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machiavelli vs plato

Machiavelli says the prince only has to seem good, not be good. Socrates insists that seeming is bad, being is good. Is it better to remain in the cave with Machiavelli, or see the light with Socrates? Write three pages for Machiavelli and against Socrates, write another three pages against Machiavelli and for Socrates.

Both Niccolò Machiavelli and Plato, in their works The Prince and The Republic (respectively), address the concepts of seeming and being in relation to political power and leadership, however they do so in two distinct manners. In the Republic, Socrates insists that seeming is bad, and being is good. Using a parable of people in a cave, he states that the only way to know the difference between what seems and what actually is reality is to experience it in its purest form, instead of through images. Machiavelli, on the other hand outlines the different ways that a prince could rise to power, and justifies any and all means that a prince could take. He states that a prince only has to seem good when it fits his purposes, not actually be good. He encourages an aspiring prince to be deceitful and conniving in order to gain and maintain power. Before concluding which political theorist is correct, it is interesting to examine whether it would be better to remain in the cave with Machiavelli or see the light with Socrates.
The citizens of Socrates’ Republic are divided into three classes. Those who are deemed fit to rule, the philosopher/rulers, are those who have been chosen to pass through several stages of training and preparation. They are the most fit to rule, because they are the only ones who (at the end of their training) know the difference between what seems to be reality and what reality actually is. They have gained this knowledge because they have spent the majority of their lifetimes preparing to rule. The other two classes of people in the Republic, the warriors and the moneymakers, c...

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