The Prince: Better to be Loved or Feared?

THE PRINCE by Niccolo Machiavelli

Be sure to have read the Prince by Machiavelli. He feels it is better to be feared rather than loved as a leader. Given Machiavelli’s ideas about human nature, discuss what you believe are the qualities of a successful leader.

17 responses

17 09 2014

I think it is more important that the people of a country care about the leader instead of fearing him. If you are fearful of your leader you will act well but eventually you will probably have enough and you will want to rebel. A country that is based off of fear will last only for a short term before the people will have had enough, however a leader that is trusted by the nations people will produce a very strong and united country. Therefore both fear and love will work but love will build a more united country.

31 10 2014
Sara Pulaj

Keep in mind we are not discussing today’s leaders.Machiavelli was a man of his time, which also means he wrote for HIS time(roughly 1532-1600c). He very clearly states that if a ruler wants to govern and sustain his state successfully that he needs to instill fear in his people, for two reasons :1. They will not disobey his orders and two: He will maintain the loyalty of his army. Why are these factors important? because “Italy” and particularly Florence at the time was being invaded left and right, not only by other monarchs but by it’s neighboring city states. Therefore, Machiavelli felt cruel leaders such as Cesare Borgia were great for governing the state because they could maintain authority over the people and their army.

18 09 2014

I believe that in order to be a successful leader you need to have a balance of what Machiavelli was referring to as strong and what he was referring to as weak. If a nation’s leader is too strong and dominant then the citizens will consider rebelling against them, but if the leader is too kind and loving then the people will take advantage of him or her. Therefore in order for success as a leader one must have equal levels of love and adoration from the citizens that they lead.

19 09 2014
Austin Bixby Sutton

I think it would be better to be a bit of both, feared and loved. If the leader is feared to much it was cause the people to turn against him, and try to over power him out of place, so they can live how they want. But if he is loved to much the people would start to maybe take advantage like Noah said^^^
such as trying to gain new laws for themselves or if the leader is lending out loans, they will keep asking for it. So if the leader is both feared and loved, they would be able to keep order in his/her country, and the people will be kept care of.

20 09 2014
Michael Caughey

I believe good qualities of a leader include the ability to act kindly to your people , but have the ability to act in a harsh manner. A leader who is too kind will be used and not have the same respect a harsh leader will have . A harsh leader stands a good chance of being overthrown and most likely killed sometime in his reign. If a leader can treat the people with respect while still having the ability to keep people in line , their country or kingdom will succeed.Any leader needs to be kind enough to take power , but harsh enough to keep it.The greatest rulers throughout time have had this ability and were able to expand and keep large successful empires until their death .A good example of this would be Tito from Yugoslavia . Tito was able to rule Yugoslavia in a mostly benevolent dictator role until his death . Yugoslavia fell apart because of his death . If he would have had a successor with the same abilities, Yugoslavia would still exist today.

22 09 2014
Maya✌️ (@mayacshaw)

I think that being both feared and loved as a leader is important, however in some ways one is more important than the other. Being feared is effective because people will listen to you and follow your rules, but you don’t want to be feared in every situation. There are times when a ruler should be loved by his followers, a time where they need to see the good in the leader in order to believe in them. A leader shouldn’t go so far as to be only loved and not feared however, because they won’t be respected or thought of as a strong ruler who can properly redirect or discipline his country as needed. Every leader should be kind enough to take power and lead, but be harsh enough to keep that power.

23 09 2014
Cody Simpson

Machiavelli is said to have believed it was better to be feared than loved as leader, but what he really believed was that you want your people to praise you but know who has the power in his hands. He believed that you should be good but in order to keep authority you have to be willing to not be good as necessity requires it. I completely agree with Machiavelli, you don’t need to always be loved or always be feared but a mixture of both is the key to success. Show your people you care for them and punish the ones who go against the good you are bestowing upon them.

23 09 2014
Betsy Cousineau

I think it’s more important to be loved than feared, it is much easier to have people listen to you when they think you’re being an understanding person, which also makes it easier to corrupt people to follow you. If you are mostly loved you can get away with a few small things that would cause fear, but it will be excused because you “only do it once or twice and are otherwise a great person”. So all in all I believe it is more effective to be loved than it is to be feared, in a political view.

23 09 2014
bryn8350 bryn8350

I think that it is better to be loved for today’s leaders however a leader at the time would probably be best to be feared. In today’s democratic government if you were feared people could just not vote for you without fear of repercussion. However a leader at the time this book was written would need to be feared to be respected and to keep power. In my belief it is best to be feared and loved so you are respected but also so people will not revolt against you.

23 09 2014
Amber Lawson

Machiavelli believed that it was better to be feared that loved as a leader, but I think that a good leader should have a mix of both qualities. A leader has to be loved by their people because when you hate someone, you don’t want them to succeed. You want to overtake them, and that’s what would happen if you were hated by everybody you have power over. However, a leader must not always be friendly. If a leader is kind towards his people all the time, they will take advantage of that. There must be some sort of discipline and punishment for a leader to succeed. A good leader should be able to act harshly when needed to keep their power over their people.

23 09 2014
just5611 just5611

Machiavelli is a smart man, but I believe that it’s better to be loved and not feared. This is because if you are loved. people will respect you and want to follow your rules and do things for you. If you are feared and hated by everyone you rule over people will just want to get rid of you. If you are loved by your people. they will want you around and you will stay in power longer.

23 09 2014

The idea of a successful leader is incredibly subjective whether it involves a clear moral conscious or exertable power. For this blog comment I will assume the latter. A successful leader will be loved but feared enough so as to have the people of the nation compliant enough to follow him without considering the consequences of disobedience.

24 09 2014
Chris Losch

The ideals of being a good leader should be that you are loved not feared. Machiavelli is right that the subjects would follow and respect a feared leader. this isn’t always true, if you fear your leader you might be constantly living in fear and that is not a way of life worth should honest and respectable and know when to stand for your country. The leader should know when to appear forgiving and nice but also be ready to propose fear as well. sometimes a leader has to be feared and hated to do what’s best for his/her country.

2 10 2014
Jordan Garner (@7_Jtg)

Machiavelli stated very clearly that it is better to be feared than be loved. Back at that time period this would have been very true. But into today’s government it needs to be a mixture of both. A leader needs to be feared to have respect and have control over a nation, but they as well need to be loved. They need to be loved because when a leader shows compassion as well as respect, they gain the respect even more from their nation

2 10 2014
Jessie Elliott

I believe that is better to be feared as a leader. I believe this because if people fear you, you seem to have more control of your country. Also other countries would fear you because of your reputation and would be less likely to want to be an enemy and more of an friend.

5 10 2014
Katelyn Parsons

In my opinion one would have more success as a leader if they are loved rather than feared. A leader who is feared, is often a leader people hate, and often rebel against, But when a leader is loved they are respected. A feared leader may think they are respected, but in actuality it is the fear that keeps said leader in control, not respect.

19 01 2015
Mel French

I believe that a great leader must be loved by his people and allies but feared by his enemies. If you are feared by your people you will eventually fall to your demise. Fear is a pathway to anger and rebellion. So if your people are angry with you they will try to overcome you for the sake of change. However if your people love you they will respect you almost as a friend and more importantly as a leader. On the other hand if you are feared by your enemies its not as much of gamble to fight with and iron fist because in war there is no mercy the goal is to fight and defend not to give the nation that is destroying and invading your country bouquet of flowers.

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