Machiavelli: Is the building of fortress a Good or a Bad?
There’s a quite interesting issue from the Machiavelli’s reading The Prince, he mentions that a fortress can both do you a good and a bad; it symbolizes your statue and defend your throne,meanwhile it also takes a risk that the fortress can be in turn used as a weapon against you by your people or enemies. The later one makes a good sense for the Chinese history- The Forbidden City.
The Forbidden City served as the imperial palace for over 500 years from the Ming Dynasty to the end of Qing Dynasty. It was continuously surrounded by an extensively strong wall with pierced gate at each side, served for defending purpose and separated the imperial life from the rest of the country. And the name “Forbidden” symbolizes power, saying that no one can neither enter nor leave the City without permission from the emperor. The last emperor Puyi was repelled from the Forbidden City by the betrayal of a general in 1920.
So far we can see that the Forbidden City and the fortresses that Machiavelli brought up are alike, in the sense that they both demarcated the authority from the people.
So whether a fortress or the Forbidden City is necessary/ useful to build can be a debate. Here I did some calculations
- A symbolization of authority
- It serves for defending purpose in good times
- The demarcated area will be targeted as a bullet point for terrorists, which brings along tremendous political, economical and cultural cost in long term.
eg. collections of national treasures were evacuated from the Forbidden City to Japan and other countries during the Japanese Invasion in China in the year of 1933, only some of them were returned
- According the Machiavelli, people who hate and despise you can easily take you down by opening the gate to invaders and foreigners.
- Without demarcated area, people will be pleased by the equality and concern offered by the ruler
So it’s there a perfect solution? To be respected and feared by the people, at the same time oneself and its subject can be secured?
From times to times, rulers had to make decisions for himself and his people.
In the political world, remedy or perfect
solution for one particular issue doesn’t exist.
Right amount of every single ingredient serves a nice dish. Therefore, to make a good decision,one has to make the BEST move for the issue itself and other complementary issues along with, in order to serve a decent outcome.