Machiavelli and State Diplomacy
Machiavelli wrote his most important work “Prince” and dedicated it to de Medici, the prince of Florence. “Prince” of Machiavelli is neither an academic treatise nor a book on political science. It is a memorandum on the art of Government and of State diplomacy. It gives an awe-inspiring technique for successful ruler-ship and as such is a guide to the rulers and kings of his time and of succeeding times, about the best means of maintaining their power.
The whole argument of Prince is based upon the premise directly derived from Aristotelian philosophy, that the state is the highest form of human association and that consideration for the state welfare must be given priority and preference than the well-being of the individuals. These premises led to the conclusion that it was Caesar and not God to be worshipped. Here Machiavelli personified Caesar with a state and almost identifies the state with the ruler. Caesar must make himself worthy of this worship by a cruel, ruthless and successful seizure of power. A prince must possess the qualities of wisdom, egoism, selfishness and brutalities for the attainment of his motives. A prince must consider his friend and neighbors his ardent foes and does not repose any confidence in them. Machiavelli was of the views that:
“Virtue brings ruin, while vice brings security and prosperity.”
“Cruelty is better than mercy.”
“A wise ruler ought not to keep faith when such observance may be turned against him.”
The main point of Machiavelli’s state diplomacy are following:
1.Impart priority to your own interests. The strong must impose intimidatory laws upon the weak to arrest their rebelliousness.
2.Honor to nobody but to yourself. He who aspires to acquire mastery can afford to have no rivals.
3.Do evil but pretend to do well. Machiavelli was of the view that to be good is harmful but to pose to be good is useful diabolic attitude. Let mercy be on your tongue and evil in your heart.
4.The Prince should have no regard for the rights of others, especially foreigners. He should impose heavy tax upon them to the point of robbing them.
5.A Prince should not be prodigal with the money of his own people, but he should be very liberal and generous with the money plundered from other countries through aggression and other mean resources.
6.A Prince must discard all the canons of leniency and decency.
7.A Prince, in order to crush his competitors, must turn into a murderer and a looter.
8.The Prince must kill his enemies and if necessary, his friends. He must remain vigilant and alert from his relations so that he may not be deposed, exiled and murdered.
9.Use force and duplicity rather than benign ness in dealing with other people. It is better to be creator of horrors than to be maintainer of love and affection. When you over-power your enemy, root out the entire roots of his family, otherwise some of his relatives will become vindictive to take revenge for the wrong you have inflicted.
10.Concentrate all your efforts on war. In the Machiavellian state, all regular channels of human activities are barred and all roads lead to war.