Machiavelli Discourses Essay
Within the Machiavelli’s Republic, a prince should be the sole authority of the state and should have a main part in determining every aspect of the state and the policies being established by the state. The best interests of the prince are gaining, maintaining, and expanding his political powers or views. Since the prince is the sole authority, he has the power over everything and everyone. Machiavelli speaks about this in his books The Prince and The Discourses. In The Prince, Machiavelli concerned about the principality of the state and the Prince’s role within the sovereign state. “Men worry less about doing an injury to one who makes himself loved than to one who makes himself feared. The bond of love is one which men, wretched creatures they are, break when it is to their advantage to do so; but fear is strengthened by a dread of punishment which is always effective” ( Prince, p 87). Within this quote, Machiavelli describes a man as self-centered and selfish in a way.
Within this republic, the prince needs to willingly deceive its citizens in order to win honor. He says that a citizen should have complete trust within the prince; therefore a prince should deceive himself in front of the citizens to show the public what they want. Machiavelli’s sole purpose was to help prince maintain his power for the good of its citizens. In the Discourses, his main interest is to preserve the liberty and independence of its citizens. He says that the prince is the foundation of the state. The prince has the ultimate power of veto and the only way to get rid of the prince is to kill him. From time to time, state needs constant transformation in the change of the transformation. Good laws are not enough to keep the survival of the republic. If the republic becomes corrupt, the prince can kill people for the good of the state, public trial and public execution. It is called truth and reconciliation trial.
Everyone who is responsible for the corruption agrees to their wrong and they are pardoned by the one in charge. We keep the prince occupied by sending him to campaign. The prince should always be studying the war or fighting the war. The prince is the ruler that must stay in power. He has a role in the founding of the republic in The Discourses. He must maintain the virtue in the city. He defines virtue as the way one accomplishes his goals. In his book, he has a fight against the prince. For Machiavelli, power characteristically defines political activity, and hence it is necessary for any successful ruler to know how power is to be used. He believes the same for a prince. He should know his duties for the country and how to carry out laws within the country. Machiavelli believes that individuals are brought to the world to obey and will the ruler be able to maintain the state in safety and security. Without exception the authority of states and their laws will never be acknowledged when they are not supported by a show of power which renders obedience inescapable.
The prince is the sole power of the state. He believes like the prince with the highest virtue is capable of authority. In his opinion, virtue is the most important aspect of authority. In the Discourses, Machiavelli describes his political personal beliefs of the republic. “In particular, across the two works, Machiavelli consistently and clearly distinguishes between a minimal and a full conception of ‘political’ or ‘civil’ order, and thus constructs a hierarchy of ends within his general account of communal life” (Machiavelli, 2008). A minimal civil order is one in which a strong government holds both the people and nobility and helps them live peacefully. He believes that a strong government is a key to a successful state and prince is the highest authority of the government. “As for the rest, for whom it is enough to live securely (vivere sicuro), they are easily satisfied by making orders and laws that, along with the power of the king, comprehend everyone’s security.
And once a prince does this, and the people see that he never breaks such laws, they will shortly begin to live securely (vivere sicuro) and contentedly,” (Machiavelli, 2008) Machiavelli says about the prince. According to Machiavelli, a law- abiding character like the prince comprehends a state’s security. With that said, a prince is always willing and ready to go to war in order to protect his state. Machiavelli loves France and always gives examples of France’s kingdom in his book. “The kingdom of France is moderated more by laws than any other kingdom of which at our time we have knowledge,” Machiavelli declares (Machiavelli, 2008). “In his view, whatever benefits may accrue to a state by denying a military’s role to the people is of less importance than the absence of liberty that necessarily accompanies such disarmament” (Machiavelli, 2008).
The prince is in charge of the military at all times and by this quote, it shows that a prince is always willing to go to war in times of hardship. The prince’s key role is to bring virtue to the state as discussed earlier. He cares the most about virtue in the book and talks about how the divine power should bring virtue within the state. He speaks more about the role of the prince in his book The Prince, instead of the Discourses. It is people’s duty to obey the prince and help him in times of war. He speaks much about the war in his book and his main goal is war. Machiavelli is assertive that citizens will always fight for their liberty and freedom against internal as well as external oppressors.
Indeed, this is precisely why the succeeding French monarchs left their people disarmed. They pursued to sustain public security and order. This security and order for them means the elimination of any opportunities for their subjects to their arms. “The French regime, because it seeks security above all else (for the people as well as for their rulers), cannot permit what Machiavelli takes to be a primary means of promoting liberty”(Machiavelli, 2008).
The portrayal of Machiavelli’s republic is one of a kind and related to reality. The politicians in today’s world have similar traits and act in a similar manner. A man, who stated his theory on the republic hundreds of years ago, still has people who agree with him. The ways government’s duties are defined by Machiavelli haven’t changed much since the years. The government is the same, the people’s attitudes are the same, and the only thing that has been changed is the time.
Machiavelli, Niccolo. The Prince and the Discourses. Toronto: Random House, Inc., 1950. Print. Nerdman, Cary. Niccolo Machiavelli. Stanford Encyclopedia. Stanford University. September 2008. Web. 6 December, 2012.
University/College: University of Chicago
Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter
Date: 1 October 2016
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