The Impact of Machiavelli and Marx Analytical Essay by Nicky

The Impact of Machiavelli and Marx
A comparative analysis of the impact of Machiavelli and Marx on history.
# 149677 | 1,175 words | 2 sources | APA | 2011 | US

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The paper discusses Machiavelli's seminal work, "The Prince" and its ideology that endorsed acts of cruelty or aggression against large populations for the retention of the throne and for the protection of the state. The paper then contrasts Marx's ideals to Machiavelli's ideas and looks at the behaviors that Marx's philosophy would inspire. The paper explains the relationship of Marx's ideals to essentially ethical constructs and how they would promote a wholesale rejection of the type of self-preserving behavior implied by Machiavelli. The paper thus reaches the conclusion while they seem to stand in direct ideological contrast to one another, Marx and Machiavelli have inadvertently produced a markedly similar effect on history.

From the Paper:

"The impact which Marx would have on history may well have been yet more significant, and in a manner, should be viewed as a point of contrast to Machiavelli's ideas and the behaviors thereby inspired. Indeed, first and foremost is the relationship of Marx's ideals to essentially ethical constructs. Though he would reject the implications of organized religion, this disposition would be accompanied by a vigorous exploration of the social, ethical and economic systems related thereto. Unlike Machiavelli, this would lead him to a great interest in moral value systems and that which was implied by them. Thus, at the core of Marxist principle is the contrasting idea that forces such as governmental authority, organized religion and feudalism were amongst the unnumbered notions foisted upon man in order to construct cultural, social and economic parameters. Marx described individuals as being largely molded by the environs which surround them. Therefore, his conception of man's conscience as playing a defining role in his adoption of religion, rather than the reverse of this, is implied by his conception of society. Here, he notes that "it is not the consciousness of men that determines their being, but, on the contrary, their social being that determines their consciousness." (Tucker, 4) The moral order, the sense of devotion to authority and the submission to such forces as a capitalist economy will occur upon the basis of man's conscience not as an independently functioning thing but as a channel for society's ideals."

Sample of Sources Used:

  • Machiavelli, N. and Bondanella, P. (eds). (1992). The Portable Machiavelli. Penguin Books.
  • Tucker, Robert C. (1978). The Marx-Engels Reader. W.W. Norton and Company

Cite this Analytical Essay:

APA Format

The Impact of Machiavelli and Marx (2011, December 28) Retrieved February 17, 2020, from

MLA Format

"The Impact of Machiavelli and Marx" 28 December 2011. Web. 17 February. 2020. <>