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Machiavelli: Is it better for a leader to be loved or feared?
Philosophy


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frankiej4189
33 - 21


0
Its better to be loved



Jul 09, 2008
Case #1
Look at my evidence...Machiavelli's the Prince...he goes into a tangent that a prince/leader should be feared by the people instead of loved.

 

Jul 09, 2008
Case #2
My debate is about whether or not Machiavelli was right. I'm srry if there was confusion which it seems there was. If you still wish to debate, I'd be more then willing to. =]


 

Jul 12, 2008
Case #3
Now I'm going to tell of a leader who focused on being feared more then loved. Joseph Stalin was his name and Russia was his dear country. He believed an Iron Fist was necessary to rule and ALL oppossition eradicated. What did it do for Stalin? Made many russians hate him. add the loss of 6 million people and that's cruel. Oh yes the people feared him, but he ended up a horrible leader of the country. He was feared by all...his subjects/countrymen and his enemies. Not so good.

Now for a leader who was loved by his people (well the majority). Ronald Reagan. Yes Russia feared him, which is good, but the people of the United States wanted him there because he was a good leader. He didn't discriminate. he didn't purge a whole middle class, he didn't destroy enemies because they got in the way. He was a leader who was loved by the majority of people. So Stalin-Feared or Reagan-Loved...you decide..

 

Jul 12, 2008
Case #4
Now a leader is NOT supposed to make everybody happy. You will always have opposition. (Liberal Leader-conservative opposition. Conservative Leader-liberal opposition.) But does that mean that a leader should expunge the other side. Should a liberal leader destroy all conservatives because they oppose them. How does that make a ruler great? 2 words. It doesn't. In fact it makes the ruler a Tyrant. A leader is supposed to try to work along the lines the people want him/her to work along. If there is opposition either do what Bush does which is ignore or do what Clinton tried to do and appease both sides. A ruler should never use fear to claim his subjects.

"The more you tighten your grip, Tarkin, the more star systems will slip through your fingers." -Princess Leia. Star Wars

Even though that is just a movie, the quote stands true. A leader who grips his throne and subjects to tightly will start losing more and more.

 

Jul 14, 2008
Case #5
grr this side was harder then i thought =P...Frankie you have my vote lol...its so weird...cause you convinced the person you were debating =P

 

Jul 15, 2008
Case #6
I would need time to do a lot of reasearch to counter your arguments and you have a 6 point lead on me...I'll try to get the info!

 
10
In Machiavelli's point of view, its better to be feared.


frankiej4189
Jul 09, 2008
Case #1
I wanted to jump on this debate before it got taken so i dont have time to add a full argument right now. To save yourself some time, i will be quoting much of "The Prince" so i'd get your rebuttals ready.

Stay Classy

 
frankiej4189
Jul 11, 2008
Case #2
My apologies Lonewolf, my mother is in the hospital as we speak and i'm sitting next to her as i type this. But rest assured there will be no more delay in this great debate.

This, to save everyone time, is what this debate is focusing on. A section from a beautiful work.

CHAPTER XVII

CONCERNING CRUELTY AND CLEMENCY, AND WHETHER IT IS BETTER TO BE LOVED THAN FEARED

Coming now to the other qualities mentioned above, I say that every prince ought to desire to be considered clement and not cruel.

Nevertheless he ought to take care not to misuse this clemency. Cesare Borgia was considered cruel; notwithstanding, his cruelty reconciled the Romagna, unified it, and restored it to peace and loyalty. And if this be rightly considered, he will be seen to have been much more merciful than the Florentine people, who, to avoid a reputation for cruelty, permitted Pistoia to be destroyed. Therefore a prince, so long as he keeps his subjects united and loyal, ought not to mind the reproach of cruelty; because with a few examples he will be more merciful than those who, through too much mercy, allow disorders to arise, from which follow murders or robberies; for these are wont to injure the whole people, whilst those executions which originate with a prince offend the individual only.

And of all princes, it is impossible for the new prince to avoid the imputation of cruelty, owing to new states being full of dangers. Hence Virgil, through the mouth of Dido, excuses the inhumanity of her reign owing to its being new, saying: "Res dura, et regni novitas me talia cogunt Moliri, et late fines custode tueri." (. . . against my will, my fate A throne unsettled, and an infant state, Bid me defend my realms with all my pow'rs, And guard with these severities my shores.) Nevertheless he ought to be slow to believe and to act, nor should he himself show fear, but proceed in a temperate manner with prudence and humanity, so that too much confidence may not make him incautious and too much distrust render him intolerable.

