Ocassionally, we are often appaled by how sly and dishonest many politician are, but in reality that’s how they gain their power. Today we are gonna learn some insights from the 15th century political theorist, Niccolo Machiaveli.
Let’s first understand how his life were. Niccolo Machiaveli was born in Florence 1469, his father was a lawyer. His first job was as a secretary for the city of Florence. But then, Florence exploded politically and expell the family who ruled it for 60 years (Medici Family). It (political instability and turmoil) impacts heavily to him and in just a few decades he went from being an important diplomat to semi-successful general to enemy of the state(tortured, exiled).
Magnum Opus (Most famous works) : ” The Prince ” and ” Discourses ”
What we can learn from Niccolo Machiaveli works is :
- It’s almost imposible to be both a good politician and a good person in traditional Christian sense.
Niccolo Machiaveli believes that a good politician isn’t one who is friendly, honest, and kind but someone however ocassionaly dark and underhand and they might be knows how to defend in rich and bring honor to the state. Being nice may be a virtue, but what citizens most needs is effectiveness. The effectiveness sense sometimes referred to “the Darker arts”
2. The responsibility of a good “prince” (can be as a leader, politician, or etc. as regarding to power) is to defend the state from external and internal threats to stable governance.
Niccolo Machiaveli belives that a good stateperson is someone who know how to ‘fight’ conflicts, increasing and influence reputation, and to manage people. As someone who is seen as not to easy to disobey but not so cruel (strict in a reasonable sense). So they will be both loved and feared. So sometimes they will do certain things oppose to Christian ethics. May this picture below illustrate his points :To show clearly his points are, he gives example to a stateperson named, Cesare Borgia when attacking city of Cesena. His strategy was to beheaded men in front of their families, seized property, and slice their Cesare in half and placed it in a public square. Its tragic and evil, but it shows the citizen who are the true boss. Moving on, Cesare then cut taxes, imported some cheap grains, built a theatre, and organized beautiful festivals to make his people happy and forgot past unsettling events. His points were it is both important to be adore and feared. In that sense, it is more effective for any stateperson interest; to gain sustainable power. That is why Machiavelli emphasive that we must prioritize effectiveness rather than niceness.
Final Remarks :
Niccolo Machiavelli emphasized that there is no black/white, good/bad, yin/yang utterly in everything we do. Rather we are all living in grey area, where what we do can be seen good/ bad as in different perspective. With that sense, Niccolo Machiavelli convince us to be brave to do an ‘ethical tradeoffs’ for the sake of practicality and effectiveness to get what we want. Finally, he believes that the ideal leader is the one who is both adored and feared.
Well.. “What it means to be a Machiavellian” post is ended right here. Thanks for reading and please share your insights about this post Like Comment Subscibe! I hope this post can be beneficial for your knowledge and growth. Have an awesome day… so what do you choose over effectiveness or niceness?