W4 ARGUMENTATIVE ESSAY ON SOCRATES AND MACHIAVELLI
USE required Sources only:
NO COVER PAGE
Machiavelli and The Prince http://www.constitution.org/mac/prince.pdf
• Lemert, C. (Ed.). (2013). Social Theory: The Multicultural, Global, and Classic Readings (5th ed.). Boulder, CO: Westview.
o “Modernity’s Classical Age: 1848-1919,” Lemert, pp. 19-27
o “Karl Marx,” in Lemert text, p. 28
o “Estranged Labour,” Marx, in Lemert, pp. 29-33
o “The Manifesto of Class Struggle,” Marx and Engels, in Lemert, pp. 34-37
o “The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte,” Marx, in Lemert, pp. 37-40*
o “Capital and the Values of Commodities,” Marx, in Lemert, pp. 41-47
o “Labour-Power and Capital,” Marx, in Lemert, pp. 49-52
*To help you understand “The Eighteenth Brumaire…” and the historical context in which it was written, please look up brief online information, such as Wikipedia
entries, on the following: “French Revolution,” “Napoleon Bonaparte,” “Louis Bonaparte,” “French coup d’etat of 1851,” lumpenproletariat, and “Society of December 10.”
o Alienation, Economic Exploitation and Class Struggle
Please write 1000 word essay argumentative essay (double spaced, 12 point standard font—Arial, approximately 1 inch margins) contrasting (To contrast means to show
differences) Socrates’ and Machiavelli’s perspectives on Citizenship.
In the underlined thesis statement of your introductory paragraph, state what either Socrates or Machiavelli would argue about the topic Citizenship. Your essay must
have a clearly written thesis containing three relevant supporting points, all of which relate to Socrates or Machiavelli.
Thesis is restated clearly, with an overarching insight that is not a cliché.
EXAMPLE OF A THESIS STATEMENT (not necessarily from Socrates or Machiavelli)
“Good citizens must be honest, question others, and be good educators because without these traits they will not have a positive impact on others and will be unable to
constructively contribute to political discussion.”
• In the next three paragraphs, elaborate on the three supporting points given in your thesis (one supporting point per paragraph) use citations, examples.
• In the fifth paragraph, be sure that your essay refutes three counter-arguments from the other theorist (Socrates if your thesis statement is based on Machiavelli,
but Machiavelli if your thesis statement is based on Socrates).
• Your essay should conform to standard university writing guidelines and have complete, clearly written sentences, correct punctuation, and grammar.
• You must have properly and consistently cites related texts.
• Three supporting points from the thesis are clearly explained, demonstrating a strong understanding of Socrates or Machiavelli.
• One paragraph is devoted to each point.
• All three counterarguments are clear and relevant. Refutations of these counterarguments show a strong understanding of Socrates and Machiavelli.
• Be sure that you directly quote Socrates or Machiavelli, in moderation, to back up your three supporting points and three counter arguments. Be sure to edit your
work. Write with short and concise sentences.
EXAMPLE of a Six-Paragraph Argumentative Essay
George W. Bush is a good president because he is a nice person, he has improved the quality of life for most Americans, and he is successfully conducting the war on
terror which is making America safer.
The first reason why President Bush is a good president is simple. He is a nice person. He can often be seen with a smile on his face and he shakes a lot of people’s
hands. It is clear that President Bush is a likable and nice person.
The second reason why President Bush is a good president is also clear. He has improved the quality of life of most Americans. During his presidential terms, more
Americans have been able to buy their own homes. This has clearly improved the quality of life of many Americans.
The third reason why President Bush is a good president is the most important one. He is successfully conducting the war on terror. Under his leadership, America won
the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. We have also captured many suspected terrorists. Clearly, President Bush is successfully conducting the war on terror.
It could be argued that President Bush is not a good President because his apparent niceness is only an act, most Americans are not better off as a result of his
policies, and that the war on terror is a flop. While it may be the case that his niceness could be an act, most Americans believe that he is sincere. While it may be
the case that some Americans are not better off as a result of his policies, many Americans have received tax breaks that have increased their standard of living.
While it may be the case that the war on terror is not going that well, the US has captured many terrorists that are enemies of America and this has made America a
Presidents are often under a high level of stress. Some crack under pressure. This is not the case for President Bush. George W. Bush is a good President because he is
a nice person, he has improved the quality of life for most Americans, and he is successfully conducting the war on terror which is making America a safer place. I
hope we have another member of the Bush family as President in the years to come.
ALSO review Lecture:
Alienation, Economic Exploitation and Class Struggle
Karl Marx (1818-1883) is a controversial thinker. Marx wrote a number of influential
texts including The German Ideology, Capital, and the Communist Manifesto, etc. He
was born in Trier, educated at the University of Berlin and Bonn and lived throughout
Europe (he was forced to move many times – he was expelled from Paris and Brussels;
the newspaper he edited in Germany was closed for attacking the government). He was a
journalist and the son of a Jewish lawyer. Marx had a major impact on the course of
European history and has influenced countless thinkers including Gramsci, Trotsky,
Sartre, Althusser, etc.
During the industrial revolution, Marx provided a critique of capitalism as inhuman and
unfair. Marx claimed that capitalism was doomed to self-destruct. As entrepreneurs
strive to maximize profit, they eliminate on an increasing basis the cash flow of
individuals who could buy their products. Capitalism, a system of private property, free
market enterprise, and competition, was inhuman according to Marx because it treated
people as interchangeable cogs without any intrinsic value or dignity. Humans became
alienated as they performed mindless and repetitive workplace tasks for the majority of
their waking hours (you may want to check out the film “Modern Times,” a classic
Charlie Chaplin film).
The state proclaimed itself to be “for the people, of the people,” but for Marx, the state
was an instrument of the ruling class. In fact, all institutions in society – religion;
education; media; family, etc. are designed to perpetuate the unfair economic system
called capitalism and make the dispossessed think that capitalism was the only option.
Marx believed that religion, especially Christianity, was “the opiate of the masses.” For
Marx, Christianity was an ideology that gave the poor and dispossessed solace that life
would be better later, after one died and went to heaven. For Marx, this was a lie that
rich capitalists invented to pacify the masses and make them accept their poverty and
misery. Capitalists promoted “false consciousness,” the lack of awareness of their real
interests, amongst the masses.
Marx envisioned an alternative mode of social and economic relations without
exploitation. He called this utopian form of social organization communism. Marx
believed communism was an ideal way humans could live together. In capitalist systems,
the workers and the ruling class were engaged in a relentless struggle. The ruling class
consisting of rich capitalists needed cheap labor and tried to pay the workers as little as
possible while extracting as much labor as possible from them. Life would be better for
everyone in a communist system; everyone would benefit equally and share with each
other.The legacy and relevance of Marx today is clear to see in the 2008-2009 government
bailout of the financial sector in America. Were any poor people bailed out for making
unwise business decisions? Were any poor individuals bailed out for gambling their
money away in Las Vegas?
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