Socrates would view Machiavelli’s concept of a prince as ignorant and built upon falsehoods as seen through Machiavelli’s explanations of holding new principalities. From the very start of “The Prince” Machiavelli explains that hereditary principalities are always easier to rule, because of the fact that “it is sufficient only for the prince to maintain the customs of those who ruled before him” (Machiavelli, Ch. 2). In contrast Socrates in the “Apology” passionately fights against the status quo. He likens himself to that as a gadfly of the Athenian state stinging the large horse “great and noble steed who is tardy in his motions owing to his very size, and requires to be stirred into life” (Apology, 30e). Socrates finds that a leader who grows content and maintains customs as those before him is foolish as he does not think for himself. A truly enlightened prince would question and challenge everything that comes his way. An enlightened prince would
Socrates believed that a prince’s morality and ethics characterized a good leader whereas Machiavelli believed a ruler should use their power and fear to maintain control. Socrates would view Machiavelli’s concept of a prince as morally wrong and would not be supportive of a political system led by a Prince with a Machiavellian train of thought.
Through his writings in The Prince, we are able to create the image of an ideal Machiavellian prince and principle. This image of the ideal principle can then be applied to Socrates and his views on how the govern should function in The Apology. Machiavelli and Socrates do have similar philosophies but there are also areas where they are likely to disagree. While Socrates would approve of some aspects of the ideal prince and the political system he would lead, he would overall not approve of a Machiavellian principle as it encourages aggressive behavior that contradicts what he considers to be just.
Machiavelli and Socrates agree on very little. While an initial reading of the two may elicit some comparisons, the goals of their respective philosophies rely on different foundations, and would therefore culminate in very different political results for society. Socrates would likely see in the Prince a selfish ruler, while Machiavelli would see in Socrates a dangerous idealist whose ideas would lead to instability and the death of the state in which these ideas were implemented. Machiavelli’s philosophy of the Prince would not satisfy Socrates because instead of focusing on right action, the Prince is encouraged to put political expediency and self-preservation above all else. In addition, the type of political system that Machiavelli’s
Machiavelli considers society an immoral place. According to Machiavelli as stated in The Discourses on Livy, “for as men are, by nature, more prone to evil than to good”. The Prince is a manual for being a successful ruler in an immoral society. Often times that success is met by committing immoral acts. Machiavelli, an outsider to the inner workings of government gives what he thinks are the critical tools to being a successful ruler in modern society. “Sometimes you have to play hardball” is a saying from today that I relate to his philosophies.
Throughout the course of history, political philosophy has been dominated by two great thinkers: Niccolo Machiavelli and Socrates. Although both highly influential, Socrates and Machiavelli may not see eye to eye. When it comes to the idea of how an “ideal prince” would act, Machiavelli believes that they should lead through fear and follow a thirst for power, no matter the cost. Socrates, on the other hand, believes that they should lead through morality and have a healthy thirst for knowledge. Overall, these two would not exactly agree on what the actions of a good leader would look like or how a political system should be run.
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
In The Morals of the Prince Machiavelli expresses his presumption on how a prince should act. He expresses that a prince should be feared, merciful, stingy, etc. He is right because if a prince is loved and too generous then people will take advantage of him and that will lead to his down fall. A prince must act appropriately to remain in power. Machiavelli gives his best ideas to keep a prince in power.
