Lead with Example
Matthew Vetter English 101 Professor Melanie Bussiere September 25th, 2010 A Conflict Of Interest Stability in a ruler’s morals and ethics are a vital asset to have when ruling a group of people. With similarities shared between the ruler and the common person the ruler will then be able to relate and be more respected amongst the population, as opposed to a ruler who rules with his own self interest at hand.In the piece, The Prince, Niccolo Machiavelli argues the many principles of how a prince should and should not rule. In order to rule successfully he states a prince must possess some of the following characteristics; morality, a strong army, strict rule, common ground with his people and also to be widely respected. Machiavelli laid the ground work for many rulers in the future with his modern view in a time where rulers were primitive and ruled through fear and terror.The Prince and its ideas can even be seen today in our modern day presidents and kings proving that Machiavelli had compelling ideas and arguments for how leaders can obtain and hold a position of power successfully.
Respect, the most important quality a leader should have, is the basis for any relationship whether it is between friends or a ruler and his people. The prince depicted in Machiavelli’s work has no respect for or from the population and this solely is his major flaw.Machiavelli states, “Spending the wealth of others does not lesson your reputation but adds to it; only spending what is your own is what hurts you”. In order to gain the respect he must forge relationships, sacrifice what is his own and respect the lives of his people. It is seen through his methods of war that he spends the lives of his people frivolously sending them on missions where the fatalities are extremely he high due to the fact he has no care for the population as long as his position is protected from outside enemies .The prince grew up rich, privileged and oblivious to the hardships faced by the working class. His followers grew up in a completely different lifestyle with responsibilities, battles and hard work the two different lives clash, making it impossible for him to share experiences or believe their personal thoughts and aspirations for the civilization if they conflict with his own.
Due to the conflicting ideologies of the Prince and his people he will never be able to lead successfully in theory of Machiavelli.These views can even be seen in modern day, when a president or person of power is involved in scandal or betrayal of his people he is impeached and removed from the position of power and that is exactly what will happen to a Prince who cannot control his people. Along with caring about his fellow man that is ranked below him on the social ladder, a prince according to Machiavelli must show compassion along with being able to control. In the view of Machiavelli, “it is far safer to be feared than loved if you cannot be both”, a leader must find common ground with his people and show interest without leniency within the rules.With this healthy balance of freedom and strict rule Machiavelli provided a solid background for how a leader or in this case a Prince can keep order. The exampled Prince in the essay found it quite difficult to relate to his less fortunate counterparts causing them to not cooperate with his decisions despite the threat of death to those who oppose so without respect and fear no man can truly rule according to Machiavelli. Earning a leadership role through your actions provides a steady background, and respect from the people who will be following you.
Many rulers come up through family and their reign is usually short lived. This is due to their inexperience in battle, leadership roles and how to treat a population. A prince regardless of his prior experience and actions will generally rule from a pedestal with belief he is always correct with preconceived notions that his opinion is always higher than those below him or her they will never take others serious. With this mind set it is impossible for someone to rule effectively because they will not take other opinions or view into consideration until it is too late.This is evident in Machiavelli’s piece when he explains the situation in which the Duke of Milan’s sons came into leadership. The boys came into rule after their father and had no respect for the population or their opinion and were quickly over thrown through the force of an outraged population. Leadership is built behind respect and respect is built behind camaraderie and previous acts in which display the character of a leader.
The actions of a prince before coming into rule will define his entire reign of power.It will determine whether it is short lived or the start of a prosperous empire. Machiavelli laid down the frame work for the ideal leader to retain power and keep order. The beliefs of Machiavelli have been seen time after time in our current leaders around the globe. Their fallacies are seen exactly as Machiavelli saw them and their good qualities are also seen. Nonetheless, it is impossible to say how to perfectly rule as there will always be those to oppose for their own personal reasons but the essay The Prince, is as close of a depiction of the ideal ruler to date.