Could the advice given in The Prince by Machiavelli be practical to leaders nearly five hundred years later? One of the most notable current European leaders is President Vladimir Putin of Russia. Putin’s use of Machiavelli’s principles has brought him immense success as a Russian politician concluding that Machiavelli’s advice to leaders applies considerably even in present time. Putin displays numerous characteristics of a Machiavellian ruler including his affirmative character and personality, effective use of military and law enforcement, and respect from the citizens of Russia. The title of president gives Putin a high sense of duty motivating actions which are executed for the explicit purpose of benefitting the nation as a whole, one of many personal characteristics Machiavelli finds effective. Putin’s character and personality are definitely not those of a dictator. But he is a perfectionist and a controller. “Men in general judge more by the sense of sight than by the sense of touch, because everyone can see but few can test by feeling.” One of Putin’s well-known attributes is his stand- out masculinity. Putin often displays a very tough guy image to the media encouraging an active Russian lifestyle. Putin also holds a 6th degree in Judo and Kyokushin kaikan karate while also holding “master of sports” in Russian Sambo. “Everyone sees what you appear to be, few experience what you really are.” Machiavelli makes it known to show your subjects your virtues while displaying unpopular characteristics within privacy. Putin is also known for his wariness and suspects everyone's motives. “Men are so happily absorbed in their own affairs and indulge in such self-deception that it is difficult for them not to fall victim to this plague; and some efforts to protect oneself from flatterers involve the risk of becoming despised.” Machiavelli’s advice applies even today that advice should be constantly probed and only taken when requested....
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