Niccolò Machiavelli one of the most famous people who ever had lived on the Earth, is still well-known even today after 500 years since he wrote his infamous pamphlet “The Prince”.
Do you know what it says? It is much more secure to be feared than to be loved, what do you think of that? Do you find it amusing,alluring,exiting or even provoking? The question is not how it is perceived or recognized in a certain ways ,but why? Why so much people regard that “Prince” as one of the most useful books of all the time ,especially the politicians or those who have a great influence?The answer is simple : because it is not only reveal the reality as it is ,but it opens the Pandora’s box – throwing away all virtues just to be substituted by the vices. This book is a perfect excuse why we should behave badly in certain ways ,even when it is confronting with our inner sense of morality,just in the name of our ambitions and goals.This book put into test our moral values and question us how far we could go to fulfil our ambitious dreams.
Let’s make that clear,shall we? This book “teach” as two things : how to gain power and how to keep it. It was a scandalous spectacle for that time something like that to be written,even more it was regarded as a sin. Not surprisingly not only “The Prince” was banned by the Catholic Church ,but all Machiavelli’s writing.
But to whom was addressed the prince and who is the prince himself?
Interestingly, when it was first written the book did not have a title at all ,only the name of one person “To Lorenzo di Piero de‘ Medici “– the new ruler of Medici’s dynasty who gained control and power over Florence again around 16th century. The title of the book was invented five years after Machiavelli’s death ,after being widely published and copies were at dispense to many people.
What we could assert from that fact is something astounding ,something more than it meets the eye ,indeed. We have a person to whom the book is dedicated ,specific person who was an inspiration for it, without whom that “book of art” might have not existed at all.Two words only- devotion and dedication.
Why it was written?
The book is written in 1513 ,where was Machiavelli at that time? He was imprisoned and ( subject of unfair treatment and falsely accused of conspiracy against the Medici’s family) and tortuned, he protested his innocence still the end. Being deprived from the office he retired to his estate and write political philosophy. The reason of the pamphlet is hidden behind the false accusation ,in the face of humiliation and reasonable desire for revenge and justice. Machiavelli wanted vengeance and he knew how to get it!
He was traumatized by the sudden change that took place in his life ,it was not only sudden,but a big one. So ,it is absolutely probbable after that for him to be angry and to hold resentment , he needed a way in which he could unleash all that negative thoughts in his mind. And so he did it.
Have you read the pamphlet?
who have set little store by their word, but have known how to
overreach men by their cunning, have accomplished great
thing, and in the end got the better of those who trusted to
honest dealing” .
Machiavelli extremely precisely depicted that prince as a cunning, deceitful and unmoral, that Medici’s bastard . It is quite understandable , since he was in favor of the Borgia ‘s family who made him well-known ambassador,suddenly out of nowhere the Medici came into power and they were not willing to show mercy. He was ambitious man with great ideas into his head ,he was clever and resilient and just like that he unfairly dispossessed from his rank. Such a pity,such a tragedy ! But he would mock that Medici’s son who deprived him of everything, he would put a stain on his reputation and the justice might prevail!
“It is not titles that honor men, but men that honor titles.” He put emphasis on the corruption nature of the politics itself indeed ,but with his “lessons” how to be a good politician he expressed his disgust and repel against it rather anything else.
Since his heart was armed only with the hope of revenge and hatred.
How it is interpreted today?
Awfully wrong! In my opinion ,of course, because of it many historians or philosophers might not look at me with respect.I sincerely apologize!
As a matter of fact many worldwide leaders were genuinely aspired by “The Prince” ,possibly because they had perceived as “an ultimate guide how to concur the world and to be in power FOREVER”. Not surprisingly, among them were J.Stalin,Tacher and Musollini –not anyone loved by the people at all. What they represent –a great dictatorship , evilness and mercilessness. They were not at all Machiavellians ,they were Medici!
Since ,what if Machiavelli gave us an unique portrait of the cruel ruler ,possessing only vices and not a single goodness in his heart?
What if he ,with his cunning smile on one of portraits , said to us “I will give a tool how to conquer the world and an ample excuse why you should not to be good ,but evil?