The Failure Of Leadership In Machiavelli's The Prince

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The Prince, written by Machiavelli, is a candid outline of how he believes leaders gain and keep power. Machiavelli uses examples of past leaders to determine traits that are necessary to rule successfully. Leaders such as the King of Naples and the Duke of Milan lacked military power, made their subjects hate them, or did not know how to protect themselves from the elite, causing them to lose power. He says that these rulers should blame laziness, not luck, for their failures. By looking at these historical successes and failures, Machiavelli is able to develop his own thoughts on how politics and leaders should be in the future. The overall goal of the government should be the well-being and stability of the state. He states that leaders…show more content…
He believed that aristocracy was gradually disappearing from the modern world and democracy was the inevitable future of the world. While in the United States, Tocqueville noted that people in democratic nations value equality over everything, even liberty. While the dangers of liberty are immediate, the dangers of equality are subtle and only visible in the long run. This equality can lead to an increase of individualism and restlessness. In times of equality, people tend to isolate themselves and limit their interests to their close peers. Tocqueville argues that individualism is dangerous to democracy because it can lead to egoism and selfishness. Equality can also lead to restlessness. Materialistic drives make citizen restless and constantly in need of improvement. The more equal a society, the more noticeable inequalities become. Restlessness is dangerous to democracy because it makes working towards a goal without instant gratification difficult. After observing the American democracy, Tocqueville is able to create ways to combat the issues he witnessed and design a stronger democracy. Associations reduce the effects of individualism. By forming associations with others, citizens are able to gain power to combat big government. They also stimulate new thoughts, new ideas, and political involvement. Other options that he believes would create a better functioning democracy are strong local governments, freedom of association, and an independent judiciary system. One aspect of the United States’ democracy that Tocqueville found beneficial were the courts. Because judges were appointed and served a life term, they would be unconcerned with maintaining a positive public image and make just decisions. The juries also forced citizens to be engaged in the political
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