Essay on Analysis Of Machiavelli 's ' The Prince '

977 Words Oct 27th, 2016 4 Pages
The analysis of Machiavelli as an amoralist – someone who disregards common views of what is right and wrong, unconcerned with morality as a whole (as compared to being immoral, and going against them) – is complicated. A traditional view of morality advocates for not doing wrong or harm to others, for altruism, and kindness. Nowhere in his philosophical work The Prince, first published in 1532, does Machiavelli show any regard for this kind of morality. The Prince is a guidebook for the maintenance of power by a prince (the name he gives to any sovereign); Machiavelli’s sole concern is how to stay in power and best exert it to prolong your rule and prosperity. However, this argument can only be made with a traditional, standard view of morality in mind, and one that examines the means more than the end. Machiavelli was a consequentialist; for all his advocacy of cruelty and violence and manipulation, he argues for the use of these to achieve the end of a stable, effective rule. Effective leadership and stability, to Machiavelli, benefitted all.
Machiavelli’s traditional amorality is blatant in the earlier chapters in which he lays out the extremes that a prince should go to in order to maintain power. Particularly in the early chapters of the book, he sets these out in plain terms, objective and simple: after seizing a new principality “the family of the old prince must be destroyed”, to keep a principality used to living free, the prince must go about “devastating” his…

Related Documents