Niccolò Machiavelli, Concept of Universal Egoism


 He did not believe in the essential goodness of human nature, he held that all men are wicked and essentially
selfish. Selfishness and egoism are the chief motive forces of human conduct.
 Fear is mightier than love. He focus on issue of security since he believes men by nature are aggressive and
acquisitive.
 Men aim to keep what they already have and desire to acquire more and there are no limits to human desires,
and all being the same there being a natural scarcity of things there is everlasting competition and strife.
Security is only possible when the ruler is strong.
 A ‘Prince’, therefore, ought to personify fear. A Prince who is feared knows how to stand in relation to his
subjects and aims at the security of their life and property.
 Men always commit error of not knowing when to limit their hopes, therefore, the only way to remedy this evil
is to make them aware of the equal and negative consequences of their actions if they disobey the ruler.
 These basic elements of human nature which are responsible to make him ungrateful, fickle, deceitful and
cowardly along with their evil effects were most prominent in Italy during Machiavelli’s time. The corruption in
all spheres was the order of the day and all sorts of license and violence, absence of discipline, great inequalities
in wealth and power, the destruction of peace and justice and the growth of disorderly ambitions and dishonesty
prevailed.
 The only way to rectify such a situation was the establishment of absolute monarchy and despotic powers,
according to Machiavelli.

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