Machiavelli (2)

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  • Machiavelli (2)
    • A New Ethics
      • Cicero
      • It is always rational to be moral
      • Expediency can never conflict with moral rectitude
      • Honesty is the best policy
      • Some acts are so wicked that not even a wise man would use the to save his country
      • Only by moral methods can we truly obtain our desires
    • Machiavelli's Rejoinder
      • A wise Prince will 'be prepared to act immorally when this becomes necessary
      • The Prince will also be flexible: 'Must be prepared to vary his conduct'.
    • Individual vs Common Interest
      • Common good makes cities great
      • Virtu for citizens and rulers involves advancing general good
      • Corruption is when individual interests are pursued at the expense of common good
      • Best way to get people to behave in a virtuous way is to terrorize them
    • Religion and Humanism
      • Machiavelli rejects Christian virtues
      • Religion can be useful as means of social control
      • Ancient religion of romans or paganism = preferable
      • Rejects humanist morality
    • Machiavelli's Dilemma
      • A Prince must acquire the power to 'not be good'
        • But must also not acquire the reputation of a wicked man as this would take his position away
      • Appear to be good and considered to be liberal, merciful and of 'great merit'.
      • But learn how to 'addle the brains of main with trickery'.
      • Hypocrisy is the way forward
      • 1. People are simple-minded and prone to self-deception
      • 2. When judging the behaviour of Princes, they don't have much to judge but appearance


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