Up@dawn 2.0

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Make-up for March 23rd: Combination of the DQs

For this essay, I am going to discuss in detail a few of the discussion questions that were made available on March 23rd, the day I missed. First and foremost, I feel inclined to discuss most of the questions that pertain to Niccolò Machiavelli (1469- 1527). His hunger for power interests me most because even though he lived about 500 years ago, Machiavelli still seems to reflect the modern thirst and hunger for power that seems to be obtained by almost any means necessary. Then and finally, I would like to discuss Machiavelli in tandem to how religious leaders keep their powers. Because, in the past, religious leaders, such as Pope Urban II, i. e. one of the main instigators of the Crusades, have been known to use violence in the guise of something holy.

This being said, the first question that I will discuss is this one: Was Machiavelli right about how powers work in the real world? I would say absolutely. We have powers such as ISIS that use any means necessary to get and to keep power. They kill the weak and obscure the masses to get what they want at any cost. On the other side, our own president could be seen this way. With the exception being flat out killing people, Trump did have plans to deport races of people that he deemed "dangerous." He did so by plotting masses of people against each other and by telling those people that they are better than those he deemed dangerous. Trump built figurative walls between people when he tried to come up with a plan to make an actual wall. Therefore, Trump used his powers to manipulate the masses who felt threatened into voting for him.

The next question that I would like to discuss is this: Can you agree with Machiavelli about leadership without being a sexist or an aristocrat? I would say you can agree with his leadership without being an aristocrat, but, as he seems to spell out in his book The Prince, leadership is a power play. Without the power and the resources to carry out leadership, one cannot expect to be a successful leader. So, one may agree with his leadership, but one may not be able to execute his form of leadership. Furthermore, and about the sexist portion, Nigel Warburton's  A Little History of Philosophy orients his chapter over Machiavelli to seem a bit sexist. This is especially because of the overall mention of virtù or 'manliness.' I am going to argue that because sexism is a power play in itself between those who identify as male or female, I would say that Machiavelli's form of leadership may promote sexism. Furthermore, it seems as though that even if a female may have the power to perform Machiavelli's form of leadership, she may ultimately oppress the other gender as a means of control. That being said, I think to carry out Machiavelli's form leadership would mean that one may be exhibiting a form of sexism; however, to agree with parts of his leadership may not make one entirely sexist.

Finally, the last question that I would like to discuss is this: Do you trust your own conscience and experience more than that of religious leaders like the Pope? Why? (Note: This questions also relates into a discussion about how religious leaders use their influence to keep and abuse their powers.) I would say that I do trust my own conscience and experiences more than I would religious leaders. As I mentioned in the first paragraph, even the Pope has the ability to abuse power. Because of that, I would rather trust myself for my own well-being instead of those of religious leaders. People can be easily deceived, and if I am going to be deceived, I would rather do it to myself than have a repeat of the Jonestown Massacre. I would rather drink my own poison Kool-aid than have someone tell me to do it for their religious purposes. That being said, to be a strong leader according to Machiavelli, a strong religious leader would have this kind of power and may be right doing so. But, I would prefer not to.

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