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Social and Political Philosophy

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Sem. Mark Joseph A. Calbelo

Social and Political Philosophy

Chapter 21 of “The Prince”

“And a prince ought, above all things, always to endeavor in every action to gain for himself the reputation of being a great and remarkable man.”

A political man desires that he may maintain his good position or be raised in a higher one. In our present political status, as a democratic country, we want persons with good character to be our leaders since we hope for the good future. Machiavelli shows to us how a political person possesses an honor in the sight of people: in this way, I would like also to compare it to our present political situations.

The twenty first chapter of Machiavelli’s The Prince deals with the concept of leader’s reputation. The action of a prince must give people an idea that he is good and trustworthy. Being aware of his position, he must keep up the value of being always admired in any particular condition. In one of Machiavelli’s examples, the King of Spain conquered many territories without horrific reputation. Though he possessed authorities and power, “no man has never been given time to work steady against him.”

There are two main focuses in the chapter: the honor of the leader and the good of the country. Leader’s reputation is prior to the good of the country wherein the leader has no pure intention in doing the latter. The title “great” must be in the mind of the people through king’s ability in every art. With regard to his relationship with another king, his purpose is to maintain again his power or become greater than the other king. Machiavelli said, “A prince ought to take care never to make an alliance with one more powerful than himself for the purpose of attacking others, unless necessity compels him, as is said above; because if he conquers you are at his discretion, and princes ought to avoid as much as possible being at the discretion of anyone.”

For me, this is a wise action of a king. If he will rule under the other ruler, then his nation is not really his own. Though the intention of Machiavelli is not pure, his advise in this chapter would be acceptable and basis for the political issues nowadays. And let us also look at our observations on political atmosphere today.

Some of our present leaders have many issues in which their corruption has been revealed. Their reputation has been damaged. This is one of the weaknesses not only on the part of the leader but also on the part of the people since they chose those persons; and a leader is a representative of people. The rise of him is the rise of many; the fall of him is the fall of many. Now, as a democratic country, it is not only an obligation of the leader to raise his self but of people who chose him.



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