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->''Whether it be better to be loved than feared or feared than loved? It may be answered that one should wish to be both, but, because it is difficult to unite them in [[MagnificentBastard one person]], is much safer to be feared than loved, when, of the two, either must be dispensed with...\\
Nevertheless a prince ought to inspire fear in such a way that, if he does not win love, [[ZeroPerCentApprovalRating he avoids hatred]]; because he can [[TheDreaded endure very well being feared]] [[EnemyMine whilst he is not hated]].''
-->-- '''Niccolo Machiavelli''', ''Literature/ThePrince'', [[http://ebooks.adelaide.edu.au/m/machiavelli/niccolo/m149p/chapter17.html Chapter 17]]

Bands of heroes are generally held together by ThePowerOfFriendship, [[ThePowerOfLove Love]], or just [[MagneticHero general loyalty to the hero]]. Indeed, TheLeader who acts as a FatherToHisMen gains more loyalty from them than one who acts as a tyrant. Bands of villains tend to be held together by fear of the head villain. Eventually, villains often discover [[EvilCannotComprehendGood to their surprise]] that while fear might be easier to establish, [[GoodFeelsGood love has a lot more staying power]]. If the villain is especially unlikeable, this can culminate in a HeelFaceTurn.

The trope name comes, obviously, from the popular reputation of Creator/NiccoloMachiavelli's ''Literature/ThePrince'', which is often paraphrased as saying that it is better to rule by fear than by love. People (and fictional villains) often forget an important thing Machiavelli pointed out, however - it is preferable to be both feared ''and'' loved, choosing fear over love only when you can't have both, and that in any event it is vital to avoid being ''[[ZeroPercentApprovalRating hated]]'', since if you are hated people will be willing to suffer just to oppose you. Best of all is to command obedience through ''respect''. In essence, it'd be more true to form to say "Machiavelli was right" if not for this popular misunderstanding.

A misunderstanding of this concept is due to the early English translations, which were {{Blind Idiot Translation}}s that turned the line "look to the consequences before you act" into "the ends justify the means." Incidentally, it's also worth noting that some scholars think ''The Prince'' was a [[PoesLaw satire]] of the dictatorship since everything else he wrote directly contradicts ''The Prince'' - in other words, Machiavelli Was Joking (the general consensus is that it wasn't satire, but the controversy still rages).

Often used as part of an {{Aesop}}. See also VillainousDemotivator. Contrast BreadAndCircuses, which Machiavelli actually supported. It may be because RousseauWasRight.

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!!Examples:

[[foldercontrol]]

