Machiavelli, The Core Concept of “The Prince”

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Highlights the impracticality of maintaining the successful governance of a state by constantly acting in a way that is under other circumstances morally correct. Thus, to maintain peace and security, in chapter 5 of ‘the prince’, he mentioned that, the prince, particularly a new prince, should not observe all things which are good in men, frequently obliging. Hence in order for peace and stability, a new prince should act against religion, against charity, and against humanities. What is wrong under normal circumstances is not simply allowable but essential for the safety of the state, given human selfish desires, such circumstances often arise. It is important to note that although “the prince” considered the importance of an emperor system, even though he preference was for a republic, similar conflicts of values equally arises in democracy. This means that the prince should certainly seem to be virtuous, and should practice the virtues whenever it is safe to do so, however, he should be ready to abandon virtue when necessary; “it is well to seem merciful, faithful and also religious, but we much have the mind so disposed that when it is needful you may be able to change to the opposite”

It is imperative to highlight that Machiavelli's work did not advocate systematic neglect of virtues, but a willingness to adapt both good and bad qualities as the situation may require.

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An important point here in order to main peace and security is that “the prince must be prepare when essential to depart from faith or religion, as he must when appropriate, imitate both the “fox and the lion”.

When comparing Kant's perpetual peace to Machiavelli, it is important to note that whiles the first section of perpetual peace implies that Kant recognizes Machiavelli's work but toke a different approach. Machiavelli and Kant shared similar thoughts about the corruption and selfishness of human nature. Arguably, they both agreed that a major factor of human’s unjust tendencies despite awareness is the believes that they might be treated in similarly by others. Thus, as noted above Machiavellian follows has recommended that a leader should not keep faith when it is against his interest. Drawing from this Kant departs from Machiavellian’s views as he noted it is there is still a moral virtue to keep faith with others despite them not keeping faith with you. In section 44 of the doctrine of rights, Kant’s highlights that individual has a moral duty to bring the situation of human wickedness to an end and replace it with one in which individual’s equality treats each other justly. In Kant’s state of nature, while people have the notion of what is just, there is no authority other than their consciences which required them to act accordingly, hence there is an overwhelming temptation to act unjustly when it is to individual advantage; when two people argue about what is just and their options lead to disagreements, the dispute can only be settled through force. While it is not clear whether such a state was considered to exist prior to civil society, he however clarified that such a state has the moral obligation to be replaced with civil society. For instance, a state governed by rule of law and with force being implemented whenever it is necessary to obey the law, so that there may be existence juridical as well as moral duties.

While Machiavelli lived long before the political theorists introduced the concept of ‘state of nature, he might agree with knt that it is praiseworthy to force people in a state of nature to accept government by rules and lords.

In the concept of peace and security, Kant’s has two powerful arguments against Machiavelli, hence it is the best theory to better understand peace and security because it points out that justice should be pursued irrespective of the consequences, hence long term stability is attainable only if basic justice has been secured; he fathered argued that it is equally true that justice is harder to obtain in International relations than it is in the institution of individual states.

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