Leadership And Deception In Machiavelli's The Prince

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In Machiavelli’s The Prince, Machiavelli is viewed as a callous and resourceful leader who emphasizes the pursuit of power and longevity, even if it advocates the use of violence preceding one’s own morals. This power-violence-morality trifecta illustrates the importance of balance in a leader’s pallet of desired qualities, while ultimately highlighting the impact a successful leader can have on a secular society. However, Machiavelli’s viewpoint of leadership expands beyond power, violence, and morality, and preaches the importance of establishing deception and fear in order to keep the stability of one’s state. The Prince delineates the idea of appearance and mendacity versus actual virtue, and states that it is better to look the part than …show more content…
Machiavelli speaks to this conflict of virtuous behavior versus deception when he says, “If a prince wants to maintain his rule he must be prepared not to be virtuous” (50). Without morals, the only guiding force that remains is a conscious action motivated by one’s own rational thought. Once one gives up his morals, he rids himself of the pressure that is associated with being a virtuous person. However, Machiavelli does not entirely preach the notion that – in order to be a successful leader – one must abandon all forms of virtuous behavior. If morality is defined as a demarcation between good and evil, then there must be something to say about the importance of valuing the goodness of one’s nation over its destruction. Having already established that Machiavelli makes decisions that favor the majority, one can conclude that his tactics are indirectly moral. Machiavelli consistently delivers his people the necessary resources in order for his civilization to flourish. It is not that Machiavelli completely disregards morality; he would be foolish to do so. Rather, he values the importance of success, which ultimately leads to goodness. If a leader were to rely solely on his morals, his mind would be clouded with unreasonable and unattainable duties. Learning to set morality to the side allows for the liberation of mind and action while ridding one’s thought of virtuous restrictions. When deception acts as a mediator between virtuous behavior and rational thought, one learns that the only “good” that matters is a derived form of

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