History Literature / ThePrince

10th Jun '16 6:20:00 AM JamesAustin
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->--'''What everyone remembers from ''The Prince'''''

to:

->--'''What -->--'''What everyone remembers from ''The Prince'''''



->--'''What he says right afterward, but what nobody seems to remember'''

Written by Italian statesman Creator/NiccoloMachiavelli in 1513, ''The Prince'' (''Il Principe'') is the single most famous political treatise and the first entirely secular work of TheRenaissance. At the time it was first published, ''The Prince'' was seen as extremely scandalous for its endorsement of ruthlessness and amorality. Nevertheless, it quickly became popular with politicians and remains highly influential in Western politics today. If there's any MagnificentBastard in ''anything'' set after the Renaissance, it's very probable he's taken cues from this book [[note]]Although they aren't quite as likely to actually have an in depth knowledge of the book as much as a pop-culture impression[[/note]].

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->--'''What -->--'''What he says right afterward, but what nobody seems to remember'''

Written by Italian statesman Creator/NiccoloMachiavelli in 1513, ''The Prince'' (''Il Principe'') is the single most famous political treatise and the first entirely secular work of TheRenaissance. At the time it was first published, ''The Prince'' was seen as extremely scandalous for its endorsement of ruthlessness and amorality. Nevertheless, it quickly became popular with politicians and remains highly influential in Western politics today. If there's any MagnificentBastard in ''anything'' set after the Renaissance, it's very probable he's taken cues from this book book.[[note]]Although they aren't quite as likely to actually have an in depth knowledge of the book as much as a pop-culture impression[[/note]].
impression.[[/note]]



Also, he wrote this book when Italy was in a very chaotic state: to ensure order the prince ''had'' to rule with an iron fist. Finally, one must remember that Machiavelli was attempting to ingratiate himself with the Medici, who had just taken over Florence (and promptly ignored his advice: they chose to be universally loved, and ended up massively in debt for it), and that most of his work was about supporting (small-r) republican regimes with an emphasis on freedom (although the means he recommended for operating and preserving them were rather, well, Machiavellian); more educated political theorists tend to regard him as something of a DeepCoverAgent for what eventually became modern liberal democracy. Though if so, that would ironically be a Machiavellian plan in itself. As later historians noted, Machiavelli wrote the book in vernacular and in plain language which means that its a book that has had a wider audience than earlier works of political sciences.

[[note]] "Prince" (or "principe" in the original Italian) at the time just meant "ruler", more or less (from Latin "princeps" = "first one"). [[IThoughtItMeant It didn't mean "the son of a king"]]. If there was only one person in the state who really mattered, it was called a monarchy. Even a democratically elected president would have still been called a "Principe".[[/note]]

to:

Also, he wrote this book when Italy was in a very chaotic state: to ensure order the prince ''had'' to rule with an iron fist. Finally, one must remember that Machiavelli was attempting to ingratiate himself with the Medici, who had just taken over Florence (and promptly ignored his advice: they chose to be universally loved, and ended up massively in debt for it), and that most of his work was about supporting (small-r) (smaller) republican regimes with an emphasis on freedom (although the means he recommended for operating and preserving them were rather, well, Machiavellian); more educated political theorists tend to regard him as something of a DeepCoverAgent for what eventually became modern liberal democracy. Though if so, that would ironically be a Machiavellian plan in itself. As later historians noted, Machiavelli wrote the book in vernacular and in plain language which means that its a book that has had a wider audience than earlier works of political sciences.

[[note]] As of note, "Prince" (or "principe" in the original Italian) at the time just meant "ruler", more or less (from Latin "princeps" = "first one"). [[IThoughtItMeant It didn't mean "the son of a king"]]. If there was only one person in the state who really mattered, it was called a monarchy. Even a democratically elected president would have still been called a "Principe".[[/note]]
"Principe".
23rd May '16 10:02:25 PM JulianLapostat
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Added DiffLines:

* TheRevolutionWillNotBeCivilized: Machiavelli explains why:
-->It ought to be remembered that there is nothing more difficult to take in hand, more perilous to conduct, or more uncertain in its success, than to take the lead in the introduction of a new order of things. Because the innovator has for enemies [[TheRemnant all those who have done well under the old conditions]], [[NotInThisForYourRevolution and lukewarm defenders in those who may do well under the new]]. This coolness arises partly [[LawfulEvil from fear of the opponents, who have the laws on their side]], and partly from [[ItWillNeverCatchOn the incredulity of men]], who do not readily believe in new things until they have had a long experience of them.
25th Apr '16 11:28:29 AM Doug86
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* WickedCultured: Good publicity, again. And it doesn't hurt to know a bit of history, for when you feel like imitating AlexanderTheGreat.

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* WickedCultured: Good publicity, again. And it doesn't hurt to know a bit of history, for when you feel like imitating AlexanderTheGreat.UsefulNotes/AlexanderTheGreat.
13th Apr '16 8:29:04 AM alchixinren
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Added DiffLines:

* RealitySubtext: His bit expounding on how to overthrow religious-based states, nominally about the Ottomans, was intended as a how-to guide on overthrowing the Pope.
24th Jan '16 4:00:53 PM Malloon
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* DefeatMeansFriendship: If you want to make a good impression after you've conquered an enemy, pardon them and allow them to swear loyalty to you in exchange for their lives. If that doesn't work, you can always dispose of them anyway. Also if you're able to convince political rivals to join you and become loyal to you then it's a big plus for you.

