Machiavelli vs. Erasmus
I believe that both of these views, to a certain extent and in certain situations, are still relevant today. With some people, the parts of the population that seek only to gain in their lives, and not contribute to the betterment of society, I would say that the Machiavellian approach would be of better use. Because he is right, a lot of men are ungrateful, fickle, deceptive, avoiders of dangers and eager to gain. With these kinds of people, they will try to take what they can without regard for who they crush, so the only way to keep them in check is their fear of the punishments they might receive. We obviously don’t have to worry about them killing someone for political reasons like in the times when “The Prince” was written, but I would say that seizure of property is still a punishment used today. That is the first thing people go for when seeking punishment or reparations; money, possessions or property. I think love of country, not necessarily the person running it is the best way to get devotion from people. So I disagree that those people who follow out of love are less reliable. Especially right now, as a member of the armed forces, I can speak for myself a many of my comrades that we don’t agree with most, if anything, our current leader says or does. But we follow his orders anyway, because we love this country, and that is greater than any personal reason for not following our President. If anyone even tried to use the fear approach, they would never even get elected. That is why they have propaganda and the occasional commercial telling all the good deeds they do, not saying who they punished for not agreeing with them. So maybe in a country where democracy doesn’t decide the leader, Machiavelli’s approach might be used, but in ours, I would say only for small portions of the population would it be useful.
I think Erasmus’s view would be more accepted in today’s world. We all know some politicians don’t follow a lot...
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