Brad DeLong's Semi-Daily Journal: "Hated and Not Feared": "In his classic work, The Prince, Machiavelli wrote 'a prince ought to inspire fear in such a way that, if he does not win love, he avoids hatred; because he can endure very well being feared whilst he is not hated.' In other words, the best position to be in is to be feared and loved; the next best is to be feared and not hated; and the prince should avoid being hated and feared. Tellingly, Machiavelli did not even consider the possibility of being hated and not feared - presumably because a prince in that position would not be a prince for very long.
Unfortunately, that seems to be the situation in which the United States now finds itself. Fear of American power is diminishing, while animosity toward U.S. policy is increasing. We are, in short, in the worst situation possible, and as a consequence we can expect further grim challenges ahead."