The Prince

Written on April 30, 2011. Written by .

The Prince was written as a practical guide for how to be a successful ruler. It discusses issues like balancing the appeasement of the citizens and military, and in what cases it is beneficial to build forts or distribute arms. Many historical examples are cited in support of the arguments. Although the work is famous for promoting the doctrine of “the ends justify the means”, it only addressed this concept indirectly. The closest point was probably when it pointed out that the most benevolent rulers would often be overthrown by the military or assassinated. The implication being that they would then be replaced by someone much less benevolent, so they could do the most good for the people by being cruel enough to prevent being ousted. This observation is probably repugnant to many idealists, but it is certainly worth considering. But aside from that, the book was rather boring. Even the historical examples were too brief to be of value. There just isn’t much that appeals to modern readers. (Finished 4-12-11)

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