“Is Machiavelli’s Book an “Evil”?
Machiavelli and his book “The Prince” is not a supporter of evil itself, even though they teach the prince who use techniques that would maintain its rule. (Machiavelli, 1998) Basically, it teaches how the rules should be effective in the face of challenges and stay in power. It notes that the atrocities are accepted, if their production is to achieve the desired objectives. But gratuitous violence against a person on the rule is unacceptable for them to rebel against the ruler.
Therefore, the best route is to rule by creating fear of the Prince, without loathing. His most used quotes between love or worry is that he chose the latter, but also warns against unnecessary cruelty which means enmity. This means that the concept was not bad, simply a commitment to cruelty all-in-one less cruel than when done sparingly and mostly tedious. (S, 1999)
What role does virtue play in Machiavelli’s state?
His correct position on Christianity was that he realized the power of it in binding people together. He was very strident in his insistence that religion shouldn’t be corrupted as it provided an important link to the past. He was realistic in that he knew that there couldn’t be a return to the ancient pagan ways. At the same time, he blamed it for altering the original meaning of ‘virtu’ (although this was in fact altered by Plato and Aristotle). The original meaning of ‘virtu’ was related to heroism and dynamism. The Peripatetics later changed it to a contemplative virtue. His reading of Christianity was completely flawed however from a historical point of view and like Edward Gibbon, he basically had a love affair with paganism, that was wholly unrealistic. (Bireley, 1990)
Bireley, R. (1990). The Counter Reformation Prince.
Machiavelli, N. (1998). The Prince 2nd ed. University of Chicago Press.
S, L. P. (1999). The Machiavellian Enterprise; A Commentary on The Prince.”
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