[[folder: Anime and Manga ]]
* In ''Anime/{{Naruto}}'', most of Orochimaru's followers are fanatically loyal to him due to him taking them under his wing when they were vulnerable.
* In ''Anime/{{Pokemon}}'', evil trainers generally treat their Pokemon cruelly, while good trainers treat them well.
** The most extreme example was the Iron Masked Marauder. He was so abusive to his Pokemon, they left him ''on their own'', something that is usually unheard of.
** Jessie and James are the exception; while they play the role of antagonists ([[IneffectualSympatheticVillain sort of]]), they get emotionally attached to their Pokemon.
* Played with in ''Manga/FromEroicaWithLove''; the antagonist Klaus is both feared and loved by the [[FanNickname Alphabets]]. He is gruff with his men, expecting perfection from them, and is constantly threatening to send them off to Alaska if they fail (and he actually goes though with it at least once), but he also acts like [[HypocriticalHeartwarming he's the only one allowed to insult them]] and lets them known that they aren't just {{Red Shirt}}s, admittedly by yelling at them.
* In ''Manga/OnePiece'', many pirate crews, such as those of Luffy, Shanks, and Whitebeard, treat their men as family, whereas the Marines rule through fear (namely Akainu, who kills a soldier for trying to run away in the middle of the battle because he has a wife and child to care about; talk about the champion of justice right there). [[note]]That ''is'' what Marines were originally meant for: they served aboard naval vessels and kept the crew from mutiny and desertion. With, like, guns and stuff. (And for Boarding Actions, but that's less important here.)[[/note]]
* In ''Manga/LiarGame'', Akiyama explicitly points out that his and Nao's team runs on trust, while Yokoya's team runs on fear. Guess which team always wins?
* Played with in ''Manga/FullMetalAlchemist'' at Briggs Fortress. The soldiers are scared of their commanding officer, Major General Oliver Armstrong, but also extremely proud of 'our Ice Queen'. While she is [[IronLady definitely worthy of that title]], she still has [[AMotherToHerMen a soft spot for her soldiers]]. As regards to this trope, one could say they love her ''because'' she's scary.
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Film ]]
* ''Franchise/StarWars'' uses this as one of the many contrasts between the rebellion and the Empire. In fact, ruling by fear seems to be having been [[http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Tarkin_Doctrine codified into Imperial policy]] as of the construction of the first Death Star:
-->'''General Tagge:''' How will the Emperor maintain control without the bureaucracy?\\
'''Grand Moff Tarkin:''' The regional governors will now have direct control over their territories. Fear will keep the local systems in line. Fear of this battle station.
** It's called the Tarkin Doctrine: "Rule through the fear of force, rather than force itself."
** Leia invokes this trope just before Alderaan is destroyed:
--->''The more you tighten your grip, Tarkin, the more star systems will slip through your fingers.''
** The kicker? The destruction of Alderaan, a Core World known for artisans and philosophers, probably sealed the Empire's doom. Anger over the atrocity sent a ''lot'' of neutral worlds over to the Rebel Alliance. Nascent rebellions on other worlds, instead of being cowed into fear, figured "Screw it, if we're dead anyway, might as well die for a reason!" The fragmented rebellion now had an atrocity to rally behind and unite them, and a ''ton'' of ''pissed off Alderaanian expats'' signed up, looking to avenge their lost world and families. [[NiceJobFixingItVillain Nice Job Breaking It, Tarkin]]!
*** Even better; [[spoiler: one of those Alderaaneans being the head gunner of the Death Star's main weapon.]]
* In ''Disney/OneHundredAndOneDalmatians'', Horace and Jasper are reluctant to kidnap and then kill the puppies, and are always asking to get their pay and be done with it, but they cower in fear at the sight of Cruella de Vil (and who could blame them) and go about their grim business. They don't exactly turn against her at the end, but as Cruella rages at her defeat, they dismiss her with an "Aw, shut up!"
* In ''ABronxTale,'' the question "Is it better to be loved or feared?" is openly discussed between the young protagonist C and his mobster mentor Sonny. Sonny had read Machiavelli during a stint in jail and is well aware that the key thing is to not be ''hated''...
* In the 2010 ''Film/AliceInWonderland'' the Red Queen debates the question of whether it is better to be feared or loved. She ultimately decides on fear, because love can be used against her. [[spoiler:It turns out badly for her, however, because no sooner is the Jabberwock slain and she loses the one thing that lets her ''cause'' fear, her entire army refuses to support her any longer.]]
* In ''Film/IronMan'', during his demonstration of the Jericho missile, Tony Stark asks whether it is better to be feared or respected, answering his hypothetical question with, "I say, what's wrong with both?" Later, after he escape the Ten Rings with his prototype Iron Man armor (and realizes that his own weapons were being sold to America's enemies), he takes the side of "respect" and makes plans to steer Stark Industries away from the arms business.
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Literature ]]
* Made blatantly obvious in ''Literature/HarryPotter'', and the contrast between Harry and Voldemort. Voldemort also suffers [[FlawExploitation adverse effects from this]].
