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    Are the Political Ideas of Machiavelli Still Relevant in Today’s World? Essay

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    Bridget Moran Hum2230 Are the Political Ideas of Machiavelli still relevant in Today’s World? Niccolo Machiavelli was born on May 3, 1469 in Florence. Machiavelli was considered one of the most controversial political philosophers of his time. Machiavelli began working in the Florence government at a young age, employed as a clerk and later as an ambassador to the “Holy Roman Emperor Maximilan, the King of France and Pope Julius II. ” Throughout his employment with the government of Florence, Machiavelli began noticing the effects that one person had over an entire country.

    In 1513 Machiavelli wrote what would be one of his most renowned works “The Prince,” in which Machiavelli expresses his political ideas of ruling a country. Some would say that Machiavelli’s ideas are still relevant in today’s government. Machiavelli’s book “The Prince,” deal with the political struggles of the Italian cities at a time when they were being ruled by ruthless leaders and power struggles. “The Prince is considered a guide book to how leaders can gain and keep the power in government. In his book, Machiavelli urges leaders to use whatever means necessary to retain their political power. Even if it meant that the leader had to be ruthless, calculating and not swayed by morality. Machiavelli didn’t base his books on high ideas, but more on the reality of what he saw around him, while working in the government office. Machiavelli’s gives an example of a lion and a fox that states a leader “must imitate a lion in his fierceness, but he must also act like a fox to outsmart his enemies. Other political ideas that Machiavelli stated is how a leader should appear to those listening and seeing him. He states that “a leader is often forced to act in defiance of good faith, of charity, of kindness and of religion, in order to maintain his government. ” Machiavelli’s ideas are still being used in today’s government. In today’s society, it has been known that many political thinkers from dictators to presidents have read “The Prince,” and have taken their own ideas and lessons from it.

    Although some leaders today would deny that fact that they act under Machiavelli’s way of thinking or behavior. Some would argue the fact that Machiavelli’s political ideas are in fact still relevant. In Scott Erb’s, “Reading Revolutions: Great Minds, Great Thoughts Machiavelli and Power Politics,” Erb states that if we could bring Machiavelli to the year 2005, “would Machiavelli have gone to war with Iraq? ” Scott goes on to state that this would be a case where “Machiavelli would have relied on deception, delusion, and secret deals, perhaps even with Saddam Hussein. Erb also pose another questioned in which he asks, “How would Machiavelli assess the war in Iraq? ” He states that “it’s pretty obvious that Machiavelli would have assessed it as a dismal failure. He’d argue that if you are to fight a war, and you are a major power, you must come at it with everything you need to totally dominate. He’d be appalled at the way the US has allowed itself to be weakened and humiliated by not having enough forces to control the country, but yet enough to create dissent at home and chaos in Iraq.

    He’d also think the idea of spreading democracy or nation building was absurd; better to simply put an authoritarian leader in power that will be friendly to us. ” If we take a look at the Patriot Act, would we say that would have been something that Machiavelli would have approve. What about protecting the country by any means necessary from terrorism? Would Machiavelli have approved of a high military presence at our nation’s airports? One could only assume or speculate that based on the political ideas of Machiavelli, that yes he would have approved of those policies.

    If we take another look at “The Prince,” and the political era of Florence, the observations of Machiavelli and today’s government, we can be assured that we would find some similarities in our government to Machiavelli’s political ideas. Some would may still argue that his political ideas are not played out in today’ government, but if we would only take a closer look at what it means to a leader to control a nation, Machiavelli’s political ideas would be in play. Yes, control is needed to run a nation, along with government rules, but our government must know when to bend them, and not break them.

    Machiavelli’s political ideas are relevant today than ever. Bibliography * Benton, Janetta Rebold and DiYanni, Robert (3rd Ed), Arts and Culture: An Introduction to the Humanities. New Jersey, 2008. * Fiero, Gloria K. (5th Ed), The Humanistic Tradition, (Vol. 3). New York, 2006. Internet Resource * Erb, Scott. “Machiavelli and Power Politics. ”  Paper presented at the University of Maine at Farmington, October 26, 2005. URL: http://hua. umf. maine. edu/Reading_Revolutions/index. html

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