Living in a tumultuous era, filled with political and religious conflicts, warring city-states, and a continent ruled by a government who used the church to control and conquer, an exiled Machiavelli wrote the book The Prince to give politicians a basis on how to rule a nation and as a way to continue to make a statement in Florence’s politics. The book itself was unlike the regular “mirrors for princes”, in a sense that instead of telling the prince how to be morally sound it told him how to be effective as a ruler. Within the book there were three characteristics that were expressed that can be considered of high importance for every prince/ruler. These three were every prince should rather be feared than to be loved, study war and always be ready for it, and that in the case of two states in war always pick a side and never stray away from it. These characteristics were present in a strong and merciless ruler who used the three features above to govern over an entire country. Joseph Stalin might be seen as a mass murder, but his achievements and contributions to Russia proved that by being feared rather than loved, studying war and perfecting it, and his ability to choose his allies in war, would ultimately lead to the prosperity of his nation.
Machiavelli clearly stated in The Prince that in order for a ruler to become successful, he must always think of war and its institutions. In the book Machiavelli states, "He should, therefore, never take his mind from this exercise of war, and in peacetime he must train himself more than in time of war...” (Page 70 eBook edition; Machiavelli). Joseph Stalin showed this mentality about war when he began to take from the already diminished poor classes of Russia to help aid in the s...
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... would ultimately aid his nation in becoming a political, social, and economic powerhouse.
In conclusion, Stalin was most certainly a Machiavellian leader. During his reign as the Premier of the Soviet Union his actions, decisions, achievements, and life were close to if not exactly what Machiavelli attempted to teach the Florence politicians. In their time of war and bickering Machiavelli saw the need for a great leader, who was willing to do what it takes to allow the nation to prosper. Joseph Stalin was that man of his era, and he like the many Machiavellian leaders would have success and troubles along his reign as a ruler. Joseph Stalin used his ability to be feared rather than loved, study war and perfect it, and his ability to choose his allies in war to secure Russia’s spot as a powerhouse on the planet, what some would call a true Machiavellian leader.
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