NAME: OLAIDE IPAYE
DEPARTMENT: POLITICAL SCIENCE
MATRIC NUMBER: 11/0118
COURSE: THE HISTORY OF POLITICAL THOUGHT
COURSE CODE: POS 321
LECTURER: ADEFULU, R. PhD
4. Describe Machiavelli’s conception of an ideal state.
According to Machiavelli, the state. By means of the state man can create the conditions for security and well-being. Although Machiavelli frequently used medical imagery to describe the state, his conception of it actually resembles a mechanism more than an organism. The state has no higher end or spiritual purpose, nor does it have a life or personalityk apart from the people who constitute it. What has come to be called ‘reason of state’, an expression Machiavelli himself never employed, is the calculated and prudent policy of statemen to advance the secular aims of the governed, not supperationally. In The Prince and the Discourses Machiavelli presented twofold classification of states based on the number who rule-the polar types being monarchies and republics. Monarchies may be limited (France), despotic (Turkey), or tyrannical (Syracuse); republics may be mass (Athens) or balanced (Rome). Of the balanced republics, in turn, two principal types exist-aristocratic (Venice) and democratic (Rome). On the basis of the Florentine experience Machiavelli distinguished two unstable forms intermediate between monarchies and republics, which might best be called oligarchy and piebiscitary monarchy. Machiavelli also classified states in other respects; according to the way power is acquired; according to their tendencies to expansion (Rome) or preservation (Sparta), to corruption (Florence) or virtu (Roman Republic) and according to whether the constitution originates with a single lawgiver (Sparta) or develops over time and with experience (Rome).
Machiavelli had, of course elaborate prescriptions for successful government. Good government rests upon the foundation of a strong military establishment...