Machiavelli's "The Prince"

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Machiavelli made many important statements in his work, The Prince. One of the most controversial is: “A man who wishes to make a vocation of being good at all times will come to ruin among so many who are not good.” (Par. 7). There is some truth to that statement because when we take it to our perspective, it seems as if people that do not do good, always manage to obtain what they want.

There is a well-known saying that says “nice guys finish last”. This saying is somewhat equivalent to a modern version of Machiavelli's statement. What Machiavelli is attempting to say is that there are so many people who do not do good, that when there is one person that tries to do good that person will most likely not succeed. This is due to everybody else will maybe try to take advantage of that person. When taking about generosity and miserliness, Machiavelli says that generosity “will not be recognized and you will not avoid the reproach of its opposite.” (Par. 9). This means that people will take you for granted when you are generous. When you stop giving, people will notice and they will disapprove of you. It is the sad reality that people face today. Whenever someone is nice all the time and always there for anyone who needs help, although that person might be thanked for it, they are not actually taken into consideration. However, if for a particular reason that person is not able to lend their help, people might receive that the wrong way and they will remember that displeasing time more than the other times when they received help.

Not a single line from this work of Machiavelli does it suggest that a successful prince must be nice or be loved by the people. People do not necessarily look for a moral role model as their leader, but rather one that can maintain order and protect them. He says that the only thing to abstain from is to be hated. As long as they are supplied with the basic necessities, people will be content, therefore it is not necessary to be...
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