On the Treatise of Rule
The relationship between ruler and servant (2/2)
A viable solution is to be feared. Fear can certainly keep servants loyal. The ruler can easily use the power he or she wields to instil fear through cruel treatment of servants or enemies, with the certain possibility of future cruelty. But to use fear is to create dissatisfaction amongst the people, with the subsequent result that there will be backlash against the ruler. Besides that, the only way fear could unify servants is if the ruler is detested so much that they rise as one against the ruler.
A question arises. That question was asked by Machiavelli (readers of Machiavelli will have recognized this, but don’t worry, this won’t all be about him) and it was whether it was better to be loved or to be feared. His answer was that the best solution was to take the best of both and be loved and feared. To do so however is quite difficult. I refer you to http://www.constitution.org/mac/prince17.htm for the chapter in question
To quickly, but perhaps ineffectively, summarize a good solution to finding the balance between fear and love, it is that a ruler should slowly, prudently, and with humility, act to let the servants love him according to their own will and fear according to the ruler’s will, as long as he avoids gaining hatred from his servants. Thus cruelty should be aimed at enemies, enemies from within, such as criminals, however they need be approached with consistent prudent consequences.
The most intriguing thing here is the quote he took from Virgil, who spoke in the form of Dido:
Res dura, et regni novitas me talia cogunt
Moliri, et late fines custode tueri
Meaning: Against my will, my fate,
A throne unsettled, and an infant state,
Bid me defend my realms with all my powers,
And guard with these severities my shores
This is where I am actually starting to speak upon something of my own, for I wish to apply this quote that laments on the fate of not just new rulers, but also new states, as these newlings may sometimes need to be exceptionally cruel to protect the integrity of the state or power of the ruler. I wish to apply this quote, and all it implies, onto the new states of MagicDuel and their rulers.
A great example is Khalazdad, first king of Necrovion. He was loved by his servants, he even managed to marry three wives in a realm where emancipation is a given. But he was also revered, which borderlined on fear, as he was liaison to the terrible Shade Sentinel and other masters of Necrovion. Interestingly enough, he found a balance between love and fear, in the way Machiavelli meant it. He did nothing to try to win the love of his people, he simply acted prudently and wisely. Love cannot be taken, it must be received. The fear part was perhaps not his intention, which led to the great advantage of avoiding hatred, or at least some of it, from others. The fear arrived from the seemingly suspected cruelty of the Sentinel. Behold here what I see as an absolutely beautiful example of roleplay and efficiency. Khalazdad, due to his actions in Necrovion, became half-shade and half-human. In doing so, his human side could be loved and his shade side feared, while funneling the hatred to the Sentinel. He acted accordingly and showed either a grey neutral side, a white human side, or a black shade side. This, while it had the greater balance as its main purpose, had the side effect of greatly increasing the effects of being loved and feared at the same time.