The Prince

The Prince

THE PRINCE was written by Niccolo' Machiavelli in the 1500s. It has continued to be a best seller in many languages. Presently, it is translated into modern English, with illustrations by Benjamin Martinez and an Introduction by Adolph Cso.The Prince is a classic book that explores the attainment, maintenance, and utilization of political power in the western world. Machia...

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Title:The Prince
Author:Niccolò Machiavelli
Rating:
ISBN:0937832383
Edition Language:English
Format Type:Paperback
Number of Pages:140 pages

The Prince Reviews

  • Stephen
    Aug 20, 2008

    That single statement boys and girls is the

    at the

    resting at the

    of

    world-changing classic on the defining use of

    in governance and foreign policy. Despite popular perception, Machiavelli, whose name has often been used as a synonym for

    , was not arguing that it’s better to be immoral, cruel and evil than to be moral, just and good. Rather, Machiavelli was demonstrating, through reasoned analysis based on

    That single statement boys and girls is the

    at the

    resting at the

    of

    world-changing classic on the defining use of

    in governance and foreign policy. Despite popular perception, Machiavelli, whose name has often been used as a synonym for

    , was not arguing that it’s better to be immoral, cruel and evil than to be moral, just and good. Rather, Machiavelli was demonstrating, through reasoned analysis based on numerous historical examples, that the most effective way to govern a population is through decision-making based on the current situation without muddying up the waters with considerations of morality.

    that's amoral!! Uh...yes, by definition it is.

    However, Machiavelli, in his famous use of end justifying means, supports the rightness of his position by citing numerous examples of “princes” who, in acting "all just and proper like” in relation to their neighbors and subjects, led their people right into the waiting arms of bondage and slaughter at the hands of those who were less vituous in their thinking. Should such murdered and subjugated populations thank the princes for their unwaivering morality? Machiavelli says

    . He argues that the Prince’s #1 priority is to safeguard his holdings and maintain stability within his borders. Allowing other considerations to affect such judgements will only provide an advantage to third parties who will exploit it. In the end, Machiavelli argues, fewer lives will be lost and less suffering incurred by the Prince who can govern EFFECTIVELY.

    Not necessarily warm and fuzzy Sesame Street thinking, but there is some serious power to the reasoning. I wish we lived in a world in which that was not the case. I wish Machiavelli’s insights were not needed and that we lived in a world where loftier morals could carry the day. However, until we do, Machiavelli’s words provide much ringing truth and thought food.

    I don’t want to sound like a book report so let me just summarize briefly how the book is laid out.

    Machiavelli wrote The Prince for Lorenzo de Medici, whose family ruled Florence at the time, as basically a job application. He wanted to get in good with the de Medici family secure a place at their court. The book, while jumping around a bit, can be divided into 3 or 4 sections, the last really being a summarizing “call to arms” to the Italian people that they need a wise prince to lead them back to the greatness of the Roman Empire.

    Discounting the

    at the end, the other 3 sections deal with (1) the kinds of principalities and how they are acquired; (2) the proper organization of the military and the best kind of solider to comprise it; and (3) the internal make up of a princes court (i.e., associates and subordinates).

    is interesting and fun to read, but basically worthless for anything other than historical perspective. Machiavelli discusses territories won be conquest, inheritance or luck and talks about the various characteristics of each. While not exactly "awe-inspiring" in its perception, the narrative itself is interesting and Machiavelli’s “voice” is engaging.

    can be summarized as follows: Mercenaries well and truly

    and should not be used under any circumstances because their suckage will end up squandering your resources and giving squat in return. Therefore, the wise Prince keeps a standing army sufficient to protect the country’s interests.

    is the real meat of the work and contains the bulk of the advice that garnered Niccolo his much deserved reputation for suggesting the propriety of abandoning morality in governance. He speaks of the need of the Prince to be able to deceive and act against the "five" virtues of the righteous man when necessary for the betterment of his state and his people.

    Machiavelli discusses numerous examples of sovereigns who either benefitted from following such advice or, conversely, who suffered calamity for adhering to a sense of virtue.

    Ground-breaking and brilliantly insightful, especially for its time. So much of what Machiavelli says is now an ingrained part of political thinking that it comes across as

    when you read it. However, it was Niccolo who first put forth these concepts that have become the dogma and foundation of modern political thought. He put the “real” in realpolitk. I don’t think the contribution he made to political theory can be overstated. It was

    that called out the distinction between what men “say” and what they “do.” He did not invent political immorality, but he did recognize it as an effective, and at time crucial, aspect of rule. Something the famous rulers of history have always known…and practiced.

