Machiavelli: Fear

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According to Nicolo Machiavelli, fear should play a very significant role when it comes to the world of politics because it is the central driving vehicle to success as well as power, control, and reliability; it is because of fear that societies agree to justice and security. He believed that fear was an essential aspect to politics because of its relation to love, control, and hatred. When taking in Machiavelli’s perceptions of both the concepts of fear and love, it is clear that fear takes precedence over love in his opinion. This is shown in his book, The Prince, when he wrote “since love and fear can hardly exist together, if we must choose between them, it is far safer to be feared than loved” (The Prince, 1994). Essentially Machiavelli is stating that although it is desired by many to be both feared and loved, it is very difficult to be both feared and loved by everyone, and that fear is more reliable since one of them must be lacking in some aspect (The Prince, 1994). In addition, Machiavelli argued that a Prince himself should not show fear, since it would weaken his appearance and/or his reputation which, according to Machiavelli, should be carefully monitored (The Prince, 1994). Machiavelli also argued that fear keeps the people of a society in line; it “preserves you by a dread of punishment which never fails” (The Prince, 1994). Furthermore, Machiavelli believed fear to be an instrument that can provide a prince with great power because of its reliability and stability. In addition, Machiavelli argued that a person should only trust the things that he or she can control. That being said, a person cannot be forced or commanded to love another person. Therefore, a ruler should only rely on things he or she can control. This is because fear is a necessary means to being respected as a leader, and it is the responsibility of a leader to have control over his or her society; fear leads to obedience, a key aspect to having control over a society (The...
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