Machiavelli and Obama: The Benefits of NOT Keeping a Promise Essay

Machiavelli and Obama: The Benefits of NOT Keeping a Promise Essay

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In chapter eighteen of The Prince, Machiavelli tells the reader how to be successful and when not to keep your word. It is seen through out history that people of power constantly renege on their promises. This philosophy can be connected to our most prominent political figure of this modern day: President Obama. In this chapter, Machiavelli has two major premises: the nature of man, and the nature of fighting. After explaining the natures of both man and fighting, Machiavelli makes the argument that it is better to be a fox (thus successful) and gives a basic outline on how to be one. Machiavelli says, “A wise lord cannot, nor ought he to, keep faith when such observance may be turned against him, and when the reasons that caused him to pledge it exist no longer.” One must not keep their word if it becomes a disadvantage or if the circumstances have changed.
Machiavelli states that the nature of man is wicked. One of many quotes Machiavelli uses to describe men is “Men are so simple, and so subject to present necessities.” He further goes on to say that men are wicked and stupid, nothing but common people whom only care about results and appearances. He tells the reader that people are always willing and ready to be fooled. According to Machiavelli it is because men are so simple, they can easily believe a man who looks honest.
A prince should know how to use both his humane side and his beastly side and be able interchange them when needed. According to Machiavelli “There are two ways of contesting, the one by the law, the other by force, the first method is proper to men, the second to beasts; but because the first is frequently not sufficient, it is necessary to have recourse to the second. Therefore it is necessary for a p...

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... a few quick mock-ups that end up filibustered. Machiavelli would approve of the fact that Obama has yet to keep certain promises. Machiavelli would ask Obama, “What does Obama stand to gain from this? Is it beneficial for him or is it a promise that should be broken for his greater good?”
In conclusion, chapter eighteen of The Prince talks about when a prince should keep his word. It is seen through out history and even to this day that people of power constantly renege on their promises. Machiavelli says, “A wise lord cannot, nor ought he to, keep faith when such observance may be turned against him, and when the reasons that caused him to pledge it exist no longer.” So, if you want to be a successful person of power you have to be a fox, ready to deceive. Machiavelli says that it is okay to break promises as long as the promise goes against your best interest.

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