The Instigator
Con (against)
0 Points
The Contender
Pro (for)
4 Points

It is better to be feared than loved.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 4/2/2014 Category: Miscellaneous
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 2,727 times Debate No: 51455
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (6)
Votes (1)




Round 1: You post your opening argument.
Round 2-4: free argumentation/rebuttal zone.
Round 5: Both can give the conclusive statements (I don't do this thing of equal rounds where you have to post 'no argument here as agreed')

By accepting this debate, you accordingly admit to these definitions being correct:

To be feared - to cause people to feel an unpleasant emotion caused by the threat of danger, pain, or harm towards oneself regardless of intent.

To be loved - to cause people to feel a strong feeling of fondness or liking to oneself regardless of intent.

Better - More appropriate, advantageous, or well advised.


Power; what is it? What is power? It is an abstract idea; abstract in that it is imaginary, yet it holds so much influence over our lives. Power is not matter; power is not something we could grasp hold of as easily as a table, or a water bottle. Power is not a toy; you cannot play with power, or else power will play with you. Power is not a pet; you can tame power, but it acts unpredictably. Taking hold of the three things that power isn't, we can then rightfully infer that the holders of power are efficient power users; they, in the words of Adolf Hitler in his "The Triumph of Will" speech, "must be accordingly given to the one who can exercise it best!"

Yes; it is clear that power is no toy to be played with, nor is it a pet. But what is not clear is "what is efficient usage of power?" This is where our dearest quote comes into play.

The Prince: The Origins of this Debate

Machiavelli was a staunch defender of totalitarianism; his most famous piece of work, "The Prince", mainly deals with this complete defense of totalitarianism. But the quote we are looking for comes on the section where he deals with "cruelty vs mercy". He states this:

"From this arises the question whether it is better to be loved more than feared, or feared more than love. The reply is, that one ought to be both feared and loved, but as it is difficult for the two to go on together, it is much better to be feared than love, if one of the two has to be wanting."

How does Machiavelli defend this?

"If you comfort them (your friends) with only words, they will turn on you, for friendships bought with words are gained, not secured. For love is held by a string of obligations, and this fails because the selfishness in man betrays this cause. When compared with fear, where the dread of punishment always maintain the trust, and in this sense, never fails."

We are faced with several real life issues and examples of this; for example, during the Stalinist era, the Soviet society never dared to revolt against him. He created an order of fear through the Soviet society; no one even DARED to challenge his endeavours. Although one can argue that his system of fear has almost destroyed the Soviet economy, one cannot argue that the stability of the Soviet state during the Stalinist era was unstable.

The same goes for any EFFECTIVE totalitarian state; the Third Reich was another example of this. Hitler had a system where he controlled everything; his people did not love him, but feared him. He kept a system in which the fear of punishment was always present, especially to political prisoners and dissidents. As Machiavelli predicts in his book, "the presence of fear shadows hatred".

My arguments will revolve around three factors:

1. That fear creates love in the future
2. That states that run on fear are stable states
3. That fear creates an all-abiding country

By the end of this debate, I will attempt to leave you in almost no doubt that being feared is better than being love.


Debate Round No. 1


I am not sure why the mention of power was raised because power is irrelevant to the debate. This is about whether it is better to be feared or loved, irregardless of power. Unless my opponent can substantiate the relevance of power to this debate resolution, I will choose to ignore this point and go on to address the rest of Pro's argument.

The defense that your friends will turn on your if you comfort them is substantiated by the paranoid thoughts of a potentially schizophrenic philosopher who deemed all human beings to be narcissistic sociopaths. Sociopathy is a mental disorder that prevents one from being able to relate to others on a deep, emotional level of any kind and is a variant of Antisocial Personality Disorder (ASPD) []. Narcissism is an excessive love of oneself and is also a mental disorder named Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD) []. If my opponent wants to presume that everyone is an emotionless self-embracing egomaniac then he must justify this with an explanation and give evidence to support his claim. Only such a person would back-stab you and, ironically they are incapable of loving to begin with so that is truly irrelevant to this debate.

Next, my opponent begins to hone into one of the most efficient monsters of history; Stalin. What he fails to mention is that Stalin was loved by his people because he'd fought off the 'evil Tsar' and 'evil Mensheviks' and had brainwashed many people, both adults and children, to live and breathe Stalinist Communism as well as having strategically outmaneuvered all his opponents by convincing the majority to love and trust him as their leader, whilst those who dared oppose him were the only ones who learnt to fear him. He was feeding off the love that people had given Lenin and transferring it all onto himself from Lenin's long-gone corpse. Stalin was loved by the masses, he was only feared by those in his social circle who dared to oppose him. He censored the media to always present him in a good light and people obeyed out of love for the the concept of communism and the 'greater good', not because they were scared of the guy with the moustache (only the others high-up in power were scared of him).