Upon this a question arises: whether it be better to be loved than feared or feared than loved? It may be answered that one should wish to be both, but, because it is difficult to unite them in one person, it is much safer to be feared than loved, when, of the two, either must be dispensed with. Because this is to be asserted in general of men, that they are ungrateful, fickle, false, cowardly, covetous, and as long as you succeed they are yours entirely; they will offer you their blood, property, life, and children, as is said above, when the need is far distant; but when it approaches they turn against you. And that prince who, relying entirely on their promises, has neglected other precautions, is ruined; because friendships that are obtained by payments, and not by greatness or nobility of mind, may indeed be earned, but they are not secured, and in time of need cannot be relied upon; and men have less scruple in offending one who is beloved than one who is feared, for love is preserved by the link of obligation which, owing to the baseness of men, is broken at every opportunity for their advantage; but fear preserves you by a dread of punishment which never fails.

Nevertheless a prince ought to inspire fear in such a way that, if he does not win love, he avoids hatred; because he can endure very well being feared whilst he is not hated, which will always be as long as he abstains from the property of his citizens and subjects and from their women. But when it is necessary for him to proceed against the life of someone, he must do it on proper justification and for manifest cause, but above all things he must keep his hands off the property of others, because men more quickly forget the death of their father than the loss of their patrimony. Besides, pretexts for taking away the property are never wanting; for he who has once begun to live by robbery will always find pretexts for seizing what belongs to others; but reasons for taking life, on the contrary, are more difficult to find and sooner lapse. But when a prince is with his army, and has under control a multitude of soldiers, then it is quite necessary for him to disregard the reputation of cruelty, for without it he would never hold his army united or disposed to its duties. Among the wonderful deeds of Hannibal this one is enumerated: that having led an enormous army, composed of many various races of men, to fight in foreign lands, no dissensions arose either among them or against the prince, whether in his bad or in his good fortune. This arose from nothing else than his inhuman cruelty, which, with his boundless valour, made him revered and terrible in the sight of his soldiers, but without that cruelty, his other virtues were not sufficient to produce this effect. And short-sighted writers admire his deeds from one point of view and from another condemn the principal cause of them. That it is true his other virtues would not have been sufficient for him may be proved by the case of Scipio, that most excellent man, not only of his own times but within the memory of man, against whom, nevertheless, his army rebelled in Spain; this arose from nothing but his too great forbearance, which gave his soldiers more license than is consistent with military discipline. For this he was upbraided in the Senate by Fabius Maximus, and called the corrupter of the Roman soldiery. The Locrians were laid waste by a legate of Scipio, yet they were not avenged by him, nor was the insolence of the legate punished, owing entirely to his easy nature. Insomuch that someone in the Senate, wishing to excuse him, said there were many men who knew much better how not to err than to correct the errors of others. This disposition, if he had been continued in the command, would have destroyed in time the fame and glory of Scipio; but, he being under the control of the Senate, this injurious characteristic not only concealed itself, but contributed to his glory.

Returning to the question of being feared or loved, I come to the conclusion that, men loving according to their own will and fearing according to that of the prince, a wise prince should establish himself on that which is in his own control and not in that of others; he must endeavour only to avoid hatred, as is noted.



 
frankiej4189
Jul 11, 2008
Case #3
No worries, i understand that this debate is about whether or not Machiavelli was correct in stating its better to be feared. I promise my arguments after this one will be shorter due to my not needing to quote long passages. Here it goes...

Machiavelli quoted 2 examples in this section of how leaders that worried too much of being loved ended up losing control of their land and being overthrown.

"The Florentine people...who, to avoid a reputation for cruelty, permitted Pistoia to be destroyed."

and

"Scipio...his army rebelled in Spain; this arose from nothing but his too great forbearance, which gave his soldiers more license than is consistent with military discipline."

What the Florentine's and Scipio had in common was basically they were too nice. They worried too much about coming across as the loving leader who wanted everyone happy. They both were not getting the job done and their people saw their insecurities and preventative kindness as a weakness and a chance for upheaval.

