ForumsWEPRBetter to rule with love or fear?

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Cambyses
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Cambyses
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Machiavellian question.

On human nature: "Because this is to be asserted in general of men, that they are ungrateful, fickle, false, cowardly, covetous, and as long as you succeed they are yours entirely; they will offer you their blood, property, life and children, as is said above, when the need is far distant; but when it approaches they turn against you."

I personally believe it's better to rule with love, since it gives a reason for the people to be a part of a nation or community. Love, while not an absolute thing, can inspire much more fierce loyalty and confidence in the ruler.

Thoughts?

  • 52 Replies
pangtongshu
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pangtongshu
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Fear can be a great ruling tactic in short-term...but for a long-term rule love is much better

Eventually...the subjects that fear their ruler will get fed up with such fear to where they get to the point that they have a mindset of "I either die a coward, or I die trying to end such pain"

With love..let's look to Liu Bei of the Three Kingdom era of China...he ruled with such a kind and loving heart..and all of his men were completely loyal to him...in fact, there were times when the peasants/farmers of other rulers were more loyal to him (here's to you Yuan Shu) than they were to their own ruler

danielo
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danielo
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As Napoleon said, allies who are friends of you just because you are winning, will leave you when you will lose.

Fear is easier to get, but the way down is much easier that way, as fear became very quickly hate.

Look at poor mussolini. The momment he lost power the mass hated him. He ended up hanging down from brunch, dead, and the entire population of the area travel to spit on his corpes.

thepunisher93
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thepunisher93
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A mixture of both.
Love your country men, do what ever you can do to make them comfortable.
But if some one dares to start a rebellion, deal with him harshly and don't let him escape to any other country.

bigjacob
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bigjacob
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I agree with 'thepunisher93'.

Cambyses
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Cambyses
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But even when being harsh and ruthless in terms of those who don't show their support for the nation, doesn't it backfire in some sense? I'm not saying showering them with love would lead to everything being great, but being a feared ruler who has zero tolerance for enemies weakens his hold on the people. It already chips away at this notion of him being a benevolent and astute ruler.

thebluerabbit
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thebluerabbit
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obviously love. fear is temporary and eventually people will get over it or join a force that they feel safe with.

with love people will follow you and more importantly WANT to follow you. ruling with fear is easier but ruling with love is much more effective.

pangtongshu
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pangtongshu
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Let's look deeper into why fear is the worse of the options...and to do so we will use the most obvious choice of a ruler who ruled with fear. Hitler (I bring this up as a proactive way of shutting down an argument I feel someone might make about him for why fear is better to rule with)

It is obvious that fear was Hitler's main focus while ruling...as shown by how he placed anyone against him into concentration camps. This, however, was nowhere near as successful for his ruling as people like to think. For some reason, many people think that Hitler had all of Germany eating out of the palms of his hands...this is not the case, actually. The main reason he had so many people following him was not out of fear, actually, but because he was able to manipulate the masses psychologically. Fear does play a factor in his way of ruling his people...and this ruling of his also led to over 60 assassination attempts on him

Now, let's look to one of the most benevolent rulers there has ever been, Liu Bei (not picking him because I love the time period...this guy really was extremely benevolent. It is almost inhuman how kind, caring, and passionate he was for his people). I dare you to find an instance where one of his followers/people tried to assassinate him. Can't find any? Want to know why...it is because they loved him. No, not "they liked him very much"...they actually loved him, and not because he was their ruler, but because he was so kind and caring

EmperorPalpatine
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EmperorPalpatine
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Purely using either doesn't work. Spread fear and they turn on you. Spread love and they expect endless generosity, get mad whenever you can't deliver, and turn on you. Pandering to the majority usually works, but only for as long as they're content.

It is obvious that fear was Hitler's main focus while ruling

I think it was more about strength in unity than fear. Stalin's was mostly fear.

and this ruling of his also led to over 60 assassination attempts on him

Wiki says 40 (less Stauffenberg's multiple attempts), including 14 before he was in charge.

I dare you to find an instance where one of his followers/people tried to assassinate him. Can't find any? Want to know why

Assassination attempts were rarely reported unless they were successful, as are the cases for Julius Caesar and Vlad the Impaler. I'm pretty sure those weren't their first encounters, but such information often is lost to time.

It is almost inhuman how kind, caring, and passionate he was for his people

As long as they didn't join the thousands rebelling against him, of course.
pangtongshu
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pangtongshu
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I think it was more about strength in unity than fear. Stalin's was mostly fear.


Between the two options of love or fear

Wiki says 40 (less Stauffenberg's multiple attempts), including 14 before he was in charge.


It also says the list is incomplete...I watched a documentary on History Channel (back when it could be trusted) that told of the 60+ attempts...I'll try to find what it was when I have the time if need be

Assassination attempts were rarely reported unless they were successful, as are the cases for Julius Caesar and Vlad the Impaler. I'm pretty sure those weren't their first encounters, but such information often is lost to time.


Many assassination attempts during that time period were reported, some on Cao Cao, some on Dong Zhou, etc...despite the fact that they failed

As long as they didn't join the thousands rebelling against him, of course


The only people that rebelled against Liu Bei were the Nanman...Liu sent Zhuge Liang to resolve the issue and his way of defeating them was to capture the leader until he himself decided that they were defeated, this resulted in 7 consecutive battles where deaths were only the result of them being necessary...but they did have a sorrowful impact

Now...one should not confuse the defections of Fu Shi Ren and Mi Fang as rebellion against Liu Bei...those were rebellion against Guan Yu
Cambyses
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It is true, however, that the stronger rulers and princes in history have generally been those who were feared for their military prowess. Quite frankly, the easiest way to getting others to respect you is by having them fear you and being the toughest on the block.

But a benevolent ruler, like Liu Bei, often garner the trust and respect of others, allies and enemies alike, better because they have those valuable qualities of every human being. A ruler who shows love to the people gives them a reason to be with them.
Ruling with love is not just showering the public with gifts.

partydevil
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partydevil
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But a benevolent ruler, like Liu Bei, often garner the trust and respect of others


they were often easyer to kill or atleast be beaten.

how many times was liu bei beaten and needed to start over again?
atleast 3 times from what i recall. every time he settled and had people around him. he was beaten again and driven off the country.
JuiceyBox
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By now, you should all know what it's like to be feared and loved, since you all became famous princes and princesses and stuff.

I prefer to be loved, but that's just a personal preference. I don't want to be feared.

shock457
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shock457
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Ah, a famous saying by Niccolo Machiavelli

Whether or not a prince should be loved or feared


If the prince would be feared, he would be hated. You would not like to be hated.
If a prince was to be loved, the people will not take the prince seriously. That will lead to the destruction of his kingdom.
AatosLiukkonen
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AatosLiukkonen
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Which is better, loved by many of feared by all?

Honestly, in terms of power, feared by all. Love is fleeting, and not all will love you, but fear? That's a different matter all together...

JuiceyBox
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JuiceyBox
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Ah, a famous saying by Niccolo Machiavelli

Whether or not a prince should be loved or feared

If the prince would be feared, he would be hated. You would not like to be hated.
If a prince was to be loved, the people will not take the prince seriously. That will lead to the destruction of his kingdom.


Actually a very good point there.
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