The Prince

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The Prince


Just like any other leader, the Prince argues that there is a certain approach of ruling which must be used in order to maintain some sense of order. In Machiavelli’s work there are some aspects which are currently useful to our leaders. Unlike other famous leaders Machiavelli takes a different direction of making conclusions simply because most of the things which human beings don’t put emphasis on are the one he uses to make the final judgments. The essay discuses the issue of cruelty well used and when it is abused. In a common way cruelty has never been used in gaining power either peacefully or in war. According to Machiavelli when one uses cruelty in the right way, there is a probability of one achieving the desired results, (Niccolò, 1996).Although there is need to use some aspect of harshness so as to go into powers, Machiavelli says that there is need to distinguish the two aspects of cruelty.

According to the author cruelty well used is when some actions of cruelty and harassment are being used knowing that they affect the intended area but later will yield good things. Most rulers fail to understand how cruelty should be used accordingly so as to achieve power from those in power. On the other hand, cruelty abused is the act whereby in the long run the consequences of the actions of the leader do not yield any benefits, (Niccolò, 1996).Actually the actions of the Prince do fit into one of the above categories of cruelty. His actions can be placed under the cruelty well used although the approach which is used can not bring clear distinction. According to Machiavelli, “Rulers,’ he declares, “should delegate responsibility for unpopular actions, while taking personal responsibility for those that will win favor” (pp, 43). The reason behind his words is to use the possible means to gain power of which the actions will result to some useful aspects there after.

By the use of cruelty well used, any leader according to Machiavelli’s word to Prince is that although the short run activities are tough, the end results should bring the state at a better position than before, (Niccolò, 1996).The author says, “there is nothing harder to undertake, nothing more likely of failure, nothing more risky to pull off, than to set oneself up as a leader who plans to found a new system of government” (18). His skills help him to decide on which grounds he is supposed to use in order to gain power. Seeking advices from past leaders, the prince gets into a position whereby making decision was much easier. Being a good leader one must possess some qualities which helps him in making wise decision. Looking at the example of the fox and the lion, the author brings out clearly why a good leader must work sometimes in a cruel manner, (Niccolò, 1996).Although many may say that cruelty does not bring better end results, at times it is worth to use such actions. Cruelty either well used or being abused do affect the targeted group although like the prince when it is though that it will yield better results, it is wise to use it.  


Niccolò, M (1996). “The Prince.” Modern Political Thought: Readings from Machiavelli    to Nietzsche. Indianapolis: Hackett Publishing Company, Inc


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