Violence In The Prince, Niccolo Machiavelli And Las Casas
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Role of Violence
While some leaders believe in the rule of law and protection of lives and property, others perceive effective leadership as a combination of controlled violence, cruelty, and extrajudicial killings. Some political philosophers, such as Niccolo Machiavelli, believe in necessary brutality and the capacity of a ruler to act in an entirely self-serving way. Throughout “The Prince,” for example, Machiavelli makes numerous claims about perfect governance that strike the ruler as unnecessarily cruel or harsh. Other scholars, such as Las Casas believe that effective leadership refrains from any form of violence or intimidation. This paper will outline the role of violence within the political arena with reference to the views of Machiavelli and Las Casas.
Machiavelli took the tale of the ruthless leader, Agathocles, from the historians, Diodorus Siculus and Justin. Agathocles ruled Sicily from 361 to 289 BC, and his wicked rise to power offered Machiavelli with an excellent example of a person who accomplishes political ambitions through dishonest actions. Agathocles became a king despite being a potter’s son. From his childhood, he depicted wickedness matched by his mind and body. He joined the army, rose through the military ranks, and once opted to become the prince. One day, Agathocles called a conference of the senate. Shortly after all the people assembled, he ordered his soldiers to kill all the senators as well as the wealthy men of the state. From that day