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Machiavelli - Quotes Justify the Man
Personal Archives | 04-22-02 | PsyOP

Posted on 04/22/2002 5:41:17 PM PDT by PsyOp

Consumer Warning: Knee-Jerk liberals are warned against reading the works of Machiavelli. Doing so may result in synaptic melt-down or political conversion!


ABILITY

...Where men have little ability, fortune shows her power much, and because she is variable, republics and states often vary.... - Niccoló Machiavelli, The Discourses. 1517.


ACTION

It seems that in all the actions of men, besides the general difficulties of carrying them to a successful issue, the good is accompanied by some special evil, and so closely allied to it that it would seem impossible to achieve the one without encountering the other. - Niccoló Machiavelli, The Discourses. 1517.

A man’s own actions, will from the start give him such a name that it will require a long course of opposite conduct to destroy it. - Niccoló Machiavelli, The Discourses. 1517.

In the actions of men, and especially of Princes, from which there is no appeal, the end justifies the means. - Niccoló Machiavelli, The Prince. 1537.

In the actions of all men, and especially those of Princes... one looks at the result. - Niccoló Machiavelli, The Prince. 1537.


ADVERSITY

Men who habitually live in great adversity or prosperity deserve less praise or less blame. For it will generally be found that they have been brought to their ruin or their greatness by some great occasion offered by heaven, which gives them the opportunity, or deprives them of the power, to conduct themselves with courage and wisdom. - Niccoló Machiavelli, The Discourses. 1517.

Great men and powerful republics preserve an equal dignity and courage in prosperity and adversity. - Niccoló Machiavelli, The Discourses. 1517.

Those... who had held their possessions for many years must not accuse fortune for having lost them, but rather their own remissness; for having never in quiet times considered that things might change (as it is a common fault of men not to reckon on storms in fair weather) when adverse times came, they only thought of fleeing, instead of defending themselves. - Niccoló Machiavelli, The Prince. 1537.


ADVICE

Be slow in undertaking any enterprise upon the representatives of exiles, for he will generally gain nothing by it but shame and serious injury. - Niccoló Machiavelli, The Discourses. 1517.

Danger arises when your advice has caused the many to be contravened. - Niccoló Machiavelli, The Discourses. 1517.

For as men only judge of matters by the result, all the blame of failure is charged upon him who first advised it; whilst in case of success he receives commendations, but the reward never equals the punishment. - Niccoló Machiavelli, The Discourses. 1517.

Those who counsel princes and republics are placed between two dangers. If they do not advise what seems to them for the good of the republic or the prince, regardless of the consequences to themselves, then they fail of their duty; and if they do advise it, then it is at the risk of their lives; for all men are blind in this, that they judge of good or evil counsels only by the result. - Niccoló Machiavelli, The Discourses. 1517.

It is an infallible rule that a Prince who is not wise himself cannot be well advised. - Niccoló Machiavelli, The Prince. 1537.


AMBITION

Ambition is so powerful a passion in the human breast, that however high we reach we are never satisfied. - Niccoló Machiavelli.

Men rise from one ambition to another; first they seek to secure themselves from attack, then they attack others. - Niccoló Machiavelli.

When men are no longer obliged to fight from necessity, they fight from ambition, which passion is so powerful in the hearts of men that it never leaves them, no matter to what height they may rise. - Niccoló Machiavelli, The Discourses. 1517.

The ambition of men is such that; to gratify a present desire, they think not of the evils which will in a short time result from it. Nor will they be influenced by the examples of antiquity.... - Niccoló Machiavelli, The Discourses. 1517.


APPEARANCES

The great majority of mankind are satisfied with appearances, as though they are realities, and are often even more influenced by the things that seem than by those that are. - Niccoló Machiavelli, The Discourses. 1517.


APPEASMENT

If he yields it from fear, it is for the purpose of avoiding war, and he will rarely escape from that; for he to whom he has from cowardice conceded the one thing will not be satisfied, but will want to take other things from him, and his arrogance will increase as his esteem for the prince is lessened. - Niccoló Machiavelli, The Discourses. 1517.

One ought never to allow a disorder to take place in order to avoid war, for war is not thereby avoided, but only deferred to your disadvantage. - Niccoló Machiavelli, The Prince. 1537.


ARMIES

However strong your armies may be, you will always need the favour of the inhabitants to take possession of a province. - Niccoló Machiavelli, The Prince. 1537.

The army that has already fought a battle and been victorious will have rather the advantage over the other. - Niccoló Machiavelli, The Discourses. 1517.

The foundation of states is a good military organization. - Niccoló Machiavelli, The Discourses. 1517.

A good army without an able commander often becomes insolent and dangerous.... And therefore I am disposed to believe that you can more safely rely upon a competent general, who has the time to instruct his men and the facilities for arming them, than upon an insolent army with a chief tumultuously chosen.... - Niccoló Machiavelli, The Discourses. 1517.

A prince who has an army composed of various materials, and finds that from want of money or friendly support he can no longer keep his army together, must be utterly demented if he does not take his chance of battle before his army shall have fallen to pieces; for by waiting he is sure to lose, but by trying a battle he may possibly be victorious. - Niccoló Machiavelli, The Discourses. 1517.


ARMS

Rome remained free for four hundred years and Sparta eight hundred, although their citizens were armed all that time; but many other state that have been disarmed have lost their liberties in less than forty years. - Niccoló Machiavelli.

If a city be armed and disciplined as Rome was, and all its citizens, alike in their private and official capacity, have a chance to put alike their virtue and the power of fortune to the test of experience, it will be found that always and in all circumstances they will be of the same mind and will maintain their dignity in the same way. But when they are not familiar with arms and merely trust to the whim of fortune, not to their own virtue, they will change with the changes of fortune. - Niccoló Machiavelli.

When you disarm [the people] you commence to offend them and show that you distrust them either through cowardice or lack of confidence, and both of these opinions generate hatred against you. - Niccoló Machiavelli, The Prince. 1537.

There is no comparison whatever between an armed and disarmed man; it is not reasonable to suppose that one who is armed will obey willingly one who is unarmed; or that any unarmed man will remain safe.... - Niccoló Machiavelli, The Prince. 1537.

A new prince has never been known to disarm his subjects, on the contrary, when he has found them disarmed he has always armed them, for by arming them these arms become your own, those that you suspected become faithful and those that were faithful remains so, and from being merely subjects become your partisans. - Niccoló Machiavelli, The Prince. 1537.


AUTHORITY

Authority which is violently usurped, and not that which is conferred by the free suffrages of the people, is hurtful to republics. - Niccoló Machiavelli, The Discourses. 1517.

A citizen who desires to employ his authority in a republic for some public good must first of all suppress all feelings of envy. - Niccoló Machiavelli, The Discourses. 1517.


BENEVOLENCE

An act of humanity and benevolence will at all times have more influence over the minds of men than violence and ferocity.... and cities which no armies and no engines of war, nor any other efforts of human power, could conquer, have yielded to an act of humanity, benevolence, chastity, or generosity. - Niccoló Machiavelli, The Discourses. 1517.


BUREACRACY & BUREAUCRATS

The institutions of a city never should place it in the power of a few to interrupt all the important business of the republic. - Niccoló Machiavelli, The Discourses. 1517.


CHANGE

One change always leaves the way prepared for the introduction of another. - Niccoló Machiavelli, The Prince. 1537.

An evil-disposed citizen cannot effect any changes for the worse in a republic, unless it be already corrupt. - Niccoló Machiavelli, The Discourses. 1517.

As I speak here of mixed bodies, such as republics or religious sects, I say that those changes are beneficial that bring them back to their original principles. - Niccoló Machiavelli, The Discourses. 1517.

That we cannot thus change at will is due to two causes; the one is the impossibility of resisting the natural bent of our characters; and the other is the difficulty of persuading ourselves, after having been accustomed to success by a certain mode of proceeding, that any other can succeed as well. - Niccoló Machiavelli, The Discourses. 1517.


CHARACTER

It will consequently be exceedingly rare that a good man should be found to employ wicked means to become prince, even though his final object be good; or that a bad man, after having become prince, should be willing to labor for good ends, and that it should enter his mind to use for good purpose that authority which he has acquired by evil means. - Niccoló Machiavelli, The Discourses. 1517.

It ever has been, and ever will be the case, that men of rare and extraordinary merit are neglected by republics in times of peace and tranquility; for jealous of the reputation which such men have acquired by their virtues, there are always in such times many other citizens, who want to be, not only their equals, but their superiors. - Niccoló Machiavelli, The Discourses. 1517.

There is no better indication of a man’s character than the company which he keeps; and therefor very properly a man who keeps respectable company acquires a good name, for it is impossible that there should not be some similitude of character and habits between him and his associates. - Niccoló Machiavelli, The Discourses. 1517.


CHURCH & STATE

Where the fear of god is wanting, there the country will come to ruin, unless it be sustained by the fear of the prince, which may temporarily supply the want of religion. But as in the lives of princes, the kingdom will of necessity perish as the prince fails in virtue. - Niccoló Machiavelli, The Discourses. 1517.

As all religious republics and monarchies must have within themselves some goodness, by means of which they obtain their first growth and reputation, and as in the process of time this goodness becomes corrupted, it will of necessity destroy the body unless something intervenes to bring it back to its normal condition. - Niccoló Machiavelli, The Discourses. 1517.


CIVIL-DISOBEDIENCE & DISORDER

Dissensions in republics are generally the result of idleness and peace, whilst apprehension and war are productive of union. - Niccoló Machiavelli, The Discourses. 1517.


COLONIALISM

In a thousand ways, and for many reasons, acquisitions of territory may prove injurious; for one may well extend one’s dominion without increasing one’s power, but the acquisition of dominion without power is sure to bring with it ruin. - Niccoló Machiavelli, The Discourses. 1517.

