Honesty is Machiavelli
Great writer, philosopher and diplomat. A man of knowledge, fluent in Latin. A man who has been married to one woman his whole life and raised five children. The person who liked to play cards with simple peasants, according to him, to keep his mind in good shape. His name is associated with treachery, betrayal and political immoralism. Yes, we are talking about the same person – Niccolo Machiavelli.
In today’s article, we will present you a couple of tips from the philosopher himself, and maybe from this point it would be easier for you to take one side or another towards him, as well as learn something interesting. These pieces of advise are all about government management, but we’re all the bosses of our own life, aren’t we?
However, it should be noted that the philosopher did not call for the destruction of morality. He simply called a spade a spade. The thinker painted people as they really are, and not as they should be.
For the sovereign, the most laudable thing is to adhere to qualities that are considered good, but since it is impossible to have or observe them completely, he should be prudent enough to avoid the notoriety that the state can take from him. However, don’t worry about the notoriety that helps save the state, because if you consider everything properly, there is something that seems virtue but leads to death, and something that seems like a vice, but following it, you can achieve safety and prosperity.
A controversial question arises: which is preferable – to be loved or inspire fear? The answer is that both are desirable, but since it is difficult to combine both of these properties, it is much more reliable to instill fear than love. In this case, the sovereign must inspire fear so as to avoid hatred. The main thing is to refrain from infringing on the property of your subjects, and if you still need to, do it if you have the proper justification and obvious reason.
Cruelty is good and poorly used. Well-used atrocities are those that are resorted to once, when security interests force it, and then do not persist in them, but turn, as far as possible, for the benefit of subjects. Ill-used cruelties are those that at first may be insignificant, but do not stop over time, but, on the contrary, begin to multiply. It follows that, taking power, its carrier must weigh what grievances he needs to inflict, and proceed to them all at once so that they do not multiply every day and thereby calm people and draw them to good deeds.
There is no undertaking that is just as difficult to conceive and successfully implement, as becoming the head of state reorganization. The enemies of the transformer are all those who prosper under the previous regime; and those who can benefit from innovations protect it rather coolly, since they do not believe in innovations until they are backed up by experience. Should converters ask for help or can they resort to force? In the first case, they do not achieve anything, but if they depend only on themselves and can coerce others, then in most cases they are not in danger. That is why armed prophets triumph, and all unarmed prophets perish.
The state, ruled by the monarch through his servants, gives the ruler more power, because in such a country only he is recognized as the supreme ruler, and other officials are subordinated to sovereign officials, to whom no one has a special love. It is difficult to conquer such a state, but having won, it is easy to maintain it.
Only if you are already a sovereign, generosity is harmful; if you are still on the way to this title, generosity is necessary. A sovereign who does not want to rob his subjects, to be defenseless, to become poor and despised, to be forced into predation, should not be burdened with calling a mean man, for this is one of those vices that allow him to rule.