The Prince by Niccolo Machiavelli:
“The Prince” by Machiavelli was written in 1513 as a guide to those in power in a monarchy or totalitarianism. It is not much more than a list of was to respond in certain situations, and how you should conduct yourself throughout your rule as prince. He recommends things like encouraging the population to go head on into private pursuits of happiness through gain of material wealth especially. He thinks that by using violence as it is needed, but never by being spread out, will help you stay in power. One of his more well known chapters, “Of cruelty and Clemency, and whether it is better to be feared than loved”, is interesting for most people because it can apply to your average person. Machiavelli logically supports his conclusion that you would best be suited to have the minds of your people be a mix of fear and love, but that the best thing when you have to choose is for your people to fear you. He makes the point that the ruler’s underlying goal should be to keep the people from hating you. The phrase most commonly associated with Machiavelli is “The ends justify the means”, which means that whatever evil you do to your people is justified If it is better for them in the end. First of all, Machiavelli never actually says this. Second of all, I think he is actually being misinterpreted. Throughout a few chapters near the end he concludes that you need to do whatever you must to keep your people from hating you, because this will be better for you and them in the end. “Whatever you must” is what I think is misinterpreted. People tend to think it means, “You can be as evil as you want”; while I think the point that Machiavelli is trying to make is that it really isn’t being evil if it is better for the people in the end.
Niccolo Machiavelli, one of the great political minds of the 15 th century, accomplished what many mathematicians today only dream of, having one's name used as an adjective. To be Machiavellian is to demonstrate characteristics of expediency, deceit, and cunning and as Machiavelli wrote in, The Prince, these are the qualities of a great leader. The Prince was published in 1531, creating great ...
The point of the book was really to help out developing princes, as far as I can tell. Some people believe it is a satire, and if he strongly advocated republics, I would understand that. So, maybe If I read “Discourses on the First Ten Books of Titus Livius” by Machiavelli, I would better be able to understand whether or not it is a satire. Whether it is a satire or not, I personally believe that it offers very sound advice. However, I am not planning on taking over the world any time soon now though.
On a final note, I would like to mention Machiavelli’s end of the whole book. He finishes it off with a plea to all of Italy to unite. This book was written during internal conflicts in Italy, and because of all the blackmail and political uprisings, many speculate that that is where he received inspiration. This inspiration leads me further to believe it is not a satire.