of a new ruler to help bring order to the country. Some of his philosophies may sound extreme and many people may call him evil, but the truth is that Niccolo Machiavelli’s writings are only aimed at fixing the current corruptions and cruelties that filled the Italian community, and has written what he believed to be the most practical and efficient way to deal with it. Three points that Machiavelli illustrates in his book The Prince is first, that “it is better to be feared then loved,”# the second
He sees no purpose in restraining and controlling oneself for the society because the society will not prosper if the ruler does not. Ruthlessness, maliciousness, and deviousness are all hailed as being acceptable, in fact encouraged, as means of securing position of power. Through his prioritizing, Machiavelli does not seem to be as concerned with the society and the individual as the previous philosophers in history have been. Rather, he sees power as the one and only goal in life, regardless of the individual or the state. Again, though, he is a reflection of his times. The men of the Renaissance era wanted many things--money, power, enjoyment in life--regardless of the moral cost. Others would argue that these superfluities either meant nothing or would not occur without restraining the desires of both ones self and ones state. One needs balance of everything in order to reach the ideals of perfection, but Machiavelli would argue that perfection is not real and so is not worth striving for. Instead, one must live for ones self. He makes the generalization of men that:
In essence, Machiavelli’s ideal principality sustains a genuine sense of morality behind the violence that “must be subjected in order to maintain stability.” Looking at his plans subjectively,
Machiavelli’s lowering of politics creates an impact on the way ordinary subjects and citizens behave, a prince, according to Machiavelli, should be loved but most important to him, this sovereign should be feared, citizens need to obey and follow regulations and be faithful to the ruler, they are expected to honor and fight for their sovereign, in general, Machiavelli does not go into so much detail about the duties of the people, but he explains that by teaching the prince how to manage the system, he is working for the sake of people, as Machiavelli explains, a prince should follow two policies in which one of the two explains how a sovereign must keep balance and unchanged laws when conquering new territories, “not to change their laws or impose new taxes” (Machiavelli’s The Prince, page 8) what he means by this is that a sovereign should respect customs and traditions, the way people
While Martin Luther reinforces Aquinas' concept of how the state with a virtuous ruler is required to preserve peace, punish the unjust, and restrained the wicked in society, he evolves the concept one step further. His central argument with regard to the concept of the state centers on the idea that there is truly a division between the Church (spiritual power) and secular authority even though both were needed and both complimented each other. More important, he vehemently argues that the Church had no domination over all matters that are temporal or earthly matters. He affirms this idea when says "es preciso ditnguir claramente los dos regimens y conserver ambos: uno, para producer justicia, el otro, para mantener la paz externa e impeder las obras malas. Ninguno es suficiente en el mundo sin el otro." (Luther, De la Authoridad Secular: Hasta Que Punto Se Le Debe Obediencia (1523)