Machiavelli based his ideal “Prince” on Cesare Borgia's life. He famously asserted that good rulers sometimes have to learn "not to be good," they have to be willing to set aside ethical concerns of justice, honesty, and kindness in order to maintain the stability of the state. Machiavelli argued that the most successful kings were not the ones who acted according to dictates of law, or justice, or conscience, but those willing to do whatever was necessary to preserve their own power.Machiavelli writes that, if one had to choose, it is better to be feared than loved.
"Cesare Borgia was considered cruel; nonetheless, that cruelty of his had fixed up Romagna, united it, reduced it to peace and reliability. Which, if were to be well considered, would be seen to have been much more merciful than the Florentine people, which, in order to escape the name of cruel, let Pistoia be destroyed."
—-The Prince - Machiavelli