As all the actions of men resemble those of nature, it is neither natural nor possible that a slender trunk should support great branches; and thus a small republic cannot conquer and hold cities and kingdoms that are larger and more powerful than herself, and if she does conquer them, she will experience the same fate as a tree whose branches are larger than the trunk, which will not be able to support them, and will be bent by every little breeze that blows. - Niccoló Machiavelli, The Discourses. 1517.


COMMAND

It is not likely that one who has always lived in a private position should know how to command. - Niccoló Machiavelli, The Prince. 1537.

He who wishes to be obeyed must know how to command; and those give proof of knowing this who properly estimate their own strength with reference to that of those who have to obey, and who commands only when he finds them to bear a proper proportion to each other, and who abstains from commanding when that proportion is wanting. - - Niccoló Machiavelli, The Discourses. 1517.


CONGRESS

Those who have been present at any deliberative assemblies of men will have observed how erroneous their opinions often are; and in fact, unless they are directed by superior men, they are apt to be contrary to all reason. But as superior men in corrupt republics (especially in periods of peace and quiet), are generally hated, either from jealousy or the ambition of others, it follows that the preference is given to what common error approves, or to what is suggested by men who are more desirous of pleasing the masses than of promoting the general good. - Niccoló Machiavelli, The Discourses. 1517.


CONQUEST

When those states which have been acquired are accustomed to live at liberty under their own laws, there are three ways of holding them. The first is to despoil them; the second is to go there and live there in person; the third is to allow them to live under their own laws, taking tribute of them, and creating within the country a government composed of a few who will keep it friendly to you. - Niccoló Machiavelli, The Prince. 1537.

Whoever impoverishes himself by war acquires no power, even though he be victorious, for his conquests cost him more than they are worth. - Niccoló Machiavelli, The Discourses. 1517.

When a decision has to be made involving the fate of powerful cities that are accustomed to free institutions, they must either be destroyed, or conciliated by benefits. Any other course will be useless; and, above all, half measures should be avoided, these being most dangerous. - Niccoló Machiavelli, The Discourses. 1517.


CONSPIRACY

Whoever conspires cannot act alone, and cannot find companions except among those who are discontented; and as soon as you have disclosed your intention to a malcontent, you give him the means of satisfying himself, for by revealing it he can hope to secure everything he wants. - Niccoló Machiavelli, The Prince. 1537.

One of the most patent remedies that a prince has against conspiracies, is that of not being hated by the mass of the people; for whoever conspires always believes that he will satisfy the people by the death of their prince; but if he thought to offend them by doing this, he would fear to engage in such an undertaking, for the difficulties that conspirators have to meet are infinite. - Niccoló Machiavelli, The Prince. 1537.

Conspiracies have generally been set on foot by the great, or the friends of the prince; and of these, as many have been prompted to it by an excess of benefits as by an excess of wrongs. - Niccoló Machiavelli, The Discourses. 1517.

When the number of accomplices in a conspiracy exceeds three or four, it is almost impossible for it not to be discovered, either through treason, imprudence or carelessness. - Niccoló Machiavelli, The Discourses. 1517.

Conspiracies against the state are less dangerous for those engaged in them than the plots against the life of the sovereign. In their conduct there is not so much danger, in their execution there is the same, and after execution there is none. - Niccoló Machiavelli, The Discourses. 1517.

If you attempt to measure a man’s good faith by the discontent which he manifests towards the prince, you will be easily deceived, for by the very fact of communicating to him your designs, you give him the means of putting an end to his discontent; and to insure his fidelity, his hatred of the prince or your influence over him must be very great. It is thus that so many conspiracies have been revealed and crushed in their incipient stage; so that it may be regarded almost as a miracle when so important a secret is preserved by a number of conspirators for any length of time. - Niccoló Machiavelli, The Discourses. 1517.


CONSTITUTION

Where in the same constitution there is a monarchy, an aristocracy, and a democracy, each serves as a check upon the others. - Niccoló Machiavelli, The Discourses. 1517.

In a well-ordered republic it should never be necessary to resort to extra-constitutional measures; for although they may for the time be beneficial, yet the precedent is pernicious, for if the practice is once established of disregarding the laws for good objects, they will in a little while be disregarded under that pretext for evil purposes. - Niccoló Machiavelli, The Discourses. 1517.

The majority of men never willingly adopt any new law tending to change the constitution of the state, unless the necessity of the change is clearly demonstrated; and as such a necessity cannot make itself felt without being accompanied with danger, the republic may easily be destroyed before having perfected its constitution. - Niccoló Machiavelli, The Discourses. 1517.

Although the laws may be changed according to circumstances and events, yet it is seldom or never that the constitution itself is changed; and for this reason the new laws do not suffice, for they are not in harmony with the constitution. - Niccoló Machiavelli, The Discourses. 1517.

[The] return of a republic to its original principles is either the result of extrinsic accident or of intrinsic prudence.... so that, being thus born again, she might take new life and vigor, and might resume the proper observance of justice.- Niccoló Machiavelli, The Discourses. 1517.


CONTEMPT

Contempt and insults engender hatred against those who indulge in them. without being of any advantage to them. - Niccoló Machiavelli, The Discourses. 1517.


CORRUPTION

A bad citizen cannot cause serious trouble in a republic unless it is already corrupt. - Niccoló Machiavelli, The Discourses. 1517.

A corrupt people that lives under the government of a prince can never become free, even though the prince and his whole line should be extinguished. - Niccoló Machiavelli, The Discourses. 1517.

We should notice also how easily men are corrupted and become wicked, although originally good and well educated. - Niccoló Machiavelli, The Discourses. 1517.

Where the mass of the people is sound, disturbances and tumults do no serious harm; but where corruption has penetrated the people, the best laws are of no avail, unless they are administered by a man of such supreme power that he may cause the laws to be observed until the mass has been restored to a healthy condition. - Niccoló Machiavelli, The Discourses. 1517.

Princes and republics who wish to maintain themselves free from corruption must above all things preserve the purity of all religions observances, and treat them with proper reverence; for there is no greater indication of the ruin of a country than to see religion contemned. - Niccoló Machiavelli, The Discourses. 1517.

A man may well by his conduct and evil ways begin to corrupt a people, but it is impossible for him to live long enough to enjoy the fruits of it. - Niccoló Machiavelli, The Discourses. 1517.

There is no surer way of corrupting the citizens, and to divide the city against itself, than to foment the spirit of faction that may prevail there; for each party will strive by every means of corruption to secure friends and supporters. -- Niccoló Machiavelli, The Discourses. 1517.


CRIME & PUNISHMENT

No well-ordered republic should ever cancel the crimes of its citizens by their merits; but having established rewards for good actions and penalties for evil ones, and having rewarded a citizen for good conduct who afterwards commits a wrong, he should be chastised for that without regard to his previous merits, and a state that properly observes this principle will long enjoy its liberty. - Niccoló Machiavelli, The Discourses. 1517.

To preserve a wholesome fear of punishment for evil deeds, it is necessary not to omit rewarding good.... And although a republic may be poor and able to give but little, yet she should not abstain from giving that little; for even the smallest reward for a good action--no matter how important the service to the state--will always be esteemd by the recipient as most honorable. - Niccoló Machiavelli, The Discourses. 1517.

Men whose turbulence could not be controlled by the simple force of law can be controlled in a measure only by an almost regal power. And, to attempt to restore men to good conduct by any other means would be either a most cruel or an impossible undertaking. - Niccoló Machiavelli, The Discourses. 1517.


DECEPTION

So simple-minded are men and so controlled by immediate necessities, that a prince who deceives always finds men who let themselves be deceived. - Niccoló Machiavelli, The Prince. 1537.

The people, often deceived by an illusive good, desire their own ruin, and, unless they are made sensible of the evil of the one and the benefit of the other course by someone in whom they have confidence, they will expose the republic to infinite peril and damage. And if it happens that the people have no confidence in any one, as sometimes will be the case when they have been deceived before by events or men, then it will inevitably lead to the ruin of the state. - Niccoló Machiavelli, The Discourses. 1517.

Although men are apt to deceive themselves in general matters, yet they rarely do so in particulars. - Niccoló Machiavelli, The Discourses. 1517.

I would keep my speech more cautious, fearing to bring upon myself the very deception of which I accuse others. - Niccoló Machiavelli, The Discourses. 1517.


DECISION

Before deciding upon any course, therefore, men should well consider the objections and dangers which it presents; and if its perils exceed the advantages, they should avoid it, even though it had been in accordance with their previous determination. -- Niccoló Machiavelli, The Discourses. 1517.

It is well in all deliberations to come at once to the essential point, and not always to remain in a state of indecision and uncertainty. - Niccoló Machiavelli, The Discourses. 1517.


DEFENSE

Neither mountains nor lakes nor inaccessible places will present any difficulties to an enemy where there is a lack of brave defenders. And money alone, so far from being a means of defense, will only render a prince the more liable to being plundered. There cannot, therefore, be a more erroneous opinion than that money is the sinews of war. - Niccoló Machiavelli, The Discourses. 1517.

One’s country must be defended, whether with glory or with shame; it must be defended anyhow. - Niccoló Machiavelli, The Discourses. 1517.


DETERENCE

Men are always averse to enterprises in which they foresee difficulties, and it can never appear easy to attack one who has his town stoutly defended and is not hated by the people. - Niccoló Machiavelli, The Prince. 1537.


DICTATORSHIP

In speaking of the dictator... only self-constituted authorities, and never those created by the people, are dangerous to liberty. - Niccoló Machiavelli, The Discourses. 1517.


DISCIPLINE

Men who are well disciplined will always be as cautious of violating the laws when they have arms in their hands as when they have not. - Niccoló Machiavelli.

To give reputation to the army of any state it is necessary to revive the discipline of the ancients, cherish and honor it, and give it life, do that in return it may give life and reputation to the state. - Niccoló Machiavelli, The Discourses. 1517.

