Thursday, August 29, 2019

Modern leaders still use Machiavelli's The Prince approach to, Essay

Modern leaders still use Machiavelli's The Prince approach to, politics - Essay Example This classic of political science has retained its relevance down the five centuries it has survived to come down to us, and leaders of various reputes have been acquainted with it, and consciously or sub-consciously followed its principles. Modern leadership in the twentieth and twenty-first century are no exception, and examples of Machiavellian wisdom abound from Stalin and Hitler, to Ronald Reagan, Nixon and George Bush. One of the most striking pronouncements that Machiavelli made was absolutely revolutionary in terms of accepting facts as they are, and not what they ought to be or portrayed to be in traditional political philosophies. He claims to talk about what really goes on behind the corridors of power and what a political aspirant should basically learn in order to get to the top: Because how one ought to live is so far removed from how one lives that he who lets go of what is done for that which one ought to do sooner learns ruin than his own preservation: because a man who might want to make a show of goodness in all things necessarily comes to ruin among so many who are not good. Because of this it is necessary for a prince, wanting to maintain himself, to learn how to be able to be not good and to use this and not use it according to necessity.( Machiavelli, 1513) Joseph Stalin, a totalitarian leader was a self-confessed admirer of Machiavelli, and sought to maintain his supremacy through being "not good". He validated torture and oppression by plainly declaring that anyone who did not agree with him was in fact and "enemy of the state" and deserved to be punished as such: Stalin originated the concept "enemy of the people." This term automatically rendered it unnecessary that the ideological errors of a man or men engaged in a controversy be proven; this term made possible the usage of the most cruel repression, violating all norms of revolutionary legality, against anyone who in any way disagreed with Stalin, against those who were only suspected of hostile intent, against those who had bad reputations. ( Russian Institute-orgname, 1956) But on the other hand, Stalin brilliantly followed the other machiavellian concept of appearing to be very good, where Machiavelli strictly instructs a political aspirant to always appear totally benevolent, "A prince, therefore, must be very careful never to let anything slip from his lips which is not full of the five qualities mentioned above: he should appear, upon seeing and hearing him, to be all mercy, all faithfulness, all integrity, all kindness, all religion". Stalin really took care to create a myth around himself about being a caring humanitarian gentleman, despite actually being a merciless and manipulative despot: As brutal despots have learned throughout the centuries, and as Machiavelli counseled, Stalin could show himself to be a caring, even benevolent father figure. .....Even today, among some older Russians a strong nostalgia persists for "Uncle Joseph," a kindly, all-seeing, and all-caring man who never really existed but lives on that way in the myths that still surround him. (Dvoretsky, Fugate, 1997) Another devotee of Machiavelli was the infamous Hitler, the scourge of our modern times who deceived the Germans into believing their superiority as the

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