Niccolo Machiavelli's The Prince Essay

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Niccolo Machiavelli's The Prince

Niccolo Machiavelli's The Prince examines the nature of power and his views of power are still somewhat in existence today. I'll discuss this in this essay, emphasizing the following theses. Machiavelli discusses power over the people, dictatorial power, and power with people, shared power. While it is possible for power with to attain greater prevalence in society, it will not completely eliminate power over. In The Prince, Machiavelli discusses two distinct groups of people, the political elite, including nobles and other princes, and the general public. Today in the United States, the first group, the political elite, includes political leaders, religious leaders, business leaders and the leaders of
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While Machiavelli emphasizes power over in relations between the political elite, he discusses a different kind of power in the relations between a prince and the general public. Machiavelli notes that a prince can share power with the people, since a prince can trust the people much more than he can trust the nobles. Nobles "can not be satisfied if a ruler acts honorably but the people can be thus satisfies, because their aims are more honorable than those of the nobles are: for the latter only want to oppress and the former only want to avoid being oppressed" (p.35). The people are not unforgiving and greedy so the prince can place more trust in the people. Since the public can be trusted, the prince can empower the people. An empowered public will protect the ruler rather than overthrow him. Machiavelli suggests providing people with power in terms of arms, since "when you arm them, these weapons become your own" (p. 72). In this way power is an increasing resource, sharing power with the people can result in greater power for the people and for the prince.

Finally Machiavelli notes that inherent power of the public, which exists despite the dictatorial power that any prince exercises. When discussing fortresses, he states that "the best fortress a ruler can have is not to be hated by the people, for if you possess fortresses
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