    In addition, I was surprised at how much fun the book was to read. Machiavelli includes dozens and dozens of brief vignettes about world history in supporting his ideas and does a great job keeping the reader engaged with colorful descriptions of past events. The book is also chalk-full of wonderful quotes that just jumped out at me as I was reading. Here are a few that I thought were intriguing:

    In addition to post-revolutionary purges and new government administrations, the above has also become a truism for business and is why corporations do “massive layoffs” rather than a series of smaller scale terminations. Gee, thanks Niccolo.

    Ah...just like the Godfather.

    Oh…and lest the above not make it clear, for all his amazing contributions to world-history we should not lose sight of the fact that Machiavelli, for all his astuteness, was a bit of an asshole. While his work is engaging and wonderful reading and I give him full marks for “calling it like it is,” he is still not the kind of guy you want educating your children or providing life lessons. I admire his work, but the man comes across as quite a scummy, conniving douche.

    You know, like a modern politician.

    5.0 Stars. HIGHEST POSSIBLE RECOMMENDATION!!

  • Paul
    Dec 10, 2008

    In this book, Machiavelli makes his purpose clear: how to get power and keep it.

    No happiness. No warm and fuzzy pats on the back. Definitely no hugs. No words of encouragement. Definitely nothing about being nice.

    Being nice, in politics, in war, in struggles for power, often ends with one person winning and the other person being in prison, disgraced, exiled, or dead.

    That was the context in which Machiavelli wrote this book. Italy at the time was a collection of warring states, not united. On

    In this book, Machiavelli makes his purpose clear: how to get power and keep it.

    No happiness. No warm and fuzzy pats on the back. Definitely no hugs. No words of encouragement. Definitely nothing about being nice.

    Being nice, in politics, in war, in struggles for power, often ends with one person winning and the other person being in prison, disgraced, exiled, or dead.

    That was the context in which Machiavelli wrote this book. Italy at the time was a collection of warring states, not united. One power would seize control, and then it would be lost when that ruler died, or, worse, made a horrible mistake.

    Machiavelli did the best thing he could - he took a step back, observed, took notes, and then presented his findings to the person he felt had the most promise at the time.

    I love reading reviews about how the books is so this and that, so diabolical and evil and mean, and yet how so many people divorce it from the context it was written in, as if it was created in a vacuum. Remember, people - in his time, if you were a leader, you had some seriously scary decisions to make, and there was no room for emotion, for warmth, nor for sentimentality.

    Sure, it might sound like a really screwed up and horrible way to live and think, but when you are a leader of a nation beset on all sides by those who would like nothing more than to invade your country, raze it, and then subject your people to being occupied (or worse), you do what you need to do in order to survive. When you are fighting for survival, all ends do justify the means because the goal is survival. Period.

    Machiavelli understood this, and the product was this book. There is a damn good reason why so many people started calling him "the devil." Why the book was put on the Catholic Index of banned books.

    The book makes no promises about being nice or this or that. It delivers on what it promises - how a person can gain and acquire power and keep it, and the sometimes ruthless actions necessary to maintain it and protect one's own self.

  • Alex
    Mar 17, 2010

    I'm weirdly pleased that The Prince lives up to its reputation: it is indeed Machiavellian. Here's his advice on conquering self-governing states (i.e. democracies): "The only way to hold on to such a state is to reduce it to rubble." Well then.

    I'd like to say that any guy whose last name becomes a synonym for evil is a badass, but Machiavelli wasn't; he was a failed minor diplomat who wrote this in a failed attempt to get reemployed. Stupid attempt, too; anyone who hired him would be advertisin

    I'm weirdly pleased that The Prince lives up to its reputation: it is indeed Machiavellian. Here's his advice on conquering self-governing states (i.e. democracies): "The only way to hold on to such a state is to reduce it to rubble." Well then.

    I'd like to say that any guy whose last name becomes a synonym for evil is a badass, but Machiavelli wasn't; he was a failed minor diplomat who wrote this in a failed attempt to get reemployed. Stupid attempt, too; anyone who hired him would be advertising that he espoused Machiavellian values. This book was published, after all. And as he himself advises, "A leader doesn't have to possess virtuous qualities, but it's imperative that he seem to possess them."

    So I'll go with this: anyone whose last name becomes a synonym for evil has written a good book.

