Essay On Machiavelli's The Prince

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While Machiavelli advises a ruler to be feared by his people in order to best consolidate his power, I argue that the best way to live a political life depends largely on the circumstances: with different situations calling for the prince to employ different characteristics that would be most effective to each circumstance. Machiavelli’s call for vigilance and distrust may be valuable to a prince and the state he governs in some situations, but toxic in other situations, as it hurts the society he attempts to better. Machiavelli argues that while the prince may superficially have allies and advisors, he must remain alone and independent at heart. This seems to assume that Machiavelli wants the prince to harbor a fundamental distrust of others, encouraging constant vigilance in order for him to keep his place on the throne. Indeed, Machiavelli describes men in simple, untrustworthy terms:…show more content…
Eventually, however, a prince must move from being achieving his own goals to becoming the facilitator or catalyst for his people’s goals. In doing so, a prince will be loved by his people, without necessitating coercion or fear. That is not to say that force has no place for a prince -- force has an important role in safeguarding the state and the people’s goals --, but force cannot be used to coerce the people into loving a ruler. In the corporate realm, companies that give employees more autonomy experience more output and product development. In fact, giving employees directed goals driven by extrinsic incentives often led to poorer performance (Chamorro-Premuzic). Similarly, the distrust Machiavelli prescribed leaders to harbor would actually inhibited a state’s growth, as it was centered around the extrinsic motivator of avoiding punishment and maintaining power rather than an intrinsic passion for making the people’s lives
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