Machiavelli: Realism over Idealism Essay

Words: 1102
Pages: 5

Luke Pelagio
Due 5/27/2011
Period 4
Machiavelli: Realism Over Idealism Nicolo Machiavelli is known as being an archetypical realist; in other words, he was someone who originated the idea that we should not try to figure out how people should be, but rather accept and deal with the world as it literally is. Unlike Machiavelli, Plato posited an idealist view of a philosopher king reigning through virtue. To Machiavelli, this is an extremely dangerous delusion for it ignores what he considers the reality of the human condition: humans are brutal, selfish, and fickle (Machiavelli and Power Politics). You don’t need a philosopher king to secure off enemies and reinforce order/stability; on the other hand, you need a prince or a leader
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Machiavelli politics is definitely aimed toward the masculine side. It is power and control, so fortune is feminine and more anarchy. If not under control, it will be unstable and chaotic. His influence stretches far beyond Italy in the sixteenth century and lies with us today in how we think/understand the world of international relations. Everything I have read such as: ideas about Plato, Aristotle, Thomas Hobbes, and Nicolo Machiavelli are all extremely important to my knowledge and insight about political concepts/background. I believe that to be educated one must have familiar knowledge with those who have shaped today’s political society and government. Machiavelli’s ideas, in particular, are used everywhere today. One who has not been informed of Nicolo Machiavelli would be living in ignorance, for that individual would be clueless of how ideas today became what they are/how they are. When President Nixon organized the Watergate Scandal in 1973, the public had

no inclination that their leader was capable of such corrupt and unscrupulous means. Nixon, under the impression that his campaign was vulnerable, manipulated for power in the only way he saw fitting, hoodwinking. Take a look at President Truman; he dropped a bomb on Hiroshima and Nagasaki reaching casualties of 120,000. According to him, survival of the United States was so