In his book the Prince, Machiavelli offers a view of how a state ought to be run or governed in his own perspective. His views greatly differ from those of the humanists which existed in his time. According to Machiavelli, the ruling prince ought to have an exclusive authority to determine each of the state’s aspects. In this perspective, he expected the prince to put in effect a regulation that could be used to serve his exclusive interests (Simpson, 2006). Apparently, the major interests for the prince include acquiring, maintaining, and widening of his political territories (Heilbroner & Milberg, 2011). Therefore, Machiavelli perceives the state to be parsimonious rather than being generous.
Machiavelli understands and puts forth the human nature in a very different perspective and manner that contradicts the thoughts and beliefs of the existing humanists of his time. According to his views and perceptions, he has strongly advocated for a secular society and has a feeling that morality is not essential and instead is an obstacle to the efficient governing of the state. As one analyst puts it, Machiavelli’s views are actually immoral and harsh. Nevertheless, it should be taken into consideration that his views emanated from the politics of Italy, which was utterly unstable at that time. This means that his perceptions were driven from the incompetence of Italy’s prince as the cause of instability of that nation.
According to Machiavelli, men are untruthful and ungraceful. They are “fickle, ungrateful, deceivers, liars and greedy”. He goes on to articulate that men are self-centered people who would act in their own and would not consider the state’s interests. He posts that men cannot care even in case the prince is in danger. This is why he reinforces the idea that the prince needs to be feared by the citizens. Machiavelli argues that men do not usually pay attention or respect gentle or soft government, while fear makes them listen to the authorities. I tend to support Machiavelli’s sentiments that the prince needs to be feared. In essence, men are wreaked creatures who break the existing bonds of love if it suits their own interests. This therefore makes fear be an effective element since it cements the trepidation of discipline.
In Machiavelli’s views, the prince (the U.S.) ought to exercise an authoritative and controlling stance on such countries as Russia. The author opines that the U.S. foreign policy should center on restoring political stability of the world. This is more particular when such states possess some elements that give them a potential of becoming another “great power,” as this could cause political stability.
Since each individual only provides advice to the prince in harmony with his own wishes, the prince must therefore operate on his own deal. Machiavelli dejects actions to be taken otherwise as he puts that all the men will not do better unless in a situation where they are forced to be good. He aggressively upholds a worldly form of politics and never agrees with the medieval notion of the nation being the essential creation for human beings’ material, spiritual, and social well-being. In this state, a leader is acceptable in his application of political authority only in a situation that would lead to the common good of the citizens he served. On the ethical side of his activities, he had to be based on the moral principles of Christianity. Machiavelli supposes that a secular kind of government is a more realistic type. His opinions are to sustain the prince and not to serve for the good of the people. He upholds his thought, saying that in case a prince would want to preserve his rule, he should first learn not to be so honest (Mack, Milberg & Heilbroner, 2004).
I agree with Machiavelli in this aspect for various reasons. U.S. should defend its position as a sole superpower. This is important in controlling the political stability of the world. If there are “many superpowers in the world”, it will only lead to chaos and instability. It should be considered that the U.S. domination and authority is used for kind purposes.
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The kind of liberalism advocated by De Soto is institutional. His ideals of liberalism are based on free market capitalism and liberal democratic institutions. De Soto points out that property rights that are legally enshrined have been critical in effective developing of the capitalist system. According to him, transnational economies cannot be effective since they only nurture capitalism and neglect developing countries which bear losses. This is because such countries do not have the necessary resources in supporting their economies and hence will rely on the support from the developed countries. He argues that grassroots organizations are better placed to support liberalism since they are organized democratically (Bandura, 2001). He explains that specific countries have their roles owing to the relevancy of their histories in presenting the realities on economic misery in developing countries. In essence, De Soto has made himself clear in his explanations when he articulates that in many developing countries, the poor have been organized to participate in the free market. In supporting his sentiments, De Soto has presented several cases where institutions have been used in creating liberalism.
According to Noam Chomsky, the U.S. is experiencing class distinction and class war. He points that the U.S. is a country that is business-oriented. Moreover, business is class conscious and is consistently fighting in improving their authority while diminishing the lower class and the opposition. This can be regularly identified in the day-to-day life aspects. One of the notable examples is the use of the word “middle class” instead of the word “working class” in avoiding the existing class war (Heilbroner & Milberg, 2011).
Chomsky points out that the ongoing class war is one-sided. This is because the other “oppressed class” has chosen not to participate in this war. On the contrary, the middle class populations are constantly fighting to improve their standards by such aspects as requesting higher pay and health benefits among others. However, the general population (non working class) is not engaged in this war. This, according to Chomsky, points out the reason why Canada has a health program for the general populace while the U.S. does not.
