Similarities Between Machiavelli And Hobbes

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Man may attempt to exert influence over politics, but he is only able to do so through the sphere in which he understands them to exist. Knowledge then directly controls the practice and concept of politics. The relationship between politics and knowledge as understood by Machiavelli and Hobbes differs according to their interpretations of human nature, fear, and individualism, which consequently affects the way they view and approach political systems.
Regarding the nature of man, Machiavelli and Hobbes are both disdainful and state openly that man is essentially a miserable creature. Machiavelli claims that all men “...are wicked and will always give vent to their evil impulses” (discourses,92). Hobbes’ work echoes this sentiment in saying
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Machiavelli does not compare the state to mankind itself, but says that “The best fortress which a prince can possess is the affection of his people.” This implies that the people can be manipulated for the sake of the ruler. From this, we can draw the conclusion that Machiavelli also believes that understanding the motivations of men is important for his political structure. In relation to politics, this knowledge serves as a fundamental base for both Machiavelli and Hobbes’ respective forms of rule over a populace. In monarchies, republics and constitutions, it is especially important because the laws must reflect the knowledge that man will act wickedly unless he is somehow leashed. They must force men to act justly when his instinct is to do the opposite. Although both theorists believe in the concept of political power and the flawed nature of man, especially acting outside of his social contract, there are distinct differences between the two theorists’ …show more content…
Each owns its own political consequences as well. The Prince, in particular, runs the risk of overutilization fear and “provoking hatred,” as he uses fear as a tool, which would be to his detriment. In The Leviathan, allowing the populace to feel too much fear risks the individuals within the Leviathan feeling isolated, and consequently weakening the social contract holding the commonwealth together, much the way loosening a fabrics weave makes the fabric as a whole much easier to rip

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