What did Machiavelli claim it is better for the Prince to be-feared or loved- and why Why is this important for later political thought - Essay Example

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Though a prince’s compassion or sympathy is much admired by the fellow people, he must not show it unwisely. If he is too compassionate, and fails to punish adequately the…
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What did Machiavelli claim it is better for the Prince to be-feared or loved- and why Why is this important for later political thought
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Download file to see previous pages Whereas punishing or execution harm only the person who commits crimes, crime that goes unpunished harms the whole community by causing disorders. Therefore for the sake of the betterment of an entire community, the individual who commits crimes should not go unpunished. (Laine 90-94) Yet since punishment or execution has a close association with cruelty and brutality, a prince must carefully temper it with prudence and humanity. Indeed a prince’s strict adherence to the executions of crimes contributes to the conjuration of his image as one who champions laws and punishes disorder.
Machiavelli claims that it is better for a price “to be feared than loved”, though ideally he should be both “love and feared” (Machiavelli 45). When a prince cannot both be loved and feared, it is “much safer to be feared than loved, when, of the two, either must be dispensed with” (Machiavelli 45). In support of his position, Machiavelli argues that people in general are “ungrateful, fickle, dissembling, anxious to flee danger, and covetous of gain.” (Machiavelli 45). When the prince is far away from dangers, they will show their eagerness to sacrifice their lives for him. But when the prince is in real dangers, they will abandon him; even they will turn against him, as Machiavelli notes, “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” (Machiavelli 45). According to him, breaking the bond of love at odd times is much easier than a bond of fear, friendships and love can be earned by payments. In this regard, Machiavelli says, “men have less scruple in offending one who is beloved than one who is feared, for love is preserved by the link of obligation which, owing to the baseness of men, is broken at every opportunity for their advantage; but fear preserves you by a dread of punishment which never fails” (Machiavelli ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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