Preview

Machiavelli's View On Human Nature Analysis

Better Essays
Open Document
Open Document
1869 Words
Grammar
Grammar
Plagiarism
Plagiarism
Writing
Writing
Score
Score
Machiavelli's View On Human Nature Analysis
Human nature has been the discussion of many of philosophical works. There are some who believe human beings are inherently bad, individualistic and greedy. There are those who believe humans are inherently good and seek the best possible outcomes for society as a whole. Upon reading Niccolò Machiavelli’s The Prince, Karl Marx’s The Communist Manifesto, and John Locke’s Second Treatise of Government the audience may begin to understand how those ideas of human nature can have an effect on an individual’s political ideology. Machiavelli, Marx, and Locke all expressed in their works how they viewed human nature and gave historical background and evidence of how their opinions of human nature directly affected their political ideology and how …show more content…
The Prince was written by Niccolò Machiavelli while he was in exile. In his efforts to return to politics, Machiavelli wrote the Prince in order to exert the true nature of a successful leader, and once again be in the good graces of the Medici’s who were rising to power in Italy. The Prince reveals what Machiavelli views to be a successful leader. The Prince also reveals how Machiavelli views the nature of humans and how that effects how a dictator/leader should rule. Machiavelli believes human beings are selfish, greedy, easily manipulated, and incapable of self-governing as it often ends in their own demise. “[F]or men change their rulers willingly, hoping to better themselves, and this hope induces them to take up arms against him who rules: wherein they are deceived, because they afterwards find by experience they have gone from bad to worse” (Machiavelli 201). Human selfishness inhibits the individual’s ability to make rational long-term decisions thus deeming them incapable of self-governing. If given the people the right to make their own decisions, their greed ill cloud their judgment and cause them to make decisions that may not be in their best interest. If the society is not capable of self-governing they will need a strong leader and Machiavelli has the recipe for the perfect …show more content…
Marx and Engels wrote the Communist Manifesto to explain the history of class struggles in Europe and how communism was the ultimate form of government meant to bring equality to society and end the oppressive rule of the rising Bourgeoisie class. For Marx, humans are rational beings. But in a bourgeoisie capitalist dominated society, reality has become distorted and diminished a once functioning society. Industrialization has created a society of working class citizens who are manipulated, easily exploited, and oppressed for monetary gains. This is counterintuitive for the advancement of society and a successful government and brings about struggles of class. Therefore Marx argues the working class should be in control of government, because they are the ones ho keep the bourgeoisie rich and the economy running. “Formation of the proletariat into a class, overthrow of the bourgeois supremacy, conquest of political power by the proletariat” (Marx 14). Marx argues the average working class citizens are capable of governing the land and distributing wealth evenly amongst the people. Writing is simply not enough he calls for revolution in order to restore peace and end the impoverishment of many

You May Also Find These Documents Helpful

  • Good Essays

    Machiavelli believes that a government should be very structured, controlled, and powerful. He makes it known that the only priorities of a prince are war, the institutions, and discipline. His writings describes how it is more important for a prince to be practical than moral. This is shown where he writes, "in order to maintain the state he is often obliged to act against his promise, against charity, against humanity, and against religion" (47). In addition, Machiavelli argues that a prince may have to be cunning and deceitful in order to maintain political power. He takes the stance that it is better for the prince to be feared than loved. His view of how a government should run and his unethical conduct are both early signs of dictatorship.…

    • 514 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    The understanding of human nature and the effects it has on the individual and society has been a serious topic in the philosophical world. Nicolo Machiavelli and Thomas Hobbes were well known for their crucial roles in forming the foundation of political philosophy. While reading through Machiavelli’s The Prince and Hobbes’ Leviathan, both introduced a common focus on political theory even though living approximately 100 years apart. While learning about these two philosophers and their proposed theories, I noticed an innate relationship in the discussion of society’s human nature. Machiavelli ([1532] 2006) in The Prince theorizes the qualities that a dominant leader should have to gain and maintain power.…

    • 292 Words
    • 2 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Satisfactory Essays

    The Prince

    • 436 Words
    • 2 Pages

    Machiavelli wrote The Prince because he wanted Lorenzo de’ Medici, who was the current ruler, to be impressed by him and show him that he was intelligent and a useful advisor to him. Machiavelli also wrote it for Princes to read and comprehend how to be successful in power.…

    • 436 Words
    • 2 Pages
    Satisfactory Essays
  • Good Essays

    which will not be difficult, for all they ask is not to be oppressed… all else seek to win the populace over to his side. Which will be easy to do if he protects their interests” (Machiavelli 32). This an important point that every ruler should have into account if they want to have a loyal populace, it is in some way logical and realist: if a ruler stays in good terms with his people, then they will follow him; if this person is not on the side of the people, then why should the people should him?…

    • 497 Words
    • 2 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    The Best Paper Evvver

    • 1893 Words
    • 8 Pages

    Machiavelli wrote The Prince because he wanted to impress Lorenzo de Medici, who was the current ruler, and prove that he was knowledgeable and a useful advisor to him. He also wrote it as a mirror for Princes to read and understand how to be effective in power.…

    • 1893 Words
    • 8 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    Machiavelli asserts, “... of men generally; they are ungrateful, fickle, feigners and dissemblers, avoiders of danger, eager for gain” and that men are “treacherous and would not keep their promises to you.” Do you agree with his assessment of people? Explain.…

