– political unity is justified by any means
– student of ancient Rome
– admired virtu (heroic acts by Roman Rulers)
– his understanding of their acts was exaggerated (opinion)
– Italy was under pressure from German, French, Spanish armies
– Ideals were in the way of defending Italy
– Unscrupulous strongmen & terror would defend the state
– Wrote The Prince (a satire?)
– Advised fraud & brutality to strengthen Medici Family
He who establishes a tyranny and does not kill Brutus, and he who establishes a democratic regime and does not kill the sons of Brutus, will not last long.
Whoever desires to found a state and give it laws, must start with assuming that all men are bad and ever ready to display their vicious nature, whenever they may find occasion for it.
There are three classes of intellects: one which comprehends by itself; another which appreciates what others comprehend; and a third which neither comprehends by itself nor by the showing of others; the first is the most excellent, the second is good, the third is useless.
A prince being thus obliged to know well how to act as a beast must imitate the fox and the lion, for the lion cannot protect himself from traps, and the fox cannot defend himself from wolves. One must therefore be a fox to recognize traps, and a lion to frighten wolves.
Since love and fear can hardly exist together, if we must choose between them, it is far safer to be feared than loved.