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 was not concerned with whether a person was inherently good or bad, nor was he concerned with whether the elites exploited the weak. He was only concerned with whether an individual was competent or incompetent. A cruel dictator who kept his state in check would be look upon more favorable than a weak, but good-mannered politician who is unable to secure any influence. “Cesare Borgia was considered cruel; yet his cruelty restored Romagna, uniting it in peace and loyalty. If this result is considered good, than he must be judged must kinder than the Florentines…” (Machiavelli, p. 59) In Machiavelli’s eyes, the end justifies the means which is the central underlying message in his work, “The Prince.” Machiavelli was one of the first to suggest the realism of politics and that practical methods were superior to moral actions. At the time, many people would look to religion and to the Church for guidance in state affairs. The Church’s power was great at the time because many European rulers were Catholic and would often seek to the Church for guidance or mediation. In fact, Machiavelli disliked the immense power the Church had and advocated for secularism in politics. Machiavelli believes that religion was holding people back from effectively governing states and that they needed to use their own intuition instead of their own religion and idealism. “I deem it best to stick to
It is essential prior to judgement on whether Machiavelli is a political amoralist or not to take into account The Discourses and the essence of their meaning. The Prince alone I grant can be mistaken for a how-to-be-a tyrant handbook with it&#8217;s absolute theories and some what lack of civility, where &#8220;the end justifies the means';. But it&#8217;s intention is assuming the political leader is already of moral standing and possess such qualities of integrity and virtue to be expected of one in the position of leadership. &#8220;Everybody sees what you appear to be,few feel what you are,and those few will not dare to oppose themselves to the many,who have the majesty of the state to defend them;and in the actions of men,and especially of princes,from which there is no appeal, the end justifies the means'; &#8220;Thus it is well to seem merciful,faithful humane,sincere,religious and also to be so.'; Effectively what seems as ruling with an iron fist is best expressed in terms of need. The 16th Century political unrest Machiavelli is influenced by would best be unified by such absolute power due to it&#8217;s degradation and lack of structure. So therefore it would not be seen as immoral with respect to it&#8217;s time. And looking at it from a wider more advanced perspective although the technique may appear rigid if it creates the desired unification
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.
In his writing he sounds sinister in proclaiming there is no place for justice. Machiavelli creates his idea of there being no justice in a principality because in his words “there is no court to appeal to” for a prince. (Machiavelli, p. 71) If a prince wants to succeed for the good of his domain he must transcend the notion of justice. His subjects are however are judged by the interest of the strong. Justice is a weapon in which the strong determine right from wrong. His type of judgement does not apply to a prince because there is again no court to appeal to. The prince is not constraint to justice so long as his act meet their ends. The prince can do any action good or evil because in the end “the means will always be judged honorable”. (Machiavelli, p.
Machiavelli’s concept of “Virtu” virtue for politicians involves wisdom, strategy, strength, bravery and when necessary ruthlessness. For being a successful ruler one needs to be virtuous. However, “a ruler ought not to mind the disgrace of being cruel, if he keeps his subjects peaceful and law abiding, for it is more compassionate to impose harsh punishments on a few than out of compassion, to allow disorder to spread, which leads to murders or looting” (Machiavelli, 1994. Pg51). According to Machiavelli every ruler wants to be loved but somehow he
Machiavelli’s book, The Prince, is written to show how to acquire and maintain political power. He describes an ideal prince that displays qualities that will make him strong. He wrote a quote that says, “the end justifies the means.” This means that a ruler can do unethical things as long as it results in something good or beneficial. Machiavelli’s writings could also help describe an ideal government. The government must be loved, but also feared. People must like the government, but respect it so that people don't try to overthrow it. He is writing more than just to tell princes how to maintain power. He is writing so rulers do good for their people. He wants people to hold power that can pass reforms for the good of the
Machiavelli as well as other humanist before him and during his time have all been known to have addressed how the ideal prince should rule his kingdom. Machiavelli apart from the others wanted his writing to be unique in its approach even though he was addressing the typical questions that other humanist had addressed before him. Machiavelli claimed to treat politics as politics should be treated and refrained from putting a “silver lining” if you will, over the problems that politics presents(pg. xxii). By doing this the typical topic of human nature, purpose of government and virtuous life were very straight forward and he thrived on this point “Many have dreamed up republics and principalities which have never in truth been
Nevertheless, The Prince’s view of human nature is quite modern. In his whole book, Machiavelli makes a comparison between human nature and the animal. Although, to compare human being was an ancient tradition but these characteristics elucidate the hard working and cunning nature of human being. But at the same time, Machiavelli sets the ground for controlling this prudent animal that is the human being. In short, throughout his book, Machiavelli depicts evil aspects of human beings and denies humanistic aspects. The basic purpose of these claims is to favor and justify all acts of the prince.
