A Comparative Analysis Of Machiavellian Principle And Nigerian Society

Project and Seminar Material for Philosophy

A Comparative Analysis Of Machiavellian Principle And Nigerian Society


Niccolo Machiavelli appears to have generated more controversy than any of his contemporaries. So much notoriety has gathered around his name that the charge of being a Machiavellian still remains a serious accusation in current political debate. Political thinkers from time immemorial had propounded one theory after another, all geared toward the betterment and upliftment of humanity. One salient feature of all these theories is that the propounders have the same objective mentally but their ideological and methodological approaches are what alienated one from the other.

In the case of Machiavelli, he posited a complex relationship between morality and politics, and associated the office of a ruler with the ability to know and act within the political world as it is and with the beastly abilities to dispense violence and practice deception. Besides, the hallmark of Machiavellianism lies in the fact that evil means can be used to achieve good end. Hence, when one has a good intention personal to him, what matters is not the process through which this goal is achieved but the emphasis lies on the fact of being able to attain the selfish interest. However, my concern is to x-ray philosophically the principle of Machiavelli and how its influences have held the contemporary Nigerian society to ransom.

Purpose of Study

The high level of moral decadence that has permeated every facet of Nigerian society has instigated me toward embarking on this topic. The dangers of Machiavellianism constitute one of the most problematic threats to the moral basis of political life of every nation in general and Nigeria in particular.

My primary purpose is to x-ray how Machiavellian principle has penetrated our political and other dimensions of life right from the moment Nigeria got her independence to this present time. Thus, by x-raying this principle, I intend to place it side by side with Nigerian situation and how it has permeated the political, economic and the religious scenario of our country. In addition, I shall critically appraise Machiavellian principle and how reliable it has been in solving human precarious political predicament and whether his ideology has any hope for Nigerian society.


The entire work is arranged into five chapters. It employs the following methods: expository, analytical, comparative, review, critical and evaluative methods. However, the method that appears to dominate the work is the critical method. Chapter one deals with the explanation and analysis of Machiavellianism, the political ideology and background to the political theory of Machiavelli. In chapter two, the views of some philosophers are discussed together with Machiavelli’s idea of morality. Chapter three exposes Nigerian situation and Machiavelli’s influence on her. Chapter four analyzes critically Machiavellianism and Nigerian government together with the effects of Machiavellianism in Nigeria. While chapter five, which is the last chapter, contains the evaluation and conclusion.

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