While reading Machiavelli’s “The Prince” I was consistently amazed by many of Machiavelli’s ideals and principles. I feel like I finally understand why “The Prince” is such an important book, as many of Machiavelli’s ideas are still applicable today for the modern ruler. Ultimately it seems like Machiavelli was one of the first of his time to be truly cynical when it came to power, and how to achieve it. Machiavelli doesn’t view power as a luxury, he sees it more as a necessity, and the way to get it is through his very precise and almost scientific methods outlined in “The Prince”. While a lot of his ideas are fantastic and still sort of applicable (ex. better to rule with fear than love), there are others which didn’t quite relate to me (such as conquering foreign lands), yet it was still really interesting to read about Machiavelli’s thoughts and historical evidence and stories.
Maybe it shows how times have changed, but I feel like a Machiavellian leader is much more difficult to come across today. While there will always be those strange exceptions like North Korea’s Kim Jong-Un and Russia’s Vladimir Putin, the majority of world leaders seem to have strayed away from being Machiavellian, and instead understand that their relationship with their people is actually important, and being truly virtuous as well. While I have never met Barack Obama, I feel like I can safely say that he isn’t faking his kindness and virtues, and that he is indeed a kind man with the goal of improving the average American’s well being. While leaders are less Machiavellian in that way, the fact that results are what matter has not changed.
The fact that results still are what truly matters is what makes Machiavelli’s “The Prince” still applicable today. “The Prince” is all about getting results, and making sure that those results are never compromised due to uprisings or political enemies outsmarting you. I guess that’s something that will never change about politics and power, and that’s what makes Machiavelli’s work so important, is that it teaches the most important aspect and doesn’t dance around talking about other aspects of ruling which can change with time. Machiavelli’s “The Prince” is all about results, and it remains such an important piece of literature today because our society is still based around results, and probably always will be.