BF190- Midterm Writing Assignment
Dr. Charles Wells
Due: October 1, 2014
Nicolo Machiavelli, and Thomas Hobbes’ Concept of Ideal Government
An effective leader is one that understands that a society must evolve and revolutionize, in order to meet the needs of the state that are of immediate concern. As a society we are able to build off prior knowledge of once existing methods of living, and adjust them to meet current demands. Both Thomas Hobbes, and Nicolo Machiavelli’s concept, and perception of an ideal sovereign remains present in current forms of government. Machiavelli’s ideas in The Prince indicate that it is simple for any civilian to gain, and maintain power ( 2012). However, these methods may not always be ethical. In contrast, Hobbes indicates through Leviathan ( 2013), that all members of the state should honour their sovereign because they sustain a unified calm amongst citizens. Ultimately, through their evaluation of fear of punishment, and (satisfying )human’s self-interest, both men shifted the way of thinking of higher power for many citizens.
To begin, Machiavelli strongly supports the idea that a leader should remain courageous, and never allow individuals to identify weaknesses in their ruling. This is indicated when he states, “...But the scanty wisdom of man, on entering an affair which looks well at first, cannot discern the poison that is hidden in it” (Machiavelli  2012). I believe Machiavelli says this because revealing weaknesses to your subjects allows them to consider the possibility of overthrowing you. Furthermore, Machiavelli’s objective with The Prince is to advise individuals on how to retain power, ...
... middle of paper ...
...  2013). Through the achievement of a sovereign, society will avoid reverting back to a state of chaos. Secondly, he presents the idea of a democratic government, in which members of the state make a unified decision on who represents them(Hobbes  2013). This method of government is still present, and highly effective to this day. It allows individuals who are in power to
stay in power, because they represent the majority who viewed them as worthy enough to gain sovereignty. Ultimately, Hobbes presents ideas of a more proper-functioning society, while avoiding the concept of violence as a means to retain power.
Hobbes, Thomas. 1651. Levathan. Project Gutenberg Canada, 2013. http:// www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/3207
Machiavelli, Nicolo. 1513. The Prince.Project Gutenberg Canada, 2012. http:// gutenberg.org/ebooks/1232
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