Political Theories

Topics: Political philosophy, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Social contract Pages: 7 (2185 words) Published: February 20, 2013
olitical throries
Machiavelli emphasized the need for realism, as opposed to idealism. In The Prince he does not explain what he thinks the best ethical or political goals are, except the control of one's own fortune, as opposed to waiting to see what chance brings. Machiavelli took it for granted that would-be leaders naturally aim at glory or honor. He associated these goals with a need for "virtue" and "prudence" in a leader, and saw such virtues as essential to good politics and indeed the common good. That great men should develop and use their virtue and prudence was a traditional theme of advice to Christian princes.[16] And that more virtue meant less reliance on chance was a classically influenced "humanist commonplace" in Machiavelli's time, as Fischer (2000:75) says, even if it was somewhat controversial. However, Machiavelli went far beyond other authors in his time, who in his opinion left things to fortune, and therefore to bad rulers, because of their Christian beliefs. He used the words "virtue" and "prudence" to refer to glory-seeking and spirited excellence of character, in strong contrast to the traditional Christian uses of those terms, but more keeping with the original pre-Christian Greek and Roman concepts from which they derived.[17] He encouraged ambition and risk taking. So in another break with tradition, he treated not only stability, but also radical innovation, as possible aims of a prince in a political community. Managing major reforms can show off a Prince's virtue and give him glory. He clearly felt Italy needed major reform in his time, and this opinion of his time is widely shared.[18]

Machiavelli's descriptions encourage leaders to attempt to control their fortune gloriously, to the extreme extent that some situations may call for a fresh "founding" (or re-founding) of the "modes and orders" that define a community, despite the danger and necessary evil and lawlessness of such a project. Founding a wholly new state, or even a new religion, using injustice and immorality has even been called the chief theme of the Prince.[19] For a political theorist to do this in public was one of Machiavelli's clearest breaks not just with medieval scholasticism, but with the classical tradition of political philosophy, especially the favorite philosopher of Catholicism at the time, Aristotle. This is one of Machiavelli's most lasting influences upon modernity.

MACHIAVELLI‟S THEORY OF POLITICAL POWER State is highest form of human association. It is indispensable for the promotion of human welfare. State is to be worshipped even by sacrificing the individual for the interest of the state. A ruler must remember that whatever brings success is due to power. For acquiring political power he can use any type of means. Political statesman plays important role in organizing state, and providing it with safety and security. Hence the major theme of the „Prince‟ is the process of acquiring power. Modern power politics cannot be thought of without any reference to Machiavelli and his book „The Prince`.

Thomas Hobbes

Thomas Hobbes was born at Westport, now part of Malmesbury in Wiltshire, England, on 5 April 1588.[5] Born prematurely when his mother heard of the coming invasion of the Spanish Armada, Hobbes later reported that "my mother gave birth to twins: myself and fear."[5] His childhood is almost a complete blank, and his mother's name is unknown.[6] His father, also named Thomas, was the vicar of Charlton and Westport.

Leviathan Summary

Hobbes' Leviathan is divided into four parts: 1) of man, 2) of commonwealth, 3) of a Christian commonwealth, and 4) of the Kingdom of Darkness. His overall project is to explain by what reasons a commonwealth may govern men, and then to establish the best possible way for this government to function in order to accommodate the desires of its denizens.

Part One begins naturally with man, for Hobbes believes that the commonwealth is nothing but...
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