View Full Version : misinterpretation

05-24-2005, 06:07 PM
In various discussion forums people seem to be misusing Machiavelliís precepts. It is common enough that people use historical documents to prove their own theories without consideration of the intended audience or intended message. The search for a decent understanding of Machiavelli or really an attempt at a true understanding of him is a difficult undertaking. The most important thing to start with when examining Machiavelliís principles is the subject matter itself. Everyone seems to be too busy condemning the ruthlessness of Machiavelliís prince without realizing that the Prince wasnít supposed to be nice; he was supposed to be effective. It is downright denial to say that politics in our nation are free from Machiavellian principles. On that note, Machiavelli states clearly that heís addressing the needs of Principalities, not Republics. Although his principles can and should be applied to politicians in a Republic setting, they were meant for a Prince (hence the title). Furthermore, the rules that Machiavelli set forth from a political standpoint are virtually flawless. Itís all founded on the concept that the political arena has no place for moral constraints. Regardless of what the general public would prefer (a morally astute ruler), the most effective rulers arenít necessarily saints. Machiavelli was addressing a need that his world had. He stripped away the veil behind which politicians operate. Machiavelli to me seems like the original ďtell it like it isĒ man in the world of political discourse. People need to take him for what he was, not for what he could be given the right spin.

12-14-2008, 08:57 PM
I agree completely, especially about Machiavelli being the first "tell it like it is" guy. I was reading the prince and thinking "wow, back in the 1600s, and this guy is looking at things from an outside perspective." He was not even a rebel, he was a true patriot in the deepest sense. He was just telling things how they are. He realized the nature of man and was not biased in anything at all.

Machiavelli spoke with a deep clarity that is paralleled authors by the likes of George Orwell and other similar authors.