Machiavelli’s views on human nature are unjust; nevertheless, his philosophy, or rather instructions, is reasonable in capturing the selfishness of men. As written in The Qualities of the Prince by Machiavelli, “Men are ungrateful, fickle, simulators and deceivers, avoiders of danger, greedy for gain; and while you work for their good they are completely yours, offering you their blood, their property, their lives, and their sons… when danger is far away; but when it comes nearer to you they turn away.” Machiavelli’s generalization demonstrates his low opinion on the nature of men because he views them as selfish and lacking in both loyalty and honesty.
Machiavelli’s general opinion that men are selfish contains an underlying truth to the human nature. Inside every human being, there is a sense of selfishness that lay dormant until given cause to awake. It is a truth that many will not be willing to admit or acknowledge. Many will even say that there are people who are or were selfless in their actions. Yes, there are, but when the situation comes, normally no one can take away their selfishness to still act like “saints” when they cannot even save themselves.
Selfishness is an ugly trait among people; however, disloyalty is probably the most offensive trait found in human nature. Machiavelli’s says, “when it comes nearer to you they turn away”, which clearly establishes where a person’ true loyalty stands. Loyalty is more consistent to oneself rather than to others. Past events in history supports Machiavelli’s opinion with Julius Caesar and Brutus as an example. Brutus’s loyalty to his most trusted friend, Caesar, went astray when a problem arose among his Roman peers, and the betrayal was committed against Caesar which resulted in death. A lesson worth learning from this example is that a person’s loyalty can never be trusted unless it is...
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