An undisciplined multitude is useless in war; for the least unexpected noise or word will throw them into confusion, and make them take flight. - Niccoló Machiavelli, The Discourses. 1517.


ECONOMICS

In free countries we also see wealth increase more rapidly, both that which results from the culture of the soil and that which is produced by industry and art; for every body gladly multiplies those things, and seeks to acquire those goods the possession of which he can tranquilly enjoy. Thence men vie with each other to increase both private and public wealth, which consequently increase in an extraordinary manner. - Niccoló Machiavelli, The Discourses. 1517.

A prince must care little for the reputation of being a miser, if he wishes to avoid robbing his subjects, if he wishes to be able to defend himself, to avoid becoming poor and contemptible, and not to be forced to become rapacious. - Niccoló Machiavelli, The Prince. 1537.


EDUCATION

As to exercise the mind, the prince ought to read history and study the actions of eminent men, see how they acted in warfare, examine the causes of their victories and defeats in order to imitate the former and avoid the latter. - Niccoló Machiavelli, The Prince. 1537.

It is of great importance whether a youth in his tender years hears any act praised or censured; this necessarily makes a lasting impression upon his mind, and becomes afterwards the rule of his life for all time. - Niccoló Machiavelli, The Discourses. 1517.

The weakness of the princes of the present day, caused by an effeminate education and want of instruction, makes them regard the maxims of the ancients as inhuman, or impossible of application. - Niccoló Machiavelli, The Discourses. 1517.

It is true that men are more or less virtuous in one country or another, according to the nature of the education by which their manners and habits of life have been formed. - Niccoló Machiavelli, The Discourses. 1517.


ELECTIONS

In electing a young man to an office which demands the prudence of an old man, it is necessary, if the election rests with the people, that he should have made himself worthy of that distinction by some extraordinary action. - Niccoló Machiavelli, The Discourses. 1517.

The people are guided in their choice either by what is said of a man by the public voice and fame, even if by his open acts he appears different, or by the preconceptions or opinions which they may have formed of him themselves. - Niccoló Machiavelli, The Discourses. 1517.

The people then are influenced in the choice of their magistrates by the best evidences they can obtain of the qualifications of the candidates. - Niccoló Machiavelli, The Discourses. 1517.


ERROR

Men not accustomed to the affairs of this world often commit the greatest mistakes. - Niccoló Machiavelli, The Discourses. 1517.

When an error is very generally adopted, I believe it to be advantageous often to refute it. - Niccoló Machiavelli, The Discourses. 1517.

Any manifest error on the part of an enemy should make us suspect some strategem. - Niccoló Machiavelli, The Discourses. 1517.


FIGHTING

There are two methods of fighting, the one by the law, the other by force: the first method is that of men, the second of beasts; but as the first method is often insufficient, one must have recourse to the second. - Niccoló Machiavelli, The Prince. 1537.


FOREIGN POLICY

Thus it happens in matters of state; for knowing afar off (which it is only given to a prudent man to do) the evils that are brewing, they are easily cured. But when, for want of such knowledge, they are allowed to grow so that everyone can recognize them, there is no longer any remedy to be followed. - Niccoló Machiavelli, The Prince. 1537.

Irresolute republics never take a course except by force; for their weakness never allows them to resolve upon anything where there is a doubt; and if that doubt is not overcome by some force, they remain forever in a state of suspense. - Niccoló Machiavelli, The Discourses. 1517.


GOVERNMENT

Thus monarchy becomes tyranny; aristocracy degenerates into oligarchy; and the popular government lapses readily into licentiousness. - Niccoló Machiavelli, The Discourses. 1517.

All kinds of government are defective. - Niccoló Machiavelli, The Discourses. 1517.

All governments are at first looked up to with some degree of reverence. - Niccoló Machiavelli, The Discourses. 1517.

Many have fancied for themselves republics and principalities that have never been seen or known to exists in reality. - Niccoló Machiavelli, The Discourses. 1517.

A multitude is more easily governed by humanity and gentleness than by haughtiness and cruelty. - Niccoló Machiavelli, The Discourses. 1517.

Cities mainly that are accustomed to enjoy liberty, and to be governed by their own citizens, remain more quiet and content under a government which they do not see (even should it involve some inconveniences), than under one which they have daily before their eyes, and which would seem constantly to remind them of their servitude. - Niccoló Machiavelli, The Discourses. 1517.

A government also does a great wrong constantly to excite the resentment of its subjects by fresh injuries to this or that individual among them. - Niccoló Machiavelli, The Discourses. 1517.

Though one alone is suited for organizing, the government organized is not going to last long if resting on the shoulders of only one; but it is indeed lasting when it is left to the care of many, and when it's maintenance rests upon many. -- Niccoló Machiavelli, The Discourses. 1517.

A well-regulated republic, therefore, should open the way to public honors to those who seek reputation by means that are conducive to the public good; and close it to those whose aim is the advancement of private ends. - Niccoló Machiavelli, The Discourses. 1517.

When men are well governed, they neither seek nor desire any other liberty. - Niccoló Machiavelli, The Discourses. 1517.

When state are strongly armed, as Rome was and the Swiss are, the more difficult it is to overcome them the nearer they are to their homes: for such bodies can bring more forces together to resist attack than they can to attack others. - Niccoló Machiavelli.


HATE

Hatred is gained as much by good works as by evil. - Niccoló Machiavelli, The Prince. 1537.

Men’s hatreds generally spring from fear or envy. - Niccoló Machiavelli, The Discourses. 1517.

To incur hatred without any advantage is the greatest temerity and imprudence. - Niccoló Machiavelli, The Discourses. 1517.


HISTORY

Men walk almost always in the paths trodden by others, proceeding in their actions by imitation. Not being always able to follow others exactly, nor attain to the excellence of those he imitates, a prudent man should always follow in the path trodden by great men and imitate those who are most excellent, so that if he does not attain to their greatness, at any rate he will get some tinge of it. - Niccoló Machiavelli, The Prince. 1537.

He who considers present affairs and ancient ones readily understands that all cities and all peoples have the same desires and the same traits and that they always have had them. He who diligently examines past events easily foresees future ones... and can apply to them remedies used by the ancients or, not finding any that have been used, can devise new ones because of the similarity of the events. - Niccoló Machiavelli, The Discourses. 1517.

Wise men say, and not without reason, that whoever wishes to foresee the future must consult the past; for human events ever resemble those of preceding times. This arises from the fact that they are produced by men who have been, and ever will be, animated by the same passions and thus they must necessarily have the same results. - Niccoló Machiavelli, The Discourses. 1517.


HONOR

A man's property and honor are the points upon which he will be most keenly sensitive. - Niccoló Machiavelli, The Discourses. 1517.


HUMAN NATURE

Men forget more easily the death of their father than the loss of their patrimony. -- Niccoló Machiavelli, The Prince. 1537.

Men are much more taken by present than by past things, and when they find themselves well-off in the present, they enjoy it and seek nothing more. - Niccoló Machiavelli, The Prince. 1537.

Men generally decide upon a middle course, which is most hazardous; for they know neither how to be entirely good or entirely bad. - Niccoló Machiavelli, The Discourses. 1517.

Men always commit the error of not knowing where to limit their hopes, and by trusting to these rather than to a just measure of their resources, they are generally ruined. - Niccoló Machiavelli, The Discourses. 1517.

A truly great man is ever the same under all circumstances; and if his fortune varies, exalting him at one moment and oppressing him at another, he himself never varies, but always preserves a firm courage, which is so closely interwoven with his character that every on can readily see that the fickleness of fortune has no power over him. - Niccoló Machiavelli, The Discourses. 1517.

The conduct of weak men is very different. Made vain and intoxicated by good fortune, they attribute their success to merits which they do not possess, and this makes them odious and insupportable to all around them. And when they fall into the other extreme, and become abject and vile. - Niccoló Machiavelli, The Discourses. 1517.


INDECISION

But they took that middle course which is pernicious in the extreme, when the question to be decided affects the fate of men. - Niccoló Machiavelli, The Discourses. 1517.

It is impossible to explain one’s self properly when in doubt and indecision as to what is to be done; but once resolved and decided, it is easy to find suitable words. - Niccoló Machiavelli, The Discourses. 1517.

It will always happen that in doubtful cases, where prompt resolution is required, there will be this indecision when weak men have to deliberate and resolve. Slow and dilatory deliberations are not less injurious than indecision, especially when you have to decide in favor of an ally; for tardiness helps no one, and generally injures yourself. - Niccoló Machiavelli, The Discourses. 1517.


INJUSTICE

The different wrongs which a prince can inflict upon a subject consist either in an attempt upon his possessions, his person, or his honor. - Niccoló Machiavelli, The Discourses. 1517.


INTELLIGENCE

There are three different kinds of brains, the one understands things unassisted, the other understands things when shown by others, the third understands neither alone nor with the explanation of others. The first kind is most excellent, the second also excellent, but the third useless. - Niccoló Machiavelli, The Prince. 1537.


JUDGEMENT

Men in general judge more by the eyes than by the hands, for everyone can see, but very few have to feel. Everybody sees what you appear to be, few feel what you are, and those few will not dare to oppose themselves to the many, who have the majesty of the state to defend them. - Niccoló Machiavelli, The Prince. 1537.

Certain events also easily mislead who have not a great deal of experience, for they have in them so much that resembles truth that men easily persuade themselves that they are correct in the judgement they have formed upon the subject. - Niccoló Machiavelli, The Discourses. 1517.


JUDGES

There should be many judges, because a few will always favour the few. - Niccoló Machiavelli, The Discourses. 1517.


LABOR

Men cannot be made to bear labor and privations without the inducement of a corresponding reward, nor can they be deprived of such hope of reward without danger. - Niccoló Machiavelli, The Discourses. 1517.


