Argumentative Essay Sample on Socrates and Machiavelli

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Politics it is an art of ruling people and, it is a great responsibility to be a ruler. The politics also can be considered as a certain philosophy. Socrates and Machiavelli are very known philosophers, which devoted a lot of writings to describe how to serve politics as art to people. That is why, this art always have a connection between politics and the principles of morality. Machiavelli and Socrates offer the basic principles to governor in order to help him maintain the power. Human beings feel safer when they follow the actions which have already proved to be successful.

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Machiavelli is the author of the Theory of Leadership which provided the public order and outlined the stability in the society. He also drew a conclusion that behavior of people has two motives, these are the feeling of love and fear and a successful ruler has to use both of them. In other words, the combination of love and fear gives the ruler a very big influence on human beings.

However, in real life, it is almost impossible to behave as Machiavelli said. Therefore, it is necessary to work in a way that the fear will not turn into hatred, because the leader might be overthrown. Besides, these two motives are ruled by ambition which inherent in everybody. The leader needs to know who exactly is more ambitious and, as a consequence, is more dangerous for him as a ruler.

Unlike Machiavelli, Socrates presented the doctrine about leadership and power less strictly. He thought that the leader should be smart and wise. He said:” If a man moves the world, he must first move himself” (Basic quotations).Thus, a person who wants to be a leader should be more attentive and demanding to himself. People are more likely to reach something when they do not tell anybody about their intentions. Socrates saw the leader with a great will, but did not try to teach leader to be as rigid as Machiavelli’s one.

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Machiavelli is considered to be the rigid leader in his works. “The end justifies the means” (Machiavelli: The end justifies the means). Some people think that he is a teacher of evil. He mentioned that the world of politics and government is not safe. In order to survive, politician must have the strong character and ability to perform unsavory acts that Machiavelli recommends in one of his works “The Prince” (Machiavelli vs. Socrates).

However, Socrates has another point of view he also did not like democracy as a Machiavelli and treated it with criticism (Allan, 2001). On the other hand, he did not respect tyranny, arbitrariness, violence and lawlessness. Socrates implied that the governor has to be competent. In addition, the representative of authority requires adequate knowledge to manage the human beings. In the end, he was condemned to death for "impiety". It implies contempt of the divine character and authority, irreverence towards the Supreme Being.


The teaching by Machiavelli has a lot of common with the modern governors. The principles of Machiavelli are useful for detaining terrorist prisoners by the government of the United States. The representatives of authorities have to consider the pressure to set the stability and order. The deception of the people is also effective for successful management, because the author of this theory can deceive and pretend to be a professional. On the other hand, Socrates did not respect tyranny, as he considered that reasonable people with their own outlooks on life had already suffered from them.

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