** A more subtle, yet direct example, would be the Malfoy family, particularly Narcissa, who [[spoiler:betrays Voldemort to save her son]].
* Averted in ''Literature/{{Discworld}}'' by Lord Havelock Vetinari, who has been described as recognizing that you don't have to be feared ''or'' loved... just [[VetinariJobSecurity vital]].
** Although anyone claiming to be completely unafraid of Vetinari is either lying, [[FearlessFool insane]], or possibly Captain Carrot.
*** Carrot considers the Patrician vital in keeping him off the throne, so that's okay.
*** And of course Lord Rust shows that both Machiavelli and Vetinari are wrong, as occasionally events will conspire to provide the ruler with an adversary who is both too stupid to fear the ruler ''and'' too stupid to fear (or even understand) the consequences of getting rid of the ruler. Fortunately stupidity is its own solution most of the time. It is mentioned in ''Feet of Clay'' that no one sane had tried to kill Vetinari in years because of being vital, but people do keep trying nonetheless.
**** Just because someone doesn't fear the consequences of getting rid of Vetinari, doesn't mean that the consequences don't come back to bite them. He may have been deposed a fair few times, but never for more than a month or so.
** It also helps to be a trained assassin that never sleeps.
*** Unless [[Discworld/TheTruth he is in jail.]] He tends to sleep when he is there.
**** Maybe he stages the occasional coup against himself when he feels the need for a good nap. It would be his style.
* Extensively examined but never explicitly mentioned in ''TheBartimaeusTrilogy'' in the relationship between Bartimaeus and Nathaniel, and the contrast between it and the relationship Bartimaeus had with his former master [[PosthumousCharacter Ptolemy]].
** Also near the end their relationship improves significantly, mostly because Nathaniel starts treating him with the respect Bartimaeus deserves. He even compares Nathan to Ptolemy near the end.
** In fact, in the end, [[spoiler: Nathaniel sacrifices himself to save Bartimaeus]], something unthinkable for most magicians.
* In ''Literature/ThePhantomOfTheOpera'' (Gaston Leroux's novel, at least), Christine has to choose between Erik, who loves her but uses fear to control her, and Raoul. Love proves a stronger motivator than fear... which means Erik simply has to resort to the ScarpiaUltimatum...
** The musical version emphasizes the differences between Christine's suitors. Compare "Music of the Night", sung by the Phantom, where love is dark and controlling, to Raoul's love song "All I Ask of You", where love is bright and liberating.
* This is actually averted by ''ThePrince'' itself, especially if one subscribes to the school of thought that sees the work as a scathing satire against monarchical societies masquerading as a guide on how they should be ran.
* In ''{{Literature/Frankenstein}}'', the creature only becomes monstrous after trying unsuccessfully to find someone who will love him.
-->"If I cannot inspire love I will cause fear"
* In the ''StarWarsExpandedUniverse'', Grand Admiral Thrawn understands the distinction, but also adds to it the difference between fear and respect. He doesn't execute underlings for failings that are not their fault; he's lethally stern but not murderous, and he commands his men more through respect than either fear or love.
* PlayedWith in ''{{Dune}}'', the Harkonnens clearly ruled Arrakis through fear and Duke Leto capitalized on that by portraying himself as a far kinder ruler to gain the people's love and adoration. Not that it did him any good when his popularity aroused the other Houses' jealousy and the Harkonnens invaded and re-captured the planet. And the Baron's BatmanGambit to pacify the populace of Arrakis after recapturing it, letting his least favorite nephew Rabban rule Arrakis as cruel despot, so that his favorite Feyd would be more welcomed when he takes over that is, was straight out of ThePrince, and might have worked had Paul not provoked the Fremen into going on a Jihad.
** GodEmperor Leto II makes himself out as a feared and hated despot in order to [[OmniscientMoralityLicense steer humanity towards his Golden Path]].
* British statesman Lord Chesterfield wrote in ''Literature/LettersToHisSon'': "a private man who can hurt but few, though he can please many, must endeavor to be loved, for he cannot be feared in general." - "But this truth from long experience I assert, that he who has the most friends and the fewest enemies, is the strongest; will rise the highest with the least envy; and fall, if he does fall, the gentlest, and the most pitied." (letter 181 and 184)
* ''Literature/ASongOfIceAndFire'' has the Lannisters, who rule primarily by fear, and whom the smallfolk despise. On the other hand, they completely adore the Tyrells, with [[SpoiledSweet Margaery]] at the forefront, who spend time with them and hand out food donations on the like. Sansa also comes to this conclusion after spending time with paranoid queen mother Cersei.
-->'''Sansa''': If I am ever queen, I will make them love me.
** Then there are the various Northern Houses, who love their liege lords the Starks. They loved the Stark family so such that they, lord and commoner alike are prepared to march through blizzards, bone chilling cold in a state of near starvation or keep on fighting even when all hope is faded, for the sake of the Starks. Even after being [[spoiler:usurped by the Bolton's, the North would not bend the knee to them, and House Manderly are conspiring against the Bolton's to bring the Starks back as liege lords]].