    • 465 Words
    • 2 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Powerful Essays

    The Prince was written in the 1500’s by Niccolo Machiavelli, whom name became a synonym for crafty plotting. As noted, it is a political and social document, as relevant today as when it first appeared. Machiavelli’s work became thought of as a blueprint for dictators instead of a guide for efficient democratic government. The Prince does not give us all of Machiavelli’s political thinking; however, he devised this reading for the man who seeks power. It treated the most severe problem of Italy, its inferiority in political organization and military strength to nearby states like Spain and France and was addressed to princes like the Lorenzo “The Magnificent” Medici, to whom it was dedicated. As difficult as it was to read, I did not find…

    • 1617 Words
    • 7 Pages
    Powerful Essays
  • Good Essays

    Machiavelli: a Cynic?

    • 660 Words
    • 3 Pages

    Many writings argue that human kind is born capable of evil things or that they are born either good or evil. Machiavelli argues simply that man is self-centered and only after self preservation. He argues that mankind is immoral and greedy. His opinions are apparent as he states, "It may be said of men in general that they are ungrateful, voluble, dissemblers, anxious to avoid danger, and covetous of gain," in the eighteenth paragraph of The Prince. These thoughts and views have gained him the title of a cynic. More than a cynic however, Machiavelli is but a realist.…

    • 660 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    Rousseau vs. Machiavelli

    • 456 Words
    • 2 Pages

    Machiavelli and Rousseau, both significant philosophers, had distinctive views on human nature and the relationship between the government and the governed. Their ideas were radical at the time and remain influential in government today. Their views on human nature and government had some common points and some ideas that differed.…

    • 456 Words
    • 2 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Better Essays

    Machiavelli 's "The Prince" is a highly unique manuscript that outlines Machiavelli 's views on effective leadership. This piece was meant to serve as a guide for what characteristics the ideal prince should possess. Machiavelli never stated who the actually "Prince" is but rather gives advice and examples on how someone would become the perfect ruler. The Prince was written in the early 1500s where "Popes were leading armies, and wealthy city-states of Italy were falling one after another into the hands of foreign power" (Wikipedia). It was a time of shifting alliances, politics, and the mentality of a larger army size would equate to a stronger country. We can observe with the drastic lives they lived, Machiavelli was partly influenced by his lifestyle. As an individual Machiavelli was naturally cynical about the human race and that profoundly influenced his work.…

    • 1103 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Better Essays
  • Better Essays

    The Prince tells readers how to use power correctly; it also tells readers how to sustain the kingdom’s power and prevent the kingdom’s decay. More specifically, Machiavelli tells readers that what kind of personality and morality a successful prince should have. The Prince…

    • 1760 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Better Essays
  • Good Essays

    Reflection on Machiavelli

    • 905 Words
    • 4 Pages

    The Prince was written to emphasize his thoughts that Italy was on the edge to its pitfall, and leadership and unity was needed to take and maintain control. The Prince is a type of guidance for ruling, and was especially written to help Lorenzo de' Medici stay in power. It stresses on managing public affairs and war craft, favor and hatred, free choice, goodness, and human nature followed politically.…

    • 905 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Better Essays

    During Machiavelli’s time, society was much different than it had been for previous philosophers. Instead of storing up good works, so as to enjoy paradise, as the medieval man did, the Renaissance man was interested in all things, enjoyed life, strove for worldly acclaim and wealth, and had a deep interest in classical civilizations. He was born at a time of conflict within Florence, Italy, between the republican leaders and the family of the Medici’s, of which the Machiavelli’s, especially, had a history of opposition towards. After years of conflict between powers, Machiavelli was exiled from his country.…

    • 1567 Words
    • 7 Pages
    Better Essays
  • Good Essays

    The Prince is said to be a classic of the early Renaissance period that addresses politics of Machiavelli's time. Even though Machiavelli's approach is controversial, but it also very plausible when applied to modern politics or situation. Machiavelli meant for this to be a guidebook for future leaders based off of past leaderships. For example, the section about Cesare Borgia addresses how resilience is a good quality for a leader to keep power. Borgia was not able to keep power because he relied heavily on his father, Pope Alexander VI. Other than that, this story focuses a lot on the idea of morals and ethics. People based all of their decisions on morals and ethics. A reason that may or may not be accurate is that classical literature would sometimes influence public figures. In that case, something like the Prince is ideal for leaders who want to know how to keep power and be feared while in the best interest of his…

    • 570 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Satisfactory Essays

    Machiavelli’s The Prince was written as a response to the disunity of the Italian state system. The Prince can be read as a satire of the corruption of the Papacy in order to reveal all of the problems of the ruling class. Concurrently, The Prince can also be read as an earnest attempt to help reunify Italy under the Medici family of Florence. Considering the circumstances, The Prince should be read as a satire just for the underlying reason of why it was written. Machiavelli had a hidden agenda; he was selfish. Machiavelli was exiled from his country and wanted to try to get back into politics by helping Lorenzo de’ Medici. Machiavelli constantly preaches how one must live for ones self because men are inherently evil. He wrote The Prince…

    • 268 Words
    • 2 Pages
    Satisfactory Essays