Machiavelli Fear And Terror Analysis

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Many people consider fear and terror synonymous, often interchangeable. In fact, in most situations they are. However, in terms of political science, a distinction must clearly be made. While fear and terror may correlate, they are not the synonymous, and definitely not interchangeable. Machiavelli considers fear a tool for maintaining political power. Terror, on the other hand, is not a means to achieving a goal; terror is the political environment. Totalitarianism is the system through which it is implemented. The reach of totalitarianism is only extended by Foucault’s Panopticon and surveillance society. The extended reach promotes the molding of citizens to subjects. The Lives of Others demonstrates many of these effects of living in a …show more content…
He believes that “fear restrains men because they are afraid of punishment, and this fear never leaves them. Still, a ruler should make himself feared in such a way that, if he does not inspire love, at least he does not promote hatred. For it is perfectly possible to be feared and not hated” (Machiavelli, 36). Machiavelli’s system depends entirely on fear of punishment; if a citizen breaks a law, punish them severely so that others around them will fear punishment. This way, the populous becomes compliant. However, creating an environment of terror is more complex – fear cannot be the only tool used, and indeed it is not. Machiavelli’s definition of fear is limited by hatred – while Machiavelli advises avoiding being hated by the people, Arendt’s terror does not have this limitation. Machiavelli treats fear as a …show more content…
The movie opens with alternating scenes between an interrogation and a lecture hall filled with students listening to a recording of the interrogation. The students are training to become officers of the Stasi – the secret police force of the Socialist Unity Party of Germany. When a student asks a question deemed too empathetic, his name is marked on the attendance sheet – clearly nothing good will happen to him (The Lives of Others). The society depicted in The Lives of Others has a separate school for aspiring members of the Stasi. The separation of this from the rest of the education system shows how deeply institutionalized into society they are. This scene also demonstrates the totalitarian ideal for dominance over the populous well; when a student is deemed too compassionate by questioning the instructor’s method instead of accepting it, he is punished. Wiesler stalks Dreyman before thoroughly bugging his apartment. When the bugging team leaves the apartment, he notices a neighbor watching through her peephole – he quickly threatens to have her daughter kicked out of school if she tells anyone (The Lives of Others). The thorough bugging of Dreyman’s apartment was thought out in advance by the Stasi, in quite a bit of detail. Not only that, but Wiesler also had to watch him for a period of time in order to figure out when he would be out of his apartment long enough to bug it at

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