A family of monarchy which tortured Machiavelli for months causing him great suffrage and sorrow. He writes to Lorenzo “May I trust, therefore, that Your Highness will accept this little gift in the spirit in which it is offered: and if Your Highness will deign to peruse it, you will recognize in it my ardent desire that you may attain to that grandeur which fortune and your own merits presage for you.” This enough is confusing because if this is the same principality that caused so much suffering why dedicate a book to let their reign continue into longevity? As to add to this confusion, Machiavelli explains how a prince should use cruelty and violence correctly against the people. To use cruelty and punishment all at once so that the people learn to respect you by fear. He includes that if you had a choice on either being loved or feared, be feared for love can change as quick as it came. Fear of punishment, people would avoid and be subservient. He also goes on to put out that a prince must be cunning like a fox yet strong and fearsome like a lion. To use Realpolitik, morality and ideology left out for the world is not these things as you should not be as well. Furthermore, Machiavelli explains what must happen when a new ruler overtakes a new city and the people in it. “And whoever becomes the ruler of a free city and does not destroy it, can expect to be destroyed by it,
Machiavelli and Socrates were beings of their time. The world around them shaped their views, and their views have in turn shaped ours. While both lived through turbulent times, they do not share the same ideology. Socrates would dislike Machiavelli’s description of the ideal prince, regardless of how the prince actually ruled. Socrates would oppose both how the prince got to power and keeps it, as well as the society over which he rules. Socrates assigned certain responsibilities to both the ruler and the subjects, and some of them are incongruent with the expectations and suggestions proposed by Machiavelli in The Prince. As a result, even if Socrates liked the ruler he would see it as a result of the individual (the ruler) and not the
When examining Machiavelli political ideals, it is hard to look at it without saying this is cruel and not ideal in any sense. Machiavelli is a prime example for a strong leader that pursues justice through unification and has shown to be very open-minded. Justice doesn’t just come through cruelty and strength, it also requires intelligence with careful studies. As exhibited in the prior quote, he takes in historical mistakes and success to shape his ideal. To have a culture with justice, Machiavelli pushes that “It is necessary for a prince who wish to maintain his position to learn how not to be good, and to use this knowledge or not to use it accordingly” (224). It is quite evident that Machiavelli is willing to use the full extent of his power without fear. Through his willingness and open-mindedness, he examines both side, good and the bad, for the benefit of his country. He believes only those that can utilize both knowledge is fit for the position of being a prince. When he says knowledge, it goes deep into the studies of history and past experiences. It is shown time and time again throughout his
Machiavelli has another argument “concerning those who become princes by evil means.”# He believes that cruelty can also be used to benefit the prince but only in modesty. If a prince frequently relies on cruel acts then he will not live in power for long. Proper use of cruelty is only achieved when it is done “out of the need for safety” and when it is done swiftly as to make sure that the act is quickly forgotten, and the people can return to a feeling of safety.# His idea that cruelty should be swift is excellent, this way the citizens will feel more at ease with there prince, because if he were to drag out the atrocities then the people may feel the need to revolt to protect their personal freedoms and civil rights. Many people may think these are evil ideas, but it is completely practical, during Machiavelli’s era (and even today) a prince will always face a moment in this rule that he will have to act in a cruel manner, in no way is this statement cruel it is just a practical way of dealing with a inevitable situation. He also believes that “benefits ought to be given little by little, so that the flavour of them may last longer.”# As much as people may be discusted by this
First let us discuss the ideas of Niccolo Machiavelli in is piece “The Prince”. Machiavelli has a very independent controversial way of thinking and portraying his ideal form of governance in this text. The ideal and most effective from of governance for him is not in that of a republic but instead he insists in an autocratic regime. He argues that republics and other forms of government are too weak because of the corruptness of human nature. This book is written as a guide on how a prince should run his state or nation based on how and when he would come into this power. One of his main concerns in which he has been criticized for is his disregard to follow moral values so as to properly run the state, as well as
Speaking of such qualities as ruthless and mercy, Machiavelli argues that every ruler would like to be regarded as merciful and not cruel. Another thing is that often in order to retain power the ruler has to show cruelty. If the state is threatened with chaos or mess, the task of the prince is to prevent this even if it is necessary to arrange some reprisals. After all, with respect to the rest of the citizens, these executions will become a noble deed since riots and chaos would bring suffering to them (Machiavelli 24). Machiavelli provides an example of Cesare Borgia whose cruelty led to peace in the state. In that way, the
The Prince is a study of how to obtain and maintain political power, this book which has 26 chapters can be categorized in four parts; the types of principalities, the type of armies, the character and behavior of the prince and Italy's political situation. Machiavelli describes the kinds of states at the first of the book, arguing that all states are either republics or principalities. Machiavelli explains some key points in what it takes to be a successful Prince. He is giving us an exact image of the cold-hearted reputation he has carried through the years. He explains his thoughts on taking over a Free State or republic and how to overcome and rule with the people loyalty and respect. He also argues