Hobbes And Machiavelli : Power Hungry Individuals Essay

Hobbes And Machiavelli : Power Hungry Individuals Essay

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Hobbes and Machiavelli: Power Hungry Individuals
Thomas Hobbes and Nicolo Machiavelli were two men who lived in different eras, however, their philosophy is quite similar. In both “The Prince” and “Leviathan”, Hobbes and Machiavelli outline the need to have a sovereignty to achieve the ideal peace. To have a sovereignty, you must excel at war because others will try to fight and sovereigns have to protect their citizens. However, the way of achieving that ideal peace and becoming sovereign is different in the eyes of Hobbes and Machiavelli. Hobbes believes that the ruler should be well liked yet feared at the same time, while Machiavelli believes that a sovereign should always be feared because it will stop the chances of an uprising.
Machiavelli believes that leaders do not have to be loved. In his text he states “Upon this a question arises: whether it be better to be loved than feared or feared than loved? It may be answered that one should wish to be both, but, because it is difficult to unite them in one person, it is much safer to be feared than loved, when, of the two, either must be dispensed with. Because this is to be asserted in general of men, that they are ungrateful, fickle, false, cowardly, covetous, and as long as you succeed they are yours entirely; they will offer you their blood, property, life, and children, as is said above, when the need is far distant; but when it approaches they turn against you.” (The Prince, Chapter XVII, page XX) This quotation proves that a leader does not have the be loved, a leader has to be feared. This way, the citizens will not overtake the leader. Machiavelli clearly wanted readers of this book to know that they do not have to be loved, they should be feared because it is safe...


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...als. In both of their philosophies, they continuously write about how to acquire power from others. However, why do they not use their own advice and acquire the power? If they both know how to attain the power, then why are they not powerful? I believe that both of their philosophies are contradicting for this reason. They both agree that a sovereignty is the best for humans. However, who is supposed to govern the sovereign’s decisions? This is very unclear in their philosophies. What is so terrible about human’s natural state? We are always selfish and only do things that interest us, so are we not always in our natural state? Personally, I believe that we are always in our natural state. No human will ever do anything that does not benefit themselves first. We will always be selfish human beings. I do agree with Hobbes in the fact that a sovereign should be loved.

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