What would Machiavelli Do?

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The Ends Justify the Meanness is a satirical work by author Stanley Bing, written to answer the titular question; what would Machiavelli do in order to achieve greatness over others and work his way to the top? The answers vary, but all intertwine into one main point; what he would do is he would play to win, and he would justify his meanness through what happens in the end (Bing, p. XXII). This book is a roadmap for people who want to get to the top, to crush their competitors and everyone else that stands in their way (Bing, XXVII). It is about, and for, those who may not have the smarts or the influence right off the bat, but have the courage to exploit others more than themselves, become mean, cold, and calculating, gain many enemies, and do whatever it takes to climb up to the top and stay there, having fun all the while. It is, ultimately, a satirical look at and a critique of the foolishness of those who try to be mean and unforgiving in order to get what they want and where they want.

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It exaggerates and laughs at those trying to be successful by following in the great prince Niccollo Machiavelli’s footsteps, even giving examples of people today that seem they might be using these methods, such as Martha Stewart, who did what Machiavelli would do and made it to where she wanted. It talks about the obstacles that you must overcome to be this way, such as sentiment and feeling or caring about other people and what they think, which are things that any normal person should feel, and it paints the race to the top as only being able to be won through using these ridiculous pieces of advice (Bing, XXIII). Every chapter creates a clearer image of an insufferable human. Sociology is the study of how human society functions, this class specifically studying relations between people. This book takes a well-known aspect of human 3 society, the desire to get to the top of that social ladder and overcome others, which very much involves human relationships, and delves into it, while also ridiculing it. It gives an interesting perspective on how people lie and cheat and harass others to get to the top when they cannot get there through legitimate means, and shows how they must interact with others while channeling Machiavelli’s scheming nature to be able to overthrow competitors, all of which would fall under the study of human relations.

The author doesn’t necessarily outright offer any suggestions to improve society, but through using sarcasm and satire throughout the work, and hoping that people are intelligent enough to understand that the advice he gives is not serious or legitimate, he presents the follies of following Machiavellian methods to overcome others and criticizes them, showing that they are what the dregs and scummy humans would use to raise their ranks. I believe the author wants the reader to think about how much better they are than these people, the people who do whatever is necessary for their own gain, and whose personal power is the ultimate goal (Bing, XXV). He wants readers to realize that the Machiavellis of the world, those who do things like cripple those who disappoint them, feed on others’ discord, ruin peoples’ plans, and always oppose others and create wars, are the people who we should not thrive to be like, as they are the asinine people who we who may have legitimate means to overcome, such as intelligence, should want to overcome.

Obviously, the author is not a Machiavellian follower himself, and he is not trying to follow the methods outlined in the book to get to the top. He indicates that these methods and qualities are the only real way to get where everyone wants to be, but he 4 obviously isn’t a heartless cruel human who is actually going to try to be a Machiavelli. His perspective, shown through how satirical he writes, is that these traits are bad and will only create jerks, and that these are the less desirable qualities of people who try to make a name for themselves. These are the people who will ruin normal peoples’ days. I definitely feel this way, and I don’t think my opinion is biased because of the author’s opinion. He laughably and satirically writes these characters with these traits to be hated, but also make them seem like inspirations and people to look up to and follow in the footsteps of, but hatred is exactly how I feel about them. These are people I would never want to come across in real life, and the pedestals that they put themselves on are depressing and show the problem with trying to climb the societal ladder.

Personally, I very much enjoyed reading this book. The satire made it very fun to read, and it was interesting to analyze the advice that was given, as it conveyed just how cutthroat the competition in business is when trying to get to the top, and also painted a realistic, yet exaggerated, picture of humanity. I enjoyed being able to apply the examples of what Machiavelli would do, to people in our society today who somehow rise to the top and stay there. It was interesting to read this satire, which highlighted the nastiness of people who are like that; however, it was also interesting to have to agree that the qualities that the author provides, that follow how Machiavelli and many others see life and live life, are a legitimate way to rocket yourself to the top of your company or business and make a lot of other people hate you, but give you the power that you desire.

Those who want to follow their desires to go from ordinary to extraordinary, rising to the top of their corporation and taking controls of others, and people who want 5 to have power and have no qualms about doing whatever it takes to get what they want would benefit from reading this book. In a legitimate sense, however, these are the people that should not be reading this book, as, honestly, if they already have that type of personality, they would probably take all of the advice provided seriously, and even though the examples given in this book are surefire methods to get to the top, they aren’t the makings of a good person. People that could actually benefit from reading this book are those who the author probably intended to target, who will take the examples and advice given, and try their hardest to achieve what they want without taking the advice and being the completely soulless, amoral, selfish human being as described through the qualities in the book.

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What Would Machiavelli Do?. (2019, Oct 30). Retrieved December 10, 2022 , from

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