LAWS

The chief foundations of all states, whether new, old, or mixed, are good laws and good arms. - Niccoló Machiavelli, The Prince. 1537.

As good habits of the people require good laws to support them, so laws, to be observed, need good habits on the part of the people. Besides, the constitution and laws established in a republic at its very origin, when men were still pure, no longer suit when men have become corrupt and bad. - Niccoló Machiavelli, The Discourses. 1517.

To attempt to eradicate an abuse that has grown up in a republic by the enactment of a retrospective law, is a most inconsiderate proceeding, and (as we have amply discussed above) only serves to accelerate the fatal results which the abuse tends to bring about; but by temporizing, the end will either be delayed, or the evil will exhaust itself before it attains that end. - Niccoló Machiavelli, The Discourses. 1517.

Both governments of princes and the people have lasted a long time, but both required to be regulated by laws. For a prince who knows no other control but his own will is like a madman, and a people that can do as it pleases will hardly be wise. -- Niccoló Machiavelli, The Discourses. 1517.

I think that there can be no worse example in a republic than to make a law and not to observe it; the more so when it is disregarded by the very parties who make it. - Niccoló Machiavelli, The Discourses. 1517.

One should never allow an evil to run on out of respect for the law, especially when the law itself might easily be destroyed by the evil. - Niccoló Machiavelli, The Discourses. 1517.

Princes should remember, then, that they begin to lose their state from the moment when they begin to disregard the laws and ancient customs under which the people have lived contented for a length of time. - Niccoló Machiavelli, The Discourses. 1517.

It is of the greatest advantage in a republic to have laws that keep her citizens poor. - Niccoló Machiavelli, The Discourses. 1517.

How useful and necessary it is for republics to have laws which allow the masses a way to express their displeasure against a citizen. Because if this is not provided, the masses will resort to illegal methods which will produce much worse effects.- Niccoló Machiavelli, The Discourses. 1517.


LEADERSHIP

There is nothing more difficult to take in hand, more perilous to conduct, or more uncertain in its success, than to take the lead in the introduction of a new order of things. - Niccoló Machiavelli, The Prince. 1537.

One who can command and is a man of courage and does not get frightened in adversity, and does not neglect other preparations, and one who by his own valor and measures animates the mass of the people, he will not find himself deceived by them, and he will find that he has laid his foundations well. - Niccoló Machiavelli, The Prince. 1537.

A prince who is ignorant of military matters, besides other misfortunes... cannot be esteemed by his soldiers, nor have confidence in them. - Niccoló Machiavelli, The Prince. 1537.

A licentious and mutinous people may easily be brought back to good conduct by the influence and persuasion of a good man. - Niccoló Machiavelli, The Discourses. 1517.

Although the Romans were great lovers of glory yet they did not esteem it dishonorable to obey those whom they had at a previous time commanded, or to serve in that army of which themselves had been chiefs. - Niccoló Machiavelli, The Discourses. 1517.

I call that prince feeble who incapable of carrying on war. - Niccoló Machiavelli, The Discourses. 1517.

A return to first principles in a republic is sometimes caused by the simple virtues of one man, without depending upon any law that incites him to the infliction of extreme punishments; and yet his good example has such an influence that the good men strive to imitate him, and the wicked are ashamed to lead a life so contrary to his example. - Niccoló Machiavelli, The Discourses. 1517.

A republic would be perpetual that has the good fortune often to find men who by their example restore the laws to their original purity and force, (as we have said elsewhere), and not only prevent her from falling into decadence, but rather carry her in the opposite direction. - Niccoló Machiavelli, The Discourses. 1517.

He who carries too far the desire to make himself beloved will soon become contemned, if he deviates in the slightest degree from the true path; and the other, who aims at making himself feared, will make himself hated, if he goes in the least degree too far; and our nature does not permit us always to keep the just middle course. - Niccoló Machiavelli, The Discourses. 1517.


LEGISLATION

As to the mode of making the laws.... it is always well in a state that every one may propose what he deems for the public good; and it was equally well that every one should be allowed to express his opinion in relation to it, so that the people, having heard both sides, may decide in favor of the best. - Niccoló Machiavelli, The Discourses. 1517.

Those who lay the foundations of a state and give it laws must assume that all men are bad and will always show their evil nature when they are given a chance. - Niccoló Machiavelli, The Discourses. 1517.


LIBERALS & LIBERALISM

There is nothing which destroys itself so much as liberality, for by using it you lose the power of using it, and become either poor and despicable, or, to escape poverty, rapacious and hated. - Niccoló Machiavelli, The Prince. 1537.

It would be well to be considered liberal; nevertheless liberality such as the world understands it will injure you, because if used virtuously and in the proper way, it will not be known, and you will incur the disgrace of the contrary vice. But one who wishes to obtain the reputation of liberality among men, must not omit every kind of sumptuous display, and to such an extent that a prince of this character will consume by such means all his resources, and will be at last compelled, if he wishes to maintain his name for liberality, to impose heavy taxes on his people, become extortionate, and do everything possible to obtain money. This will make his subjects begin to hate him.- Niccoló Machiavelli, The Prince. 1537.


LIBERTY

All the legislators that have given wise constitutions to republics have deemed it an essential precaution to establish a guard and protection to liberty; and according as this was more or less wisely placed, liberty endured a greater or less length of time. - Niccoló Machiavelli, The Discourses. 1517.

Those states which have recovered their liberty treat their citizens with greater severity than such as have never lost it. - Niccoló Machiavelli, The Discourses. 1517.

When the people are entrusted with the care of any privilege or liberty, being less disposed to encroach upon it, they will of necessity take better care of it; and being unable to take it away themselves, will prevent others from doing so. -- Niccoló Machiavelli, The Discourses. 1517.

When men are well governed, they neither seek nor desire any other liberty. - Niccoló Machiavelli, The Discourses. 1517.


LOYALTY

You must bind men to you by benefits, or you must make sure of them in some other way, but never reduce them to the alternative of having either to destroy you or perish themselves. - Niccoló Machiavelli, The Discourses. 1517.

Men are very apt to deceive themselves as to the degree of attachment and devotion which others have for them, and there are no means of ascertaining this this except by actual experience; but experience in such matters is of the utmost danger. -- Niccoló Machiavelli, The Discourses. 1517.

A prince cannot base himself on what he sees in quiet times, when the citizens have need of the state; for then everyone is full of promises and each one is ready to die for him when death is far off; but in adversity, when the state has need of citizens, then he will find but few. - Niccoló Machiavelli, The Prince. 1537.


MAJORITIES & MINORITIES

It is not individual prosperity, but the general good, that makes cities great; and certainly the general good is regarded nowhere but in republics, because whatever they do is for the common benefit, and should it happen to prove an injury to one or more individuals, those for whose benefit the thing is done are so numerous that they can always carry the measure against the few that are injured by it. - Niccoló Machiavelli, The Discourses. 1517.


MOBS

There is no better or safer way of appeasing an excited mob than the presence of some man of imposing appearance and highly respected. - Niccoló Machiavelli, The Discourses. 1517.

Nothing can better illustrate the character of a multitude than this example; for they are often audacious and loud in their denunciations of the decisions of their rulers, but when punishment stares them in the face, then, distrustful of each other, they rush to obey. - Niccoló Machiavelli, The Discourses. 1517.

Whilst on the one hand a loose mob without a leader is most formidable; and even if they are armed they will be easily subdued, if you can only shelter yourself against their first fury; for when their spirits are cooled down a little, and they see that they have all to return to their homes, they begin to mistrust themselves, and to think of their individual safety either by flight or submission. An excited multitude, therefore, that wishes to avoid such a result will have promptly to create a chief for itself, who shall direct and keep them united. - Niccoló Machiavelli, The Discourses. 1517.


MORALITY

Whoever then desires that a city should make an obstinate resistance, or that an army should fight with determination in the field, should above all things endeavor to inspire them with the conviction of the necessity for their utmost efforts. -- Niccoló Machiavelli, The Discourses. 1517.


NATIONAL SECURITY

Thus it happens in matters of state; for knowing afar off (which it is only given to a prudent man to do) the evils that are brewing, they are easily cured. But when, for want of such knowledge, they are allowed to grow so that everyone can recognize them, there is no longer any remedy to be followed. - Niccoló Machiavelli, The Prince. 1537.


For where the very safety of the country depends upon the resolution to be taken, no considerations of justice or injustice, humanity or cruelty, nor of glory or of shame, should be allowed to prevail. But putting all other considerations aside, the only question should be, what course will save the life and liberty of the country? - Niccoló Machiavelli, The Discourses. 1517.
NECESSITY

We have already pointed out the advantage of necessity in human actions, and to what glorious achievements it has given rise. Some moral philosophers have even maintained that without it neither the hand nor the tongue of man, the two noblest instruments of his glory, would have served his purpose perfectly, nor carried human works to that height of perfection which they have attained. - Niccoló Machiavelli, The Discourses. 1517.


NEGOTIATION

Princes that are attacked cannot then commit a greater error, especially when their assailant greatly exceeds them in power, than to refuse all accommodation, and more particularly when it has been offered; for no terms will ever be so hard but what they will afford some advantage to him who accepts them, so that he really obtains thereby a share of the victory. - Niccoló Machiavelli, The Discourses. 1517.


NEUTRALITY

A prince is further esteemed when he is a true friend or a true enemy, when, that is, he declares himself without reserve in favor of someone or against another. This policy is always more useful than remaining neutral.... And it will always happen that the one who is not your friend will want you to remain neutral, and the one who is your friend will require to declare yourself by taking arms. - Niccoló Machiavelli, The Prince. 1537.


OPPOSITION

Whoever undertakes to govern a people under the form of either republic or monarchy, without making sure of those who are opposed to this new order of things, establishes a government of very brief duration. - Niccoló Machiavelli, The Discourses. 1517.


