Analysis Of Machiavelli's The Qualities Of The Prince

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1. There is a sufficient argument that Machiavelli advises leaders to be unscrupulous in The Qualities of the Prince. This is especially arguable when reading Machiavelli’s explanation for why it is better to be feared or to be loved. He claims that cruelty is permissible when it is necessary to maintain order. Machiavelli believes that compassion and mercy have led to the fall of many leaders in the past. He also emphasizes the effectiveness as manipulation. After discussing the necessity for a leader to use force as with animal nature, Machiavelli writes, “…it is necessary to know how to disguise this nature well and to be a great hypocrite and a liar.” When his instructions are riddled with quotes such as this one, it is difficult to argue that he is advising leaders to be anything but immoral. Machiavelli is aware that his writing subjects him to such criticism. He rationalizes his views by explaining that he writes practically rather than ideally. Machiavelli explains, “…it seemed more suitable to me to search after the effectual truth rather than its imagined one.” He also justifies a leader’s use of cruelty…show more content…
Modern politicians are likely to succeed by following most of Machiavelli’s recommendations; they often act in accordance with his views. This is apparent with modern politicians’ concern for appearances. For example, in The Qualities of the Prince, Machiavelli explains that the most important quality a leader should appear to exemplify is religion. The truth of this statement is prominent in the United States, where not a single one of the country’s presidents have openly identified as Atheist. Politicians campaign with crosses around their necks and loving, nuclear families at their sides. Those who best epitomize the majority of Americans’ values are rewarded with public support. Without acting in agreement with Machiavelli’s recommendations for maintaining a certain appearance, it would be especially difficult for a modern politician to
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