Leadership, Good or Bad?
In chapter 1 of “The Prince”, Machiavelli says that ” All states, all forms of government that have had and continue to have authority over men, have been and are either republics or principalities.” In discussion we talked about the way people used to view the rulers of countries, before Machiavelli made this statement. Leaders were either seen as good or bad. If one ruler was good then a monarchy was in power, if one ruler was bad than a tyrant was in power. Despite what Machiavelli said I feel that rulers are still judged as either good or bad. For example, looking at North Korea and Kim Jong-il. He had been seen as a dictator during his rule, with his excessive display of military and nuclear weapons many thought of him as a bully or tyrant. On the other hand even though I know England’s monarchy doesn’t currently have actual political power, they have always been a monarchy despite which ruler was in power. Although King Henry the VIII was seen as a ruthless ruler, when he passed his crown to his daughter Queen Elizabeth, the monarchy of England was still considered to be intact. One bad ruler didn’t spoil England’s monarchy, but one bad ruler such as Kim Jong il could put the tyranny tag on North Korea.
(All references in the text are to Machiavelli, “The Prince,” in Modern Political Thought:Readings from Machiavelli to Nietzsche, 2nd Ed., edited by David Wootton, p.9)