    I hope to match that effect with my first novel. Working title: "Unicorns are Pretty."

    So if Machiavelli was such a loser, how did his book get so famous? It's not because it's great advice; it sortof isn't. I think it's because it's just a ton of fun to read. It's chock full of over-the-top quotes like the ones above. It's really

    Which brings up a recurring topic for debate: did he intend for this to be taken seriously, or is it satire? I think it's the former: mixed in with the zany stuff is a fair amount of common-sense advice. He could certainly have included that to make the zany stuff pop more, or to camouflage it a bit, but I prefer to think he meant the whole thing seriously. And it's not like any of it is advice someone hasn't followed at some point. (See my first quote above: yeah, we've tried that.)

    Translation review: this is the very latest translation. Parks has gone to great trouble to reduce the crazy complexity of Machiavelli's sentences - I know this from reading his excellent Translator's Note - and I appreciate that. He's also tried hard to make it accessible to modern audiences, and sometimes I think he's tipped a tiny bit overboard on that front. "When a ruler occupies a land that has a different language...then things get rough." "Difficult" would have been perfectly clear; "rough" is too colloquial. We want to be able to read our classics, but we don't need to pretend they were written yesterday.

    That's a relatively minor complaint, though; this is a clear and easy translation. Good intro, too. And a glossary of proper names at the back, so you can sort out the various contemporary figures you don't recognize.

    I'll close with my favorite quote: "It's better to be impulsive than cautious; fortune is female and if you want to stay on top of her you have to slap and thrust."

    Machiavelli: kindof a dick.

  • Hossam Sadik
    Aug 01, 2010

    لا خلاف علي أن الكتاب صادم للغاية، عبر فيه ميكيافيللي عن أراء وأفكار سياسية تتعارض مع الكثير من المبادئ والأخلاق، نبعت فيه مواقفة من قاعدة هو من أرسى مبادئها "الغاية تبرر الوسيلة"، حيث كل شئ مباح للحكام والأمراء سعياً وراء ما أتفقت عليه رغبات البشر من نجاح وسيطرة وحكم، ففي سبيل ذلك يحق للحاكم أن يكذب وينقض عهده وينافق ويمكر لشعبه وينقلب علي من مد له يد العون وأن يغش ويخدع، ويصبح كل ذلك محمود بل ولا غني عنه للوصول للحكم والنجاح فيه.

    شخصياً،أفترضت خطأ أفكاره بحجة أن حكام أمثال عمر بن الخطاب وعمر بن

    لا خلاف علي أن الكتاب صادم للغاية، عبر فيه ميكيافيللي عن أراء وأفكار سياسية تتعارض مع الكثير من المبادئ والأخلاق، نبعت فيه مواقفة من قاعدة هو من أرسى مبادئها "الغاية تبرر الوسيلة"، حيث كل شئ مباح للحكام والأمراء سعياً وراء ما أتفقت عليه رغبات البشر من نجاح وسيطرة وحكم، ففي سبيل ذلك يحق للحاكم أن يكذب وينقض عهده وينافق ويمكر لشعبه وينقلب علي من مد له يد العون وأن يغش ويخدع، ويصبح كل ذلك محمود بل ولا غني عنه للوصول للحكم والنجاح فيه.

    شخصياً،أفترضت خطأ أفكاره بحجة أن حكام أمثال عمر بن الخطاب وعمر بن عبد العزيز وصلاح الدين الأيوبي وسيف الدين قطز وغيرهم ممن نجحوا نجاح منقطع النظير فى الحكم لم تكن تلك شيمهم ولا مبادئهم، ولكني وجدت اختلاف أساسي مشترك بينهم في دوافعهم أنهم -جميعاً- لم يطمحوا للدنيا، وأهدافهم كانت أسمي من السيطرة والحكم، وهو إثبات أن أراء ميكيافيللي واقعية جداً طالما الهدف دنيوي بحت.

    المدهش في الكتاب أنك بعد قراءته إذا حاولت أن تنظر حولك ستجد أن كل ما قاله ذلك الرجل يحدث بكل تفاصيله في كل بلاد الأرض وبدقة مرعبة، وهو ما يطرح سؤال مهم، هل ميكيافيللي هو من غير شكل العالم بأفكاره وأراءه، أم أنه فقط كان صادق وواقعي في تسجيل الوجه القميئ للسياسة البشرية؟

  • فـــــــدوى
    Aug 12, 2010

    قد ملأت شهرة هذا الكتاب السمع والبصر ...