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* DefeatMeansFriendship: If you want to make a good impression after you've conquered an enemy, pardon them and allow them to swear loyalty to you in exchange for their lives. If that doesn't work, you can always dispose of them anyway. Also if you're able to convince political rivals to join you and become loyal to you then it's a big plus for you. He also says that the supporters of a just-conquered state will be ''better'' friends to you than those who supported you from the beginning, since they feel like they need to prove themselves to you to earn your trust.
30th Nov '15 4:51:14 AM JulianLapostat
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* GenreDeconstruction: ''The Prince'' belongs to a genre of literature known as the "[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mirrors_for_princes mirrors for princes]]," essentially self-help books written by courtiers to provide useful advice to newly-installed rulers (and often also to flatter them so that said courtier would have a better shot at getting an actual assignment to a government post). While these books traditionally emphasized the importance of being a wise, valiant, and virtuous ruler, Machiavelli was one of the first to point out that holding the moral high ground over your subjects is useless if you don't also have actual power to back up your rule.

to:

* GenreDeconstruction: ''The Prince'' belongs to a genre of literature known as the "[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mirrors_for_princes mirrors for princes]]," essentially self-help books written by courtiers to provide useful advice to newly-installed rulers (and often also to flatter them so that said courtier would have a better shot at getting an actual assignment to a government post).
**
While these books traditionally emphasized the importance of being a wise, valiant, and virtuous ruler, Machiavelli was one of the first to point out that holding the moral high ground over your subjects is useless if you don't also have actual power to back up your rule.rule.
** Advocates who feel that the book is a parody of the genre point out, that rather than offering a simple one-stop solution, Machiavelli by discussing how politics work, is actually telling the Prince that he's never going to have a moment's rest, a true Prince/King/Ruler would be an absolute paranoid wreck who is SlaveToPR, always worried if he's Loved/Feared/Hated. In effect, the advise and picture given in the book is impossible to actually follow.
1st Oct '15 2:17:00 PM Anarquistador
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1st Oct '15 2:16:59 PM Anarquistador
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* HumansAreBastards: The prince is advised to assume this from the start, and govern accordingly. Your subjects are fickle, greedy cowards, who will profess their love and loyalty as long as they have full bellies and peaceful lives. But they will turn on you the second the status quo changes for the worse, and you have to be prepared to deal with that at. Yeah, ''maybe'' they'll surprise you, and stand by you in times of crisis, but you can't run a country on "maybes". It's a safer bet to make sure that they know that the punishment for disloyalty outweighs any temporary hardships loyalty brings.

to:

* HumansAreBastards: The prince is advised to assume this from the start, and govern accordingly. Your subjects are fickle, greedy cowards, who will profess their love and loyalty as long as they have full bellies and peaceful lives. But they will turn on you the second the status quo changes for the worse, and you have to be prepared to deal with that at.that. Yeah, ''maybe'' they'll surprise you, and stand by you in times of crisis, but you can't run a country on "maybes". It's a safer bet to make sure that they know that the punishment for disloyalty outweighs any temporary hardships loyalty brings.
1st Oct '15 2:13:06 PM Anarquistador
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* HumansAreBastards: The prince is advised to assume this from the start, and govern accordingly. Your subjects are fickle, greedy cowards, who will profess their love and loyalty as long as things are good in the kingdom. But when things are not so good, they will most likely turn on you, and you have to be prepared to deal with that eventuality. ''Maybe'' they'll surprise you, and show genuine loyalty in times of crisis, but you can't run a country on "maybes". It's a safer bet to make sure they're simply too afraid to disobey you.

to:

* HumansAreBastards: The prince is advised to assume this from the start, and govern accordingly. Your subjects are fickle, greedy cowards, who will profess their love and loyalty as long as things are good in the kingdom. they have full bellies and peaceful lives. But when things are not so good, they will most likely turn on you, you the second the status quo changes for the worse, and you have to be prepared to deal with that eventuality. ''Maybe'' at. Yeah, ''maybe'' they'll surprise you, and show genuine loyalty stand by you in times of crisis, but you can't run a country on "maybes". It's a safer bet to make sure they're simply too afraid to disobey you.that they know that the punishment for disloyalty outweighs any temporary hardships loyalty brings.
23rd Sep '15 4:40:25 AM JulianLapostat
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* HobbesWasRight: One of the most familiar examples ever. This book made the name "Niccolo Machiavelli" basically a synonym to "Thomas Hobbes", although in real life, Machiavelli might have also criticized Hobbes' theories if he had read about them.

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* HobbesWasRight: One of the most familiar examples ever. This book made the name "Niccolo Machiavelli" basically a synonym to "Thomas Hobbes", although in real life, Machiavelli might have also criticized Hobbes' theories if he had read about them. Indeed, during UsefulNotes/TheEnlightenment, Creator/JeanJacquesRousseau (whose ideas were totally [[RousseauWasRight opposed to Hobbes]]) did a lot to reconstruct Machiavelli as a republican, as opposed to an advocate for a King (like Hobbes).
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