machiavelli1

machiavelli1 - Steve Hess PS431 The Rise and Fall of...

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Steve Hess January 28, 2008 PS431 The Rise and Fall of Machiavelli Exactly who was Niccolo Machiavelli? Was he a ruthless tyrant who deeply believed in ruling with an iron fist? Or was he simply a 15 th century political theorist that observed the nature and tendencies of past political leaders? I would have to aim more towards the latter although many believe Machiavelli’s ruthless and deceitful political suggestions place him in the category of “evil teacher”. To say that Machiavelli is an “evil teacher” is unjust and not accurate. Although many of Machiavelli’s teaching emphasize the use of violence and cruelty, his justifications seem to always point towards the benefit of the statehood as a whole. Machiavelli’s justification to use brutality and deception in politics was driven by the observations of past political elites as well as human nature itself. In The Prince, Machiavelli lays out how someone can obtain and sustains political power. According to Machiavelli there are numerous steps and challenges one must take in order to even become fit for prince hood; and even once those challenges have been met holding onto that power can prove to be and even harder challenge. One way Machiavelli suggests holding that power is through the use of fear and cruelty. One example he uses to justify the use of such tactics can be found on page 60 of The Prince. “Cesare Borgia was considered cruel, but his cruelty had brought order to the Romagna,
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machiavelli1 - Steve Hess PS431 The Rise and Fall of...

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