OPPRESSION

[He] who becomes prince by favour of the populace, must maintain its friendship, which he will not find easy, the people asking nothing but not to be oppressed. - Niccoló Machiavelli, The Prince. 1537.

It is not well that a republic should be constituted in such a fashion that a citizen can be oppressed without recourse for having promulgated a law for the benefit of liberty. - Niccoló Machiavelli, The Discourses. 1517.

I regard as unfortunate those princes who, to assure their government to which the mass of the people is hostile, are obliged to resort to extraordinary measures; for he who has but a few enemies can easily make sure of them without great scandal, but he who has the masses hostile to him can never make sure of them, and the more cruelty he employs the feebler will his authority become; so that his best remedy is to try and secure the good-will of the people. - Niccoló Machiavelli, The Discourses. 1517.


PEACE

It is impossible for a republic to remain long in the quiet enjoyment of freedom within her limited confines; for even if she does not molest others, others will molest her, and from being thus molested will spring the desire and necessity of conquests, and even if she has no foreign foes, she will find domestic enemies amongst her own citizens, for such seems to be the inevitable fate of all large cities. - Niccoló Machiavelli, The Discourses. 1517.

Blinded by their eager desire for present peace, they do not see the snares that are concealed under these liberal promises, and thus many cities have fallen into servitude. - Niccoló Machiavelli, The Discourses. 1517.


THE PEOPLE

It is necessary to be a prince to know thoroughly the nature of the people, and one of the populace to know the nature of princes. - Niccoló Machiavelli, The Prince. 1537.

The quickest way of opening the eyes of the people is to find the means of making them descend to particulars, seeing that to look at things only in a general way deceives them. - Niccoló Machiavelli, The Discourses. 1517.

Every free state ought to afford the people the opportunity of giving vent, so to say, to their ambition; and above all those republics which on important occasions have to avail themselves of this very people. - Niccoló Machiavelli, The Discourses. 1517. The demands of a free people are rarely pernicious to their liberty; they are generally inspired by oppression, experienced or apprehended; and if their fears are ill founded, resort is had to public assemblies where the mere eloquence of a single good and respectable man will make them sensible of their error. - Niccoló Machiavelli, The Discourses. 1517.

The people are more prudent and stable, and have better judgement than a prince; and it is not without good reason that it is said, "The voice of the people is the voice of God." - Niccoló Machiavelli, The Discourses. 1517.

If there is any superiority, it is with the people. - Niccoló Machiavelli, The Discourses. 1517.

I conclude, then, against the common opinion, which says that the people, when they are the rulers, are variable, changeable and ungrateful, for I affirm that in those sins they do not differ from individual princes. - Niccoló Machiavelli, The Discourses. 1517.

The people indulge in extraordinary revenge against those who have robbed them of their liberty.... which shows that the people will avenge their lost liberty with more energy than when it is merely threatened. - Niccoló Machiavelli, The Discourses. 1517.

The faults of the people spring from the faults of their rulers. - Niccoló Machiavelli, The Discourses. 1517.


POLITICAL APPOINTMENTS

The first impression that one gets of a ruler and of his brains is from seeing the men that he has about him. When they are competent and faithful one can always consider him wise, as he has been able to recognize their ability and keep them faithful. But when they are the reverse, one can always form an unfavorable opinion of him, because the first mistake that he makes is in making this choice. - Niccoló Machiavelli, The Prince. 1537.

For a prince to be able to know a minister there is this method which never fails. When you see the minister think more of himself than of you, and in all his actions seek his own profit, such a man will never be a good minister, and you can never rely on him; for whoever has in hand the state of another must never think of himself but of the prince, and not mind anything but what relates to him. - Niccoló Machiavelli, The Prince. 1537.

A republic should take great care not to entrust with an important administration one has been gravely offended. - Niccoló Machiavelli, The Discourses. 1517.

A prince... should never bestow so much authority upon his friends but that there should always be a certain distance between them and himself, and that there should always be something left for them to desire; otherwise they will almost invariably become victims of their own imprudence. - Niccoló Machiavelli, The Discourses. 1517.


POLITICAL PARTIES

A government which changes often, according to the caprice of the one or the other faction, can never be good, and consequently never can secure to itself the goodwill and attachment of its citizens. - Niccoló Machiavelli, The Discourses. 1517.


POLITICIANS & STATESMEN

In times of difficulty men of merit are sought after, but in easy times it is not men of merit, but such as have riches and powerful relations, that are most in favor. - Niccoló Machiavelli, The Discourses. 1517.

Every citizen, therefore, who desires to win the favor of the people, should strive to merit it by some notable action. - Niccoló Machiavelli, The Discourses. 1517.


POLITICS

Prudent men make the best of circumstances in their actions, and, although constrained by necessity to a certain course, make it appear as if done from their own liberality. - Niccoló Machiavelli, The Discourses. 1517.


POWER.

Power can easily take a name, but a name cannot give power. - Niccoló Machiavelli, The Discourses. 1517.

There is no surer and less objectionable mode of repressing the insolence of an individual ambitious of power, who arises in a republic, than to forestall him in the ways by which he expects to arrive at that power. - Niccoló Machiavelli, The Discourses. 1517.

People cannot make themselves secure except by being powerful. - Niccoló Machiavelli, The Discourses. 1517.

When full power is conferred for any length of time (and I call a year or more a long time), it is always dangerous, and will be productive of good or ill effects, according as those upon whom it is conferred are themselves good or bad. - Niccoló Machiavelli, The Discourses. 1517.

Amongst the other indications by which the power of a republic may be recognized is the relation in which they live with their neighbors; if these are tributary to her by way of securing her friendship and protection, then it is a sure sign that that republic is powerful. - Niccoló Machiavelli, The Discourses. 1517.


PROGRESS

On account of the envious nature of men, it has always been no less dangerous to find ways and methods that are new than it has been to hunt for seas and lands unknown, since men are more prone to blame than to praise the doings of others. -- Niccoló Machiavelli, The Discourses. 1517.


PROPERTY

A man's property and honor are the points upon which he will be most keenly sensitive. - Niccoló Machiavelli, The Discourses. 1517.


PUBLIC POLICY

Let no state believe that it can always follows a safe policy, rather let it think that all are doubtful. This is found in the nature of things, that one never tries to avoid one difficulty without running into another, but prudence consists in being able to know the nature of the difficulties, and taking the least harmful as good. - Niccoló Machiavelli, The Prince. 1537.

[A prince] must encourage his citizens to follow their callings quietly, whether in commerce, or agriculture, or any other trade that men follow, so that this one shall not refrain from improving his possessions through fear that they may be taken from him, and that one from starting a trade for fear of taxes; but he should offer rewards to whoever does these things, and to whoever seeks in any way to improve his city or state. - Niccoló Machiavelli, The Prince. 1537.

A prince, therefore, must not mind incurring the charge of cruelty for the purpose of keeping his subjects united and faithful; for, with a very few examples, he will be more merciful than those who, from excess of tenderness, allow disorders to arise, from whence spring bloodshed and rapine; for these as a rule injure the whole community, while the executions carried out by the prince injure only individuals. - Niccoló Machiavelli, The Prince. 1537.

Public affairs are easily managed in a city where the body of the people is not corrupt; and where equality exists. - Niccoló Machiavelli, The Discourses. 1517.

There is no easier way to ruin a republic, where the people have power, than to involve them in daring enterprises; for where the people have influence they will always be ready to engage in them, and no contrary opinion will prevent them. But if such enterprises cause the ruin of states, they still more frequently cause the ruin of the particular citizens who are placed at the head to conduct them. For when defeat comes, instead of the successes which the people expected, they charge it neither upon the ill fortune or incompetence of their leaders, but upon their wickedness and ignorance; and generally either kill, imprison or exile them. - Niccoló Machiavelli, The Discourses. 1517.

If we consider now what is easy and what is difficult to persuade a people to, we may make this distinction: either what you wish to persuade them to represents at first sight gain or loss, or it seems brave or cowardly. And if you propose to them anything that upon its face seems profitable and courageous, though there be really a loss concealed under it which may involve the ruin of the republic, the multitude will ever be most easily persuaded to it. But if the measure proposed seems doubtful and likely to cause loss, then it will be difficult to persuade the people to it even though the benefit and welfare of the republic were concealed under it. - Niccoló Machiavelli, The Discourses. 1517.


REASON

I think, and ever shall think, that it cannot be wrong to defend one's opinions with arguments, founded upon reason, without employing force or authority. - Niccoló Machiavelli, The Discourses. 1517.


RELIGION

If our religion claims of us fortitude of soul, it is more to enable us to suffer than to achieve great deeds.
These principles seem to me to have made men feeble, and caused them to become an easy prey to evil-minded men, who can control them more securely, seeing that the great body of men, for the sake of gaining paradise, are more disposed to endure injuries than to avenge them. - Niccoló Machiavelli, The Discourses. 1517.

Although it would seem that the world has become effeminate and heaven disarmed, yet this arises unquestionably from the baseness of men, who have interpreted our religion according to the promptings of indolence rather than those of virtue. -- Niccoló Machiavelli, The Discourses. 1517.

If we were to reflect that our religion permits us to exalt and defend our country, we should see that according to it we ought also to love and honor our country, and prepare ourselves so as to be capable of defending her. - Niccoló Machiavelli, The Discourses. 1517.


REPUBLICS

It is impossible to establish a perpetual republic, because in a thousand unforeseen ways its ruin may be accomplished. - Niccoló Machiavelli, The Discourses. 1517.


REVOLUTIONS & REVOLUTIONARIES

When once the people have taken arms against you, there will never be lacking foreigners to assist them. - Niccoló Machiavelli, The Prince. 1537.

Every student of ancient history well knows that any change of governments, be it from a republic to a tyranny, or from a tyranny to a republic, must necessarily be followed by some terrible punishment of the existing state of things. - Niccoló Machiavelli, The Discourses. 1517.

