Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Is It Better to be Loved or Feared?

Political wisdom often dictates that it is better to be respected and feared rather than to be loved.  This goes all the way back to the 16th Century when Niccolò Machiavelli wrote The Prince instructing would be leaders on how to gain and maintain political power.

This theme of being feared rather than being loved permeates our popular culture including movies such as Star Wars and The Godfather.

Here is a quote from the movie A Bronx Tale:

Is it better to be loved or feared?

That's a good question.

It's nice to be both, but it's difficult.
But if I had my choice...I would rather be feared.
Fear lasts longer than love.
Friendships bought with money mean nothing.
You see how it is.  I make a joke, everybody laughs.  I'm funny, but not that funny.

Fear keeps them loyal to me.  The trick is not being hated.

I treat my men good. But if I give too much, I'm not needed. 
I give just enough where they need me but don't hate me.
There is a clip a clip from the movie with this scene toward the end that you can watch on youtube here