I think Whose life & accomplishments have had the greatest impact was Niccolo Machiavelli on our modern world.
Dante and Machiavelli define opposite sides of the Renaissance in several ways. Certainly the former believes that God will reveal all and call people to account for their behavior, while the latter gives every sign of believing in no God and supposing that scrupulous behavior only makes one a target for ruthless exploitation. This difference in the two could be expressed in terms of religious faith—but they could also be said to have differing views of human nature. Try to get to the heart of the distinction. Why is Machiavelli’s sense of right and wrong so opposed to Dante’s?
"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
Machiavelli also goes to mentioning how a Prince can become a prince with four of the principles he has listed in the text. It is said that one “Cannot be called prowess to kill fellow citizens, to betray friends, to be treacherous, pitiless, irreligious. These ways can win a prince power but not glory,” (Pg.174) This statement was to show how a prince can come to power through the use of crime, the second one is hereditary. In most cases the prince is the next one for the throne and to lead so it’s an easier transition for a prince in this category. According to the text, those who fear, are the ones who are dependent on the prince who ultimately become the loyal ones, where as the enemies of the prince are always those who are dependent and have the aid of the army such as the nobles. The wealth, army and knowledge is all passed down. The third principle is by the constitutional principality, “A man who becomes prince by favor of the people finds himself standing alone, and he has near him either no one or very few not prepared to take orders,” (pg.175) here Machiavelli goes on to mentioning how becoming prince through popular vote is often a disaster because not every noble man is ready to take orders from a prince who got voted to be prince and has no skills to be one. Here we can see how the ignorance and selfish arrogance in man kind is revealed. Machiavelli is always brutally honest when describing men kind and their behaviors in politics. The forth principle is the honoring of the prince on his words. According to the text, Machiavelli insists that a prince should always stick to his words because men are wretched creatures who would not keep their word to you, you need not keep your word to the them. And no prince ever lacked good excuses to color his bad faith.” (pg.180) here we see how Machiavelli mentions the cunning games that go on in the minds of man kind. This shows how being “virtuous” is not significant for Machiavelli where as it is for Plato, since Machiavelli has seen it all happen before his eyes. Where as Plato has no experiences to relate all his theories with.
In the text The Prince, Niccolò Machiavelli works to create a political system that recognizes failures in human nature and attempts to manipulate them in creating stability. Machiavelli proposes a concept of the Prince and the
In The Prince, Machiavelli’s primary focus is on how a prince should act when exercising his political power. Machiavelli argues that a prince should first separate his public and private life. Therefore, a prince must be willing to deceive his people in thinking he is the best suited leader. Although a prince may need to act immoral at times, he must not abuse his power. A prince must only practice acts of manipulation, coercion, and deceit, to protect his power.
Machiavelli did not energize the thought in confiding in the ones that lead, however, “[…] men are a sorry lot and will not keep their promises to you, you likewise need not keep yours to them.” (230) He hoped for strategy, injustice, and unlawfulness from his kin and composed his tenets all things considered under the beliefs of being a pragmatist. While discovering “they are ungrateful, fickle, simulators and deceivers, avoiders of danger, greedy for gain” (228) the function of Prince was to hold and manage opposed to giving the general population a chance to thrive or set a
While the moral codes of Humanism and Catholicism consider being deceitful to be wrong, from an amoral perspective, betrayal is unavoidable and comes with its own set of benefits. This is Machiavelli’s view in his 1513 work The Prince, in which he details the complexities of gaining and maintaining political power to his Italian statesman Lorenzo de’ Medici, from whom he hopes to regain a political position after shifts in the unstable Florentine republic. Machiavelli argues that people, particularly political leaders, should have flexible moral codes so that they can bend them when necessary. For him, betraying allies or betraying one’s own beliefs is acceptable, even beneficial, because it aids in making tough political decisions to
Machiavelli brought up many controversial and untraditional points regarding what a kingdom or prince was allowed to do to maintain power. The most extreme, being that the prince wasn't held to any moral code in the practice of maintaining power. A prince must be prepared to ward off any conflicting power even if it means breaking traditional moral codes. Other powers, Machiavelli believed, wouldn't be so kind in combat and a prince must fight back with equal or greater force. Another point is that it's better to be feared than loved. Machiavelli believed that love didn't
Machiavelli believed that humans are evil. He thought that they were always seeking power, when they were faced with problems they were too self-interested, and many people in power just wanted to be better than others. He believed people were uncontrollable unless they were ruled by a powerful force, and this is where the Prince came in. They were “all-powerful” and supposed to be the only thing that can change or influence the people.
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
Niccolò Machiavelli, established himself as a prominent Renaissance figure when his book The Prince, shared his political philosophies on how to gain and retain power. The “Princely Virtues” were a set of standards that discussed what he considered to be good and bad characteristics of a ruler. Ultimately, Machiavelli explained that morals were not always required to play a part in politics, which in contrast opposed many principles established by his predecessors. Some of the listed characteristics contest his views, meanwhile others disagree. According to Machiavelli’s opinions, always acting moral will ruin a person as the number of immoral people in the world outweigh the good. Machiavelli writes “Other things seem to be vices, yet if put into practice will bring the prince security and well-being,” (186). In this case, if a ruler has the desire to keep his status, he must learn not to be virtuous when it is required. From Machiavelli’s notion, four “positive” attributes a ruler should acquire are cruelty rather than compassion, egoism instead of philanthropy, greediness versus being open-handed, and finally, inflexibility in preference to being easy to deal with. Machiavelli stands by these rules, as he knows a feared leader is more beneficial than a beloved leader. For example, a compassionate, philanthropic leader implies generosity to the people. If the
To be the prince, you have to be unethical. Machiavelli’s philosophy can be seen as cruel and evil, however, I believe that he is just teaching what he believes will work when governing. The reason behind his cruelty and terror as instruments are simply instruments of leadership – not because he finds joy in harming and scaring others. The effective truth of the matter is that certain times call for punishment and putting fear into people in order to keep power. For those who are in power – the prince – will have a natural urge to keep their own state.
The Prince is essentially a guide book on how to acquire and maintain political power. We can think of it as a collection of rules and methods to achieve a level of superior authority. Its main focus is that the ends—no matter how immoral—justify the means for preserving political authority. While some may agree with this mindset of thinking many today dismiss Machiavelli as a cynic. The book shows rulers how it is that they should act to survive in the real world to maintain authority. While Niccolo Machiavelli’s ideas can be radical, they helped to spark a revolution in political philosophy. Although his ideas might have not been completely original, they were very different and unheard of at the time, The Prince, was published. Machiavelli uses many methods to convey his messages including biblical comparisons and of course metaphors. This character can be viewed in several manners. He is almighty and powerful, stopping at nothing to achieve his goals or have his ways. While this quality does qualify him to be a might leader it also raises the question of immorality. How far will one go to maintain order? Would you stop at nothing to achieve this task? Machiavelli shows this by saying, “it is