Machiavelli: The Prince

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Throughout my reading of Machiavelli, a particular selection struck me as very interesting. This comes from Chapter 17 when Machiavelli states, “Here a question arises: whether it is better to be loved than feared, or the reverse. The answer is, of course, that it would be best to be both loved and feared. But since the two rarely come together, anyone compelled to choose will find greater security in being feared than in being loved. . . . Love endures by a bond, which men, being scoundrels, may break whenever it serves their advantage to do so; but fear is supported by the dread of pain, which is ever present (Machiavelli 54). I believe this is an interesting question that would be a good topic for debate. Regarding this question, I side with Machiavelli on his reasoning that it is more beneficial to be feared then loved with regards to obedience. Examples of this principle can be seen in our world today. Laws demonstrate this very well. Laws are present to keep society in order, and with disobedience comes penalties. These penalties are what make people obey the law. Without penalties, or using the term pain in an exaggerated sense, most people would continue to break the law being aware that there are no consequences. Fear is what fuels laws to be effective.

Another example that illustrates the question of fear or love can be applied to education. Throughout your school life you strive to do well and achieve good grades. You do this because you want to be successful later on in life and attain a good job. The fear of not being able to be accepted into a recognized university or having a good profession is what keeps you studying and paying attention in class. If your hard work did not pay off or there were no consequences to failing exams I honestly believe the majority of students would not attempt to do well in school.
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