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Teachings of Machiavelli: Political Virtu or Economic Supremacy

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Teachings of Machiavelli: Political Virtu or Economic Supremacy

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Teachings of Machiavelli: Political Virtu or Economic Supremacy
In his famous text The Prince, Machiavelli introduces his thoughts on virtu to the political arena. Many today see Machiavelli as evil and sinister because he goes against certain Christian virtues by asserting that ruling with an iron fist is most effective. I contend that Machiavelli’s teachings are sound and legitimate, but not in the political sense. Rather, I would argue the ideals taught in The Prince are more effective from a business standpoint.

One of the key principles of the foundation of Machiavelli’s teachings is that the realm of politics needs to be in its own scene, its own arena. Throughout his teachings, Machiavelli does his best to separate political ideology and religion. He also comes to the understanding that politics is not ruled from above, but that the ultimate power of politics comes from men. In Machiavelli’s time, people were becoming entrenched with moral goodness while leaving behind ambition. Essentially, Machiavelli’s The Prince cries out for a separation of church and state. It is upon this foundation that Machiavelli establishes his arguments.

In this same context, we can assert that those who believe in free market ideology would agree with Machiavelli by comparing those desiring religious intervention to those who desire government regulation. Just as Machiavelli saw how religion could put restrictions on political gain, there are many that feel that government regulation of the economy also provides too many constraints. In the free market, power is earned by those who choose to put in the effort to acquire it, not those who are simply blessed or to whom power is given. During certain times of economic downturn or disappointment, there are always those who want to the government to step in, regulate and appropriate wherever they see fit. Machiavelli would throw a fit if the state religion stepped in and declared that God would decide who would govern in...