Moral values have no place in the sorts of decisions that political leaders must make, and it is a category error of the gravest sort to think otherwise. For Machiavelli, power characteristically defines political activity, and hence it is necessary for any successful ruler to know how power is to be used.
With regard to cruelty and clemency he again clearly goes against classical political morality.
Rather than believing that men follow the dictates of reason it is much safer to consider their passions and inclinations. The Court of Rome sternly prohibited his book.
For example, Machiavelli denies that living virtuously necessarily leads to happiness. The problem is not merely that the ruler of a disarmed nation is in thrall to the military prowess of foreigners.
Machiavelli argued against seeing mere peace and economic growth as worthy aims on their own, if they would lead to what Mansfield calls the "taming of the prince. Another student claimed that the New Jersey congressman for whom he interned kept a copy of The Prince in his desk.
He encourages the prince to live in the city he conquers. Ruin them, as Rome destroyed Carthageand also as Machiavelli says the Romans eventually had to do in Greece, even though they had wanted to avoid it. Strauss however sees this also as a sign of major innovation in Machiavelli, because classical materialists did not share the Socratic regard for political life, while Machiavelli clearly did.
The First Century, Oxford: Ecclesiastical principates Chapter 11 [ edit ] Leo X: How stupid do you have to be to think this is innocent. His retirement thereafter to his farm outside of Florence afforded the occasion and the impetus for him to turn to literary pursuits.
The pretext of defending Church interests was used as a partial justification by the Borgias. However, he also notes that a prince is also praised for the illusion of being reliable in keeping his word. Machiavelli's evaluation of the chances for creating a new, psychologically flexible type of character is extremely guarded, and tends to be worded in conditional form and in the subjective mood: Since the 16th century, generations of politicians remain attracted and repelled by its apparently neutral acceptance, or even positive encouragement, of the immorality of powerful men, described especially in The Prince but also in his other works.
Xenophon is also an exception in this regard. But Medici received the book indifferently, and Machiavelli did not receive an invitation to serve as an official. Although he was not always mentioned by name as an inspiration, due to his controversy, he is also thought to have been an influence for other major philosophers, such as Montaigne Descartes HobbesLocke  and Montesquieu.
Machiavelli was no friend of the institutionalized Christian Church as he knew it. A related and more controversial proposal often made is that he described how to do things in politics in a way which seemed neutral concerning who used the advice—tyrants or good rulers.
Similarly, the modern economic argument for capitalismand most modern forms of economics, was often stated in the form of "public virtue from private vices. Natural law has simply no role. While interest in Plato was increasing in Florence during Machiavelli's lifetime, Machiavelli does not show particular interest in him, but was indirectly influenced by his readings of authors such as PolybiusPlutarch and Cicero.
It can be summarized as follows: He also accepted Machiavelli's belief that all societies were subject to cyclical periods of growth and decay. Borgia was a cunning, cruel, and vicious politician, and many people despised him.
Decently dressed, I enter the ancient courts of rulers who have long since died. According to Strausspp. Hannibal and Scipio Africanus.
The main source of dispute concerned Machiavelli's attitude toward conventional moral and religious standards of human conduct, mainly in connection with The Prince. Machiavelli sees politics to be a sort of a battlefield on a different scale.
Machiavelli's case study is Agathocles of Syracuse. Machiavelli advises monarchs to have both internal and external fears. But what else can they do?.
The major difference between Machiavelli and the Socratics, according to Strauss, is Machiavelli's materialism, and therefore his rejection of both a teleological view of nature and of the view that philosophy is higher than politics. Niccolò Machiavelli was born into this unstable time of shifting fortunes in the year He served in a number of minor government positions, and was banished or imprisoned at various points of his career.
Concentrating on the claim in The Prince that a head of state ought to do good if he can, but must be prepared to commit evil if he must (Machiavelli58), Skinner argues that Machiavelli prefers conformity to moral virtue ceteris paribus.
Machiavelli’s masterpiece The Prince is one of the most polemical texts on political theory - Machiavelli's View on Morals and Politics in “The Prince” Essay introduction.
Since its publication in there has been widespread debate among political theorists about his political morality. Machiavelli’s view of human nature in The Prince, presents, on the surface, a view of governing a state drastically different for his time.
Machiavelli believed that the ruling Prince should be the sole authority determining every aspect of the state and put into effect a policy which would serve his best interests. members added to the hereditary state of the prince who has acquired them, as was the kingdom of Naples to that of the King of Spain.
Such states thus acquired are either accustomed to live under a prince, or to live in freedom.Machiavellis view of governing a state as presented in the prince