Chomsky criticizes the U.S. for extensively and repeatedly crushed organized labor. Consequently, organized labor has endured a violent history as compared with other nations. Chomsky also blames the U.S. for using propaganda to create a positive image concerning its treatment of the citizens. While the public relationship initiatives are focused on showcasing that the population has won enough freedom, the real situation on the ground is different (Makari, 2007). Lenin’s critic of imperialism seems to compliment that of Chomsky since he has compares it with capitalism. This is the same case with the relation of foreign. Similar to Noam, Lenin notes the use of pious wish and deception by the government of the U.S. in hoodwinking other nations and its own citizens. Both Chomsky and Lenin observe that bourgeois representatives of the oppressed in some nations are not taken into consideration. According to Lenin, imperialism is only a cover of the claim of being “scientific “.
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While Keohane tends to support the IR feminism theory, he nonetheless identifies a number of weaknesses in it. For instance, he mentions that the theory gives a perception of females being more peaceful as compared to males. Further, the tenderness and care-giving nature of women bring about political stability. Another weakness identified in the theory by Keohane is that it creates a perception of giving preference to women’s issues over other equally important matters such as trade, war, and international organizations (Mack, Milberg & Heilbroner, 2004). In response to these observations, proponents of IR theory may argue that science has always been gender-biased and that certain issues pertaining to women have to be reinforced to some extent. It should be considered that proponents of IR theory advocate moving away from the consideration of masculinity as the basis of defining the human condition. Therefore, the focus of IR is to incorporate feminist awareness into the project. In regard to perceiving women incorrectly, opponents of IR may argue that perception depends on many factors, such as location. In addition, it differs according to race, culture, gender and class among others.
Yes, I agree on this issue. In essence, the violent creed and aggressive laws of Islam cannot support a liberal democracy. While analyzing religious aspects, there is no other religion which presents a death penalty for criticizing the teaching of its founder or leader. On the contrary, Islam is the only religion which does this. Moreover, the behavior of some Muslim groups is archaic (Stenmark, 2012). It could be seen that they have consistently attached Western Embassies, which gives an impression that they are war-oriented nation. Individuals doing this have already declared to be engaged in war, whether the others want it or not. This, therefore, implies that Islam is not interested in creating a liberal democracy. Moreover, it is not capable of doing so.
For many years, Islamic teachings have been centered on three areas, converting people into Islam, submitting to Islamic rule and fighting. Once one joins Islam, it is not easy to go back. A person will have to submit to whatever laws and obligation the religion involves. The Muslim abuse, aggression, and violence cannot provide a framework for democracy.
Hobbes claims that individuals have to sacrifice their liberty to Leviathan. According to him, individuals cannot be left to act on their own judgments. If left to rely upon themselves, their communal life will be prone to disasters (Makari, 2007). This view is still relevant today since individuals cannot be left to act on their own; they must be directed in one way or another. Despite the fact that many people have a wish of acting on their own interests, they are shortsighted and their interests are focused on benefiting themselves without considering what their acts will cause to the others. Stated differently, individuals in their natural state are fully rational. However, they are trapped in circumstances that make it individualistically rational in a manner that is sub-optimal for all. Everyone acts in a way that benefits him or her with disregard to the others.
On the contrary, Leviathan considers all people equal in their weaknesses, vulnerabilities, and opportunities. Therefore, Leviathan is better placed to discharge decisions that cater for the interests of all the people without bias. It is only through submission to Leviathan that individuals could achieve liberty, freedom, and political stability.
Documentary Solders of Conscience by Weimberg & Ryan provides a good example of propaganda which makes funding of public businesses with state money a mockery. The film has shown how propaganda can be used by the state in creating a false perception regarding its policies or projects. For example, the documentary has depicted solders talking openly and honestly concerning their moral concerns in regard to their military duties (Stenmark, 2012). Stenmark reveals that in the U.S. solders may refuse to follow orders of killing just because of their moral concerns. This may have been a manipulation by the U.S. in highlighting that soldiers and citizens have the right to talk about their concerns in militaristic aspects, while it is not always so in the reality. On the contrary, solders are expected to obey orders of the state and authorities irrespective of the circumstances.
Cognitive theories could be used in explaining the thought processes between these solders in Weimberg & Ryan documentary. According to Bandura (2001), cognitive theories deal with the thought processes and the way these thoughts influences people’s understandings and interactions with their surroundings. Cognitive theories also have their strengths and weaknesses. For instance, one of the strength of cognitive theories is that they provide better understanding and knowledge on how people think especially to human resource practitioners in making decision to their organizations. Additionally, based on the studies that have been conducted in the past, it indicates that there have been positive influences of cognitive theories which have made them gain popularity. The information provided through cognitive theories has been taken into consideration in understanding peoples’ thoughts and reactions to their environment. Therefore, cognitive theory is effective in determining the factors that make the solders decide to disengage in wars.