Machiavelli: should the ruler always keep his word? [Name] [Date] Introduction Too many works have been devoted to exploration of an outstanding phenomenon of Machiavelli, but too many unresolved questions remained…This research paper is focused on Machiavelli’s considerations about the relevance of the ruler in keeping his word…
He did everything in another way; he tried to describe the essence of power from a quite different perspective. He revealed the secrets of rulers and their essence and he managed to open the eyes of several generations on their Princes, who promote their own interests and selfish concerns, but do not think about their people at all. A word of a ruler by Machiavelli It is evident that everyone was enchanted by his words, because he impresses the readers by impudent strategies and tactics of gaining power. For example, in the Chapter 8 from The Prince he claims: “One ought not, of course, to call it virtu to massacre one’s fellow citizens, to betray one’s friends, to break one’s word, to be without mercy and without religion. By such means one can acquire power but not glory” (Prince online). Unfortunately, very many politicians in the modern world are not afraid of following this claim and do not think about glory, but only about power gaining. Machiavelli developed his theory on the basis of his exaggerated feeling of patriotism, impatience to papacy and personal emotional and psychological sufferings. Chapter 18 from The Prince deals with the issue of the rulers’ ability to keep their word. A personality of a ruler is rather challenging for Machiavelli and he claims that a future ruler was brought up in controversial conditions and he does not know what mode of behavior to choose: "What [classical writers] intended to convey, with this story of rulers’ being educated by someone who was half beast and half man, was that it is necessary for a ruler to know when to act like an animal and when like a man; and if he relies on just one or the other mode of behavior he cannot hope to survive" (Prince online). He tries to use his beasty features and copies modes of behavior from the world of animals, because a lion is very strong, but he cannot avoid traps. A fox is not rather strong, but can avoid traps. A wise ruler should not choose one mode of behavior and should not apply equal ways of behavior, because it will lead to numerous disadvantages. All men are wicked and a ruler does not need to keep faith with them. The most valuable knowledge for a ruler is “to know how to conceal how crafty one is, to know how to be a clever counterfeit and hypocrite” (Prince online). A ruler should be rather flexible person. He may act in a right or in a wrong way. He must not be scared off by different modes of behavior, but he should choose the most appropriate type of behavior for every particular situation. People see the ruler from the side they want to see. The real essence is evident for people through external appearances and potential outcomes. There is no wonder that the rulers in the ancient time dressed like common people and walked among them in order to listen what the subordinates think about their master. Only outcome always matters. This is a twofold claim. It can be applied for wars, when the winning nation celebrates their victory, but the whole process of war, human losses and hardships of civilians is often forgotten. Machiavelli is focused on self-benefit. A personal gain of a ruler is more important than honor and trust of the nation. The rulers are self-confident and wise and to ...
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