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The Prince Machiavelli needs to be looked at as he really was Hence Can Machiavelli, who makes the following observations, be Machiavellian as we understand the disparaging termSo it is that to know the nature of a people, one need be a Prince to know the nature of a Prince, one need to be of the peopleIf a Prince is not given to vices that make him hated, it is unsusal for his subjects to show their affection for himOpportunity made Moses, Cyrus, Romulus, Theseus, and others their virtue domi nated the opportunity, making their homelands noble and happy Armed prophets win the disarmed loseWithout faith and religion, man achieves power but not gloryProminent citizens want to command and oppress the populace only wants to be free of oppressionA Prince needs a friendly populace otherwise in diversity there is no hopeA Prince, who rules as a man of valor, avoids disasters,Nations based on mercenary forces will never be solid or secureMercenaries are dangerous because of their cowardiceThere are two ways to fight one with laws, the other with force The first is rightly man s way the second, the way of beasts A young colleague of mine recently said management is easy I smiled enigmatically and considered buying him a copy of The Prince but I fear it would be wasted I am now on my third copy of this book which, alas, I can only read in English The George Bull translation as reprinted in 1995 is the version I currently refer to.I first read this book when studying economic history at high school in the second half of the last century I was intrigued by Machiavelli s advice even though I had l A young colleague of mine recently said management is easy I smiled enigmatically and considered buying him a copy of The Prince but I fear it would be wasted I am now on my third copy of this book which, alas, I can only read in English The George Bull translation as reprinted in 1995 is the version I currently refer to.I first read this book when studying economic history at high school in the second half of the last century I was intrigued by Machiavelli s advice even though I had little understanding of the Florentine Republic I next read the book when lookinggenerally at political models and at Renaissance history Since then, I ve always had a copy it is as relevant to understanding the art and practice of management as it is to a broader understanding of the models and processes of governance It also provides some valuable contextual setting for those interested in the Medici.So why is The Prince still relevant What can we learn from a treatise that was dedicated to Lorenzo de Medici 1492 1519 but not published until 1532, some five years after Machiavelli himself was dead Specific settings and circumstances may change general human psychology and motivation does not There is politics involved in all management The chasm between management theory and practice is occupied by politics in all senses and complicated by the affairs, aspirations and expedient alliances of people.Jennifer Cameron Smith That single statement boys and girls is the crux at the heart of the matter resting at the bottom line of Niccolo Machiavelli s world changing classic on the defining use of realpolitik in governance and foreign policy Despite popular perception, Machiavelli, whose name has often been used as a synonym for political ASSHATery, was not arguing that it s better to be immoral, cruel and evil than to be moral, just and good Rather, Machiavelli was demonstrating, through reasoned analysis based That single statement boys and girls is the crux at the heart of the matter resting at the bottom line of Niccolo Machiavelli s world changing classic on the defining use of realpolitik in governance and foreign policy Despite popular perception, Machiavelli, whose name has often been used as a synonym for political ASSHATery, was not arguing that it s better to be immoral, cruel and evil than to be moral, just and good Rather, Machiavelli was demonstrating, through reasoned analysis based on numerous historical examples, that the most effective way to govern a population is through decision making based on the current situation without muddying up the waters with considerations of morality Holy snickerdoodles that s amoral Uhyes, by definition it is However, Machiavelli, in his famous use of end justifying means, supports the rightness of his position by citing numerous examples of princes who, in acting all just and proper like in relation to their neighbors and subjects, led their people right into the waiting arms of bondage and slaughter at the hands of those who were less vituous in their thinking Should such murdered and subjugated populations thank the princes for their unwaivering morality Machiavelli says HELLS NO He argues that the Prince s 1 priority is to safeguard his holdings and maintain stability within his borders Allowing other considerations to affect such judgements will only provide an advantage to third parties who will exploit it In the end, Machiavelli argues, fewer lives will be lost and less suffering incurred by the Prince who can govern EFFECTIVELY Not necessarily warm and fuzzy Sesame Street thinking, but there is some serious power to the reasoning I wish we lived in a world in which that was not the case I wish Machiavelli s insights were not needed and that we lived in a world where loftier morals could carry the day