Machiavelli In American Politics

934 Words4 Pages
Machiavelli In American Politics In his landmark political treatise The Prince, Italian diplomat Niccolo Machiavelli put forth a framework for ruling a people that is at once derided and deferred to even today. The highly controversial ideology calls for a firm, even ruthless form of leadership that commands respect through any means necessary. Machiavelli allows even for the use of fear, violence and evil where appropriate. But it is in defining where these tactics are appropriate that we enter a discussion about the American political process. In one respect, our electoral cycle differentiates the United States significantly from the feudal hierarchy of 16th Century Italy. In another respect though, a reflection on the wholesale corruption of the former Bush administration may suggest otherwise. Today, it may be argued that many conservative and Republican political figures closely resemble Machiavelli in their espoused extremism but in fact, differ from the philosopher in their overall intentions. Where Machiavelli underscored his framework with an understanding that rulership is for the greater good, regardless of the measures employed to maintain this, self-interest and greed are a common presence in today's political process. In many ways, American leadership has long been formed in Machiavellian mold. The Prince takes away the ethical consideration and religious morality from his assessment of statesmanship, changing the manner in which ethicality is understood.
Open Document