Pro then goes on to support Totalitarianism, in the context of the Nazis. We all remember where that ended up, right? Well, for those who don't, let me remind you. Hitler ends up killing himself, his wife and his dog. Then his staff got screwed over, one by one. Great example to raise. (

Pro then continues to outline the three fundamental arguments of his side of the debate.

Let's observe the first one.

My opponent states that fear creates love in the future. If anything it's the other way around. If you love someone, you fear hurting them or making them dislike you whereas if you fear them you don't care if they dislike you as long as they don't hurt you and would be willing to screw them over at the first given opportunity.

Let's observe the other 2 as I will attack both claims in one go.

The theory that states and countries ruling by tyranny/fear are more stable and cause higher abidance rates is preposterous.

Every single nation that rules by fear is either extremely unstable (such as North Korea) or has, in recent years even, been overthrown.

Qaddafi is one example of someone who ruled by fear, look how unstable his society was. They went on a lynch mob and killed the guy and now even his offspring are paying the price for his actions and will never be looked at as worthy of belonging in that community (nor anywhere else in their world). He has truly cursed them for life.

Saddam Hussein is another example, who reached the same fate of death.

Should I keep going?

People like Osama bin Laden and Stalin succeeded because they made the people below them love them and respect them out of that love. the fear to disappoint them was the only fear their minions felt. Eventually they turned ugly and Stalin got a stroke whilst Bin Laden got wrecked by the Navy SEALs.

People such as Gandhi did indeed meet an abrupt end too but it's about the legacy they leave behind.

You see, once you die the only thing left will be your legacy and if it's one of being feared, people will loathe you, they may respect you but they'll loathe you. People will instead have much more pleasant and fond memories of you and you will live on as a legend sold to the children of generations to come as an idol, not kept hidden from them until they're old enough to know how bad a person you were.


Power was raised up because this debate is a debate on whether how power she diould be used.

I have divided my rebuttals into three parts. The first part will deal mainly with psychology. The second and third will deal mainly with the opponent's other points.

"The defense....truly irrevelant to this debate"

“People choose to love at their own will; they choose to fear at the will of the prince.” This statement shall be mentioned many times in this debate. However, before we start onto rants about that, we must spot several faults in these statements. Sociopathy is not a mental disorder that prevents one from being able to relate to others on a deep, emotional level. Sociopathy is the disregards for social norms of others and the display of antisocial behaviors, classified as “
a pervasive pattern of disregard for, and violation of, the rights of others." Nevertheless, the opponent makes many false points regarding what I presume; when did I ever presume that everyone was a sociopath, or a narcissist, or even worse, “an emotionless self-embracing egomaniac”? He then makes this dangerous statement: “only emotionless self-embracing egomaniacs” will backstab you. Dangerous; Francisco Franco, the “Caudillo” of Spain, would backstab many of his comrades in an attempt to gain power. Adolf Hitler, the “Fuhrer” of Germany, would backstab Ernst Rohm, someone he called “eternal comrade” just years before he was backstabbed. Sarit Thanarat, the authoritarian ruler of Thailand, backstabbed Marshal Pibulsongkram, soon after being called “Pibulsongkram’s most loyal partner”. Now, we must look at the mental stability of all of them; although Hitler was allegedly diagnosed with some mental disorder, Franco and Sarit were people with perfect mental stability. They were clearly not egomaniacs too; they weren’t obsessed with personal glory, but national glory. (If that is considered egomaniacy, then I’m an egomaniac). Nevertheless, the opponent has attempted to take an assumption that all backstabbers egomaniacs; simply not true.

"Next, my opponent..... (only the higer up in power were scared of him)"

Indeed, I do go on and describe the most efficient monsters in history. I wouldn’t call them monsters, but tyrants. The original statement states that “it is better to be feared than love, if you cannot be both”. Stalin was indeed love by his people, but what the opponent fails to observe is the source of this love; before his rise to power, Stalin was a simple Georgian who joined the Bolshevik in order to carry out the revolution. He was not known in the outside circle; he was simply a Bolshevik. When he did receive the power though, he was certainly not loved. He had to depend on fear; Machiavelli, in his book supports this: “men love at their own will, but fear at the will of the prince.” People would love Stalin at their own will; his extraordinary usage of propaganda propelled this love. The opponent says that Stalin was not feared, but loved, by the masses. This was not true; a farmer during the Stalinist era once stated that “it is not easy to predict where you would end up nowadays. It’s either your own bed or Stalin’s prison camp.” Stalin gained love through fear; his system of arresting those who dissented the Stalinist mode of production, or the Stalinist social order, effectively installed fear into the people of the Soviet Union; through this, he was given love back.