However, until we do, Machiavelli s words provide much ringing truth and thought food PLOT SYNOPSIS I don t want to sound like a book report so let me just summarize briefly how the book is laid out.Machiavelli wrote The Prince for Lorenzo de Medici, whose family ruled Florence at the time, as basically a job application He wanted to get in good with the de Medici family secure a place at their court The book, while jumping around a bit, can be divided into 3 or 4 sections, the last really being a summarizing call to arms to the Italian people that they need a wise prince to lead them back to the greatness of the Roman Empire Discounting the rah rah speech at the end, the other 3 sections deal with 1 the kinds of principalities and how they are acquired 2 the proper organization of the military and the best kind of solider to comprise it and 3 the internal make up of a princes court i.e., associates and subordinates Section 1 is interesting and fun to read, but basically worthless for anything other than historical perspective Machiavelli discusses territories won be conquest, inheritance or luck and talks about the various characteristics of each While not exactly awe inspiring in its perception, the narrative itself is interesting and Machiavelli s voice is engaging Section 2 can be summarized as follows Mercenaries well and truly SUCK and should not be used under any circumstances because their suckage will end up squandering your resources and giving squat in return Therefore, the wise Prince keeps a standing army sufficient to protect the country s interests Section 3 is the real meat of the work and contains the bulk of the advice that garnered Niccolo his much deserved reputation for suggesting the propriety of abandoning morality in governance He speaks of the need of the Prince to be able to deceive and act against the five virtues of the righteous man when necessary for the betterment of his state and his people Therefore it is unnecessary for a prince to have all the good qualities I have enumerated, but it is very necessary to appear to have them And I shall dare to say this also, that to have them and always to observe them is injurious, and that to appear to have them is useful to appear merciful, faithful, humane, religious, upright, and to be so, but with a mind so framed that should you require not to be so, you may be able and know how to change to the opposite.The promise given was a necessity of the past the word broken is a necessity of the present Machiavelli discusses numerous examples of sovereigns who either benefitted from following such advice or, conversely, who suffered calamity for adhering to a sense of virtue THOUGHTS Ground breaking and brilliantly insightful, especially for its time So much of what Machiavelli says is now an ingrained part of political thinking that it comes across as DUH when you read it However, it was Niccolo who first put forth these concepts that have become the dogma and foundation of modern political thought He put the real in realpolitk I don t think the contribution he made to political theory can be overstated It was The Prince that called out the distinction between what men say and what they do He did not invent political immorality, but he did recognize it as an effective, and at time crucial, aspect of rule Something the famous rulers of history have always known and practiced In addition, I was surprised at how much fun the book was to read Machiavelli includes dozens and dozens of brief vignettes about world history in supporting his ideas and does a great job keeping the reader engaged with colorful descriptions of past events The book is also chalk full of wonderful quotes that just jumped out at me as I was reading Here are a few that I thought were intriguingThe new ruler must determine all the injuries that he will need to inflict He must inflict them once and for all People should either be caressed or crushed If you do them minor damage they will get their revenge but if you cripple them there is nothing they can do If you need to injure someone, do it in such a way that you do not have to fear their vengeanceIn addition to post revolutionary purges and new government administrations, the above has also become a truism for business and is why corporations do massive layoffs rather than a series of smaller scale terminations Gee, thanks NiccoloMy view is that it is desirable to be both loved and feared but it is difficult to achieve both and, if one of them has to be lacking, it is much safer to be feared than lovedAhjust like the Godfather Oh and lest the above not make it clear, for all his amazing contributions to world history we should not lose sight of the fact that Machiavelli, for all his astuteness, was a bit of an asshole While his work is engaging and wonderful reading and I give him full marks for calling it like it is, he is still not the kind of guy you want educating your children or providing life lessons I admire his work, but the man comes across as quite a scummy, conniving douche.You know, like a modern politician 5.0 Stars HIGHEST POSSIBLE RECOMMENDATION This is no Little Prince, that s for sure You must kill the fox, burn the rose, murder the businessman, if any of them tries to take control over your princedom There s no time to be nice There s only time to seem to be nice At the end of the day, it is better to be feared than loved, if you can t be both Nevertheless, keep in