Machiavelli Contradictions

812 Words 4 Pages
The Prince was written by Niccolo Machiavelli in the early 16th century in order to once again get into favor of the ruling family of Florence: The Medici’s. Publically, the goal of The Prince was to inform a ruler (Lorenzo de’ Medici) how to maintain power and stay in good favor of the subjects they rule over. Because of the many contradictions between The Prince and The Discourses, countless scholars have been perplexed by what Machiavelli’s true intentions were. Although it seems like Machiavelli is writing a set of instructions for Lorenzo de’ Medici to become a good prince, I believe that he is trying to sabotage Leonardo in order to reinstitute a republic. Throughout his letter to Lorenzo, Machiavelli proposes many ideas that on the …show more content…
I do not believe that it was an accident that Machiavelli gave such poor advice, it is simply one of the ways he will convince Lorenzo to destroy his political career. One of the first ways that Machiavelli tries to sabotage Lorenzo with power hunger is to advise him to practically blackmail his subjects: “A wise prince should think of a method by which his citizens, at all times and in every circumstance, will need the assistance of the state and himself; and then they will always be loyal to him” (335). While it may be true that a prince’s subjects needing him is necessary, it is still a plan doomed to fail because that is blackmail. When the people Lorenzo rules over realize that he is doing things that will force them to remain his subjects forever, there is a chance for up rise and overthrow his power. Another way that Machiavelli tries to deceive Lorenzo to form an unhealthy vision of what power should look like: “A prince must not worry about the reproach of cruelty when it is a matter of keeping his subjects united and loyal” (339). Such advice is clearly sabotage because any good leader will worry about the well being of their subjects and will worry about the reproach of cruelty. Some readers may see the chapter regarding fear and love as accurate and not a scheme in sabotaging Lorenzo, I believe that if Lorenzo is feared as much …show more content…
If the subjects being ruled over thought that Lorenzo was using too many resources for personal spoils, eventually they will up rise and Machiavelli would get what he truly wanted: the removal of Lorenzo from power. Machiavelli explains how Lorenzo should appear to be generous: “I say that it would be good to be considered generous; nevertheless, generosity used in such a manner as to five you a reputation for it will harm you” (338). Even though Machiavelli presents many supporting examples of why being generous is a damning reputation to have, being a prude who is not generous at all will lead to the Prince’s demise more quickly than one who is considered to be generous. Machiavelli also instructs Lorenzo how to keep control of his advisers: “The prince should think of the adviser in order to keep him good-honouring him, making him wealthy, putting him in his debt, giving him a share of the honours and the responsibilities” (345). This bribery of his close advisers would prevent them from ever rising up against Lorenzo, but such should not be necessary. A truly decent prince should choose advisers whom he can trust and look to when seeking advice without the fear of them stabbing him in the back during times of trouble. If Lorenzo were to listen to Machiavelli and bribe his advisers with power and wealth, the rest of the

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