The Prince: Better to be Loved or Feared?

THE PRINCE by Niccolo Machiavelli

Be sure to have read the Prince by Machiavelli. Is it better to be FEARED or LOVED as a leader? Discuss and provide support or reasons for your ideas in the blog below.

20 responses

21 02 2013
Tori-anne Langkamm

As beautifully said in the words of Nicollo Machiavelli a prince would love to be both feared and loved as both have their advantages. However, I also agree that since this is a nearly impossible scenario it is better to be feared as a leader. Why? Because man is more likely to turn their back on you in the instance of love for their leader when man’s welfare is at stake; man is also less likely to turn on their leader when “fear involve(s) dread of punishment”. Once again agreeing with the Prince, one must make himself feared without being hated; keeping his hands off the property of his subjects and citizens. He also must ensure he has actual justification in the instance of the need for war or “to shed blood”. Machiavelli also reminds us that without being considered a little bit cruel, he would never be able to “hold his army together and ready for action”. In conclusion, I, along with Prince Nicollo Machiavelli , believe it is better to be feared rather than loved as a leader when one must make a choice between the two.

22 02 2013
Sarah Kelly

It was clear after reading Machiavelli’s article that he thinks it is better for a prince to be feared rather than loved because then they can have more control over their people. He explains that a leader that is feared will make people listen and cooperate with them. Although I understand many of his points I do not fully agree.

Thinking about it in a classroom setting is easy to picture. When students are in class with a teacher that is feared, yes everyone tends to obey, however there is often no motivation to do anything else. On the other hand, if there is a teacher that students love and respect they often go above and beyond the teacher’s expectations as they strive to impress them. This is similar to a leader. If a leader is loved and respected people will want to obey, impress and please the leader rather than being scared and simply obeying to avoid punishment.

With a teacher who students like they are also able to speak up in class and give their ideas and opinions on topics which might help the teacher when they are making important decisions. With a feared teacher students often do not feel as though they can voice their ideas or opinions. With a leader, this means that hundreds or thousands of voices are silenced because they are too scared to say their ideas as they might risk serious punishments. The communication between a leader and their people is much better with a leader who is loved.

For a leader to be successful it is important to be loved so that they are connected to their people and so that their people can voice their opinions and feeling, but it is also important to be respected so that this relationship is not taken for granted. A loved leader does not mean a weak leader, it means that they want what is best for their people. As Machiavelli explained it is harder to rule by love, but I do believe that it is better than ruling by fear.

26 02 2013

I agree with Machiavelli to an extent. It is better to be feared than loved, in his situation. A ruler would thrive in past centuries while ruling with an iron fist, and making his people fear him. Being feared worked well for Machiavelli because although his subjects feared him, he did good for his country. It didn’t quite matter how he ruled because he ruled well in a way of getting things done. I completely agree with Machiavelli when he says that it is possible to be feared and not hated. You can fear someone and allow them to do what they see fit. It is possible to cause fear, but not hate. People cannot justly hate their leader if they know deep down that he is doing good things for their country. If they hated him, it could cause unrest and people resisting his orders, while that wouldn’t happen if they only feared.
But these days, people are so consumed with the popularity of their leader, that some think of what they’d do for their country second to the lifestyle and niceness of the leader. People are much more publicly opinionated in the 21st century, and focus on the life of their candidates for a leader rather than their plans for the country. Plus, in the 16th century Machiavelli wouldn’t have been elected by the people, they just get used to it. Nowadays, since we elect our leaders, if we were scared of them, we simply would vote for someone else.
I believe that it would be better to be feared than loved in past centuries or even in a dictatorship, but nowadays, and in a democracy, it’s all a popularity contest.

17 06 2013
Michael Foster

I agree with Machiavelli that it is better to be loved than feared as a leader. If you are loved as a leader, the citizens of your country will be more willing to break laws and go against your rulings because they are not very afraid of the consequences or punishments for their actions. If you were feared as a leader, the citizens of the country would not be as willing to go against you because they are afraid of what the consequences or punishments will be. Also, you could be more effective in creating positive changes in the country because you are worrying less about the citizen’s opinion of you and what you are doing. However, you would not want to be hated as a leader. If you were, there would be many more uprisings and revolts against the government because people would want someone else in control of their country. In today’s society, this would still be partly in effect. However, because most countries are now a democratic society, if you are hated or feared too much, you will not get voted back into power.

