History Creator / NiccoloMachiavelli

12th Feb '16 4:24:03 PM HiddenWindshield
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Fixed sentence fragment.
This reputation is perhaps undeserved as some of his other works, notably ''Literature/DiscoursesOnLivy'', are all about successfully running republics, and even in ''The Prince'' he states that a republic is the best form of government. In the eighteenth century the view that the book was actually an [[StealthParody elaborate]] [[{{Trollfic}} parody]] became fashionable given both the nature of Machiavelli's other works and the fact that ''The Prince'' was written just after he was stripped of his power, imprisoned, and tortured by the Medicis. In early nineteenth century Germany it became fashionable to suggest that ''The Prince'' needed to be judged relatively. Though the tradition began even earlier than that.
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This reputation is perhaps undeserved as some of his other works, notably ''Literature/DiscoursesOnLivy'', are all about successfully running republics, and even in ''The Prince'' he states that a republic is the best form of government. In the eighteenth century the view that the book was actually an [[StealthParody elaborate]] [[{{Trollfic}} parody]] became fashionable given both the nature of Machiavelli's other works and the fact that ''The Prince'' was written just after he was stripped of his power, imprisoned, and tortured by the Medicis. In early nineteenth century Germany it became fashionable to suggest that ''The Prince'' needed to be judged relatively. Though relatively, though the tradition began even earlier than that.
8th Feb '16 1:26:07 AM JulianLapostat
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'''Niccolò di Bernardo dei Machiavegli''' (1469-1527) was a Florentine writer, philosopher, and political theorist active at a time of great chaos and turmoil throughout Italy. He is best-known for writing ''Literature/ThePrince'', a handbook for the ruling Medici family on how to most effectively run a principality. Due to ''The Prince'' being his best-known work, coupled with the fact that [[MainstreamObscurity few who quote it have actually read it]], Machiavelli's name has become a byword for being a ruthless, manipulative, backstabbing bastard; so much so that in Creator/ChristopherMarlowe's ''Theatre/DoctorFaustus'', Machiavelli is presented as one who has made a DealWithTheDevil, and the term ''Old Nick'' to refer to TheDevil may also be derived from his forename.
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'''Niccolò di Bernardo dei Machiavegli''' (1469-1527) was a Florentine writer, philosopher, and political theorist active at a time of great chaos and turmoil throughout Italy. He is best-known for writing ''Literature/ThePrince'', a handbook for the ruling Medici family on how to most effectively run a principality. Due to ''The Prince'' being his best-known work, coupled with the fact that [[MainstreamObscurity few who quote it have actually read it]], Machiavelli's name has become a byword for being a ruthless, manipulative, backstabbing bastard; so much so that in Creator/ChristopherMarlowe's ''Theatre/DoctorFaustus'', ''The Jew of Malta'', Machiavelli is presented on stage as one who has made a DealWithTheDevil, the narrator of the prologue, and the term ''Old Nick'' to refer to TheDevil may also be derived from his forename.

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'''Niccolò di Bernardo dei Machiavegli''' (1469-1527) was a Florentine writer, philosopher, and political theorist active at a time of great chaos and turmoil throughout Italy. He is best-known for writing ''Literature/ThePrince'', a handbook for the ruling Medici family on how to most effectively run a principality. Due to ''The Prince'' being his best-known work, coupled with the fact that [[MainstreamObscurity few who quote it have actually read it]], Machiavelli's name has become a byword for being a ruthless, manipulative, backstabbing bastard; so much so that !!Machiavelli in Fiction. * Creator/ChristopherMarlowe's ''Theatre/DoctorFaustus'', famous prologue from ''The Jew of Malta'' has Machiavel introduce the action with a stereotyped invocation of his political philosophy. * Creator/SalmanRushdie's ''Literature/TheEnchantressOfFlorence'' is a magical realist merge of Mughal and Florentine GoldenAge and Machiavelli is presented as one who has made a DealWithTheDevil, of the many HistoricalDomainCharacter, albeit one that is more sympathetic and well-researched than others. * He appears in ''Series/TheBorgias'' as TheConsigliere for Cesare Borgia. * He appears in ''VideoGame/AssassinsCreedII'' and ''VideoGame/AssassinsCreedBrotherhood'' as TheLancer of the term ''Old Nick'' to refer to TheDevil may also be derived from his forename. hero Ezio.
30th Nov '15 5:09:12 AM JulianLapostat
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* MyCountryRightOrWrong: Machiavelli was a [[PatrioticFervor patriot]] who wanted a united Italy at a time when no one else particularly thought it was possible. This may explain why he wrote [[ThePrince a book]] about how a dastardly, wickedly cunning, violent man would be a good ruler.
