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The Prince of Niccolo Machiavelli

Machiavelli in his overall discussion in his most famous book, The Prince had tried to accept the important role played by fortune or luck in the affairs of a prince or any political leader. However, it is important to note that though he ascribed a relatively good value on luck and fortune, he does not encourage relying on it ultimately. For Machiavelli, the success of a leader is determined by both his fortune and boldness with these two concepts equally contributing to the success of the leader.

He then uses the concept of a torrential river or a raging river to exemplify the importance of both fortune and boldness. People who rely on fortune, that in this respect is the peaceful behavior of the river will be safe as long as the river does not go in rage and remain to flow peacefully. However, the moment that a storm came or something made it flow in raged, the people who are not bothered to construct some defenses against the river shall be destroyed and be drowned. On the other hand, a bold population will not just rely on the mercy of the river.

Though they will definitely enjoy the long years of peace and the benefits brought to them by the river, they will be not comfortable if they are not going to construct defenses against it in case that the river does not remain peaceful. To prepare for the worst, bold and impetuous people shall construct damns or dykes that will protect them against the rage of the river in the future. This thought experiment of Machiavelli surely makes us understand the differences and the benefits of being fortunate and at the same time bold in doing your actions.

This entire discussion supports the conclusion that he made in the end of Chapter 25 that states that a fortune is a lady that favors the bold. Machiavelli highly regarded boldness over cautiousness. Boldness signifies the affairs of the youth and its desire to discover and find new ways of doing things. With this attempt to discover and try, fortune will enter the equation as no one will be able to acquire fortune and luck without trying to do anything.

In this respect, Machiavelli was correct to say that fortune is a lady that favors boldness and youthful energy. In relation to the modern project of using technology and sciences to employ for the service of our desires, we can see that Machiavelli is not one of this people who possess that same philosophy. Machiavelli’s ideas and opinions in running a state or a city reflects that that he wants use this knowledge to successfully satisfy the population’s instinctive desire.

The style of ruling of a prince that he prescribe had attempted to serve stability and peace rather than the desire of the population. His famous aphorism that says, it is better to be feared than to be loved had emphasized this position of Machiavelli. For Machiavelli, the attainment of peace and stability of a regime is much more important than anything else. Niccolo Machiavelli’s The Prince is indeed a very useful literature that can guide any leader in his affairs with his or her subordinates.

Machiavelli had successfully enumerated the fundamentals of running a state and a city to make it stable and peaceful. His prescription ranges from specific situations and cases up to more general and broader concepts including the character that the prince shall adopt, including boldness. Surely, The Prince is a must read for all aspiring leader who want success in their political and leadership affairs. Works Cited Machiavelli, Niccolo & Marritt, W. K. (trans). The Prince. Constitution Society. 1938/ 1505,1515.

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