Is it better to be feared or to be loved?

I think others have mentioned the recurring theme of "legacy" throughout the episode. Johnny Sack even asks outright to his brother-in-law how he was remembered. Then there's similar questions being asked by Phil and Carmine. Most importantly is how the question of legacy affects Tony.

After watching the episode and thinking about it, I flashed back to a scene in A Bronx Tale. C (who went on to play Matthew Bevilaqua) asks the boss Sonny whether it is better to be feared or to be loved. I was curious how Tony, as boss, might answer that question.

Judging from the scene with Mefi, it seems that Tony hopes that he is loved but is obviously starting to question that with respect to Christopher (and maybe with the rest of his crew as well). He may even be questioning this with respect to his real family. On the other hand, Tony has previously mentioned that being boss is "not a poularity contest" which implies that fear is most important to him. As he gets older, which side of the fence does Tony fall and how does that effect his decisions in the future (or at least in the final 7 episodes)?

Re: Is it better to be feared or to be loved?

Machiavelli said that, if attaining both is not possible, it is better to be feared than loved. From the little I've read of "The Prince" it seems to be centered around how to obtain, and sustain, levels of supreme power. Clearly this can relate to the power stuggle often found in mob movies and on the Sopranos that actually reference Machiavelli a couple times.

I feel that Tony ultimately agrees that fear is more useful for a boss than love. Consequently, we could see Tony's sorrow over his relationship with Chris turn into rage sooner than later. As he said, "You don't have to love me but you will respect me". Their relationship seems to be moving to the front of the line in terms of storyline importance. I can't wait to see where it leads.
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