This book is written by Italian diplomat named Niccolò Machiavelli. He dedicated himself working for the Medici house in Florence, Italy during the Renaissance era. Although he was banished from the Florentine government since the Medici house was no longer in power, he still devoted himself writing a book called ‘The Prince’ to Lorenzo De’ Medici, the new ruler of Florence.
He mentioned in the book that, any men who want to give something to a prince. One must the best thing one can find. He has nothing but his knowledge and his experiences. Therefore, he composed this book as the best thing he could give to a prince and he wrote this book as the guideline for the prince to rule a state best. To be a good prince, one not only needs to understand how to rule well but also one needs to know how people think.
In the Prince, Machiavelli explained how should a prince behave and do have for a long-lasting and secured reign. He suggested that a good prince should know how to exercise power by knowing how to use his fortune and virtue. Also, he must acknowledge how to balance his soft and hard power; he must be loved by his people but also the people need to be feared of his power too. Moreover, a prince must also learn how to be foxy like a fox when it is necessary. And he also needs to be harsh and intolerance like a lion, if he wants people to be under controlled. But a prince will not survive long if he does not know how to defend himself. There are three main enemies consisted of foreigners, elites and the civils. There are several tools to use but Machiavelli suggested that a prince should live within the acquired state. Thus, he can be loved by his people, besides, when the issue appears, he can also solve it in time. Accordingly, Machiavelli said that a prince must have his own trusted army with him because no one knows when will conflict occur or when will the mercenary army will betray a prince.
This is my analysis of this book. I think that Machiavelli is one of the most passionate persons in politics field. He dedicated his life for it. By writing a book to give his best advice on what is the best means to rule to the prince, meanwhile, he was exiled to the countryside of Tuscany, is praiseworthy. Nonetheless, all his suggestions are what is already addressed within the hereditary prince’s family lesson that they should have learned and done so anyway. Hence, his suggestions are nothing new. It is more like a checklist for a prince, if he forgets to do something or not.
To elaborate the analysis, when Machiavelli mentioned that a good prince must be loved by his people but also need to have their fear too. It is what the ruler’s image supposed to be appeared in public like that long before Machiavelli advice it. Otherwise, the concept of a royal family would not survive until Machiavelli’s period. All things in this world can exist only because the environment around it is being friendly with it. Or else, the thing that is not accepted by other things around it, that thing will sooner or later automatically vanish from the surrounding area. This concept applied the same way as different classes in society. The supreme classes like the royal families and elites cannot survive without their good images rooting in the people’s mind. In fact, good people with purify soul will not survive that long. There is always someone who wants to stab your back. Therefore, it is normal that all human beings must know when do people tricked them and know how to trick other people. It is a normal rule of life to survive. However, this condition may be at a different level compared to a person who has no power in their hands. The prince must know how to be bad, but not to be a bad person. The prince needs it only to defend himself and use it only if it is necessary.
To conclude, the prince is the book for the prince to always reminds himself of what he should do. But it is not the book which is a must read in order to rule state well. Those things that Machiavelli mentioned in the book is what people in general should have as the basis survival skill such as know themselves when they will be tricked. Therefore, this is the book of how to survive in anarchic world more than what is the best mean to rule.