Machiavelli: Chapters 16 To 23 Of The Prince

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How Princes Should Act Chapters 16 to 23 of The Prince are concerned with answering a number of questions a ruler may have when conducting the affairs of state and since a ruler acts out of necessity for the state, the advice given reveals what Machiavelli believes about the state (Nederman (2014), chapter 2). Machiavelli regularly employs historical examples or analogies in order to explain the political utility of decisions made by rulers and is much less concerned with the perception of a ruler by the subjects. Since the perception of the ruler is of little concern, legacy should not be a concern for a ruler because the only legacy worth remembering is the continued success of the state. This is however not usually the case because the masses are more likely to remember a person for their vices; Adolf Hitler and Germany comes to mind as an example where the state grew stronger but the leader is remembered as indisputably evil.…show more content…
The reasoning behind this is simply a matter of economics and resources a state has at hand. In order to be generous one must have excess resources to give away and eventually a state will be depleted of excess. To maintain the generous reputation a ruler would have to raise excessive taxes or else face backlash from the people for withdrawing generosity. Machiavelli would likely be at odds with the welfare-state because people are given generous financial support with the burden being returned to the people through high taxation. It is better to be an ungenerous ruler because they will be able to conduct the affairs of state without excessive taxation. Eventually, the negative reputation of a lack of generosity will fade because the state will be able to defend itself and fund important projects due to its frugal

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