Those [revolutions] that are effected by men from motives of revenge are most dangerous, and have ever been of a nature to make us tremble with fear and horror in reading of them. - Niccoló Machiavelli, The Discourses. 1517.


SELF-RELIANCE

Only those defenses are good, certain and durable, which depend on yourself alone and your own ability. - Niccoló Machiavelli, The Prince. 1537.


SOCIETY

I have always felt for doing without any hesitation the things that I believe will bring benefit common to everybody.... - Niccoló Machiavelli.

For in nature as in simple bodies, when there is an accumulation of the superfluous matter, a spontaneous purgation takes place, which preserves the health of that body. And so it is with that compound body, the human race; when countries become overpopulated and there is no longer any room for all the inhabitants to live, nor any other places for them to go to, these being likewise all fully occupied — and when human cunning and wickedness have gone as far as they can go — then of necessity the world must relieve itself of this excess of population by one of those three causes [pestilence, famine and inundation]; so that mankind, having been chastised and reduced in numbers, may become better and live with more convenience. - Niccoló Machiavelli, The Discourses. 1517.

It is necessary then (as has been said) for men who live associated together under some kind of regulations often to be brought back to themselves, so to speak either by external or internal occurrences. As to the latter, they are either the result of a law, that obliges the citizens of the association often to render an account of their conduct; or by some man of superior character arises amongst them, whose noble example and virtuous actions will produce the same effect as such a law. - Niccoló Machiavelli, The Discourses. 1517.


SOVEREIGNTY

The cities where the people are masters make the greatest progress in the least possible time, and much greater than such as have always been governed by princes. - Niccoló Machiavelli, The Discourses. 1517.


SPEECHES

As to the people's capacity of judging of things, it is exceedingly rare that, when they hear two orators of equal talents advocate different measures, they do not decide in favor of the best of the two; which proves their ability to discern the truth of what they hear. - Niccoló Machiavelli, The Discourses. 1517.


STRATEGY

The commander of an army should always mistrust any manifest error which he sees the enemy commit, as it invariably conceals some strategems. For it is not reasonable to suppose that men will be so incautious. But the desire for victory often blinds men to that degree that they see nothing but what seems favorable to their object. - Niccoló Machiavelli, The Discourses. 1517.


SUCCESS

The causes of the success or failure of men depend upon their manner of suiting their conduct to the times. We see one man proceed in his actions with passion and impetuosity; and as in both the one and the other case men are apt to exceed the proper limits, not being able always to observe the just middle course, they are apt to err in both. But he errs least and will be most favored by fortune who suits his proceedings to the times. - Niccoló Machiavelli, The Discourses. 1517.


TERM LIMITS

When we said that an authority conferred by the free suffrages of the people never harmed a republic, we presupposed that the people, in giving that power, would limit, as well the time during which it was to be exercised. - Niccoló Machiavelli, The Discourses. 1517.


THREAT

I hold it to be proof of great prudence for men to abstain from threats and insulting words towards anyone, for neither the one nor the other in any way diminishes the strength of the enemy; but the one makes him cautious, and the other increases his hatred of you, and makes him more persevering in his efforts to injure you. - Niccoló Machiavelli, The Discourses. 1517.

He who is threatened, and sees himself constrained by necessity either to dare and do or to suffer, becomes a most dangerous man. - Niccoló Machiavelli, The Discourses. 1517.

To threaten is more dangerous for princes, and more frequently causes conspiracies, than the actual injury itself. - Niccoló Machiavelli, The Discourses. 1517.


TRAINING

[The wise Prince] never withdraws his thought from training for war; in peace he trains himself for it more than in time of war. - Niccoló Machiavelli, The Prince. 1537.


TREATIES & ALLIANCES

A prince ought never to make common cause with one more powerful than himself to injure another, unless necessity forces him to it, as before said; for if he wins you rest in his power, and princes must avoid as much as possible being under the will and pleasure of others. - Niccoló Machiavelli, The Prince. 1537.

Leagues and alliances with republics are more to be trusted than those with princes. - Niccoló Machiavelli, The Discourses. 1517.

Alliances are broken from considerations of interest; and in this respect republics are much more careful in the observance of treaties than princes. - Niccoló Machiavelli, The Discourses. 1517.

Agreements which are the result of force will no more be observed by a prince than by a republic, and, where either the one or the other is apprehensive of losing their state, that to save it both will break their faith and be guilty of ingratitude.- Niccoló Machiavelli, The Discourses. 1517.

It is never wise to enter into agreements the observance of which is doubtful. - Niccoló Machiavelli, The Discourses. 1517.

Republics and princes that are really powerful do not purchase alliances by money, but by their valor and the reputation of their armies. - Niccoló Machiavelli, The Discourses. 1517.

A want of proper judgement sometimes causes men, who are incompetent to defend themselves, to engage in war for the defense of others. - Niccoló Machiavelli, The Discourses. 1517.

If I desire to make war upon any prince with whom I have concluded treaties that have been faithfully observed for a length of time, I shall attack some friend or ally of his under some color of justification, well knowing that, in thus attacking his friend, he will resent it, and I shall then have grounds for declaring war against him; or, if he does not resent it, he will thereby manifest his weakness and lack of fidelity in not defending an ally entitled to his protection. And one or the other of these means will make him lose his reputation, and facilitate the execution of my designs. - Niccoló Machiavelli, The Discourses. 1517.

The presumption of success should always be in favor of a single power contending against a combination, however superior in number and power, for independent of the infinity of circumstances of which an individual can take advantage of better than a combination of many, the former will always have the opportunity, with a little address, to create divisions between the latter, and thus to weaken any powerful combination. - Niccoló Machiavelli, The Discourses. 1517.

When a number of princes combine to make war upon a single one, the latter will triumph over the combination, provided he has courage and strength enough to resist the first shock and bide events by temporizing. - Niccoló Machiavelli, The Discourses. 1517.


TYRANNY

For everyone this barbarian tyranny stinks. - Niccoló Machiavelli, The Prince. 1537.

Before a citizen can be in a position to usurp extraordinary powers, many things must concur, which in a republic as yet uncorrupted never can happen; for he must be exceedingly rich, and must have many adherents and partisans, which cannot be where the laws are observed; and even if he had them, he would never be supported by the free suffrages of the people, for such men are generally looked upon as dangerous. - Niccoló Machiavelli, The Discourses. 1517.

It is [dangerous] for a republic or a prince to keep the minds of their subjects in a state of apprehension by pains and penalties constantly suspended over their heads. And certainly no more pernicious course could be pursued; for men who are kept in doubt and uncertainty as to their lives will resort to every kind of measure to secure themselves against danger, and will necessarily become more audacious and inclined to violent change. - Niccoló Machiavelli, The Discourses. 1517.

In proportion as the founders of a republic or monarchy are entitled to praise, so do the founders of a tyranny deserve execration. - Niccoló Machiavelli, The Discourses. 1517.

When a people goes so far as to commit the error of giving power to one man so that he may defeat those whom they hate, and if this man be shrewd, it will always end in his becoming their tyrant. For with the support of the people he will be enabled to destroy the nobility, and after these are crushed, he will not fail in turn to crush the people; and by the time that they become sensible of their own enslavement, they will have no one to look to for succor. - Niccoló Machiavelli, The Discourses.< 1517.

If fate should have it that the tyrant is enterprising, and by his courage and valor extends his dominions, it will never be for the benefit of the city, but only for his own; for he will never bestow honors and office upon the good and brave citizens over whom he tyrannizes, so that he may not have occasion to suspect and fear them. - Niccoló Machiavelli, The Discourses. 1517.

The actions of citizens should be watched, for often such as seem virtuous conceal the beginnings of tyranny. - Niccoló Machiavelli, The Discourses. 1517.

To usurp supreme and absolute authority, then, in a free state, and subject it to tyranny, the people must have already become corrupt by gradual steps from generation to generation. And all states necessarily come to this, unless... they are frequently reinvigorated by good examples, and brought back by good laws to their first principles. - Niccoló Machiavelli, The Discourses. 1517.


VIRTUE

It will be found that some things which seem virtuous, if followed, lead to one’s ruin, and some others which appear vices result in one’s greater security and well-being. - Niccoló Machiavelli, The Prince. 1537.

It cannot be called virtue to kill one’s fellow citizens, betray one’s friends, be without faith, without pity, and without religion; by these methods one may indeed gain power, but not glory. - Niccoló Machiavelli, The Prince. 1537.

Virtue is to be admired and praised, even in one’s enemies. - Niccoló Machiavelli, The Discourses. 1517.


WAR

There are but two rules for making war against a republic: one, the desire to subjugate her; the other, the apprehension of being subjugated by her. - Niccoló Machiavelli, The Discourses. 1517.

As some men desire to have more, whilst others fear to lose what they have, enmities and war are the consequences; and this brings about the ruin of one province and the elevation of another. - Niccoló Machiavelli, The Discourses. 1517.

For a war is just for those to whom it is necessary, and arms are sacred when there is no hope except in arms. - Niccoló Machiavelli, The Prince. 1537.

There are three things pre-eminently necessary to success in war — plenty of good troops, sagacious commanders, and good fortune. - Niccoló Machiavelli, The Discourses. 1517.

A prince should therefore have no other aim or thought, nor take up any other thing for his study, but war and its organization and discipline, for that is the only art that is necessary to one who commands.... And one sees, on the other hand, that when princes think more of luxury than of arms, they lose their state. The chief cause of the loss of states, is the contempt of this art. - Niccoló Machiavelli, The Prince. 1537.

Everyone may begin a war at his pleasure, but cannot so finish it. A prince, therefore, before engaging in any enterprise should well measure his strength, and govern himself accordingly; and he must be very careful not to deceive himself in the estimate of his strength, which he will assuredly do if he measures it by his money, or by the situation of his country, or the good disposition of his people, unless he has at the same time an armed force of his own. - Niccoló Machiavelli, The Discourses. 1517.