20 09 2013
Taylor-Ann Jambrich

I agree with Machiavelli’s words of it is better to be feared than it is to be loved. A leader does not need to be exceptionally kind to everyone in his care or else he most likely will be taken advantage of. Machiavelli spoke of generosity being a huge disadvantage at the beginning of a leader’s reign. If people love you for your graciousness then they will expect nothing but graciousness from you. People do and will take advantage of you if the need to survive is prominent enough. A leader does not require to be an extroardinary human being so long as they can rule their country properly. A ruler who can manage the economy and keep his citizens safe is far superior to one who is generally loved by all because of his generousity to others. It is important to keep a strong presence in leadership, even if that means you are not generally liked. So long as your people do not find you to be exceptionally cruel you are in good standing amongst your country. Being stern and being a tyrant are two different things.

23 09 2013

Is it better to be feared rather than to be loved as a leader?
Someone who was feared by the world had read out of Niccolo Machiavelli’s book The Prince, the words, “It is better to be feared than loved, if you cannot be both.” The one who had read these words, was the leader of Germany, until he violated one of Machavelli’s rules and was destroyed. As you may know, this man was Adolf Hitler who disobeyed one of The Prince’s important rules, “As long as you do not mess with a man’s property or his women The people do not care who rules over them,” Hitler disobeyed this rule by killing his own people for no reason other than “principle”.
I do think most of what Machavelli said was quite intelligent, but I do not agree with what he says. I think it is more important to be loved or rather, show unconditional love towards the people and to not try to rule over them. I believe in the way that most Natives of this country used to live and that is through love and respect for any living thing. Many Native chiefs were leaders who showed love and respect to their people, listening to their needs and making sure each and every person had their opinion heard. I believe that this is the way a leader should be, and living through fear is destructive of self.
-Matthew Sharp

23 09 2013
Nicole Catherine Gratrix

As inclined as I am to completely agree with Machiavelli, I can’t say there truly is a straight answer as to whether one should be feared or loved. I believe that it is a completely situational conundrum. A leader of a small group of people, who does not have power over the well-being of enitre nations, ought to make himself loved. It is through a connection with his people that he might find the best solutions for all of their problems.
On the other hand, a leader of a large population – such as, for instance, a prime minister of a country – should seek a status of being feared. When dealing with the masses, it is absolutely impossible to make morally pure decisions that will appeal to everyone. Democracy is a difficult beast, because everyone’s moral center is in a different place. That’s why, every day, there are debates over gay marriage and abortion, women’s rights and men’s rights, segregation of church and state and even, still, segregation of races. One can make a whole country fear him, but he cannot make a whole country love him, because though we all have commion fears (such as punishment,) there is no one common “rightness”.

So, to recap: leaders of small groups should be loved, while leaders of large groups should be feared.

23 09 2013
Sandra Smith (@_sandrarose)

I agree with Machiavelli. It is better to be loved as a person but fearded as a leader. We all have a leader and we dont all love them. A leader has to make decisions and they wont change their decisions according to people that either love or fear them. If you are a leader and are loved by everyone than one small choice may make them hate you whereas, if you are fearded than you are seen as a leader and superior to everyone. Leadership is something that takes a lot of work and a lot of independance. If everyone loves you, you must be very generous to their decisions instead of your own. If you are strong enough to lead people than youare strong enough to make decisions according to what you believe in, that is what being a leader is. So, yes it is better to be feared than lovesd as a leader.

24 09 2013
Ryan Gallant

I agree with Machiavelli’s it’s better to be loved then fearded A loved leader does not mean a weak leader, it means that they want what is best for their people.It is better to be feared as a leader Because man and woman are more likely to turn their back on you in the instance of love for their leader when man’s welfare is at stake; man and woman are also less likely to turn on their leader when “fear involve. so it is better to be loved than feared as a leader.

25 09 2013
Amber Wise

The Prince: Better to be loved then feared?
For a prince it is much more better to be feared rather than loved. Some people would choose to love you for how you stand to your country. To be feared but not hated is key. Some leaders fall in their work field because they’re not sure of how humans react to some of the things they choose to do. You can be very generous at times but everyone knows the money is never from the leaders’ themselves. Its taken from each and every one of us. Every job you have deducts taxes, to pay for all the imports, exports, gasoline, oil spills, explosions, hydro, body guards, vehicles, army ect. The government covers educational buildings. Money is always fundraised by us to help out. Spending what belongs to others is better for them so they don’t become bankrupt, and to defend themselves by avoiding poverty and contempt. Leaders have to be widely known to seize every opportunity they can to make a big display of themselves. Media is their best hope for going anywhere or being thought of. Its better to be called a miser then hated upon. BEing feared just shows you can handle your country, make sure everything is set, making yourself stand out to be a good man still. A Prince who can show they care about religion, charity, humanity and say things like lies against his words, is all qualities of a leader. Compassion, honour, integrity and religion will define them. Mainly being feared though is better then loved -anyone can fear but only some will love!
-Amber Wise

25 09 2013
Chris Hamelin

I agree with Machiavelli that it is better to be feared as a leader, but also loved to an extanr. If you are feared, your people will be less likely to go against you if you make a descion they don’t like. As long as you don’t mess with your subjects lives in particular they won’t rise against you. Citizens will only rebel if their personal lives are in jeoprody.

