Still, a prince should not be too rash or too fearful. However, when a prince commands an army, he must be cruel in order to control his troops. Indeed, I would go so far as to say that having them all and always conforming to them would be harmful, while appearing to have them would be useful. Dick Morris, in The New Prince, argues that the modern choice is between being aggressive and being conciliatory. See Liberality, or generosity, is a quality that many men admire.
Welcome to the pages of Maarten Maartensz. Therefore a prince, so long as he keeps his subjects united and loyal, ought not to mind the reproach of cruelty; because with a few examples he will be more merciful than those who, through too much mercy, allow disorders to arise, from which follow murders or robberies; for these are wont to injure the whole people, whilst those executions which originate with a prince offend the individual only. Everyone wants to live in a safe, clean community, but not everyone feels they are responsible for keeping it that way. But everyone is not so lucky. You can afford having a reputation for a little cruelty and meanness if it keeps people secure and the streets safe. Here are my comments: ad 1: Of course, in as much as a good reputation helps a prince more than a bad one. We want photographs and news stories to capture us helping people, serving the community, reaching out, smiling as we hand over the cheque to the local charity.
You should visit and update your internet browser today! You wrong these and the victim will never, ever forget you. In order to possess true prowess, a prince must absorb the lessons of the fox and the lion, combining cunning and force to overcome any number of challenges. For a prince, well-used cruelty is an act of compassion while undiscerning leniency is an act of cruelty. But, he said, expedient methods — cruelty and violence included — could be justifiable if there were clear and measurable benefits from those acts. A prince must be willing to take cruel measures if it benefits the state. People admire good leaders, but they respect and obey strong ones. Although Hannibal's army consisted of men of various races, they were never rebellious because they feared their leader.
Well, you guessed it: compassion isn't really conducive to the sort of warlike ruler Machiavelli advocates and might actually destroy a nation. Insomuch that someone in the Senate, wishing to excuse him, said there were many men who knew much better how not to err than to correct the errors of others. But above all things he must keep his hands off the property of others, because men more quickly forget the death of their father than the loss of their patrimony. Instead, he must be cruel only when necessary to avoid greater wrongs. Nevertheless he ought to be slow to believe and to act, nor should he himself show fear, but proceed in a temperate manner with prudence and humanity, so that too much confidence may not make him incautious and too much distrust render him intolerable. Such vices are truly evil if they endanger the state, but when vices are employed in the proper interests of the state, a prince must not be influenced by condemnation from other men.
The complete work including all pages and posts, are copyright © 2013 by the author, all rights reserved. And with property you can add honour, reputation and face as something people value more than family. This section contains 595 words approx. Surrounded by people like these, a prince is indeed safer if he can control them by fear, because love is so fleeting and unreliable. That it is true his other virtues would not have been sufficient for him may be proved by the case of Scipio, that most excellent man, not only of his own times but within the memory of man, against whom, nevertheless, his army rebelled in Spain; this arose from nothing but his too great forbearance, which gave his soldiers more license than is consistent with military discipline. Rulers sometimes have to get their hands dirty when running the state.
People always want more generosity, but since they never want more discipline, a little is all it takes to avoid chaos and restore order. Among the wonderful deeds of Hannibal this one is enumerated: that having led an enormous army, composed of many various races of men, to fight in foreign lands, no dissensions arose either among them or against the prince, whether in his bad or in his good fortune. Men have less scruple in offending one who they love than one who they fear, for love is preserved by the link of obligation which, owing to the baseness of men, is broken at every opportunity when their self-interest intervenes; but fear preserves you because a dread of punishment never wanes. The Prince Chapter 17 Concerning cruelty: whether it is better to be loved than to be feared, or the reverse Like liberality, it is good for a prince to be considered kind rather than cruel, but it is more often the case that cruelty serves as a better weapon. Therefore it is necessary for a prince to understand how to avail himself of the beast and the man. For Machiavelli, a prince who brings peace and stability through his cruelty should be considered kinder than a leader who brings destruction upon his state because of his misplaced kindness. Returning to the question of being feared or loved, I come to the conclusion that, men loving according to their own will and fearing according to that of the prince, a wise prince should establish himself on that which is in his own control and not in that of others; he must endeavour only to avoid hatred, as is noted.
Whose envy would oppose him? Besides, pretexts for taking away the property are never wanting; for he who has once begun to live by robbery will always find pretexts for seizing what belongs to others; but reasons for taking life, on the contrary, are more difficult to find and sooner lapse. Cesare Borgia was considered cruel; notwithstanding, his cruelty reconciled the Romagna, unified it, and restored it to peace and loyalty. A parsimonious, or ungenerous, prince may be perceived as miserly in the beginning, but he will eventually earn a reputation for generosity. These harm the whole people, while those executions he ordered offend only the individual. As an example, Machiavelli praises Cesare Borgia's policy of subduing the lawless Romagna region, described in Chapter 8.
Moreover, any prince who attempts to change his reputation for generosity will immediately develop a reputation for being a miser. One recent example I cannot pass over in silence. It only affects the individual, but the entire population gets the message. Machiavelli stresses that a ruler should not agonize over the occasional need to act unvirtuously, since his highest priority must always be the preservation of his position and state. Because this is to be asserted in general of men, that they are ungrateful, fickle, false, cowardly, covetous, and as long as you succeed they are yours entirely; they will offer you their blood, property, life, and children, as is said above, when the need is far distant; but when it approaches they turn against you.
Overindulgence in either encourages disruption in the state. What some may see as a gift, others may see as corruption. Indeed, those who pay tax, pay for civilization and protection - of such kind as the political rulers offer them. . Overall, it is better to be feared than loved. Res dura, et regni novitas me talia cogunt Moliri, et late fines custode tueri. The description of manlike and beastlike prowess draws on the same union of opposites that defines much of Machiavelli's advice.
Now, since the absence of sound laws assures the absence of sound military forces, while the presence of sound military forces indicates the presence of sound laws as well, I shall forego a consideration of laws and discuss military forces instead. Chapter 17 Summary Every prince should wish to be thought of as kind rather than cruel. One should wish to be both, but, because it is difficult to unite them in one person, it is much safer to be feared than loved. Upon this a question arises: whether it be better to be loved than feared or feared than loved? Principalities are either hereditary, in which the family has been long established; or they are new. Lucky for him, other people covered up his namby-pamby nature.