Similarities Of Socrates And Machiavelli

2045 WordsOct 29, 20179 Pages
Despite living thousands of years ago, Socrates and Machiavelli were both influential thinkers whose works are still relevant today. These two great thinkers and philosophers wrote about and extensively studied political systems. The influences of their work can still be seen today in constitutions and governments around the world. Were it not for their transcendent works, there is a real chance today’s systems of government would look very different. While no governments today exactly match those advocated for by Machiavelli and Socrates, their writings surely influenced other thinkers later on in history. Both of these philosophers advocated for different leadership structures with the hope of creating fair and long-lasting states.…show more content…
First, he said a leader must be liked by enough of his people to avoid any type of uprising. He believed that anyone who spoke out against the prince must be gotten rid of. This is a major violation of one’s rights and something Socrates would have been outraged by. Plato starts The Apology by discussing how Socrates would teach the youth about his ideal government while openly criticizing the government of Athens. Socrates believed this type of free speech was necessary to form a fair and moral nation. Socrates also uses his trial as a symbol of free speech as he continued to speak out against the government there. He certainly would not have supported Machiavelli’s attempts to suppress free speech. Socrates goes so far as to say, “I made my defense speech like this: I much prefer to die having made my defense speech in this way than to live in that way” (The Apology 20). Here we see that Socrates is willing to die if it means he can speak freely. He truly thought free speech was the only way to check the government’s power and for the people to have a voice. At the time of his trial, speaking out against the Athenian government was almost unheard of and was considered a form of treason. Socrates wanted to use his trial as a way to criticize his leaders in the hope that more people would follow his lead. He believed free speech was necessary to
Open Document