Niccolo Machiavelli (Machiavellian) and the Prince Book

Niccolo Machiavelli (Machiavellian) and the Prince Book

June 27, 2021 Off By Felso

The Principe (The Prince) is a scholarly treatise on politics written by Florentine writer Niccolo Machiavelli. Its original name is “De Principatibus” (About the Principalities), although it was written in 1513, it was not published until 1532, 5 years after Machiavelli’s death. Although it was not published during his lifetime, it is considered Machiavelli’s best-known work and forms the basis of the later term “Machiavellian thought”.

SUMMARY OF THE PRINCE

The views described in The Prince may seem extreme to the reader, but due to the fact that the work was written during the turmoil in Florence, Machiavelli thinks that only a determined ruler with absolute power can overcome all problems.

The views expressed in The Prince are usually about how a monarch can sustain and strengthen his reign. Moral principles, according to Machiavelli, must surrender completely to the needs of each particular situation. Therefore, the Prince should not hesitate to do whatever it takes to maintain his power. While Machiavelli says that a ruler should derive his real power from frightening rather than being loved, he still advises him not to make himself hated.

In the opening chapter, the Prince describes effective methods of governing the various principalities (newly established or inherited). Machiavelli, a Florentine aristocracy, tells the reader the best ways to conquer, rule, and protect a state. In this respect, methods suggest war and ruthlessness.

He then describes the characteristics of the ideal prince, inspired by Cesare Borgia. Many of the modern leadership texts written today refer to this section.

The characteristics of an effective political leader can be listed as follows:

Be willing to imitate great leaders. Especially from Ancient Rome.
To show how necessary the government is to improve the quality of life of the people. For example: Demonstrating the effects of the chaos that will result from the temporary relaxation of controlled pressure on any individual or institution.
Mastering the art of war.
Understanding that existing cruelty and immorality may be necessary to maintain strength and balance.
Trying to look religious so as not to be considered rude and immoral. Machiavelli praises the Spanish king Ferdinand’s attack on Italy on the pretext of religion.
Being virtuous enough to listen to counsel and advice where needed.
It seems that Machiavelli did not care much for the connection between ethics and politics, which drew backlash from his contemporaries. The prince should try to appear merciful, reliable, understanding, honest and reliable. But in fact, the Prince’s might should barely allow him to be truly merciful.

The last chapters express concern about the state of Italy at the time (such as promoting the liberation of Italy from the barbarians..)

Introduction and Contents of the Prince Book

The Prince is considered the most impressive book ever written on politics. His observations about the state of humanity made five hundred years ago can be considered valid today as well. He wrote this book for the Medici Family to gain power and keep it. Although today the word “Prince” connotes a majestic man loved by his people, Machiavellian princes are not romantic in this sense and are constantly fighting to maintain their power. Many of the methods described in The Prince seem to be applied today as well as in his time.

Principalities and Kingdoms

To begin with, Machiavelli says that all existing states and administrations are ruled by either a Principality or a Republic. In The Prince he dealt only with the subject of the Principality, and examined the Republic part in one of his other works (Discourses). He says that the first type of Principalities are already existing and inherited from father to son, and the second type are those that are newly established or have grown into a Mixed state.

Principalities Inherited from Father to Son

A principality is a state acquired by wealth or power, whose ruler is a prince. Of all the principality types, principalities that have been passed from father to son for many years are the easiest to rule, as they have a family success in the past. In hereditary principalities, people will automatically be subordinate to the prince, because he represents a lineage from the past, and people are accustomed to his surname, so the people will naturally incline towards him. If an outside force threatens, power can easily rebound because people have a common history with the ruling family.

Is It Better To Be Loved Or To Be Feared?

The author’s idea in his book is to be a ruler who is “feared” but not hated. The subject that he gives detailed explanations with historical examples is definitely a subject that needs time to be spent.

“..and people can hardly risk hurting someone who is feared more than someone who makes them love them…”

Prince’s Fame

The Prince is a book that guides the world. from Italian executives