What is Political Power?

4 April 2015
A contrast of John Stuart Mill and Machiavelli’s differing views and definitions of political power, obedience and coercion.

This paper compares and contrasts John Stuart Mill and Niccolo Machiavelli?s view of political power and the role of Public Opinion in relation to power and authority. The author provides a brief outline of the historical and ontological context of their respective works. The paper defines power as the justified use of force and coercion, and authority as obedience without the use of force and coercion. The main arguments in the paper are built using Machiavelli?s ?The Prince?, and John Stuart Mill?s ?On Liberty,? and ?The Subjection of Women.?

From the paper:

?Perhaps the hardest part of comparing Machiavelli?s ?The Prince? with Mill?s ?On Liberty? and ?The Subjection of Women? is the different audience to which each focuses upon. Machiavelli is writing to a sovereign government in which public opinion holds little or no direct action with it; ?The Prince? thus takes on the tone of how public opinion should be nurtured by the ruler to favor him- not of interaction with the government.

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Mill, on the other hand, is writing in a time of republics where public opinion has become a main component of government, as will be evidenced later in part III, and thus portrays a role and view of public opinion completely different from Machiavelli?s.?

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What is Political Power?. (2015, Apr 23). Retrieved December 6, 2019, from https://newyorkessays.com/essay-what-is-political-power/
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