In Machiavelli’s famous work “The Prince”, Machiavelli argues that a true “prince” must do anything and everything in his power to succeed.Although Machiavelli felt that virtue was an important characteristic to leadership, he reinforced thoroughly throughout his work that a prince must, during challenging times, choose any course of action that will ensure ultimate success.In chapter 18 page 70, Machiavelli states a man “needs to have a spirit disposed to change as the winds of fortune and variations of things command him”.
It is argued that a prince must not root himself deeply into beliefs for beliefs quickly change and can create offense amongst his fellow men.Machiavelli argues that a man must appear to be virtuous although he may not possess these traits when he states on (pg. 70 Chapter 18) “Men in general judge more by their eyes than by their hands because seeing is to everyone, but touching to a few.Everyone sees how you appear, few touch what you are; and these few dare not oppose the opinion of many”.Therefore, according to Machiavelli, the best technique to becoming an ideal prince is by employing any means necessary to reach his end.
Machiavelli’s advice on leadership would be based on this very assumption.Machiavelli believed that men are by nature “ungrateful, fickle, pretenders and liars”.(Chapter 17 pgs 66-67)Machiavelli felt that, based on the nature of mankind, princes should treat men just as they are ought to be treated, as animals.A strategy that is heavily supported throughout “The Prince” for men who strive to become leaders is stated on (page 38, Chapter 9).“Hence it should be noted that in taking hold of a state he who seizes it should review all the offenses necessary for him to commit, and do them all in one stroke”.In this chapter, Machiavelli expands on his belief that men should do whatever necessary in order to be prince, and furthermore, states that it should be done in a timely fashion as to secure power quickly while offending the least amount of people.
Machiavelli will eventually go on to describe many examples within his text such as Agathocles the Sicilian who slaughtered an entire senate at once and Liverotto Da Fermo who betrayed his uncle. I believe that when applied correctly, Machiavelli’s method in gaining power is very effective.If all the rules are applied and all the necessary steps and precautions are followed according to Machiavelli’s strategic planning, I believe that one can become prince when the opportunity arises.Furthermore, I can see these Machiavellian tactics being applied today in the world of politics.Following Machiavelli’s theory on appearance, many politicians try to describe themselves as virtuous men who can relate to the American voters, and go one step further in defaming the appearance and reputation of their opponents.Politicians often make falsified promises or statements to gain moral support from voters,.