Machiavelli and Amorality

Length: 5 Pages 1327 Words

Machiavelli’s treatment of ethics and morality is amoral. This is so because he simply talks about what it takes to be an effective leader. In no way is Machiavelli promoting immorality. He speaks of immorality acts in order for a ruler to serve the greater good of his people. He looks at politics without moral immoral thoughts. To argue that Machiavelli is amoral, one must understand how he treats religion and the primary source of moral standards that he has established in his amoral context. He stands by what must be done in order for a leader to be effective and lead his people. The Prince is a great guide for efficient and successful government. The goal Machiavelli’s overall point is to stay in power; any means necessary to accomplish these goals are acceptable. He clearly sees the importance of force when he states, “ Moses, Cyrus, Thesus, nor Romulus would have been able to make their peoples obey their new structures of authority for long had they been unarmed.”(Wootton 20) And again, when he says “the main foundation which all states must have, whether new, or old, or mixed, is good laws and good armies.”(Wootton 38) He stresses the importance of the army to the extent of excluding any possible good laws Continue...


Strength and sacrifice must be given to govern a society. Mercenaries are motivated by "their small stipend which is not enough to make them willing to die for you he also adds "There is no difficulty in demonstrating the truth if this; for the present ruins of Italy can be attributed to nothing else. Machiavelli's own view of religion speaking in reference to the role of God in human affairs is stated at the end of The Prince. The third is to allow the state to maintain its own laws, but to charge taxes and establish an oligarchy to keep the state friendly. The political arena of this era was just cause for the amoral political tactics that Machiavelli has proved to be essential for successful politics. Maciavelli is not saying that God does nothing and man does everything or man does nothing and God does everything. (Wootton 28) He also believes if one can acquire power in this form should not be judged less than a ruler who took another approach. He rejects the use of armies made up of mercenaries and considers them useless for maintaining security and stability. (Wootton 17) This quote is centered on immoral acts but in order to maintain order one must consider all options regardless of the morality of the situation. One must understand Machiavelli's treatment of religion and identify with his set of moral standards. "At a prearranged signal, had his soldiers killed all the senators and the richest citizens. To Machiavelli religion is give and take. Over all, one should be aware that Machiavelli was not, neither did he intent to be immoral or moral. (Mootton 78) In this quote Machiavelli is arguing the existence of God does not rule out for a ruler not to take self-imitative.