The Prince The Prince discussion


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book review #6

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message 1: by Rob (new)

Rob Because of current political situations and current world events i feel that it is only natural to talk about the person, who coined the term “ the ends justify the means”. The prince is originally about the rise and fall of countries. Bit additionally its about obtaining and keeping power. One can however interpret these with rises and falls of companies, industries, and keeping a job. Niccolo Machiavelli was credited for being the first original political scientist who worked in italian politics from 1498 - 1512. He lived under the rule of Lorenzo de Medici an italian prince whom Niccolo refers to him many times as “the Prince” throughout.
Now why is machiavelli credited as being such a bad character? Why is it that the adjective “machiavellian” is a bad term? Its because and stated by the translator Harvey Mansfield “Those criminals who are infamous have merely been on the losing side. Machiavelli and machiavellian politics are famous or rather infamous for their willingness to brave infamy” and that's it. Machiavelli throughout argues that to obtain and keep power one must not have the same morals that are applied to society. A conqueror thus needs to have his own morals when he takes over a country and instill his ideology on his peers and subjects. The first part of the book tells us about different kinds of state, how to deal with trouble in them and how to conquer them successfully.
When you read that trouble in a state is like tuberculosis "in its early stages it's easy to cure and hard to diagnose, but if you don't spot it and treat it, as time goes by it gets easy to diagnose and hard to cure", you think of the financial crisis of 2008 where politicians and bankers scrambled to save the economy. However when machiavelli mentions when one is taking a city “your only options are to reduce the place to rubble or go and live there yourself” there's many great examples throughout history, with a prominent figure that came to mind for me was general sherman of the union army during the civil war. Sherman was feared for his tactic where he decided to march to the sea, and burn everything that stood in his way as he did so, causing him great infamy. However, is that not a machiavellian tactic? Sherman wanted to hasten the end of the war and to make sure the south wouldn't be able to recover to fight back. So why is it that while receiving infamy in the south sherman won praise in the north? Its because the moral ideology of the north started to bend where actions like these would be acceptable so that the war would be over.
“Does justice exist by nature or by god, or is it the convenience of the prince( government)?” is a question that in itself can spark momentus debates but is only thrown as an off handed question by Machiavelli’s translator in the first few pages really setting the tone for the rest of the book.
It's amazing how good text can still be relevant almost 500 years after its publication and I would highly recommend that everyone at some point in their lives should read this book.

Difficulty: 8/10
Rating: 9/10


Ivan Marquez Machiavevelli never said the ends justify the means. In fact, you wont find that phrase throughout his works. I stopped reading your comment after a few sentences where the shallowness and inaccuracy of your assessment were already unbearable


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