WAR & PEACE.

Of all the unhappy conditions to which princes or republics can be reduced, the most unhappy is that when they are unwilling to accept peace and incapable of sustaining war. - Niccoló Machiavelli, The Discourses. 1517.

If anyone desires a people or a prince to abandon all ideas of a peaceful settlement with another, then there is no more certain and effectual way than to make them commit some outrageous act against those with whom you wish to prevent them from making peace. - Niccoló Machiavelli, The Discourses. 1517.


WILL

Nor can there be great difficulty where there is great willingness. - Niccoló Machiavelli, The Prince. 1537.


TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism; Government; Philosophy; Political Humor/Cartoons
KEYWORDS: government; machiavelli; philosophy; politics; quotes
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Probably the most misunderstood, maligned, and yet astute political observers of all time.
1 posted on 04/22/2002 5:41:17 PM PDT by PsyOp
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To: Marine Inspector; infowars; 2Trievers; sleavelessinseattle; Righty1; twyn1; mountaineer...
Let the games Begin!
2 posted on 04/22/2002 5:42:10 PM PDT by PsyOp
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To: nicollo
Figured you'd already be pinged... but jes' in case... :-)
3 posted on 04/22/2002 5:43:57 PM PDT by austinTparty
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To: nicollo
Figured you'd already be pinged... but jes' in case... :-)
4 posted on 04/22/2002 5:44:10 PM PDT by austinTparty
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To: Squantos
Here's some more quotes you may enjoy.
5 posted on 04/22/2002 6:11:41 PM PDT by PsyOp
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To: PsyOp
Thanks for posting this...BTTT
6 posted on 04/22/2002 6:29:47 PM PDT by SR71A
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To: contessa Machiaveli
Contessa, on this thread we invoke Niccolo's name in vain....

I thought you should know.

7 posted on 04/22/2002 6:32:52 PM PDT by TopQuark
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To: PsyOp
Ah, one of my faves, Niccoló Machiavelli.

A master of Machiavellian power was Henry Kissinger. Kissinger managed to survive the many bloodlettings that went on the Nixon White House not because he was the best diplomat ... there were other fine negotiators ... and not because the two men got along so well ... they didn't. Nor did they entirely share their beliefs and politics, Kissinger survived because he entrenched himself in so many areas of the political structure that to do away with him would lead to chaos. Power like Michaelangelo's was intensive, depending on one skill, his ability as an artist ... Kissinger's was extensive. He got himself involved in so many aspects and departments of the admin that his involvement became an ace card in his hand. It also made him many allies. Machiavelli would be proud! &;-)

8 posted on 04/22/2002 6:58:06 PM PDT by 2Trievers
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To: austinTparty
Thanks for the reminder of my mispelled name...

Niccoló!

**Bumpin'' THE MAN**

ATP: did you read "Machiavelli in Hell" yet?

9 posted on 04/22/2002 7:01:46 PM PDT by nicollo
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To: 2Trievers
Yup. Kissenger was a survivor and master politico. I'm sure Machiavelli was but one of the strategic masters on his shelf. I'm sure we would alsohave found the likes of Sun Tzu, Clauswitz, Musashi, Jomini and others. But few could cut through the BS like 'Ol Nick!
10 posted on 04/22/2002 7:19:49 PM PDT by PsyOp
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To: TopQuark
I'm curious, why do you say Nicolló's name is invoked in vain? What am I missing?
11 posted on 04/22/2002 7:21:47 PM PDT by PsyOp
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To: PsyOp
Nicolló's name is invoked in vain? What am I missing? Nothing at all: it was a bit of an inside joke, hinting that Contessa must have secured all rights to his name. But then she spells the name with one "l."

Sorry, I did not mean to make it confusing.

Thanks, PsyOp, for all the quotations you have supplied. The collective IQ of the FR has gone up a few points.

12 posted on 04/22/2002 7:28:06 PM PDT by TopQuark
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To: PsyOp
Probably the most misunderstood, maligned, and yet astute political observers of all time.
This was so in his day, too.

"Astute" is too mild. The problem with Machiavelli is not that he has been misunderstood but that he has been selectively abused. He was fundamentally a believer in first principles. My all-time fave Niccolo quotations are (some listed above, different translation):

May princes know then that they begin to lose [their] state at that hour in which they being to break the laws and those customs and usages that are ancient and under which men have lived for a long time.

a perfect republic... that will run the whole course ordained by heaven.

... in all cities and in all peoples there are the same desires and the same humors, and the same as they always were. So it is an easy thing for whoever examines past things to foresee future [things] in each republic and to take those remedies that were used by the ancients, or not finding any used, to think up new ones based on the similitude of events

What I draw from Machiavelli is the following:
- all human affairs are politics;
- history is alive.
Machiavelli walked with the ancients as we must walk with him today. The American Founders understood this. Machiavelli was an American of 1789, just as America is Rome. This is the core of my political beliefs. I learned it from Machiavelli.

(and, he liked the girlies, too...)

13 posted on 04/22/2002 7:28:45 PM PDT by nicollo
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To: nicollo
(and my misspelled name) nicollo you have the extra "l".
14 posted on 04/22/2002 7:29:31 PM PDT by contessa machiaveli
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To: TopQuark
I figured it must have been something like that, but I wanted to be sure. Glad you are enjoying the posts. Since I don't care to surf other sites for news to post here, and I got to feeling guilty about just lurking and sniping all the time, I thought I'd make my contribution with these.
15 posted on 04/22/2002 7:31:55 PM PDT by PsyOp
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To: nicollo
Machiavelli was an American of 1789, just as America is Rome. That is a puzzling sentence, to say the least.

Do you use it to break the ice with the girls? Does it work as an opening line?

16 posted on 04/22/2002 7:33:01 PM PDT by TopQuark
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To: contessa machiaveli
And I'm missing a "c," too. Click on me for details.
17 posted on 04/22/2002 7:36:50 PM PDT by nicollo
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To: nicollo
You're right. His biggest problem was than when he published The Prince, written after the discourses but published before them, his analysis were so clear that they pointed out the sever hypocrisy in the government he meant to help with it. He has been paying for that ever since.

After reading the Prince, I decided to sit down and read the Discourses (all three tomes). I thought that I would have to struggle through them, but found them a very easy read in spite of their length. I have also read his version of the Art of War, but have not gotten around to extracting the quotes from it.

Even though he wrote over four hundred years ago, you can apply most everything he says to present day politics without having to account for time and place or context, which is remarkable.

18 posted on 04/22/2002 7:42:14 PM PDT by PsyOp
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To: PsyOp; contessa machiaveli
Now you can see the confirmation of what I said earlier: Contessa does not even reply to me --- ever since we quarreled at the the de Midici's ball, right after Nicolo came back to Florence.
19 posted on 04/22/2002 7:42:44 PM PDT by TopQuark
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To: PsyOp
My favorite dictum of Machiavelli's which cannot be repeated often enough.

"You cannot deal with people as you wish them to be, you must deal with them as they really are."

20 posted on 04/22/2002 7:45:25 PM PDT by Cacique
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To: TopQuark
My: Machiavelli was an American of 1789, just as America is Rome.
Your: That is a puzzling sentence, to say the least. Do you use it to break the ice with the girls? Does it work as an opening line?
Good suggestion. I'll let you know if it ever works.

When you next visit Washington, D.C., check out the buildings of substance in town, the Capitol, the White House, the Washington Monument, etc.

You will note a theme to the architecture: hommage to the ancients. The Founders constantly looked back upon the Romans and the Greeks for justification and reason. Those buildings I mention are meant to display the American resuscitation of the greatest civilizations ever. We are they, here and now.

Another thing you will note in classic DC architecture is that memorials, statues, and freizes frequently display allegorical figures of liberty, freedom, or America on top of globes, such as "Freedom" who bestrides the Capitol building. The reference was literal. My favorite is the freize above the old House chamber, with the figure, "history," riding a chariot across a globe.

We are Rome.

I only know this because Machiavelli taught it to me.

21 posted on 04/22/2002 7:48:53 PM PDT by nicollo
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To: TopQuark
Contessa does not even reply to me --- ever since we quarreled...

"Men’s [or Contessa's] hatreds generally spring from fear or envy." - Niccoló Machiavelli, The Discourses. 1517.

Don't let it get you down. Nick understands.

22 posted on 04/22/2002 7:50:30 PM PDT by PsyOp
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To: contessa machiaveli
nicollo you have the extra "l".
Oops -- I just now got it -- LOL!
(or is that, "lolL"?
23 posted on 04/22/2002 7:52:34 PM PDT by nicollo
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To: nicollo
We are Rome. With all due respect, there is a long way between Roman themes in architecture and the identification of this Republic with Rome. I only know this because Machiavelli taught it to me. You must be really getting up in age...
24 posted on 04/22/2002 7:52:54 PM PDT by TopQuark
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To: PsyOp
Those... who had held their possessions for many years must not accuse fortune for having lost them, but rather their own remissness; for having never in quiet times considered that things might change (as it is a common fault of men not to reckon on storms in fair weather) when adverse times came, they only thought of fleeing, instead of defending themselves.

I believe that this statement near-perfectly describes the GOP right after the elections in '94.

25 posted on 04/22/2002 7:53:59 PM PDT by rdb3
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To: Colorado Tanker; Libertina; pissed off janitor; happygrl;Dennisw;sjackson;Proudeagle;Nix2

If you can't find something here that applies to your day, you have been abducted by aliens!

26 posted on 04/22/2002 8:01:42 PM PDT by sleavelessinseattle
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To: PsyOp
When you disarm [the people] you commence to offend them and show that you distrust them either through cowardice or lack of confidence, and both of these opinions generate hatred against you. - Niccoló Machiavelli, The Prince. 1537.

