Machiavelli vs Islamic Political Thought

2559 WordsApr 26, 200511 Pages
Machiavelli vs Islamic Political Thought Niccolo Machiavelli was a political realist. He thought there were certain skills and characteristics needed to become a political ruler. In his work, The Prince, Machiavelli gives advice on how to be a successful prince, or ruler. "Successful" is partly based on how powerful a ruler was during his lifetime (reign), but largely based on how much the prince affected the lives, through laws or societal norms, of future generations. Machiavelli was mainly interested in attaining and keeping political power. He believed people were inherently selfish and would, by nature, not respect the law or work for the common good, without civic virtues. The only way to ‘control' these human urges was to instill…show more content…
Regardless of how good a ruler Borgia was though, when the time came to install a new pope and it wasn't his father, Borgia fell short and was no longer the ruler. While Machiavelli seemed to put no stock in the role of the citizen in determining a ruler, he thought rulers could protect their power by evoking the "love of their people." But even this isn't enough all the time, because of the question always asked by citizens of its government, what have you done for me lately. The ruler must protect the citizens' property, prosperity, family, and well-being. For people to lead happy, full lives, they must be allowed to do what they want, within the guidelines of a state. But this is a cycle easier to maintain, than to begin. For people to do as they wish, there must be guidelines in place, but for guidelines to be established, people have to know what they want to do and what they are unable to do. Here is the reason governments were built in the first place. The group of people chose someone to establish guidelines, because people wanted more than they had. This is the real purpose of a ruler, to help establish a society. Machiavelli was consumed with rulers having and keeping power, by whatever force necessary. This seems to contradict what he is saying about the common good and civic virtues. If the ruler is only interested in power, what care would he have for the people? None, it seems to me. According to Ian Johnston, The Prince was more than just a feeble
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