Niccolo Machiavelli And John Locke

1162 WordsAug 18, 20155 Pages
Niccolo Machiavelli and John Locke are, in simple terms, two vastly different kinds of people. They were separated by nearly two centuries, and lived in two different countries. Despite their contradictions on sovereignty, both Locke and Machiavelli shared a primary concern- the betterment of society. Machiavelli establishes in his work The Prince that there are two types of government; either republics or principalities, and The Prince will focus on principalities. He states that principalities come in two types; hereditary principalities, and new principalities. Government power therefore comes from fortune or strength, by a state 's own army or along with the army of another. Government requires a strong ruler who uses coercion, but who also knows how to be cunning; someone who can be both “a lion and a fox”. Machiavelli never discusses elections or accountability among leaders, therefore his model is created from manipulation. Locke, in his work The Second Treatise of Civil Government takes a completely opposite stance, denouncing absolute rule and defining political power as the right to make laws for the protection and regulation of property; these laws are backed by the community, for the public good. He favored the social contract between the state and society, and encouraged the concept of dual accountability. The main similarity in opinion over rulers between both theorists claimed elites should be in charge of the state. Machiavelli believed government to be
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