"But when a prince is with his army, and has under control a multitude of soldiers, then it is quite necessary for him to disregard the reputation of cruelty, for without it he would never hold his army united or disposed to its duties"

This quote focuses on military but it can be applied to present day conflicts of power and control that arent in a military sense. In order to have control over people they have to RESPECT you, not love you. Love and respect do not go hand in hand, they are certainly not interchangeable. I love my auntie to death, i truly do, but do i respect her? No, not even a little bit. Its because of this absence of respect i have for her that i dont listen to her nor take her advice seriously. Translate this to past days of Scipio and the Florentine's...i wont listen to what my leaders are telling me to do because i have no respect for them. I dont believe in what they are doing and what they are telling me. This was true back then and it is true now. In order to get things done with other people, they need to respect you.

This is my favorite quote from "The Prince", one that i wrote an essay entirely about, and it is the focus of my argument...

"Because this is to be asserted in general of men, that they are ungrateful, fickle, false, cowardly, covetous, and as long as you succeed they are yours entirely; they will offer you their blood, property, life, and children, as is said above, when the need is far distant; but when it approaches they turn against you. And that prince who, relying entirely on their promises, has neglected other precautions, is ruined; because friendships that are obtained by payments, and not by greatness or nobility of mind, may indeed be earned, but they are not secured"

Oh how true this is. We humans are a selfish being. We have and will forever live in the moment and if we are not getting what we want when and how we want it, we will turn on the person who is responsible in a heartbeat. It is because of the nature of man that it is better to be feared than loved. True, a person that is feared does not usually have the respect of the people around them, but what separrates the feared from the loved is that the feared dont need that respect. That respect is replaced by fear, the consequences of going agaisnt the grain, agaisnt the feared one's ideals and orders. A feared person has influence over people, they have control. The people will always listen to a person they fear.

One thing that Machiavelli stressed that seems to not be noticed in my arguments is that he says that its best to "avoid hatred". Neither of us can forget this in our arguments. A hated person, even if feared, will not last long. The fear that a person can instill in others will only be fuel for a revolutionary fire if they are hated. Their pull over the people will not exist if they are hated. The main point of my argument is the main thing that a person who aspires to be loved is forced to do..

What happens when you try and make everybody happy?

 
frankiej4189
Jul 13, 2008
Case #4
Now I'm going to tell of a leader who focused on
being feared more then loved. Joseph Stalin was
his name and Russia was his dear country. He
believed an Iron Fist was necessary to rule and
ALL oppossition eradicated. What did it do for
Stalin? Made many russians hate him. add the loss
of 6 million people and that's cruel. Oh yes the
people feared him, but he ended up a horrible
leader of the country. He was feared by all...his
subjects/countrymen and his enemies. Not so good.

Stalin: Dont forget about what i said about "being hated". A hated leader wont get anything done and they are begging for an upheaval. Stalin was a bad leader. He didnt get things done and his people suffered for it.Feared or Loved, Nice Guy or Bad Guy, a hated leader wont last. Dont forget the differences between being a feared-hated leader who doesnt take care of his people and being a feared-respected leader who does takes care of his people.

Reagan:I'm glad you used Reagan, this is a good example of what i'm talking about. Reagan was generally liked by the American people. He complimented that well by being a good leader. Bush is generally a good guy, but he doesnt compliment that by being a good leader. Do you see the difference now? Being hated by your people whether a good guy or bad guy prohibits you from being able to maintain power.

Liberal v Conservative:

Loved- A leader whose focus is to be loved by his people will try and appease both sides. They'll try and make both sides happy through compromise. Sometimes this works and sometimes its the most logical decision to make. But in compromise both sides only get portions of what they want. This will inevitably leave everyone unhappy. "What happens when you try and make everyone happy?" To your Liberal V Conservative argument, a leader who tries to be loved by all his people will have policies that are neither Liberal or Conservative in attempts to please everybody. In all actuallity he is just pissing everbody off.

Feared- A leader whose main focus is to be feared/respected looks at the liberal v conservative issue and makes no compromise. He will only do what is right for his people because he is not worried about upsetting his citizens because he knows that they will be ultimately more upset if he impliments policies that fail.

"The more you tighten your grip, Tarkin, the more
star systems will slip through your fingers."
-Princess Leia. Star Wars

Even though that is just a movie, the quote stands
true. A leader who grips his throne and subjects
to tightly will start losing more and more

 
frankiej4189
Jul 14, 2008
Case #5
NO! I want a challenge. Dont you give up on me yet. Keep going with the loved leaders stuff and find things there. Its always better to be good than bad, its ultimatley the light that triumphs the darkness. Dont forget that and importantly dont forget it in your arguments. I'm not done wth you yet.

 


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