Niccolo Machiavelli: History, Power, and Virtue. (Value by Leonidas Donskis

By Leonidas Donskis

This quantity is an try to reconsider Niccolò Machiavelli, probably the most difficult political thinkers within the background of ecu political proposal. In 2013, we'll mark 500 years seeing that Machiavelli wrote his complicated letter to Lorenzo de' Medici, Il Principe. This publication is an activity to hide essentially the most complicated elements of Machiavelli's existence and paintings.

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Example text

Luther’s short remark, taken out from its original context, is sometimes quoted when one is going to act in a somehow not quite correct manner, violating fundamental religious rsp. moral principles, but seemingly unavoidable: Be brave in your actions and don’t hesitate, do what must be done, even when it LVVLQIXO+XPDQVWKDWZHDUHZHFDQQRWDOZD\VNHHSRXUKDQGVFOHDQ$WWKH VDPHWLPHEHIDLWKIXODQG¿UPLQ\RXUEHOLHIDQG¿QDOO\\RXZLOOEHVDYHGDQG get the eternal life. Not every theologician agrees with this interpretation; some take it as deep religious wisdom, others for terrible heresy (see e.

In both cases there is an extremely FUXHO EHJLQQLQJ LQ ZKLFK WKH FRUUHVSRQGLQJ ³KHURHV´ YLRODWH ZLGHO\ VKDUHG QRUPV RI WKH ³KXPDQ UDFH´ ,W KDV EHHQ DUJXHG WKDW 0DFKLDYHOOL¶V FKRLFH RI Cesare Borgia, also called the Duke, to become the hero of The Prince was a JUDYHHUURUIURPWKHVWDQGSRLQWRIKLVODWHUUHSXWDWLRQDV³&HVDUHKDGFRPPLWted crimes on his way to power, and it might be added that he had committed RWKHUFULPHVWRR´ *DXVVSI It seems that Machiavelli anticipated such a critique, and consequently 5HYLHZLQJWKXVDOOWKHDFWLRQVRIWKH'XNH,¿QGQRWKLQJWREODPHRQWKH contrary I feel bound, as I have done, to hold him up as an example to be imitated by all who by fortune and with the arms of others have risen to power.

What is a sin, a peccatum, is called a sin in every context – and unfortunately must be done often enough in this world. So if you can’t avoid sin, don’t have too many scruples, don’t hesitate, commit the inevitable sins without delay: sin bravely and don’t try to hide behind semantic tricks from the fact that you sinned. In the same mood Machiavelli writes: And you have to understand this, that a prince, especially a new one, cannot observe all those things for which men are esteemed, being often forced, in RUGHUWRPDLQWDLQWKHVWDWHWRDFWFRQWUDU\WR¿GHOLW\IULHQGVKLSKXPDQ- 26 HUBERT SCHLEICHERT ity, and religion.

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