The Prince and the Art of War: a Comparison

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The Art of War Essay Test Nikki Nuutinen Pd. 4 Sun Tzu and Machiavelli both created a guide to being a successful leader, but Sun Tzu created his in 500 BC, long before The Prince was written in 1513. Both contain the basic principles for being a good ruler, with many similarities. Machiavelli and Sun Tzu believe that to win, a ruler must prepare well for the situation, make sure everyone knows the plan of action if the main one fails, have set goals, negotiate tactics, be deceitful, and allow every participant to have a role. These books were circulated around the world, shared with many leaders who used these books to help their lands. Sun Tzu said that victory is predictable, and that the outcome can be figured out through analysis of the battle. “The general who wins a battle makes many calculations in his temple before the battle is fought. The general who loses a battle makes but few calculations beforehand. . . It is by attention to this point that I can foresee who is likely to win or lose. ” The Art of War, Chapter 1. A leader should also, according to Sun Tzu, know their enemy, but Machiavelli warns that a ruler must also be able to adapt to changes in plans. “I compare fortune to one of those violent rivers which, when they are enraged, flood the plains, tear down trees and buildings, wash soil from one place to deposit it in another. Everyone flees before them, everybody yields to their impetus, there is no possibility of resistance. Yet although such is their nature, it does not follow that when they are flowing quietly one cannot take precautions, constructing dykes and embankments so that when the river is in flood they would keep to one channel or their impetus be less wild and dangerous. So it is with fortune. She shows her potency where there is no well-regulated power to resist her, and her impetus is felt where she
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