Sunday, November 4, 2007

Niccolo' Machiavelli

"From this a controversy arises: is it better to be loved or to be feared... One may answer that it is better to be both loved and feared- but, as it is difficult to find the two together, in practice, it is much safer to be feared than to be loved, if one must choose one over the other. Because one may say this about mankind: they are ungrateful, flighty, dissembling and false, cowardly, and greedy. And as long as you do for them, they are all yours, they'll give you their blood, their goods, their life and their very children, as long as the actual need is not present- but when it approaches, they will turn against you... Men will have less consideration in offending someone they care about than someone they fear; because love is seen as a bond of obligation, which, because human nature is bad, can be broken upon any consideration of expedience. Whereas fear is occasioned by a fear of punishment which is never lacking... Men are more likely to forget the death of their father than the loss of their estate".

Niccolo' Machiavelli, The Prince, chapter XVII.