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:
Through this statement, we can see that Machiavelli’s argument is an extension of his partial view on human nature. This argument is logical because as we can see today, we have punishments for those who commit crimes. People follow laws because they fear the punishment that comes with breaking them. And, that some measure of cruelty is necessary to maintain order. The repercussions may not be as extreme as it was back then, but the general idea still exists. This also ties in with another of Machiavelli’s views in that people are trustworthy when times are good, but become selfish, deceitful, and driven by profit when times are bad.
Niccolo Machiavelli’s thought on virtue has been analyzed in many ways, but no one has ever got the right answer to what Machiavelli himself meant. According to Machiavelli virtue is defined as generosity and compassion that are praised by others. Few have analyzed on the writings of Machiavelli’s concept; this assignment is hard to understand because its not clear what Machiavelli means. Virtue has many meanings, but one of the main points in philosophy is that virtue is a part of good life. Politically sometimes virtue can be used as skill and strength either as force or potential. Virtue is mostly linked with understanding and controlling the world. In this essay I will be discussing what Machiavelli thinks that a prince should do and what they shouldn’t do in order to become a successful ruler. Machiavelli chose harsh over generous and hard over soft. Although not every
1.According to Machiavelli’s views on human nature he viewed humans as fundamentally evil. Describing them as wicked, aggressive, self-interested, stupid and so on. He pays little attention to the common people. As his views them as complacent followers who will not stand in one's way to power as long as they are kept happy. In Machiavelli’s views “ it must be noted that men must either be caressed or else destroyed, because they will revenge themselves for small injuries…”(Machiavelli 12). Tying back into Machiavelli’s view on humans being self-interested stating that unless appeased people will retaliate against everything even the smallest of injustices.
“The end justifies the means” is the axiom that Machiavelli follows throughout his writings in “The Prince”. According to him human beings are evil and unreliable thus it is reasonable for the leader to act cunningly as well as brutally whenever it is necessary. He validates the use of lies and violence especially for new rulers, who need to attain power and also, gives the same advices to experienced leaders. Machiavelli bases his theory of amoral politics on predominantly negative view he holds on the nature of human beings. He suggests that since all humans are egoistical and erratic, a prince needs to be cruel and hypocritical in order to rule them. Leader cannot trust a citizen; since he is imperfect and cannot be trusted or be seen as completely loyal. Machiavelli does not states that being an amoral politician is the best way of life but he says that at this certain point in history, and by considering past experiences, this is how it is in politics. In one of the chapters of “The Prince”, Machiavelli questions whether a leader should prefer to be loved or to be feared and he personally thinks that a good prince should strive for both but in case he has to make a decision, to be feared needs to be prioritized as “[fear] is maintained by a dread of punishment which will never desert
A just society, it is a place where every citizen is equal, every citizen has common rights, duties and where the government works for the welfare of the society without any selfish wants. Every citizen is individually responsible to have a just society. I believe to have a just society there should be rights and duties for everyone living in the society. At an individual level I believe there should be equality in the state. According to the constitution, it is our fundamental right that we would be treated equally, but the prevailing quota system in our society is totally contradictive to this statement.