mind chapter 23 The Prince was written in the 16th century and a couple of its ideas are too contemporary It is a major treatise that influenced several political le This is no Little Prince, that s for sure You must kill the fox, burn the rose, murder the businessman, if any of them tries to take control over your princedom There s no time to be nice There s only time to seem to be nice At the end of the day, it is better to be feared than loved, if you can t be both Nevertheless, keep in mind chapter 23 The Prince was written in the 16th century and a couple of its ideas are too contemporary It is a major treatise that influenced several political leaders throughout history Machiavelli is widely regarded as the father of modern politics by taking away any trace of theology and morality from his works That is something no one has ever said before I should have read it long ago, but everything has its time, I suppose.So, there are a lot of concepts that should just stay in the book and a few which you may apply to everyday circumstances It delivers what you are waiting for, if you want to know how to have and keep power to yourself, no matter the head you are crushing, and all that using a fairly straightforward language It is a short book and easy to understand, even though the notion of achieving glory, power and survival, regardless of how immoral you have to be it is not difficult to comprehend that we get.Cruelty, wickedness, immorality all those things apparently needed to achieve greatness, all of them printed long ago in the form of a little book, just like that From a twisted point of view, sometimes, it is almost a bit funny.It was an excellent read.There is no other way to guard yourself against flattery than by making men understand that telling you the truth will not offend you 137 Lovely Also on my blog I m weirdly pleased that The Prince lives up to its reputation it is indeed Machiavellian Here s his advice on conquering self governing states i.e democracies The only way to hold on to such a state is to reduce it to rubble Well then.I d like to say that any guy whose last name becomes a synonym for evil is a badass, but Machiavelli wasn t he was a failed minor diplomat who wrote this in a failed attempt to get reemployed Stupid attempt, too anyone who hired him would be advertisin I m weirdly pleased that The Prince lives up to its reputation it is indeed Machiavellian Here s his advice on conquering self governing states i.e democracies The only way to hold on to such a state is to reduce it to rubble Well then.I d like to say that any guy whose last name becomes a synonym for evil is a badass, but Machiavelli wasn t he was a failed minor diplomat who wrote this in a failed attempt to get reemployed Stupid attempt, too anyone who hired him would be advertising that he espoused Machiavellian values This book was published, after all And as he himself advises, A leader doesn t have to possess virtuous qualities, but it s imperative that he seem to possess them So I ll go with this anyone whose last name becomes a synonym for evil has written a good book.I hope to match that effect with my first novel Working title Unicorns are Pretty So if Machiavelli was such a loser, how did his book get so famous It s not because it s great advice it sortof isn t I think it s because it s just a ton of fun to read It s chock full of over the top quotes like the ones above It s really funny.Which brings up a recurring topic for debate did he intend for this to be taken seriously, or is it satire I think it s the former mixed in with the zany stuff is a fair amount of common sense advice He could certainly have included that to make the zany stuff pop , or to camouflage it a bit, but I prefer to think he meant the whole thing seriously And it s not like any of it is advice someone hasn t followed at some point See my first quote above yeah, we ve tried that Translation review this is the very latest translation Parks has gone to great trouble to reduce the crazy complexity of Machiavelli s sentences I know this from reading his excellent Translator s Note and I appreciate that He s also tried hard to make it accessible to modern audiences, and sometimes I think he s tipped a tiny bit overboard on that front When a ruler occupies a land that has a different languagethen things get rough Difficult would have been perfectly clear rough is too colloquial We want to be able to read our classics, but we don t need to pretend they were written yesterday That s a relatively minor complaint, though this is a clear and easy translation Good intro, too And a glossary of proper names at the back, so you can sort out the various contemporary figures you don t recognize.I ll close with my favorite quote It s better to be impulsive than cautious fortune is female and if you want to stay on top of her you have to slap and thrust Machiavelli kindof a dick

  • Paperback
  • 140 pages
  • The Prince
  • Niccolò Machiavelli
  • English
  • 09 May 2017
  • 0937832383

About the Author: Niccolò Machiavelli

Niccol di Bernardo dei Machiavelli was an Italian political philosopher, musician, poet, and playwright He is a figure of the Italian Renaissance and a central figure of its political component, most widely known for his treatises on realist political theory The Prince on the one hand and republicanism Discourses on Livy on the other.


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