Machiavelli describes leaders and their mistakes so what qualities does Machiavelli illude to that make a good leader?
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Machiavelli argues that it is safer for a prince to be feared than it is for him to be loved. Men dread punishment, and this fear can be used to a prince’s benefit. Love can lie, but fear knows no such mendacity; it is a primitive emotion that will not change at the tip of a hat, that will not give way to greed or dissolve amidst a flurry of developments. A prudent prince will therefore use cruelty to his advantage – though only when necessary. This last point is not a minor one. Though Machiavelli’s reputation may suggest otherwise, he argues explicitly in The Prince that cruelty is well-used when it preserves a prince’s safety or secures the state; gratuitous cruelty is to be condemned. That said, there is a hint of admiration in Machiavelli’s tone when he writes of criminal princes such as Agathocles and Oliverotto da Fermo. Thie ideal Prince should have a strong image to his people,
It is not essential, then, that a Prince should have all the good qualities [of leadership], but it is most essential that he should seem to have them; I will even venture to affirm that if he has and invariably practises them all, they are hurtful, whereas the appearance of having them is useful.
A good Prince must also be frugal while appearing to be generous.