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Fear in a leader vs. Love

It is better for a ruler to be feared than loved. A leader who is feared will be able to control his people better than one who is loved. In addition, a leader who is feared can get his people to do what he wants them to rather than just having them do what they want to do. Lastly, when a leader is feared, then his people will not leave him for any reason.

First, a leader must be feared because he will then be able to control his people. According to Machiavelli, when a leader is loved, the emotion controlling the relationship is under the control of the people, while when a leader is feared, he is in control. If a leader is loved, the people love him because they want to, while if a leader is feared, it is because that is what the leader wants. Although many people join the army of their own free will, if they did not fear retribution by their leaders, they would most likely leave in the case of a dangerous situation. With fear of retribution, however, the number of people who leave are smaller. This is because the fear of the leader over rules their fear of the dangerous situation. This is just one reason why it is better to be feared than loved.

Another reason it is better to be feared than loved is that a leader who is feared can get them to do what he wants. This means that even if a person does not want to do something the leader asks that person will most likely do it for fear of the leader. However, when a leader is loved, the people sometimes do not do what he asks and are not fearful of punishment. Although people say that they are not afraid of the leader of the United States, this is usually not a complete truth. Although they are not fearful of our President, they are fearful of the laws that he enacts. A leader who is feared has the power to direct people to do something they do not want to do, because the people know if they donít, they will have to face punishment. If a loved leader tries to punish someone, he would not be loved anymore. Another example of this is the reign of Hitler. Although his goals were not considered worthy, he got many people to do what he wanted, even if the people did not want this as individuals. Hitler succeeded in bringing many people into his plan of world domination. Thorough fear and charisma tactics, he gained thousands of people who before that point would never have joined his fight. They joined so that they could be on the stronger side. This is another reason why it is better to be feared than loved.

The last reason that it is better to be feared than loved is that when a leader is feared, it is much more difficult to break the bond between that leader and oneself. When the slaves of England revolted in 1381, they were under a ruler who they did not fear. They did not think that the king would punish them for leaving their masters. If the slaves had feared the king, they would have felt fear at leaving their posts. A king who would wish to instill fear would have all the slaves killed for insubordination, and such a revolt would most likely not have occurred if the slaves feared that this punishment might be enacted. All this points out that it is better to be a feared leader than one who is loved.

Many leadership styles have been enacted through history. In some cases, leaders who were loved succeeded temporarily. This was not the norm however. In most cases, the leaders who were feared were the ones who maintained a strong hand and stayed in positions of leadership. These leaders understood that if they were feared then they would be able to control their people. They understood that love is able to be broken, while fear can not. They understood that when something needs to be done, it is better to be feared. All this and more show that it is better to be loved than feared.

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Last update 2/12/2000 Copyright © Chris Enterprises