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* MyCountryRightOrWrong: Machiavelli was a [[PatrioticFervor proto-[[PatrioticFervor patriot]] who wanted a united Italy at a time when no one else particularly thought it was possible. This may explain possible. ** He hated the fact that the FeudingFamilies of the various city states and their reliance on PrivateMilitaryContractors [[CrapsackWorld had left Italy open to plunder]] from neighbouring kingdoms. One reason why historians feel that Machiavelli was so forgiving to Cesare Borgia was that the latter at least mounted an attempt to unify Italy under the Papal States. Hence why, he wrote [[ThePrince a book]] about how a dastardly, wickedly cunning, violent man would be a good ruler.ruler. ** Of course Machiavelli would have ideally preferred a Republic, built on a civilian army, like the one that he had built for the Florence, which succeeded in keeping the city Medici-Free until 1512. The fact is a Republic in the 1500s could not have united a large area of land, and Machiavelli knew that. It wouldn't become a possibility until UsefulNotes/TheEnlightenment and the UsefulNotes/WarsOfItalianIndependence that followed the former.
9th Nov '15 6:28:44 PM nombretomado
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Hegel argued that it was written for a certain time and certain locale and to judge it based on contemporary morality and from the perspective of someone living in a unified nation state was unfair. Since the mid-twentieth century, the most common interpretation of ''The Prince'' is that it simply describes as Francis Bacon said, "what men do, and not what they ought to do" and that it is the first true work to deal with politics as a branch of science and not ethics. Another unfair misinterpretation of Machiavelli is seeing him as someone who wrote for the benefit of [insert favorite mass murdering tyrant here]. This is unfair to Machiavelli considering that someone like Hitler doesn't need a centuries dead philosopher to give him permission to go on a murderous rampage, whereas a democratic leader with a strong moral compass like Abe Lincoln or Winston Churchill might have doubts about what their duties as a leader are. And, for that matter, Machiavelli would probably have approved of pragmatic democratic statesmen like [[RichardNixon Nixon]] or Disraeli more than insane ideologues like Hitler or Stalin.
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Hegel argued that it was written for a certain time and certain locale and to judge it based on contemporary morality and from the perspective of someone living in a unified nation state was unfair. Since the mid-twentieth century, the most common interpretation of ''The Prince'' is that it simply describes as Francis Bacon said, "what men do, and not what they ought to do" and that it is the first true work to deal with politics as a branch of science and not ethics. Another unfair misinterpretation of Machiavelli is seeing him as someone who wrote for the benefit of [insert favorite mass murdering tyrant here]. This is unfair to Machiavelli considering that someone like Hitler doesn't need a centuries dead philosopher to give him permission to go on a murderous rampage, whereas a democratic leader with a strong moral compass like Abe Lincoln or Winston Churchill might have doubts about what their duties as a leader are. And, for that matter, Machiavelli would probably have approved of pragmatic democratic statesmen like [[RichardNixon [[UsefulNotes/RichardNixon Nixon]] or Disraeli more than insane ideologues like Hitler or Stalin.
13th May '15 6:52:15 PM karstovich2
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** Interesting because he is born either before his time or ahead of it---or both.
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** Interesting because he is born either before after his time or ahead of it---or it--or both.
13th May '15 6:49:35 PM karstovich2
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However, one must be careful not to assume that Machiavelli was truly pro-democracy. In ''Discourses on Livy'', he takes the time to state that pure democracy isn't a great idea either, and the best form of government is one that combines democracy, aristocracy, and monarchy so that the different social classes can keep each other in check. On the other hand, the liberal movement which (openly or otherwise) adopted Machiavelli's philosophy more or less took the same opinion. Indeed, modern representative democracy would rather please Machiavelli, as it more or less reflects his ideals (a popularly-elected legislature is ''not'' a democracy as he understood it, but close enough to serve in the position in his three-in-one system;[[note]]To elaborate, Machiavelli considered Rome the model, and Rome was a single small republic that conquered and collected tribute from other city-states and thus could have a direct-democratic element in the city. The idea of ''representative'' government was essentially an English invention, and the idea that the territory of a republic could--indeed, ''should''--encompass thousands of square miles was straight from the mind of UsefulNotes/JamesMadison--who, incidentally, made no bones about his interest in Machiavelli.[[/note]] the modern investment of a great deal of power in [[AmericanPoliticalSystem directly-elected presidents]] and [[UsefulNotes/BritishPoliticalSystem indirectly-elected prime ministers]] is a pretty good approximation of his idea of "monarchy"; and both the role of less-representative upper legislative houses--like the US Senate and British Lords--and small, well-educated judicial courts are close to his concept of "aristocracy").