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Live Action TV ]]
* ''Series/BuffyTheVampireSlayer'', especially in season six with The Trio, but also obvious with some of the season one and two vampire minions.
* In ''Series/{{Farscape}}'', MagnificentBastard Scorpius takes care to reward his useful mooks (most particularly his eventual pseudo-[[TheDragon Dragon]] Braca). Of course, they're ''still'' scared of him, because [[FateWorseThanDeath horrible things]] happen to his enemies and prisoners, but he's the lesser of several evils, and as a result his minions are very loyal indeed.
** Which is '''exactly''' what ''The Prince'' advises: make it clear that everyone should be ''very careful'' to stay on your good side. The key mistake tyrants need to avoid is not ''having'' a good side to stay on.
* Discussed in an episode of ''Series/DueSouth'', when a local Mafia don is going on about the importance of respect, Fraser mentions that he has known many men who thought they were ''respected'', when in fact they were merely ''feared''. [[{{Foreshadowing}} And fears can be overcome.]]
* [[{{Series/Firefly}} Mal Reynolds]] lives and dies by the idea that he can count on his crew and they can count on him.
-->"You've got all kinds o' learnin' and you made me look the fool without even trying, yet here I am, with a gun to your head. That's 'cause I got people with me. People who trust each other, who do for each other, and ain't always lookin' for the advantage."
* ''Series/SeaQuestDSV'' invokes this multiple times. At one point, Captain Bridger scolds Lucas Wolenczak for even ''quoting'' Machiavelli on his ship.
* ''Series/BandOfBrothers'': This is presented by two different leaders. Winters clearly loves [[AFatherToHisMen his Easy Company]], treats his men well, and as such the soldiers respect him and would do anything for him. Speirs develops a reputation for being such a Badass that the soldiers in Easy fear him, but respect him because he gets the job done. Played with in that Speirs [[GenreSavvy knows all about the chatter going on behind his back]]:
-->'''Speirs:''' You want to know if they're true or not... the stories about me. Did you ever notice with stories like that, everyone says they heard it from someone who was there. But then when you ask ''that'' person, they say ''they'' heard it from someone who was there. It's nothing new, really. I bet if you went back two thousand years, you'd hear a couple of centurions standing around, yakking about how Tertius lopped off the heads of some Carthaginian prisoners.
-->'''Lipton:''' Well, maybe they kept talking about it because they never heard Tertius deny it.
-->'''Speirs:''' Well, maybe that's because Tertius knew there was some value to the men thinking he was the meanest, toughest son of a bitch in the whole Roman Legion.
** Proved by [[DrillSergeantNasty Captain Sobel]] who is clearly not loved, but made himself more hated than feared, which Machiavelli warned against.
*** Sobel is doubly an example of this trope. Not only is he unnecessarily harsh with his recruits, he's a terrible commander to boot. In his first field training exercise he gets his men lost in a field because he can't read a damn map. So he can't even claim that his jerkass behavior is justified by extreme competence.
* In ''Series/BreakingBad'' Walter decides to stop cooking meth for his distributor Gus Fring, and Fring is asked by [[TheDragon Mike]] why he doesn't directly threaten Walter to continue his work (either with the threat of exposing his identity as 'Heisenberg' to the DEA, or with good old-fashioned violence). Gus responds that fear is not a proper motivator in their business; instead, he finds far more success in playing to Walter's [[FatalFlaw pride]]. But when Walt turns out to be too unpredictable and arrogant to control in this manner (able to manipulate Gus into a position where he's unable to kill him), Gus is forced to fall back on fear to keep him in line. [[spoiler: Played straight all the same; when Gus threatens to murder Walt's family, and his children, it finally makes Walt desperate enough to take extreme measures in getting rid of him, leading to Gus's downfall.]]
