This approach contrasts with Hobbes's Leviathan, in which his focus is drawn more towards the social conditions and state of nature which leads a plurality of people to elect the sovereign. Whereas Machiavelli gives little consideration to the state of nature or the fundamentally contractual relationship which exists between a leader and the people, both ideas figure prominently into Hobbes's discussion of political power. Besides, in the dedication to Francis Godolphin, Hobbes admits that "I speak not of the men, but (in the abstract) of the seat of power" (2). By saying this, Hobbes is allowing for a certain amount of distance between his writing and the actual practical political affairs of the day.
[...] Whereas Machiavelli gives little consideration to the state of nature or the fundamentally contractual relationship which exists between a leader and the people, both ideas figure prominently into Hobbes's discussion of political power. Besides, in the dedication to Francis Godolphin, Hobbes admits that speak not of the men, but (in the abstract) of the seat of power” By saying this, Hobbes is allowing for a certain amount of distance between his writing and the actual practical political affairs of the day. [...]
[...] The most obvious and I think best way is to judge these statements as indicative of the characters of the texts from which they coming, meaning that The Discourses ought to be viewed as Machiavelli's more abstract, theoretical statement which is oriented towards what a state ought to be (though compared to Hobbes's Leviathan it still lacks the truly abstract nature of a political theory which is founded on reason and scripture, as The Discourses still employs many historical generalizations and practical examples to back up its arguments), while, as we have considered, The Prince is fundamentally practical and thus concerned with matters immediately at hand. [...]
[...] Thus just positing the existence of a sovereign does not necessarily fulfill this goal, for as we have seen with many of the practical examples listed in The Prince and The Discourses some monarchs are better than other, and that without compulsion to act for the good of the people the monarchical sovereign could not be guaranteed to do the job the people entered into contract for him to do. In conclusion, I believe Machiavelli's concept of the prince and Hobbes's concept of the sovereign are similar insofar as they are to be preferred to the state of nature. [...]
[...] Though Hobbes's contribution is also paramount to the history of political thought, there is a reason why in today's society we see very few sovereign monarchical governments, while on the other hand the founding fathers of the United States of America chose to replicate Machiavelli's analysis of the Roman scheme by featuring a tri-partite government representing different aspects of society complete with a system of checks and balances. Insofar as the American experiment has been influential and inspiring towards the governments and political systems of the rest of the world, we see Machiavelli's ideas of ideal government vindicated, while Hobbes's commitment to absolute monarchy becomes less relevant to modern politics [...]
[...] To disagree with this is to forget that estate of man can never be without some incommodity or other, and that the greatest that in any form of government can possibly happen to the people in general is scarce sensible, in respect of the miseries and horrible calamities that accompany a civil (117). This stands as a fundamental similarity between Machiavelli's prince and Hobbes's sovereign, in that both are looked towards as immediate improvements from a state of strife, invasion, and civil war, or what Hobbes famously described as the state of nature that is “solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short” (76). [...]
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