Every Politicians Bible
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Niccolo Machiavelli, author of “The Prince,” reinvented the political scene in the early Renaissance. In this book, he discusses many aspects of leadership and in the most famous chapter (XVII) titled, “Concerning Cruelty and Clemency, and Whether it is Better to Be Loved Than Feared,” he talks about how it really is better as a leader, to be feared than loved. Niccolo Machiavelli, born May 3rd 1469, revolutionized the idea of how a monarchy should be ruled with the publication of his book which should be a required reading for everyone who desires to be a politician.

Although this book may be more philosophical and political than most people care to read for fun, with our current lack of intelligent leadership in Washington, I found it extremely relevant. Although his book may not appeal to everyone because of the solid stand he takes on all his views, it appealed to me because Machiavelli didn’t write the book to appeal to people. He wrote the book based on what he observed as the effective way to rule. He “believed in a morality of results rather than good intentions (Warrior Politics: Why Leadership Demands a Pagan Ethos p.?).” In chapter XVII he says, “A prince ought to inspire fear in such a way that, if he does not win love, he avoids hatred.” Of course it is almost impossible to apply this to modern day Americans because a good number of us have already reached the hatred stage, and as a country, we were built on the principle that we would not be ruled by fear. Luckily for us, our system of checks and balances resolves most of the problems that arise with a leader who decides to push his power too far.

As for the politicians of today, I cannot say how many have actually read The Prince, but it is guaranteed to be too small of a percentage. “Nowadays, politicians are expected to avoid making people anxious, to comfort the electorate and soothe their fears. Its this politics-as-therapy that makes it increasingly hard to detect leaders who are willing to confront anything beyond a dip in the polls (Ottawa Citizen, The Essence of Leadership).” Statements like that tend to make people wonder where the Franklin Roosevelts of the world went. Machiavelli goes on in chapter XVII to talk about Hannibal’s massive army that contained many races, between which, no dissensions arose, both because of his amazing accomplishments as a general and his inhuman cruelties carried out against those who gave reason enough to be punished. He became a terrible figure but his victories in battle gave his men no reason to doubt a victory in the next campaign. Again, the modern American has little worry of inhuman cruelties, but instead looks for confidence and sensibility in the president first and foremost, as well as other representatives.

Since Machiavelli is viewed by a lot of people as a lobbyist for the politically evil and, “For nearly 500 years, Machiavelli has been labeled everything from the Antichrist and a “moral monster” to an apologist for tyrants in advocating craft, cunning and will-asserting power (Ottawa Citizen, The Essence of Leadership),” it seems right that many people, whether politicians themselves or just a casual voter, would stay away from The Prince. When it was first published, five years after Machiavelli’s death, it immediately made the Catholic Churchs index of banned books. But I’m sure none of us can think of any politicians who are narrow-minded (or dumb) enough to read just one book and base an entire political reign (or presidency) on it.

As much as we see our own political system as far superior to every other type of government, our government

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Niccolo Machiavelli And Good Intentions. (April 2, 2021). Retrieved from https://www.freeessays.education/niccolo-machiavelli-and-good-intentions-essay/