Essay on Machiavelli and Rousseau's Views on Human Nature and Government

Essay on Machiavelli and Rousseau's Views on Human Nature and Government

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Machiavelli and Rousseau, both significant philosophers, had distinctive views on human nature and the relationship between the government and the governed. Their ideas were radical at the time and remain influential in government today. Their views on human nature and government had some common points and some ideas that differed.
Machiavelli’s views were drastically different from other humanists at his time. He strongly promoted a secular society and felt morality was not necessary but stood in the way of a successfully governed state. He stated that people generally tended to work for their own best interests and gave little thought to the well being of the state. He distrusted citizens saying, “In time of adversity, when a state is in need of its citizens, there are few to be found.” In his writings in The Prince, he constantly questioned the citizens’ loyalty and warned for the leaders to be wary in trusting citizens. His radical and distrusting thoughts on human nature were derived out of concern for Italy’s then unstable government. Machiavelli also had a s...

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