Essay on Niccolo Machiavelli's The Prince

Essay on Niccolo Machiavelli's The Prince

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More than 480 years ago, Niccolò Machiavelli’s The Prince was published. It established a system of governance influential still today. His ideas were available before thinkers such as Rousseau and Locke. Men who believed that government derived its just powers from the consent of the governed. Machiavelli, unlike Rousseau and Locke, did not suggest government of the people, but government were power was centralized and secure in the hands of an elite few. His ideas, for example, led to the rise of France as a world power under the leadership of Louis XIV, arguable one of the most successful monarchs in European history. Today, Machiavelli’s ideas are not as influential as they were with former monarchs. However, some of Machiavelli’s ideas are arguable still very influential in certain contexts today.
In his book, Machiavelli emphasized the importance of separating good leadership qualities from a virtuous character. In the Prince, his intention was not to answer what constitutes good moral human behavior, but what make a good ruler. One of Machiavelli’s main points is to show virtuous character, while not necessarily being virtuous if it allows you to maintain power over your principality, “Therefore it is unnecessary for a prince to have all the good qualities I have enumerated, but it is very necessary to appear to have them. And I shall dare to say this also, that to have them and always to observe them is injurious, and that to appear to have them is useful; to appear merciful, faithful, humane, religious, upright, and to be so, but with a mind so framed that should you require not to be so, you may be able and know how to change to the opposite.” [Machiavelli, The Prince, Ch. XIX].
Machiavelli, however, does suggest that ...


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...not they may be removed from power. This, however, is not the case in countries that follow other systems of government, such as the Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea (DPRK). The DPRK (and more specifically “the Supreme Leader) in many circumstances shows benevolence and good character qualities. This, however, is not always necessarily true. The supreme leader has sometimes taken steps (behind the scenes) to assert and maintain his power.
Today, many of Machiavelli’s ideas are still relevant and used. They have guided monarchs throughout history. And have been a source of knowledge for modern day rulers as well, regardless of system of government. As countries become more democratic, many of Machiavelli’s ideas are becoming less relevant in certain contexts. This does not mean, however, that Machiavelli will continue to influence rulers for a long time to come.

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