Philosophy Discussion 2

i. write a response for these: 

  What is the role of violence for Machiavelli?

  • When should you commit violence?
  • Against whom should you be violent?
  • In what ways is violence useful?
    • Harmful?

  • Links:

Reply to the following responses:

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1. Violence in this sense refers to the use of brutal force to cause harm or injury. The established governments have a monopoly on violence. Machiavelli argues that rulers should use violence during times of political instability and tumults (Machiavelli and Wootton 45). The leader ought to show cruelty during those times to ensure that the community benefits after destroying its enemies. Secondly, a leader can employ violence when occupying a foreign land. Violence is used as a means to an end (Kehlenbach). In our contemporary world, the US government, through its foreign policy, uses military aggression to occupy countries that deny the new system of world order (Kehlenbach). The capitalist system allows overexploitation of natural resources by domineering companies largely owned by the West Countries and allied nations.

Continually, he argues that a prince or a ruler ought to learn not to be too good and be ready to kill strong people he feels can threaten his power and make weak people around him his friends(Kehlenbach). A ruler gains respect and reputation through remarkable achievements such as annihilating enemies of the state (Machiavelli and Wootton 43).  According to Machiavelli, a leader should behave like Cesare Borgia (Kehlenbach). When Borgia assumed power and went by Agathocles’ steps, he killed all his opponents, mercenaries, and auxiliaries and established his army.  

In conclusion, violence is very important as it functions to found and consolidate power, authority, and legitimacy (Kehlenbach). In our times, we have seen factions fighting the ruling government being crushed to nothing. Two is that the ruler can also use it to prop up his power by cutting down the number of ruling elites (Kehlenbach). It ensures that the leader practices his power without caring to consider the opinions and ideas of others. Three is that rulers stage violence to secure allegiance. Lastly, a ruler uses violent acts to instill fear upon his subjects and the neighboring republics (Kehlenbach).

2. Machiavelli says that the way to win over the support of the people when taking over a new territory is to ”give offense” (Machiavelli), or in other words cause those people harm in order to take control of power. Machiavelli also says that even if the people turn against you when taking control of the territory, that gives you a chance to carry out more aggressive actions, or stronger measures to make it easier to remain in control of power. Machiavelli cautions against destroying a republic city, as to destroy a republic city is to lose the territory and all the other resources you have come to conquer and control for yourself. Instead, Machiavelli suggests that governments that are not republics be destroyed, for the reasons listed above. Furthermore, Machiavelli cautions against actions that directly attack either the people or the population. He says that when a ruler wantonly murders normal people, it should be considered a wicked action. This is because it doesn’t help the conquerer, and can really turn the situation against them, and he refers to this violence as cruelty that is abused and this cruelty is often abused when done repeatedly. 

Source –  “Machiavelli Video 2. “Youtube, 8, Aug. 2020,   Accessed 10th Sept. 2021

Source- ”Machiavelli Video 4. “Youtube, 8, Aug. 2020, Accessed 10th Sept. 2021

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