The Role of Violence in Machiavelli’s The Prince and Rousseau’s Social Contract theory Niccolo Machiavelli’s most famous work, The Prince and Jean Jacques Rousseau’s theory of the Social Contract are two of the most important works of European literature…
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Both these works deal with the workings of a state, albeit of different kinds. Both these thinkers have distinct ideas and notions as to how a country or a kingdom should function. There is however, in both these works an unmistakable element of violence that shows itself to the reader who analyses the works carefully. While the presence of this violence may be attributed to the political conditions that existed while they were being written, it also owes a lot to the specific formations of statehood that are envisaged by these thinkers in their works of political theory. Both these works were written with the goal of the establishment of states that are peaceful; that is to say, both these works have intentions that are utopian. However, at some point of time during the establishment of this state or during the running of it, the role of violence does crop up as an issue that needs to be addressed and resolved. This paper shall attempt an exploration of these issues and a discussion of its implications. Rousseau’s theory of the Social Contract implies the establishment of a state where decisions are to be taken in consultation not with a few individual or a single individual but with the entire populace of a region that has agreed to become a collective. On the face of it, this appears to be a political setup where every member of the society gets a say in the implementation of the activities of the state. The mandate in a society that follows the Social Contract theory of Rousseau would have to be that of every member of the society. This is however, not practically possible as such a scenario would prevent any decision from being taken. This is because it is almost impossible that every member of a society would be in agreement upon every issue that concerns the public. Especially in matters of disputes between members of the same community, this theory would run into a great deal of problems. The only way in which the Social Contract theory can be implemented in a practical way is through coercion of the minority views that are held in a society. Members of a society who hold such views have to be led into accepting the views of the majority. One needs to remember that even though some of the views expressed by Rousseau are fairly democratic in their nature, they are still not completely democratic in spirit. This leaves open the possibilities of coercion through violence that may be practiced by the state and members of communities that share the majority view upon the minorities of a society (as far as their views are concerned; the term is not used to denote race or ethnicity in this context). Apart from the physical violence that is inflicted one also needs to take into account the mental torture that is inflicted upon certain sections of the society that may be then marginalized. The utopian vision of the thinker is thus compromised and the state reverts to the corrupt model that it had followed earlier, that had definite unshakeable hierarchies that led to certain sections of the society remaining subjugated by those above them in the social order. Rousseau’s theories also create new hierarchies since there exists two tiers in the process of governance, one of which shall consist of a person or a group of persons who may then act according to the wishes of the collective of the populace of the state. Such a
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Nevertheless, both of the philosophers have some diversionary views in relation to these concepts, especially regarding to how the concepts of freedom and liberty are useful and beneficial, what forms the fundamental basis for believing in liberty as well as the arguments regarding the illegitimate restrictions on liberty.
In this sense, fortune is described as a double-edged sword. On one hand, there exist those like 'the Prince' whom "fortune and your own qualities promise" greatness (13); while on the other hand, are lowly people like Machiavelli who "endure its relentless malice" (13).
“Jean-Jacques Rousseau was born to Isaac Rousseau and Suzanne Bernard in Geneva on June 28, 1712. His mother died only a few days later on July 7 and his only sibling, an older brother, ran away from home when Rousseau was still a child. Rousseau was therefore brought up mainly by his father, a clockmaker, with whom at an early age he read ancient Greek and Roman literature such as the Lives of Plutarch.
A key example of this is the fact that individuals reap the benefits of society, such as peace and access to health care and use of a medium of exchange. Jean Jacques Rousseau indicated that society operates freely insofar as the general will is used as a criteria for making policy decisions.
Although it was viewed as such by the European society, the book remained to be the most controversial in reference to ruling over a society. The book talks about power and the necessary steps in maintaining that power. (http://www.loyno.edu/seduffy/renaissance.html, Nov.
The conclusion from this review states what it also reveals is not a man obsessed with power at all cost, but instead a man that held considerably moderate views on governance that found himself in a situation where he felt plain speaking and controversial advice could be used to his own benefit.
According to the report “The Prince” includes theoretical interpretation of the role of a ruler, and gives practical advice how to keep power and maintain strict control. At the beginning of the 21st century, recommendations and pieces of advice given 5 centuries ago are still of vital importance, because the qualities of a leader are universal and cannot be influence by regime.
The circumstances in which he wrote the book were not particularly favourable and the book was misunderstood with the ongoing conflicts and prevailing confusion of the day. He was well aware that he was plunging into a controversial subject which might be attacked by many and would give him a bad name.
The following issues form the outline for the analysis: how a person's core beliefs about the nature of humanity influence one's leadership actions and attitudes, with specific application in the military; categories and types of power in organizations and connections between power and leadership; the influence of utopian ideas on leadership decisions in the past and how these ideas may influence leadership decisions today; the reasons why or why not a utopian vision can apply to a corporation or a unit in the military; the relationship between followership and leadership is discussed; and, how states of mind (including paranoia) can influence the organization's culture and the behavior of f
Jean–Jacques Rousseau and John Stuart Mill are two philosophers who have concentrated much on the subjected of freedom and liberty, with both of them evaluating their meanings and the possible limitations to these two concepts. This essay compares two articles on the topic of freedom, liberty and other controversial issues of the government.
6 Pages(1500 words)Essay
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