Lyndon B. Johnson and Opinion Machiavelli

Topics: Vietnam War, Lyndon B. Johnson, Ruler Pages: 2 (605 words) Published: April 25, 2007
Our fourth assignment forces us to examine Machiavelli's theory of man and beast. He chooses two distinct animals that should represent the ideal prince, which are the fox and the lion. Machiavelli draws his conclusion from the teachings of ancient Greece, more specifically Achilles and Chiron. Achilles was sent to Chiron who was half man and half beast to be trained to become a great warrior. "To have as a teacher a half-beast, half-man means nothing other than that a prince needs to know how to use both natures" (Mansfield 69). Machiavelli proposed this to illustrate that a warrior should be taught in the aggressive conduct of men and animals equally. Machiavelli alleged that a prince should undoubtedly obtain the characteristics of both the fox and the lion; one property has proved to be inadequate without the other. A fox has to the ability to recognize traps but he is unable to ward off attackers; a lion holds the power to defend itself against attackers but he is unable to identify traps. Machiavelli later categorizes the methods of fighting into law and force; with law being associated with the leaders' human component and force directly related to the animal within. Machiavelli stresses the importance of having the ability to use both parts of the dichotomy equally. "Therefore it is necessary for a prince to know well how to use the beast and the man" (Mansfield 69). A smart prince should know when to break his word if by doing this it serves his best interest. "A prudent lord, therefore, cannot observe faith, nor should he, when such observance turns against him, and the causes that made him promise have been eliminated" (Mansfield 69). It has been proven in history time after time that rulers who utilize deception greatly triumphed over those who stood by their initial promises. In my opinion Machiavelli's argument forces us to ask ourselves; is it better to be loved than feared or vice versa? Machiavelli leads readers to...
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