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Machiavelli’s Ideal Ruler

September 21, 2010

According to Machiavelli, there are certain policies a ruler must adapt in order to hold tight to his regime.  The rules are as followed:

1.)  Never waste alliance with the less powerful states

2.) Always set out to decrease the neighboring states’ power

3.) Go and live in the territory

4.) Sent colonies to settle in the new place

5.) Never invite a powerful state into your territory

I thought these were some pretty good rules to follow, but my question is do these rules apply to modern political figures?

3 Comments
  1. Andrew Clark permalink
    September 22, 2010 10:38 AM

    I think there is definitely a correlation. The Prince is read by democratic and totalitarian rulers alike, as well as by CEO’s and leaders of other parts of society. They learn from the principle of real politick, rather than the actual rules he chose to write for 16th century Florence. I recently read this article, and it clearly sorts through all of the nuances: http://anthonydamato.law.northwestern.edu/Adobefiles/C72cmach-rel.pdf

  2. yequan permalink
    September 22, 2010 11:44 PM

    I think Machiavelli’s theory may still work in modern political events.
    Of course, we cannot just apply those rules directly, as Machiavelli developed his theory it was about 500 year ago. That Was a transition period from middle age to modern era.
    However, his strategy might be applicable nowadays not only in politics, but also in the area of business.

  3. Kyle Bartrem permalink
    September 27, 2010 11:57 AM

    Machiavelli’s guidelines, although once advisable, have lost their relevance with the development of modern politics and warfare. Alliances are no longer soley based on power, but instead on similarities between political systems. Democracies ally together to stop the spread of socialism, ect…
    Once again, with guideline #2, the U.S. would never have any real interest in decreasing the power of friendly regimes neighboring our country. This would be detrimental not only on a political basis, but also an economic one. If we seek to undermine mexico, for instance, we risk loosing a large portion of our migrant labor, which helps to drive our agricultural economy.
    Rules 3 and 4, both regarding colonizing, would have an relevance when colonies were a actually a feasible idea. However, in modern politics, imperialism would never be worth the scorn of the world community.

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