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Since the advent of the socially and politically conscious man history has witnessed the rise and fall of authoritarian personalities and their virtuous counterparts The persistence of time has given us a wide spectrum of power-driven leaders and revolutionaries ranging from the anti-violent Mohandas Gandhi to the embarrassing example of the despot that is Adolf Hitler Although Gandhi and Hitler were not the originators of their respective schools of thought they remain at the forefront mainly because they practiced their philosophy thoroughly and methodically to the extreme The contrasting viewpoints in these philosophical ideologies have conceived a debate and question that has raged ever since the first chieftain cracked the whip over the hide of his subject just how much violence is needed to gain and sustain power and what role if any does morality have To better understand the relationship between power violence and morality a library belonging to an ambitious individual seeking to rule his domain should at least contain Niccolo Machiavellis The Prince Niccolos work was groundbreaking at the time of its inception which was in 1532 because it brought the term Machiavellian into the political lexicon By Machiavellian we mean that an achievement of power should and must be attained by any means necessary Machiavelli wrote The Prince from a realistic point of view to aid emperors in sustaining their power and this pragmatic attitude would explain his utter disregard for ethics in terms of gaining power By analyzing Niccolos key points an understanding can be reached to better assess the value of morality in terms of achieving and keeping authority Although he exemplified both successful and futile rulers during the Renaissance Era the use of more contemporary cases from World War II to Bill Gates of the business world would best demonstrate Machiavellis deep influence in the modern age nearly five hundred years after The Princes first printing Readers of The Prince are quick to point out the importance of
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