The Machiavelli believes in using cruelty only once,

The works of Machiavelli and
Foucault have similar ideas when it comes to punishment. However, they both
have very different methods of how punishment should be carried out which will
be discussed further in the paper. Machiavelli believes in using cruelty only
once, whereas Foucault believes discipline should be used routinely. The object
I have chosen to compare Machiavelli and Foucault to is Guantánamo Bay.
In the news article, the detainees at Guantánamo Bay are on a hunger strike and are being denied basic
medical care.

            According
to the news report about Guantánamo Bay, “prisoners say U.S. military officials have
threatened to stop force feeding them and denying them basic medical care” (Guantánamo Prisoners on
Hunger Strike, 2017). Human rights lawyers claim it is implemented to
torture. The prisoner’s lawyers also state “they oppose the sudden suspension
of feedings and medical care” (Guantánamo Prisoners on Hunger Strike, 2017). This
is due to the fact “their clients’ health is precariously declining and such
care may mean the difference between life and death” (Guantánamo Prisoners on
Hunger Strike, 2017). One of the many prisoners’ hunger striking, Khalid
Qassim writes “they have decided to leave us to waste away and die instead. …
Now as each night comes, I wonder if I will wake up in the morning. When will
my organs fail? When will my heart stop? I am slowly slipping away and no one
notices” (Guantánamo
Prisoners on Hunger Strike, 2017). The prisoners are being
encouraged to continue their hunger strike “until their organs fail, until they
get serious mental illness, until they go blind” (Guantánamo Prisoners on
Hunger Strike, 2017). Once the prisoners get to the point of being
physically or mentally ill, “they will start force feeding them to stop them
from actually dying. They wait until they’re half-dead and then keep them
half-alive” (Guantánamo
Prisoners on Hunger Strike, 2017). 
Another prisoner by the name of Ahmed was sold to the U.S. and was known
as a bad guy. He was taken away from his family, went on a hunger strike in
2013 and has been force fed for 4 years. Ahmed weighs only 92 pounds and looks
like a shadow of who he used to be. According to medical literature, “once you
are 30% below your normal body weight, that’s when you’re in real danger of
dying” (Guantánamo
Prisoners on Hunger Strike, 2017). Ahmed is unable to make sensible
decisions due to his loss of thiamine. In order to achieve justice during the
protest, there is the urge for supporters to “join the solidarity hunger strike
with the detainees including British Labour Party MP Tom Watson and Pink Floyd
co-founder Roger Waters” (Guantánamo Prisoners on Hunger Strike, 2017).
Ahmed wrote a letter to President Trump asking him to use the $500 million per
year on soldiers, his people, the poor people and natural disaster rather than
at Guantánamo Bay.

            According
to Machiavelli, “I believe that this follows from severities being badly or
properly used. Those may be called properly used, if of evil it is possible to
speak well, that are applied at one blow and are necessary to one’s security
and are not persisted in afterwards” (Machiavelli, 2006)). Machiavelli is famous for writing
“The Prince” which is a guide on how to acquire and maintain political power.
Machiavelli is power politics. By definition, a Machiavellian uses sweeping
power to exert absolute control over others. This relates to Guantanamo Bay
because the U.S. military officials are using their power to stop force feeding
the prisoners and denying them access to basic medical care. He believes the
government steers the way society is structured. Machiavelli also believed in a
Republican form of government and probably would have been a supporter of
Trump. He viewed cruelty as being allowed if used once, and it must not be used
to take advantage of others for personal enjoyment. Machiavelli also meditated
the fact that disorders are unacceptable. He also believed that it is important
to inspire fear and avoid hatred, but it is more important to be feared than
loved. He states “therefore, it is unnecessary for a prince to have all the
good qualities I have enumerates, but it is very necessary to appear to have
them” (Foucault, 1995). Further, Machiavelli supports the idea of punishment in
order to gain power however, the punishment should only be carried out once.

            Foucault
offers enlightenment of reason, power and society and critiques the way other
people think. According to Foucault, “the plague gave rise to disciplinary
projects” (Machiavelli, 2006).  He had
the idea that it is right to treat people different that do not fit in. In the
case of Guantánamo Bay,
prisoners do not fit in to society and that is why they are in jail. Also,
Foucault has a theory that knowledge and power go hand in hand. Foucault picks
up on the exclusions of deviants and criminals and notices some people do not
have a say. In relation to Guantánamo Bay, the prisoners are striking because nobody is
able to hear their voices. He believes discipline was invented as a way to deal
with dangerous populations and that it is acceptable to “experiment” and try
different punishments on prisoners. Foucault published a book called Discipline
and Punish: The Birth of a Prison in 1975. When executions and torture became popular
in the late 18th century, there were petitions to end it because criminal
justice should punish- not have revenge on a person’s wrongdoing. Also, it
would be appropriate for the punishment to match the nature of the crime. The
art of punishment was created to find a punishment medium in hopes of deterring
all crime. Further, Foucault believed in exerting power over others and
disciplining prisoners similar to Machiavelli.

            Machiavelli
and Foucault both believe in power and punishment. However, Machiavelli firmly
believes that the punishment should occur one time and should not be
persistent. Machiavelli focuses directly on political power and Foucault
generalizes the concept of power. Machiavelli makes wise choices, clarifies his
ideas and expands on his thoughts by using examples. For instance, he states
“yet it cannot be called talent to slay fellow-citizens, to deceive friends, to
be without faith, without religion; such methods may gain empire, but not
glory” (Machiavelli, 2006). Whereas Foucault believes punishment should be used
to gain power. For example, Foucault states “hence the major effect of the
Panopticon: to induce in the inmate a state of conscious and permanent
visibility that assures the automatic functioning of power” (Foucault, 1995).

            My
own position relating to Guantánamo Bay, Foucault and Machiavelli are very different
for each source. Relating to Guantánamo Bay specifically, the article should
have had more detail and been written better because it was difficult to follow
at some points within the article. Moreover, it would have been beneficial to
hear more from the inmates and what their thoughts were on the hunger strike. I
encourage the idea that was mentioned regarding supporters to take part in the
hunger strike with the detainees. Also, I believe it would be sufficient for
President Trump to spend the money put into Guantánamo Bay each year elsewhere
in the U.S. Additionally, I do not support what the guards are doing to the
prisoners because it is inhumane and a violation of human rights. Some of the
prisoners placed at Guantánamo Bay are not even convicted of crime and are
forced to deal with maltreatment- this proves that the contemporary has changed
dramatically.

            I can
confidently say I agree with Machiavelli more than Foucault because he believes
cruelty is allowed once and it must be deserved. The part of that statement I
disagree with is that it should be allowed once- punishment should be routine
if misbehavior continues. Also, I disagree with Foucault because he focuses
mainly on power and has no regard for people. Both Foucault and Machiavelli
would disagree with me because power is most important to them, whereas I
believe the treatment of people is more important.

            In
conclusion, the beliefs of punishment from Foucault and Machiavelli are
practiced by the U.S. military forces in Guantánamo Bay. Machiavelli believes
that punishment is acceptable if used only once. On the other hand, Foucault
believes that it is acceptable to experiment on prisoners and try various
punishments.