Democracy and Machiavelli

Only available on StudyMode
  • Download(s) : 348
  • Published : November 13, 2006
Open Document
Text Preview
In Machiavelli's The Prince, hints of future democratic theories can be pulled out of Machiavelli's plan for the success of a prince of a state. Within Machiavelli's concentration of plotting out successful achievement of a stabilized state within a principality, he often reveals the importance of the satisfaction the people within the governing walls of that principality. One of the themes to Machiavelli's plan included the dismissal of the affection of virtue of the nobility as well as the significance of an honest people. Even though Machiavelli may have had other motivation for the writing of "The Prince", Machiavelli states that a prince would be praiseworthy by many if he could achieve the fifteen virtues and vices that Machiavelli lists off in chapter fifteen. After, however, he writes, "But because he cannot have them, nor wholly, observe them, since human, conditions do not permit it, it is necessary for him to be so prudent as to know how to avoid the infamy of those vices that would take his state from and to be on guard against those that do not, if that is possible; but if one cannot, one can let them go on with less hesitation."( pg. 62, lines 9-15) Machiavelli writes that it is important for a prince to recognize virtu and act virtuously but not attempt to carry all those qualities as it would be inhuman for one to do. Machiavelli makes a case to point out that as a prince, you cannot count on the virtue of people to get things done. A prince must rely on self interest, not on virtu and patriotism.

Democracy is a theory of a way to govern that is the summation of many different ideas. I view Machiavelli as a democratic thinker based off of ideas that stem away from his writings in the "The Prince". It is not that Machiavelli directly speaks words of democracy but that in his strategy for an established and secure state in a principality, he outlines several important thoughts that turn out to be recognized today as facets to...
tracking img