29 09 2013
Jaden MacDonald

The Prince: Better to be loved then feared?
it is much more practical to be feared rather than loved but keeping in mind not to be hated. A loved leader wants whats best for the people but will end up spending his own riches and people get tired of generosity and will eventually walk all over you and you will not be able to accomplish your goals..

A feared leader on the other hand will spend the money of others but yet seem generous and seem like they are helping you out but really its not there money so they are not losing anything.

Being feared gives you more control to get things done because people will be less likely to question you and if anyone does question they will be punished causing you to reinstate your authority and people will bend at your will more easily fearing they will get the same punishment if they don’t comply, allowing you to do what you feel is best for the people of which you are ruling.

29 09 2013
Lucy Stoffregen

Being feared as a leader will reap faster results – people will do as you say because they do not wish to suffer consequences. A feared leader can get the job done, but only in his/her own way. This will not be good in the long run unless this leader is concious of what is best for their country as a whole.
Back in the time that Machiavelli wrote The Prince, a feared leader may have been better suited for a role of power, but in today’s democratic society it would make more sense of a leader to be loved. This way people would be more comfortable with having their true feelings or opinions be heard, which would be better in the long run because proper solutions that adhere to a larger number of peoples needs can be made.

I believe that a good leader is not necessarily defined by whether they are loved or feared; I feel as though it is more a matter of the respect they get from their followers.

Looking back, a loved leader will always be remembered as having good intentions and inspiring a nation to do good, which can lead to better and loved leaders in the future. I believe a loved leader can help a nation better in the long run than can a feared leader.

4 10 2013
Meredith Hook

I believe that it is best to be a little pit of both. If you are too nice then people will take advantage of you and if you are feared people could turn on you. Its best to have a balance.

9 10 2013
Sarah-Rose Weimer

Niccolo Machiavelli was born in 1469. Some call him the father of modern political theory because he was the founder of political science. He was very well known for his work The Prince which is a treatise filled with political ideas and what a prince should have as characteristics to rule.
The book sounds brutal at times, encouraging the use of fear and intimidation as a way of controlling a 15th century regime and discouraging generosity and love as a leader. But to rule that world and to think of the politics as completely logical many of the things Machiavelli sates make sense. In other parts of the treatise he would hope every prince would be seen as merciful rather than cruel and speaks of how establishing loyalty and unity of his people might be misconstrued as acting cruel.

16 10 2013
August Cervo

I beleieve it is better to be loved than feared as a leader. I believe this because a leader who is feared does not recieve loyalty from the people whom he leads, they follow because of fear instead of loyalty. From the stand point of a leader, if a war was being fought the feared leader would have men fighting, but only until death of the leader. The loved leader would have men fighting not only to his death, but their own deaths as well. I would rather have support before and after my ruling instead of just during. Therefore I believe it is more beneficial to be a leader who is loved.

19 10 2013

Being loved does not necessarily imply that you are not respected. What is love without respect? Love is such a strong word. Love is misinterpreted much more commonly than it is properly understood.

Perhaps he knew not how so easily it would be to manipulate lovers. Lovers whom would go to the farthest extent, just to please their loved one. Lovers whom would disdain the idea of ever displeasing their loved one.

When people love you, that does not necessarily imply that you love them as well. They can fantasize all they want about how you would “care about them”. All those time, you could have always been lying.

11 04 2014

Let’s not forget how fast slaves rebelled against their Chinese emperors as well.

24 10 2013
Kyra Genest

Machiavelli believed it is better to be feared as a leader rather than loved because then those leaders have more control over their people. This fear allows that leader to be able to control people to cooperate and listen. I do not necessarily agree that you should always be a feared leader, although it is easier to get control over the people, but being loved by people may always get their cooperation without feeling they have to.

25 11 2013
Dustin Larmand

Truthfully It is better to be feared then loved as a leader, why because if people love you as a leader it will cause you to show weakness and weakness is just the thing that the human race looks for weakness is the thing humans strive to exploit, but as a person it would be better to be loved and not hated hatred for being who you are causes people to close up and hide away inside of a shell of there empty selves, Being feared as a leader means people will respect you out of fear and fear is what you wish to want to use to control the masses someone speaks out and breaks laws doing so? hang them show the masses that you wont hesitate in killing to prove your point and uphold the law.

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