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Video Games ]]
* Used pretty sensibly in ''CityOfHeroes'' with the AlternateUniverse Praetorian Earth, in which all the named heroes are instead Machiavellian fascists, and in the America Korps AlternateUniverse where the evil twins to the heroes are instead Nazis. The {{Big Bad}}s Tyrant and Reichsman are individually a perfect match for BigGood Statesman, but the lesser heroes easily overcome their evil counterparts; the BigBad intentionally sabotaged their training so they didn't become threats to his leadership.
* Taking the Open Palm Path in ''JadeEmpire'' lets you throw this one ''right'' in the face of the BigBad. [[spoiler: Sun Li knocks out your party and traps you in a mind prison. You summon your friends to help fight off the demons of doubt and fear...even Sagacious Zu, who gave his life in a HeroicSacrifice at the 2/3 mark of the story. After breaking out, Sun Li is left scraping his jaw off the floor - ''eat it,'' "Glorious Strategist"]]
** Although Closed Fist characters deal with the situation just as easily, weakening the example somewhat.
* While the Machiavelli seen in ''[[VideoGame/AssassinsCreedBrotherhood Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood]]'' never actually states any beliefs like this; outside of mild cynicism, it is shown that the Borgia's reign of oppression has no chance against Ezio's more enlightened perspective.
** He does however openly criticize their methods so they clearly didn't read his book - which may have been due to the fact that it was written fifteen years after the game's start and quite a few events of the game obviously inspire him to turn his worldview around and write the actual ''ThePrince'' rather than TheThemeParkVersion.
* Subverted in ''VideoGame/TotalWarShogun2'', where a ruler's ability to rule is determined by the Repression Rating and must enact harsh policies to maintain authorities (such as sword hunts to disarm the rebellious population for example). No bread and circuses here folks or noble in rule traits.
** Played straight in ''VideoGame/MedievalIITotalWar''. Chivalrous generals (ones that fight fairly, release prisoners, keep taxes low and city happiness high etc) give cities a bonus to happiness and population growth when they're stationed in them, and they give a morale bonus to troops when on the battlefield. Dreaded generals (ones that hire assassins, raises taxes, execute prisoners etc) give a public order bonus in cities, but it's just not as effective.
* ''VideoGame/MassEffect3'': Paragon Shepard, who relies upon playing fair, being friendly, earning respect, and giving everyone a fair shake, tends to accumulate a lot more War Assets than Renegade Shepard, who's a down-and-dirty ruthless bastard who tends to default to intimidation and violence.
* In the ''VideoGame/{{Pokemon}}'' games, the cheapest medicinal items, labeled as Bitter, hurt your Pokemon's Happiness points. So much for getting that Espeon (which evolves via level-up during the day only when it is extremely devoted to you), but if you love your Pokémon, you'll pay a bit more money to buy the medicine that ''doesn't'' taste bad. (Except for the Max Revive, which ''can't'' be bought save for the Bitter variety. [[FridgeBrilliance Tough call?]])
** One attack (Frustration) does more damage the less the mon likes you.

