Machiavelli 's The And Machiavellian Discourses

1571 Words7 Pages
The maintenance of a state requires the ability to act in accordance to the times. The Hobbesian and Machiavellian discourses in relation to the legitimacy of violence are distinct, nonetheless, bring forth significant arguments. Machiavelli claims that leaders ought to be good as long as the times permit, however, the leader with virtu ought to prepare to enter into evil when forced by necessity. Contrary to popular belief, Machiavelli does not endorse violence, rather he provides advice to those who wish to maintain their state or creation and in spite of the ravaging forces of time. The advice of Machiavelli is selective as it is geared to those who wish to maintain their state, not those preoccupied with salvation. In my understanding, Machiavelli advises that in order to maintain a political order, leaders ought to acquire virtu and not remain obstinate or operate with eternal principles. The Hobbesian account of the legitimacy of the use of violence is based on a notion of exceptionalism, which is the distinctive characteristic of the sovereign. Whereas Machiavelli appeals to effects, Hobbes’ defence of the legitimacy of violence is intrinsically necessary to the notion of sovereignty. By definition, the sovereign is sovereign or exceptional to commit violence. For example, the governing laws of physics make it impossible for man to walk on water, except when the law-giver walks on water. It is in the nature of the sovereign to determine exceptions, any act of
Open Document