Joseph Stalin used fear to rule the Soviet Union. Anyone who did not agree with his ideas were either executed or send to labor camps. He is said to have killed millions of political opponents. Machiavelli stated that only when there is a manifest reason should a person's life be taken. I don;t believe that opposing ones political thought is a just reason for the taking of ones life. Machiavelli believed that a good leader refrained from taking a persons property. In contrast to this belief, Stalin confiscated peoples farmland.
Many people in the western world hold very dear the idea of independence, that they can think freely, choose freely, and express themselves freely. This all is connected to the idea of free will that many believe is what makes us human. Many people cannot, however, define free will. There is always the feeling that one can do whatever he/she wants. That is probably why this idea is such a pleasing concept. There is just one serious flaw in the free will concept. People cannot determine everything; there are some things, even before one is born, that determines who he will be in the future. Since people do not choose their parents, or the nationality of their family this creates a serious flaw in the free will concept. Now if people were able to choose these sorts of things they would be gods. It is not up to people to choose their skin colour, nationality etc. When one looks at this issue the concept of soft determinism is probably the safest solution to answer this problem. Since in this concept there are things determined for people, if one knows what he is doing, and the choice is not, in any way, forced by the circumstances the action that he is