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Concept Identification and Analysis - Essay Example

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Name of student: Topic: Lecturer: Date of Presentation: Niccolo Machiavelli: Fear “Is it better to be loved than feared or vice versa?” This is the question in dispute that Machiavelli in his Treatise on political power through his work The Prince in 151 3 seeks to answer…
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Download file to see previous pages He is very wary of rulers who give a lot of power to the citizens as these citizens may turn against him at any time if their interests are not being fulfilled. He views men as “ungrateful, fickle, deceptive, deceiving, eager to gain, and avoiders of danger” (392). Such people cannot be trusted thus it is better to instil fear in them so that they may remain loyal. The concept of fear is what dominates Machiavelli’s thinking. He believes that a capable ruler is the one feared by his subjects but this does not mean he should be hated as one can be feared and not hated (392). Bearing in mind the human nature, men hate those who steal other people’s property thus he advises princes to stay off other people’s property. Creating fear among citizens is a way of justifying and legitimizing use of power such that the state can win at all cost. In his view, states are most effective when they are able to justify the use of force. This is why he advices rulers to use cultural traditions and religion if need be as justification for attacking an enemy (Grisby, 87). He also advises them that if they want to colonize a territory they must occupy it and confiscate their land so as to assert their power and make them obedient through fear of consequences. The main aim is to keep the population in fear so that they don’t think of overthrowing the state thus state can maintain power. Use of cruelty and unethical means to justify the state’s ends is thus desirable as fear is the optimum basis for ruling (87). Locke: State of Nature On the second Treatise on civilised government, Locke articulates his ideas on the ideal type of government and refutes the idea that men in their natural state (before establishment of government) are not civilised. He calls the period before establishment of government as the state of nature and believes that in this state, men are guided by reason or the law of nature (Chaurasia, 320). In the state of nature, men have inalienable rights of life, liberty and property are free to dispose of their possessions as they deem fit. They live happily as peace and order is enhanced through cooperation. However, in this state the society lacks organisation and a social being he is bound at some time to want to be in a group where some people are unjust thus need for a governing body (Chaurasia, 296). As such, a government is established whose sole purpose is to protect the rights of citizens thus it draws its power from the consent of the governed (294). The state of nature concept tries to explain the political philosophy of Locke. With natural rights comes the need to protect these rights hence individuals give up part of their rights through a social contract with the state in return for protection of their rights. Popular sovereignty is thus with the citizens. Should the government break the contract by violating people’s rights, then they have the power to dismiss it (Chaurasia, 324). The government is thus the servant of the society whereas political power rests with the people. He thus advocates liberal or laissez-faire form of government which has minimal state intervention being to maintain peace and order through protection of rights. In this form of government, the use of reason or natural laws dictates that no one ought to harm one another and in case that happens, one is liable to punishment (Chaurasia, 320). The ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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