There is the City of God and the City of Man;
more often than not, they have little in common.
As a Prince (political ruler),
it is best to be both feared and loved.
But if you have to choose between the two,
it is better to be feared than loved.
"These methods are very cruel, and enemies to all government
not merely Christian but human, and any man ought to avoid them and prefer to
live a private life rather than to be a king who brings such ruin on men. Notwithstanding,
a ruler who does not wish to take that first good way of lawful government, if
he wishes to maintain himself, must enter upon this evil one. But men take certain
middle ways that are very injurious; indeed, they are unable to be altogether
good or altogether bad."
If human beings were different than they are,
perhaps they could create an ideal Christian society. But he [Machiavelli]
is clear that human beings would in that event have to differ too greatly
from men as they have always been; and it is surely idle to build for,
or discuss the prospects of, beings who can never be on earth; such
talk is beside the point, and only breeds dreams and fatal delusions.
What ought to be done must be defined in terms of what is practicable,
not imaginary; statescraft is concerned with action within the limits
of human possibility, however wide; men can be changed, but not to
a fantastic degree. To advocate ideal measures, suitable only for angels,
as previous religious writers seem to him too often to have done, is
visionary and irresponsible and leads to ruin.
Sir Isaiah Berlin
Against the Current