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Similarities Between Machiavelli And Socrates

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Machiavelli vs. Socrates Machiavelli and Socrates both represent groundbreaking, radical, thinkers who contributed greatly to contemporary political theory and dialogue. Although both Machiavelli and Socrates were groundbreaking statesmen, their ideas clash fundamentally. Socrates’ expectation of a leader radically differs from that of Machiavelli. Socrates expects an ideal leader to always challenge the status quo, never accepting the ruling establishment, or the old way of going about governing. Most of all, Socrates would expect a leader to always challenge corruption, decadence, and moral decay of society. Such expectations are seen in both Socrates’ teachings and the actions he took throughout his life. Socrates actively fomented dissent against the nobility of Athens, casting himself as a necessary agitator purging Athenian society of its decadent proclivities. Machiavelli has a near completely opposite view of the virtues a ruler should hold close. Machiavelli’s aim in “The Prince” is to guide potential rulers on how to grow, and later maintain, their grip on power, by any means necessary. Such means may include corruption, the abandoning of one’s moral compass, principles, and just about any other defining characteristic. Machiavelli gives leaders a full license, in a sense, to commit any act that promotes their self-interest. It is clear that Machiavelli and Socrates diverge substantively on what constitutes an ideal leader, which, in turn, signifies that they
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