Machiavellian's Approach

Topics: Barack Obama, Political philosophy, Niccolò Machiavelli Pages: 3 (969 words) Published: October 17, 2010
Machiavelli is 16th century Italian philosopher who have presented an outstanding Dictator’s Guide in his political treatise called “The Prince”. Some of the things Machiavelli believed a ruler must posess include be feared than to be loved, be quick on making decisions and be decisive, do anything to maintain power and believe that the means are justified by the aim. Many rulers in the world still are following these sort of principles, these governments are mostly based on terror and injustice and they are known as monarchs and dictators. But is Machiavelli's advice to the prince useful to the modern politician?

My feelings on this issue are mixed. I personally categorize the ideal prince qualities according to Machiavelli as extremely immoral, one capable of not feeling guilty, and not caring about what it takes to get what it wants. Though modern politicians do require Machiavelli’s ideal ruler qualities to maintain their power, Great people in past like Mahatma Gandhi and Lao have used anti-Machiavellian approach successfully to rule their men. It is also currently followed by Barack Obama with a good success rate till date.

Machiavelli and Lao-tzu are political philosophers of 2 different times having totally different perspective on how to be a good leader. Lao Tzu believed in individualistic and carefree approach of running a government. And he also believed that a ruler will be respected and followed if he does not act powerfully and force rules and issues. According to him a leader must be loved and not feared in order to be respected. He viewed patience, simplicity and compassions as "the greatest treasures" and according to him if one had all the three qualities, he could be a better person. While according to Machiavelli prince should be more practical than moral and “must not have any other object nor any other thought, nor must he take anything as his profession but war, its institution, and its discipline” (Machiavelli. p39). Thus...
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