[[/folder]]

[[folder:Web Original]]
* In ''Literature/{{Worm}}'', Skitter's entire approach is based on this trope. She outright tells [[spoiler:Charlotte]] that she doesn't want to be that type of bad guy, and almost all those she recruits are attracted by her [[SamaritanSyndrome unfailing determination to fight for them]]. (That said, [[HorrifyingHero she is, in fact, a living embodiment of "both feared and loved"]].)
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Western Animation ]]
* ''WesternAnimation/AvatarTheLastAirbender'': Azula believes "fear is the only reliable way" to control people, and it always works for her. Then Mai turns around and [[EtTuBrute betrays her]] because she loves Zuko. Ten seconds later, Ty Lee also betrays her to save Mai. Azula considered both Mai and Ty Lee to be her "best friends" (read: the ones most under her control), and their betrayal out of love for others leads directly to her VillainousBreakdown.
-->'''Azula''': The thing I don't understand is ''why''‌? Why would you do it‌? ''You know the consequences''.\\
'''Mai''': I guess you just don't know people as well as you think you do. You miscalculated. I love Zuko more than I fear you.\\
'''Azula''': No, ''you'' miscalculated! You should have feared me ''more''!
* Somewhat of a subtle overtone in ''WesternAnimation/BeastWars''.
** Also seems to be played with in ''WesternAnimation/TransformersPrime''; Megatron's violent insanity and [[YouHaveFailedMe callous disregard for the lives of his own men]] means he maintains command of the Decepticons almost entirely through fear and [[UndyingLoyalty Soundwave]]. However, the problems in this are rife, as ''the'' Starscream is only the most prominent TheStarscream in his crew; if Soundwave wasn't around or didn't intervene on Megatron's behalf, the rest of the Decepticons would turn on Megatron in an instant if he were ever incapacitated.
* In ''WesternAnimation/EdEddNEddy'', Eddy tries to "rule" the cul-de-sac with respect, but on occasion he's resorted to fear (see: the episode where he lies and tells everyone that his brother's coming home). It doesn't really work because everyone knows he's a greedy {{Jerkass}}, which results in his (as well as the other Eds) being the local punching bags. [[spoiler:Eddy's brother is much more successful at this, as shown in the previously mentioned episode, though he's an astronomical Jerkass far beyond anything Eddy ever did. This trope kicks in in the GrandFinale when the kids see how badly Eddy's brother treats him, as well as Eddy apologizing for acting like a jerk, which finally wins him the respect of the other children and sees his brother getting some well-deserved comeuppance.]]
* Inverted in the "Justice Lords" episodes of ''WesternAnimation/JusticeLeague''. [[spoiler:In the alternate world where the Flash died and the Justice League became an authoritarian force, the populace were in fear of the Justice Lords. Even Hawkgirl brings up the fact that nobody seemed to like them anymore. [[UtopiaJustifiesTheMeans However, while the world is not exactly paradise, the Justice Lords do have things under control much better than the Justice League.]]]] In the end, [[spoiler: they are defeated when one of their own, Justice Lord Franchise/{{Batman}} betrays them ''because'' they rule through fear and tyranny]].
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Multiple Media ]]
* In the ''XWingSeries'', Lara turns after realizing that all the important parts of the Empire are just that bad. It's mentioned that TIE pilots are kept in a constant state of paranoia so they can be loosed on the enemy.
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Real Life ]]
* The success of Cyrus the Great is attributed to the fact that (unlike most emperors) he wasn't a dick to the citizenry (the opposite in fact).
** This became a kind of tradition among Persian emperors.
* This can play out in ''any'' popular uprising against a dictator who ruled through fear, but becomes more hated than respected. Adding specific examples might [[RuleOfCautiousEditingJudgement lead to excessive debating]] and much Administrivia/{{natter}}.
* Avoided with the books written by the titular NiccoloMachiavelli - unlike characters this trope is about, Machiavelli thought that the most important thing is to avoid hatred, and that the most effective way to remain in power is to use both fear and love - like did most of great rulers. ''The Prince'' was mostly about means to avoid assassination, [[RevolvingDoorRevolution all too common]] in Italian city-states of the time, assuming it was ever meant to be good advice rather than political satire.
* FrederickTheGreat actually wrote an essay called the ''Anti-Machiavel'' shortly before ascending to the throne of Prussia. He quickly had it translated and then spread throughout Europe as fast as he could. Modern speculation goes that he was concerned with the "arm the loyal peasants" portion of ''The Prince'' as Prussia was mostly maintained by the rather thorough oppression of the lower classes.
* During WorldWarI the Italian commander-in-chief Luigi Cadorna ruled his troops with harsh discipline, unnecessary punishments, and the threat of being gunned down from the barrier troops if they didn't attack, the only exception being the ''Carabinieri'' (military police, who were acting as said barrier troops) and the Third Army (led by the Duke of Aosta, a relative of the king, second in the line of succession and AFatherToHisMen). When the Austro-Hungarians broke through at the Battle of Caporetto, the soldiers of the Second Army shot their officers, routed the ''Carabinieri'' and started retreating, discussing if to start the revolution then and there or just return home and transforming the defeat in a CurbStompBattle, with the Third Army forced to retreat before being surrounded. To better drive home the point, when Cadorna was replaced with Armando Diaz (a pupil of the Duke of Aosta, and AFatherToHisMen like him), the soldiers (who during the retreat had also seen Italian civilians running from the invaders) stopped retreating and ''stopped the invasion cold'', while the First Army, that included forces raised from local populations and was supported by enough artillery to realize Cadorna was a WellIntentionedExtremist (and was less tormented by the ''Carabinieri'' for that), resisted.
[[/folder]]

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