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However, one must be careful not to assume that Machiavelli was truly pro-democracy. In ''Discourses on Livy'', he takes the time to state that pure democracy isn't a great idea either, and the best form of government is one that combines democracy, aristocracy, and monarchy so that the different social classes can keep each other in check. On the other hand, the liberal movement which (openly or otherwise) adopted Machiavelli's philosophy more or less took the same opinion. Indeed, modern representative democracy would rather please Machiavelli, as it more or less reflects his ideals (a popularly-elected legislature is ''not'' a democracy as he understood it, but close enough to serve in the position in his three-in-one system;[[note]]To elaborate, Machiavelli considered Rome the model, and Rome was a single small republic that conquered and collected tribute from other city-states and thus could have a direct-democratic element in the city. The idea of ''representative'' government was essentially an English invention, and the idea that the territory of a republic could--indeed, ''should''--encompass thousands upon thousands of square miles was straight from the mind of UsefulNotes/JamesMadison--who, incidentally, again, made no bones about his interest in Machiavelli.[[/note]] the modern investment of a great deal of power in [[AmericanPoliticalSystem directly-elected presidents]] and [[UsefulNotes/BritishPoliticalSystem indirectly-elected prime ministers]] is a pretty good approximation of his idea of "monarchy"; and both the role of less-representative upper legislative houses--like the US Senate and British Lords--and small, well-educated judicial courts are close to his concept of "aristocracy").
13th May '15 6:48:05 PM karstovich2
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Already in the 18th Century, it was fashionable among Enlightenment philosophers to regard Machiavelli as their inspiration. Jean Jacques Rousseau was a major admirer of his works and was among the first to suggest that ''The Prince'' need not be taken at face value and he regarded Machiavelli as a republican. The founding fathers of the United States were also familiar with his writings.
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Already in the 18th Century, it was fashionable among Enlightenment philosophers to regard Machiavelli as their inspiration. Jean Jacques Rousseau was a major admirer of his works and was among the first to suggest that ''The Prince'' need not be taken at face value and he regarded Machiavelli as a republican. The founding fathers of the United States were also familiar with his writings.writings; UsefulNotes/JamesMadison in particular was deeply interested in Machiavelli's theories, and may have had them in mind both in his drafts for the Virginia Plan (which, ''heavily'' modified, became the [[UsefulNotes/AmericanPoliticalSystem United States Constitution]]) and in his contributions to the ''Federalist Papers''.
11th May '15 5:18:04 PM brianify
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* PrivateMilitaryContractors: In ''ThePrince'', Machiavelli blamed Italy's dominance by foreign powers on the fact that the Italian states all tended to rely on hired mercenaries in war. They tended to get slaughtered, when they didn't turn out to be {{Dirty Coward}}s. Armies with more direct loyalty to their prince or their state tended to do much better.
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* PrivateMilitaryContractors: In ''ThePrince'', Machiavelli blamed Italy's dominance by foreign powers on the fact that the Italian states all tended to rely on hired mercenaries in war. They He pointed out that a soldier's purpose is to protect; a mercenary's is to ''damage'' at the least risk to themselves, which made them most dangerous to their allies and civilians, and least dangerous to the enemy. In battle they tended to get slaughtered, when [[DirtyCoward in the unlikely event they didn't turn out to be {{Dirty Coward}}s.turned up at all]]. Armies with more direct loyalty to their prince or their state tended to do much better.
6th Apr '15 5:28:59 AM Morgenthaler
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* AdmiringTheAbomination: Machiavelli's admiration for [[BastardBastard Cesare Borgia]] may count as this.
2nd Mar '15 6:01:08 PM RushLimborg
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** Others mistakenly believe he said never to hire mercenaries. What he actually said was not to rely on mercenaries to protect your kingdom. This would not preclude hiring them to carry out small, covert missions on your behalf where deniability is an important consideration.
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** Others mistakenly believe he said never to hire mercenaries. What he actually said was not to rely on mercenaries to protect your kingdom. This would not preclude hiring them to carry out small, covert missions on your behalf where deniability is an important consideration. consideration. ** He did ''not'' write that "the ends justify the means". That famous misquote is the result of a BlindIdiotTranslation. What he ''actually'' wrote was that one should consider the consequences before one acts.
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