Machievelli vs. Rousseau

Compare the philosophies of Machiavelli and Rousseau

Both Machiavelli and Rousseau were important historians and philosophers of their times; Machiavelli was an Italian from the late 15th to early 16th century and Rousseau, a Genevan from the 18th century. Although they shared the basic premise about the human instinct of self preservation, they took vastly different approaches about the morality inherent in human nature.   They both would agree that the need for self preservation within a civil society requires some type of order to prevent chaos, and that government is the vehicle to maintain this order.   However, their thoughts on the role of government in society and its relationship to the people it governs are in stark contrast.
Both Machiavelli and Rousseau believed in human nature's need to protect their well-being.   From here, their perspectives differ dramatically.   Machiavelli took a very negative view of human nature.   He saw men as 'ungrateful, fickle, deceptive and deceiving',   looking for ways to gain power and avoid danger regardless of the consequences.   He believed they were incapable of ruling themselves and needed a feared leader to maintain order. On the contrary, Rousseau believed that humans were instinctively good and do not want to see human suffering; but that society can turn this positive nature in a negative direction if it suppresses individual freedom and equality.   He believed in people's power of reasoning to understand the need to prevent this suppression by adopting societal principles for the benefit of all - hence Rousseaus' well known "Social Contract".     Each philosopher's respective beliefs about human nature, likewise shaped   their views of the role of government in society.
Machievelli and Rousseau could agree that the use of power was necessary to maintain order within a society.   Their means to achieve this order were quite different.   For Machievelli, this power to maintain order belonged to the society's...