Essay on The Prince vs. the Republic

Words: 1021
Pages: 5

Machiavelli's criticism of Plato's The Republic states that a ruler who possesses an inherent quality of that which is consistently good will never have the authority to rule his or her people successfully. If a ruler always treats his subjects in a manner, which can be qualified as good, then he will ultimately meet his demise, as his subjects will rise against him. Machiavelli claims that it is unrealistic to assume that all the people of a kingdom will conduct themselves in a manner that will be consistent with the ruling of a "good" leader. Such republics or principalities do not exist in reality and are entirely hypothetical situations.
Plato treats his republic as a means of demonstrating that there is a certain way for all people
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Without this force, there is not a true level of hierarchy and authority and the people who are meant to be good will not remain as such forever.
Machiavelli also states in his rules for a principality, that it is necessary to have only one ruler for the state, as more than one can lead to a fault in the system. However, Plato maintains that it is necessary to have more than one ruler who is just and good controlling the state, as only one leader will always seek more power. This is where the two teachings differ so greatly. From Machiavelli's perspective, seeking out power is the primary goal of a prince or ruler, but Plato maintains that the rulers should be born into power, not seek it and that they should only use their power to the benefit of the state.
Machiavelli derives his rules from the ideas that man is inherently bad and will act accordingly to make himself happy. Therefore his rules for a principality are realistic and his criticism of Plato legitimate. Plato's republic stems from unrealistic ideals of human nature and the fact that education can override base desires and needs of people. However, he is not taking into account what can happen if these desires are suppressed for too long, which is that they will resurface and disrupt the order of the state. Plato has created an imaginary