What Implications Did Machiavelli's Idea of the End Justifying the Means Have for Both Renaissance Politicians and What Implications for Politicians Today?
Machiavelli was not a great artist or religious leader, but he had the greatest infl uence on history of any single individual of the Renaissance or Reformation.
I am well aware that Machiavelli might have scoffed at this idea as the ravings of someone overly optimistic about the basic nature of his fellow humans.Machiavelli offered us Savaronola as proof that this wishy-washy thinking thought too highly of human nature.Granted the leaders of today’s countries may act like Renaissance Prince’s in their double dealing but the sands have shifted.The end for today’s political leaders is not so much the glory of their state but the flourishing of the individuals within it.However whether you think that the end should be a state in the mould of Sparta or a civilisation marked by individuals each pursuing their own vision we should not believe that all the ends must be compatible, and perhaps even entail one another.That is a monist idea and Machiavelli hinted at a pluralism of ends, which I agree with him on.Where I differ is that politics should have the individual not the state at its centre, permitting people, within agreed limits, to pursue their own ends for which there is no map.
However, President Obama appears to want to keep his word regarding the closure of the Guantamo bay detention camp having signed an executive order to that effect on January 22, 2009 (Rhee). He is working towards a complete withdrawal of American troops from Iraq and Afghanistan. Today members of the public consider seriously the fulfillment of pledges made to them by presidents before they vote in their favor for the second time. Therefore, it would be imprudent for any leader to go down the Machiavelli’s path of deception and dishonesty.
It has actually brought up many and varied ethical questions that were inexistent before his writings. Many political and business ventures are utilizing the ides of the book to carry out their weird intentions in the societies. These people are rationalizing many of the actions that they are doing with the prospect that the end will justify the beginning. This is actually wrong having in mind what actually justifies the beginning. In conclusion, there are varied reactions that followed Machiavelli’s work during the renaissance period. They ranged from those which sounded positive to those that were actually negative in nature. However, most of the works that Machiavelli did have been of practical use in many governance and leadership skills in the world.
Findlaw. U.S. Constitution: Article II. n.d. 11 October 2010. < http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/data/constitution/article02/>
Ochieng, Z. Stunning Revelations. March 2003. 11 October 2010. < http://www.newsfromafrica.org/newsfromafrica/articles/art_1282.html>
Rhee, F. Obama Orders Guantamo Bay Closed, Bans Torture. 22 January 2009. 11 October 2010.