The Machiavellian Loophole

"It is far better to be feared than loved...

...if you cannot be both."

- Niccolo Machiavelli


A close reading of this infamous phrase confirms love is a more powerful message than fear.

IF YOU CANNOT BE BOTH - implies that being loved, as a leader, is the #1 most effective strategy.

If you're okay with being #2, which is to be exclusively feared, then maybe you're not cut for the job?

This is the loophole in the pseudo-Machiavellian argument which promotes ruling through fear.

In fact, all the latest science shows this is an entirely outdated and out-of-context method of leadership. Florence at the time The Prince was written was one of the most violent places in the history of human civilization.

Under highly violent & extreme short-term circumstances, the brutal "better to be feared" method works wonders. But in general human beings flourish in egalitarian societies.

The power of a love movement compounds into infinity for generations.

Movements centered around fear always self-destruct, often consuming the leader.

Regret in Documentary Filmmaking

Is Hope or Fear More Persuasive?