"Pro then goes.....great example to raise"

I would like to thank the opponent for his congratulations; it is indeed a very good example to raise. Mr. Adolf Hitler did have flaws in his ideology, but perhaps the opponent was misunderstanding the argument and why it was raised up; the opponent describes how the Third Reich ended. I intended to describe the Third Reich’s state of stability; it ran on fear. The Third Reich had virtually no opposition because all future political dissent was abolished; it ran a highly effective secret police force that always took the chance it had to abolish the opposition. Hitler DID end up killing himself, his children, his wife and his dog. But perhaps his end was not what was being emphasized here; it was his reign. Hitler did make several mistakes after 1939; the Third Reich I described was merely the 1933-1939 one, where a totalitarian state had been created. As opposed to the opponent, who simply looked at the end of the man’s rule; let me say this to the opponent: Adolf Hitler died from the same causes as JFK, which is, a bullet through the head. If we are to judge someone by how they died, then JFK would have clearly been infamous too.

"Pro then continues.....first given opportunity."

The opponent has made a classic error in his argument; love is voluntary, fear is necessary. Let me expand on this; you love at your will, but you fear as you must. Let’s scale this down for a second: a soldier fears his superior not because he hates him, but because it is necessary. You fear your parent’s wrath not because it is voluntary, but because it is necessary. Since the basic concepts of this statement has been describe, we should adopt this into a model of the relationship between state to man. If you love a leader, the leader’s power is absolute, but it is instable; when he makes many mistakes, that love is lost. Thaksin Shinawatra is an example of this; the Thai Populist leader; was loved when he initially came into office. However, he made many irreversible mistakes, and now he is a controversial figure in Thailand. He was so hated that he was ran out by a military coup, which then instilled a democratic state. However, if we were to compare this to someone who is feared, but hated, we would see many differences; Cesare Borgia, an Italian leader, was considered cruel and was feared. However, his authority was both absolute and stable; because of this, he was able to bring tranquility back into the region of Romagna. We can see that the absolute but instable authority of one person who was loved, but soon hated, is not very beneficial when compared to the case of someone who is feared.

"Should I keep were [end]"

The opponent uses the example of Osama Bin Laden and Stalin; I would like to state that Osama Bin Laden shouldn't be used as an example, because he never ruled a state. Stalin, on the other hand, was an effective ruler. The opponent states that "even they turned ugly" Osama Bin Laden was indeed shot dead by US troops, but as I stated, he never ruled. In fact, he is an almost perfect example of someone who was neither loved or feared; his orders were sometimes ignored, or sometimes followed. Stalin, on the other hand, died of a stroke, in his bed, loved as the leader of the "proletariat against the capitalists". He came in as an obscure Georgian no one ever heard of, and died a great man. Is that ending ugly to you? I don't think so.

At the end of the day, it's not about the legacy you leave behind, but it's about what one has achieved; one can say Cesare Borgia died a disaster, but what he has achieved, aka restoring honour and order back to Romagna, can be seen as a positive achievement. If you are feared, you are most likely to be loved in the future; many cases support this. Hannibal, Napoleon, I could go on forever. But it is clear; it is better to be feared than loved.

Its better to be feared than loved

The Prince: 2nd Edition

Debate Round No. 2


RiskTaker forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3


RiskTaker forfeited this round.


I'm leaving DDo.


See ya all soon!
Debate Round No. 4


RiskTaker forfeited this round.


Kc1999 forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 5
6 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 6 records.
Posted by Kc1999 2 years ago
It's ok Logical_Fallacy. I'm used to debate spam comments.
Posted by RiskTaker 2 years ago
I wholeheartedly agree.
Posted by Your_Logical_Fallacy 2 years ago
Whoops sorry about the spam.
Posted by Your_Logical_Fallacy 2 years ago
If you are feared the world will try to rise against you, If you are loved the world will accept and care for you. Case Closed!
Posted by Your_Logical_Fallacy 2 years ago
If you are feared the world will try to rise against you, If you are loved the world will accept and care for you. Case Closed!
Posted by Your_Logical_Fallacy 2 years ago
If you are feared the world will try to rise against you, If you are loved the world will accept and care for you. Case Closed!
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by Jifpop09 2 years ago
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
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Total points awarded:04 
Reasons for voting decision: Kc1999 gets an obvious conduct point. As for arguments, risk takers relied on repeating every argument that Pro made, and letting the audience find the stupidity in it. There was none in my view, and maybe con could of convinced me otherwise, but he constatly forfeited. Pro definitely filled his half of the BOP