6 thoughts on “Machiavelli’s The Prince – Revisited

  1. I have read The Prince for TWEM histories, but sadly I do not have access to my review. I have a hard copy of my review, but it’s still packed away. It was not a memorable book for me, which is why I was hoping I could reread my notes. The only thing I remember from my experience was that I understood Machiavelli’s ideas regarding how to subjugate the masses. I didn’t want to agree with him, but I could see how possible it was.

    Yeah, not sure I want to reread it, but I kept my copy just in case.

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    1. See, that’s what I’m debating now… whether to keep the book or not! I think “am I going to reread this” or “am I going to reference this” is a good rule of thumb. On the other hand, I can just get it from Project Gutenberg… 🙂

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    1. What did you think of the primary focus of the book, e.g. holding power as if for power’s own sake? I was surprised he spoke only sparingly of other topics (like how to run a country) except, perhaps, one’s legacy or reputation. Is it because maintaining power was the only aspiration of one born into the ruling class? Something I’m still puzzling over…

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      1. Think of when and where it was written. Think of who it was written for – and why. Machiavelli was writing it in ‘exile’ after losing his political job. He was writing it to get back in with the ‘Prince’s’ good favour. He was also writing it for the leader of (what we would consider) a very small ‘power’ embedded within a “country” (Italy didn’t exist at the time) of many other ‘powers’ both large and small. He wrote it for a host of reasons but the context is very important. Without powerful and, on occasion ruthless, leadership the city Machiavelli loved might have been overrun by one of its many enemies and destroyed. The kind of leadership he wrote about was (he thought) necessary to maintain security and stability. Without them you could hardly have a place where you could go about your lives in peace. He thought that a ‘prince’ should do *whatever* it took to maintain the peace – for some very good and very historical reasons Machiavelli was all too aware of..

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