Niccolo Machiavelli 's The Prince

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By many, Niccolò Machiavelli is infamous for being one of the most controversial political philosophers during the period of 1494-1564. Machiavelli is a realist whose lack of idealistic optimism is the root of his cynicism towards human nature and human weakness. He is a perpetuator of the idea that “the means justifies the end.” Although an ample amount of individuals criticize his principles, many rational thinkers embrace the political realities he so adamantly acquaints his readers with in his writings. His views, though misunderstood, are what built the bridge between the Greek, Roman, and Medieval outlook with that of the modern world. Machiavelli’s most influential piece of writing was his book entitled, The Prince. The book…show more content…
From Machiavelli’s point of view, if a ruler wanted to be praised and respected he would have to be as cunning as a fox and as brutal as a lion. It is from this that “the name “Machiavelli” become synonymous with dishonesty and treachery.” However, he does not actually ever advocate for cruelty or like vices for the sake of being cruel, only advocates in light of protecting the state. Virtue by dictionary definition is described as the behavior one of high moral standard shows. Machiavelli defines it as qualities possessed by one and praised by another. Virtuous qualities to him were generosity, compassion and piety. In the book he argues that a leader must be virtuous, but for the ruler to be virtuous for the sake of being virtuous he can cause harm that is detrimental to the state or country. The ruler’s actions are dependent on its effect on the state and not so much on the morality. The ruler must do whatever it takes/is necessary to adequately govern his people. Virtue is about practically, moral flexibility and praise. His understanding of virtue is extremely different from that of classical theorists. Machiavellian ideologies may be unorthodox and contentious, but they are not entirely evil. It is concurrent that brute force and deceit are not appropriate ways for a ruler to control his people, but there is truth in the fact that excessive compassion and generosity can lead to increased disorder. History as proof, shows that man without
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