NRA Bump.

27 posted on 04/22/2002 8:02:54 PM PDT by Sir Francis Dashwood
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To: TopQuark
No respect required. If you think architecture does not reflect political philosophy, try walking down Main St., Moscow, c. 1974. Or Washington, D.C., c. 1974. The triumph of 20th Century humanism was certified in ugly, functional buildings.

Those who originally built Washington (or kept to the original themes) believed in the political meaning of the institutions the buildings were meant to house. We didn't build a great mansion for the President. We built a great mansion for the people. Same with the Capitol. Those buildings were to reflect the great purpose and historical significance of their occupants and all they represented. For the architectural inspiration -- that same inspiration which guided the American founding itself-- we looked to the ancients.

Atop the Supreme Court building (constructed during the Great Depression!) are Roman figures. Why?

(Hint: it wasn't decorative.)

Re-read Machiavelli. He wrote history that looked forward. Amazing.

28 posted on 04/22/2002 8:02:55 PM PDT by nicollo
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To: sleavelessinseattle
If you can't find something here that applies to your day, you have been abducted by aliens!

You knew?

29 posted on 04/22/2002 8:10:37 PM PDT by SJackson
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To: nicollo
If you think architecture does not reflect political philosophy, Oh,. It most certainly does: I was merely against equating the two.

Your take on the relationship between them is very perceptive, and exquisite in its subtlety. This also applies to your reading of Machiavelli.

He wrote history that looked forward. This is beautifully stated, and I wholeheartedly agree.

30 posted on 04/22/2002 8:23:08 PM PDT by TopQuark
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To: TopQuark
Forgive a misstatement in my #28: of course architectural adornment is decorative in function -- just as poems need words that rhyme. The question remains, what is the decorative theme? (Including the choice of none, aka modern architecture).

Anyway, try out DC buildings some time. You'll be stunned. What people need to remember is that our country is from the beginning purposeful. It's when we lose purpose and instead look to method that we are lost. Here's an example: welfare as a purpose is that no one starve. Welfare as a method is where people use welfare. I see the same in our buildings, one way or another.

31 posted on 04/22/2002 8:36:33 PM PDT by nicollo
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To: Sir Francis Dashwood
NRA bump

"However strong your armies may be, you will always need the favour of the inhabitants to take possession of a province." - Niccoló Machiavelli, The Prince. 1537.

32 posted on 04/22/2002 8:39:57 PM PDT by PsyOp
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To: Sir Francis Dashwood
"When you disarm [the people] you commence to offend them and show that you distrust them either through cowardice or lack of confidence, and both of these opinions generate hatred against you. - Niccoló Machiavelli, The Prince. 1537. NRA Bump."

One of the most profound statements ever made.
33 posted on 04/22/2002 8:48:39 PM PDT by conserve-it
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To: nicollo
What people need to remember is that our country is from the beginning purposeful.

The Postmodernist, Foucault or Jameson, would say that these buildings were meant to oppress the people, that they are nothing but silly teleological histography. If they had their way we would tear down all those white men.

34 posted on 04/22/2002 9:00:13 PM PDT by lockeliberty
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To: PsyOp
Thanks for your hard work to put up this thread. It's fantastic.

You are a brave soul. If it's any reward, thanks!

35 posted on 04/22/2002 9:01:12 PM PDT by nicollo
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To: SJackson

How did you get this photo of former Labor Secretary Robert Reich's Retirement Barbecue?

36 posted on 04/22/2002 9:02:24 PM PDT by sleavelessinseattle
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To: lockeliberty
"teleological histography *bump*

lol!

37 posted on 04/22/2002 9:03:34 PM PDT by nicollo
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To: nicollo
Your thanks are all the reward I need. Although, on going back through the quotes, I noticed a few html codes that I screwed up. That's what I get for trying to do this long after I should be in bed.
38 posted on 04/22/2002 9:13:00 PM PDT by PsyOp
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To: sleavelessinseattle
You weren't invited? I was sure we met there. If that's not you on the left, could it be, Al Gore, or Art Bell. What a ticket.
39 posted on 04/22/2002 9:14:38 PM PDT by SJackson
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To: sleavelessinseattle
Thank you much, sleaveless. This is a keeper. Been reading this kind of stuff since early kidhood.
Machiavelli is one of those gifted few who bind the ages and encompass them all.

And in keeping....
NOTHING can disarm a man except that he BELIEVE it.
Me

JPFO/NRA BUMP!!!

40 posted on 04/22/2002 9:47:05 PM PDT by Nix 2
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To: PsyOp
Excellent, thank you for the heads up.......I had read The Prince but was unaware of The Discourses ?........

It will be purchased NLT this weekend for sure.

Stay Safe !

41 posted on 04/22/2002 10:01:35 PM PDT by Squantos
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To: PsyOp
A man gifted with amazing insights to man's condition, and all this wisdom during a time and place where city states were the governments and war was fought on a one on one in armor, on horseback and with sword and axe. Florence, was his home and the Di Medici his patron.
42 posted on 04/22/2002 10:26:48 PM PDT by wingnuts'nbolts
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To: PsyOp;Toenail;DonQ;angcat;Lions Cub; Caltrop;Great Dane;Psycho_runner;Bella_Bru;Caligirl for Bush
Probably the most misunderstood, maligned, and yet astute political observers of all time.

Applause and acclaim for Psyops for his tireless efforts to prevent Bad history from repeating itself, for the umpteenth time!!!

Pinging some other correspondents just this once for maximum distribution of the Discourses...If you have already seen this post, I apologize, but isn't it cool?

43 posted on 04/22/2002 10:48:27 PM PDT by sleavelessinseattle
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To: PsyOp
I was first exposed to "Mach" in world literature class in high school, then in college.

The high school exposure was boring, mainly because it was after an exaustive disection of Dante's Hell, the teacher was uninspiring, and graduation was near. I also remember that the teach had us copy The Discourses from her copy into our notes.(so in a sense, I have felt your pain. ;-))

My college Professor on the otherhand was a riot, and I have him to thank for a lot of my Weltanschauung(world view)

The sad thing is I can remember her name, but not his. There's a message there for all you educators...be boring and they will remember just your name...be interesting and they will remember what you taught them and maybe your name....(his name may comeback to me if I think on it long enough.)

Thanks for you efforts to make this a permanent part of FR, I'll put a link to the thread on my FR profile page.

"Mach" was the ultimate political historian, and therefore also the ultimate political prophet.

44 posted on 04/23/2002 12:44:55 AM PDT by PeaceBeWithYou
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To: nicollo
Forgive a misstatement in my #28: of course architectural adornment is decorative in function -- just as poems need words that rhyme. The question remains, what is the decorative theme? (Including the choice of none, aka modern architecture).

Thomas Hobbes' Leviathan:

Part IV. Of the Kingdom of Darkness

Chap. xlv. Of Demonology and other Relics of the Religion of the Gentiles

[16] And whereas a man can fancy shapes he never saw, making up a figure out of the parts of divers creatures, as the poets make their centaurs, chimeras and other monsters never seen, so can he also give matter to those shapes, and make them in wood, clay or metal. And these are also called images, not for the resemblance of any corporeal thing, but for the resemblance of some phantastical inhabitants of the brain of the maker. But in these idols, as they are originally in the brain, and as they are painted, carved moulded or molten in matter, there is a similitude of one to the other, for which the material body made by art may be said to be the image of the fantastical idol made by nature. (Hobbes, p 444)

45 posted on 04/23/2002 3:31:52 AM PDT by Sir Francis Dashwood
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To: PsyOp
Bumped and bookmarked.
46 posted on 04/23/2002 3:49:30 AM PDT by weikel
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To: PsyOp
Probably the most misunderstood, maligned, and yet astute political observers of all time.

You said it. I loved "The Prince."

Too bad that most of the "sheeple" haven't read his books.


47 posted on 04/23/2002 5:04:38 AM PDT by chantal7
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To: Sir Francis Dashwood
re: Thomas Hobbes' Leviathan

Thanks for the quotation. Funny, I was just this a.m. catching up on the April issue of Harper's. It has Lapham's annual "Notebook" column on the World Economic Forum, and his usual, beautifully written, pointless satire of lost soul global-businessmen. This time he worried about the commercialization of patriotism at the Superbowl (which he watched from Bill Clinton's Harlem office, of course). He ends the column with a reminder that the Leviathan can't read.

Then on to an article, "Eternal Winter," on the fading Aral Sea. Another wonderfully written piece that concludes we're all a bunch of scoundrels, the Americans only a little less since we can afford to clean up our messes.

Both are wrong. They're wrong because they can't understand, as Machiavelli tells us, a free people take care of themselves. And I'm not sure I don't mind putting it on the face of a building.

48 posted on 04/23/2002 6:01:48 AM PDT by nicollo
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To: nicollo, decarlo
"It is better to be adventurous than cautious, because Fortune is a woman." - only Machiavellism I can remember right now...
49 posted on 04/23/2002 6:24:30 AM PDT by Wm Bach
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To: nicollo; Top Quark
We are Rome

I really think that, when you look at modern Western Civilization, you are seeing a relatively think layer of Christianity over a foundation of Roman civilization. Islam fails to understand that, to its peril.

The visible layer promotes tolerance, "love thy neighbor", "turn the other cheek". But when our civilization itself is threatened, the fundamental layer shows through -- the Roman layer.

When Carthage fundamentally threatened Rome, Rome responded with an army that utterly destroyed Carthage. They took Carthage and killed all the men. The women and children were enslaved and dispersed throughout the Empire. Then they leveled the city so that not one stone stood on top of another, and spread salt on the ground so nothing could ever grow there again. Rome did not have any further trouble with Carthage.

50 posted on 04/23/2002 6:45:01 AM PDT by SauronOfMordor
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