Political and Social Theory - Essay Example

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Introduction Political theories explain how the state is governed while social theories explain the behavior of human beings in the society. One of the most notable political and social theorists is Nicollo Machiavelli (1469-1527). His notable political theory is the prince written for Lorenzo Medici hoping Medici would take note and follow his advice…
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Political and Social Theory
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"Political and Social Theory"

He advocates use of force, violence, deceit and political manipulation if it would lead to success. However, he clarifies that the government actions are not bound by the same values as of individuals thus while it uses all means possible, the subjects should be guided by moral values (Morgan, 2005). For him, it is better to be feared than loved since fear is constant and love is fickle. On social theory, he focuses on a single autonomous society and the individual in particular. He does not believe that human behavior is controlled by natural forces or by chance or luck. He believes in humanism, that is, individuals can control their own destiny and thus his theory is based on reality or the world as it is rather than an imaginary world (p 117). He asserts that humans are selfish and thus pursue self-interests and they are also ungrateful, liars, deceivers and greedy. Machiavelli’s theories can be applied to a practical situation in three ways which will be the main topic of our discussion. Firstly, it guides the leaders in the organization on how to make decisions that will help achieve success. Secondly, it guides the relationships within the workplace bearing in mind the nature of human beings. Thirdly, it helps to make rules or policy guidelines in the organization. The “prince” was a guideline to rulers by Machiavelli and depicted his political theory. According to him “the ends justify the means” and as such leaders can use any means to achieve their ends as what matters is the end (Machiavelli, 1996). The question that needs to be answered is what if the means is unjustifiable according to societal morals? To this, Machiavelli says it does not matter whether the means is moral or immoral provided the end is achieved. Furthermore, there are some moral means that lead to undesirable ends; for example, if you feel mercy for people and thus let them continue with their undesirable behavior it may lead to destruction thus it is better to correct the behavior using cruel means to achieve a desirable future end. To use cruelty and violence is thus more desirable than using mercy. Besides, according to social theory men are deceitful and ungrateful. They obey you as long as you serve their welfare and turn against you when it is to their own interest (Morgan, 2005 p. 118). What this means for the leader when making decisions in the organization is that they should only be concerned with what is best for the company and not for employees. For example, the manager can use punishment for employees who do not achieve their targets so that they can fear punishment and work hard leading to productivity. The manager can also reward employees as long as it will lead to them increasing productivity. However, for Machiavelli it is better to be feared than loved so in this case the use of punishment is more appropriate. If you continue giving individuals rewards so as to motivate them they will consider it a norm and the day you fail to provide the reward they are unsatisfied and their productivity declines. However, if they know they are going to be punished they will always work hard no matter the circumstances to avoid punishment. This proves Machiavelli’s statement that fear is constant but love is fickle and this is embedded in human nature (Rossides, 1998). The leader faces reality and stops Read More
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