The Prince/Man of All Seasons: Ethics

Topics: Morality, Political philosophy, The Prince Pages: 4 (841 words) Published: September 30, 2014


The Prince/A Man Of All Seasons: Analysis of Ethics

PSC 504

September 26, 2013

In his book The Prince, Machiavelli presents a theory asserting that man needs a powerful leader in order to be successful. Machiavelli felt that a Prince must act in a way that guaranteed stability and order. However, his emphasis on political convenience was not in the service of the individual power of a Prince, but in allowing that Prince to do what was necessary for the sake of the people. He argues that as a leader, one has the duty to be dishonest or otherwise deceive its people in times of need. This is further clarified when he addresses the question of whether it is better to be feared or loved. Machiavelli believes that a Prince should break his promises to man because man is evil and will break his promises to the Prince. I believe this theory to be true. If one desires to be a successful Prince, one must be able to understand and accept that evil characteristics are in all men. I also believe in order to be successful, it is necessary to take into account the fact that one may have to arouse fear in ones people in order to preserve and keep them well off. At times it may be necessary that those who hold power are the ones who are most inhumane; if this is held with low regard, one may bring collapse to their people, and unto oneself. However, as someone in power, one cannot be so merciless as to alienate ones people. There is a balance that must be kept. There may be certain situations where one feels a compelling need to lie and be deceitful; however, as a general rule, to maintain credibility one be trustworthy and loyal whenever possible. As a Prince, one must come off as moral and self-sacrificing but know at times that might not be the case. Machiavelli knows that for a Prince to be successful, his people have to be loyal and respectful. If one gains the respect of his people, both aspects will be successful and benefit...
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