Machiavelli in his Prince is primarily a practical observer and diplomat analyst prescribing numerous ethical and political instructions to Cesar Borgia for, as it were, pyramidical maintenance, sustenance and enhancement of political power at various stages of capturing, nurturing, preserving and augmenting power and absolute power at the helm of the State. Both are equally concerned for bringing about order out of chaotic civil war like situation in England and arbitrary rule of the Papal State in Italy respectively. Hobbes is making an all out effort to create an edifice and basis of scientific foundation for the need of a sovereign power through his so called scientific materialism.
However, the distance and opposition of each with respect to natural law were different in content.
His silence is quite eloquent, if we consider that the concept amply circulated in the political and intellectual context of his time. Prominent members of Florentine civic humanism frequently referred to natural law understood as a superior norm that comes directly from God and has therefore a higher normative status in comparison with civil laws.
Coluccio Salutati, to mention a prominent example, wrote in his essay on the nobility of law De nobilitate legum et medicinaecomposed around that true civil laws must embody the universal principles of equity, proportion, and justice that natural and divine laws reveal to us.
Girolamo Savonarola repeated over and over in his writings and his sermons some of which Machiavelli surely heard that natural law is valid in all times and among all peoples, and that human laws must take inspiration from it.
Therefore it is said that hunger and poverty make men industrious, and the laws make them good. For him, the rule of law is the indispensable basis of any form of legitimate government. Once it is in place, it must be obeyed without allowing for privileges or discriminations. As he strongly asserts, crimes have to be punished regardless of the personal and public merits of the criminal.
Natural law has simply no role. A much more serious line of attack against the principle of natural law came from Francesco Guicciardini. Rather than believing that men follow the dictates of reason it is much safer to consider their passions and inclinations.
Any general rule finds in politics very little application.
Each situation is characterized by a specific set of circumstances. There are only exceptions, which we can discern with the help of concrete experience. Even examples and similar situations are not safe references for political choices: What really helps is the ability to detect what makes each situation different.
Understandably, for political thinkers who held these beliefs, natural law was of no use at all. He asserts that all states, even republics, are grounded upon sheer force poorly veiled by pretensions of honesty.
By making this claim in his Dialogue on the Government of Florence, even if he never published it, Guicciardini opens the path to a complete dismissal of natural law.
He did not simply point to the practice of states, as Machiavelli had done. He claimed that there is a reason that political leaders may invoke to justify violations of the principles that moral reason dictates to human beings.
Even if many theorists were pious Christians and claimed that reason of state was perfectly compatible with the law of God, its very definition elaborated by Giovanni Botero in his book Of Reason of Statemade natural law irrelevant.
Moreover, he referred to states in general, without distinguishing between legitimate and illegitimate ones. As later theorists stressed, reason of state ought to be understood as a principle of derogation of ordinary law on behalf of a more universal norm, that is, the interest and the life of the state.
These secret norms are to be distinguished from the bad reason of state used by tyrants. However, it remains true that the prince represents the state and is therefore the ultimate interpreter of reason of state, just as he was supposed to be the sole authorized interpreter of natural law.
Although they all paid due respect to natural law and to God, theorists of reason of state did in fact detach political thinking from the natural law tradition and powerfully steered it toward Hobbes.Machiavelli and Hobbes Political Power 1 Machiavelli and Hobbes share a similar Analysis of Political Power.
Discuss Anurag Gangal Professor and Head of Department, Political Science and Director, Gandhian Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies, University of . Hobbes and Machiavelli both have interesting ideas on Human Nature.
Both of their ideas also contain an evident theme. The theme is the usage of fear as a means acquiring power and maintaining it.
Jul 08, · Political Philosophy is Ancient (Aristotle), Modern Natural Right (Machiavelli, Hobbes, Locke, and Rousseau), and Historicism (Heidegger). Machiavelli is . Leo Strauss was a twentieth-century German Jewish émigré to the United States whose intellectual corpus spans ancient, medieval and modern political philosophy and includes, among others, studies of Plato, Maimonides, Machiavelli, Hobbes, Spinoza, and Nietzsche. Machiavelli and Hobbes Political Power 1 Machiavelli and Hobbes share a similar Analysis of Political Power. Discuss Anurag Gangal Professor and Head of Department, Political Science and Director, Gandhian Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies, University of .
Machiavelli and Hobbes understood the natural state of the world to be conflict. How does this shape their understanding of human beings, politics, ethics, and morality? Machiavelli and Hobbes Political Power 1 Machiavelli and Hobbes share a similar Analysis of Political Power. Discuss Anurag Gangal Professor and Head of Department, Political Science and Director, Gandhian Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies, University of .
Neither Machiavelli nor Hobbes would deny that politics is conducive to the human good; however, both Machiavelli and Hobbes understood politics as preventative or as a corrective to a dangerous, violent nature. Both Machiavelli and Hobbes prioritize security and stability.
Hobbes follows Machiavelli in some important aspects of political theory, and yet expands upon or discards Machiavelli’s ideas in other important aspects. Both men agree that politics directly corresponds to the nature of man and that the concepts of right and wrong are arbitrary and result only from human perspectives and experience.