machiavelliIdentify who you would consider to be a Machiavellian type ruler and discuss the reasons for your choice? Measure your choice against Machiavelli's notion of what it means to be a good...

machiavelli

Identify who you would consider to be a Machiavellian type ruler and discuss the reasons for your choice? Measure your choice against Machiavelli's notion of what it means to be a good "prince."

Asked on by pbonner

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sarahc418's profile pic

sarahc418 | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Assistant Educator

Posted on

According to The Prince, a ruler should always keep the country and army occupied with a common enemy. Otherwise they may get bored or even worse, start looking at him, the ruler, as the enemy.

Another important point is that as ruler, he does not openly show his loyalty or trust to his subjects including family or advisors close to him. Once a ruler shows this weakness, they could take advantage of the ruler.

The person that comes to mind from these two major points is Stalin. Stalin kept no one close to him, and the KGB were directed to seek out and spy on people, especially those close to the ruler. In addition, Stalin made sure to make out every other country as a critical enemy to him.

I also definitely agree with the previous poster that Hitler was a Machiavellian ruler. He pointed toward Jews, blacks, and gays as his common enemy to unite against. He invaded countries surrounding Germany. He also kept those close to him at a safe distant so as to make sure no one could betray him.

Enotes provides a good summary of the primary points in The Prince here.

 

pohnpei397's profile pic

pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

You can really call anyone that you happen to think immoral or power hungry "Machiavellian," I suppose.  For me, the leader who comes to mind when I think of this term is Vladimir Putin.  Putin seems to rule more through fear than through love.  At the same time, he does not cause most of the people of his country to hate him personally.  He seems to be the epitome of a ruler who is cynical and who uses any means available to keep power for himself.

pbonner's profile pic

pbonner | Student, Undergraduate | (Level 1) eNoter

Posted on

I think Hitler also ruled by fear. I don't think love was even in his vocabulary. I think even if I was one of his soldiers I would have feared for my life or my families. What do you think about Sadamm Hussein?

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