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Machiavelli

RowanM
Posts: 4
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3/19/2014 2:07:01 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
I'm planning on reading the prince, because I'm very curious about Machiavelli and his unorthodox means of governing. How much of it is actually useful and good advice and how much is just edgy trash? I've heard mixed opinions about it.
What do you think?
Tophatdoc
Posts: 534
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3/19/2014 2:43:35 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 3/19/2014 2:07:01 PM, RowanM wrote:
I'm planning on reading the prince, because I'm very curious about Machiavelli and his unorthodox means of governing. How much of it is actually useful and good advice and how much is just edgy trash? I've heard mixed opinions about it.
What do you think?

I liked reading "The Prince." It is an interesting read. I would recommend it. I can't tell you anything else; it needs to be read to be understood.
"Don't click on my profile. Don't send me friend requests. Don't read my debates. There are many interesting people on DDO. Find one of them. Go find someone exciting and loquacious. Go click on their profile. Go send them friend requests. Go read their debates. Leave me alone." -Tophatdoc
Hematite12
Posts: 400
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3/19/2014 4:23:44 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
Some of it's interesting, some of it is boring. Like, what he says about fortifications and things is very boring.

But, I think it's a necessary read for political philosophy and also the beginning of modern military. He condemns mercenaries, for example, and champions citizen armies.
Skepsikyma
Posts: 8,692
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3/19/2014 5:01:39 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
If you read The Prince, definitely follow it up with Discourses on Livy. The Prince is meant to be governing advice for a monarch, and Machiavelli was a staunch republican, not a monarchist, so his advice on how to govern as a monarch is pretty shockingly brutal, with repeated highlighting of the fact that such brutality is necessary for a monarch to be successful. The Discourses go into more detail concerning his ideal principles of governance, and are accompanied by some rather humorous Roman historical anecdotes. One involves a general who was ordered by a group of divinators who called upon chickens to predict the futures of battles to not attack because 'They will not peck!' He perportedly responded by screaming 'Then let us see if they can swim!' while hurling chickens overboard. Who ever said that political discourses were boring?
"The wounded surgeon plies the steel
That questions the distempered part;
Beneath the bleeding hands we feel
The sharp compassion of the healer's art"
- T. S. Eliot -