Compare And Contrast Machiavelli And Max Weber

2073 words - 9 pages

1Machiavelli and Weber: Comparing Political PhilosophiesMoses TeeUniversity of AlbertaNovember 7th 2013Philosophy is referred to as a set of beliefs, concepts and attitudes held by an individual or a group of people. It is the study of problems in general and the prescription of solutions to problems based on critical and systemic analyses and the employment of rational argument. Philosophy through the lens of Political Science does so as mentioned above in terms of the state, the governance of the state the ethics of an individual in possession of political power. Political philosophers focus on the issues relating to the state, such as political action that need or need not be taken and ...view middle of the document...

Max Weber famously known as one of the three founders of modern Sociology, lived between 1864 and 1920 in Germany. Although he specialized in the field of Sociology, Weber did delve into the world of politics. His methods differ from that of Machiavelli as time progressed, so did society and the knowledge possessed by mankind. Instead of employing the method of historical analysis in his philosophy of politics, Weber utilizes Sociology in his analysis of the political realm. In his groundbreaking essay titled 'Politics as a Vocation', Weber explores the world of politics through political actions based on social implications; be it good or bad and weighing the benefits against cost. He goes on to mention the state and its rights of governance in which violence is also cited. This document is also of interest to those in the field of politics, as his definition of the state has become the general understanding of Western social thought.In this paper, I would argue that although their opinions on governance may be different on the outlook, they share a similarity, which can be detected through analyzing their philosophies carefully. This also means that they share differing views on the concepts of political action, the state and violence which will also be analyzed in this paper.Niccola MachiavelliIn his book, The Prince, Machiavelli focuses his attention on counseling and educating the prince, Lorenzo Medici in the treacherous world of politics. The book is considered in simple terms a manual to being the prince. As such, he elaborates on an array of ideas relating to politics. For the purpose of this paper, the content of his writing will be analyzed through the three concepts listed above. In terms of political action, Machiavelli writes about cruelty and violence and the proper use of the evil act of cruelty. He admits that cruelty can and should be used wisely once within a rule as he explains in his words "Injuries therefore, should be inflicted all at the same time, for the less they are tasted, the less they offend." (Cahn, 2011, p. 260). He then goes on to say that after that one infliction of injury, the prince should gradually distribute benefits in small quantities successively (Cahn, 2011, p. 260). Machiavelli raises a good point in his explanation above as when people are constantly subject to miseries, injuries and misfortune, they will eventually grow weary of it and revolt, however if the need for the use of cruelty arises and is applied in the prince's governance at one point of time, it is only felt once and can sometimes be forgiven through time. It is basic knowledge from daily observation that repetitive actions can be very irritating and that understanding can be applied in Machiavelli's justification for the use of cruelty. As for the distribution of benefits after the fact of cruelty, it works well as Machiavelli states that the subjects can fully savor the goodness of the benefits if they are given in small quantities...

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