    حتى باتت قراءته واجبه ...

    نجحت بفضل الله سبحانه اولا ...ثم صديق عزيز في الحصول ع نسخة جديدة عن دار الكرنك محققه بواسطة إيهاب كمال محمد ...

    في البداية لقد استفدت من كلام المحقق أكثر بكثير من الكتاب ذاته ...

    فمقدمه الكتاب غنية جدا ...ولا يمكن الاستيعاض عنها بمحتوى الكتاب ...ثم ان إضافاته في نهاية الكتاب جعلت من الكتاب بحث علمي متكامل عن السياسه قبل وبعد (مكيافيلي ) و العلاقة بين ابن تيميه (المفترى عليه من أتباعه) ومكيافيلي .

    سأضع المنقول من الكتاب بين علامتي تنص

    قد ملأت شهرة هذا الكتاب السمع والبصر ...

    حتى باتت قراءته واجبه ...

    نجحت بفضل الله سبحانه اولا ...ثم صديق عزيز في الحصول ع نسخة جديدة عن دار الكرنك محققه بواسطة إيهاب كمال محمد ...

    في البداية لقد استفدت من كلام المحقق أكثر بكثير من الكتاب ذاته ...

    فمقدمه الكتاب غنية جدا ...ولا يمكن الاستيعاض عنها بمحتوى الكتاب ...ثم ان إضافاته في نهاية الكتاب جعلت من الكتاب بحث علمي متكامل عن السياسه قبل وبعد (مكيافيلي ) و العلاقة بين ابن تيميه (المفترى عليه من أتباعه) ومكيافيلي .

    سأضع المنقول من الكتاب بين علامتي تنصيص "" "" وما لم يوضع بين علامتي التنصيص فهو لي (مسؤوله عنه بالكامل) ....

    مكيافيلي المولود في فلورنسا في القرن الخامس عشر لميلاد المسيح ...والذي أسس مدرسة سميت بمدرسة (فن الخداع والغش)و أرسى قواعد (النظريه النفعيه)...

    والقائل أن ""الغايه تبرر الوسيله "" هو صاحب هذا الكتاب ...الذي شاءت الاقدار ان يولد في مرحله مفصليه في تاريخ فلورنسا فيشهد سقوط الملكيه و اقامة الجمهوريه وعودة الملكية مره أخرى ..الى جانب تقلب شأنه في كل مرحله منها مما دفعه للنظر في احوال الامراء والحكام وأخرج لنا هذا الكتاب الذي يعد دليل الحاكم الذكي للابقاء على عرشه ...إن أراد

    كان من أوائل المبشرين بتفكير سياسي خالص يتجاوز الفكر الديني و السلطة الباباويه السائده في هذا العصر ..

    وكان هو البوابه التي ولج منها جاك روسو ...فولتير ...جون لوك..و منتسيكو ليرسو قواعد الليبراليه وليُعتبر هو ابو التنوريين السياسيين ...

    كتاب الأمير يعد الكتاب الاول في مجاله(حسب كلام المحقق) الذي يجمع بين السوسيولوجيا السياسيه و السيكولوجيا السياسيه ...كعلوم استحدثت بعد ذلك وأصبحت أسس دراسة العلوم السياسيه ...

    واول كتاب يضع تعريف علمي حقيقي للسياسيه ""المعرفه الوصفيه التحليليه والتبصيريه للدولة وللظواهر المتعلقه بها""

    ـــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــ

    بُهِرَ موسوليني بهذا الكاتب وقدم عنه أطروحته للدكتوراه وركز فيها على ...

    1-فهم مكيافيلي لطبيعة البشر

    2-موقفه من الملكيه

    3-علاقة الفكر بالقوة والطبيعة الانسانيه

    ــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــ

    رُبما الدارس او القارئ لمكيافيلي يلاحظ قدرته الاستشرافيه العظيمة وفهمه الرهيب لطبيعة النفس البشريه ولكن يؤخذ عليه إنه لا يأخذ في الحسبان المشاعر النبيله المتوطنه في قلوب البشر ولا يتوقع الخير أبداً ...من بشري !

    ــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــــ

    يقع كتاب الامير في ثمان فصول ...

    اولهم يتحدث عن الحكومات وانواعها : وكما يبدو من العنوان فقد لخص انواع الحكومات في جمهوريه وملكيه وقسم الملكيه ل وراثيه و حديثة النشأة ...ثم عاد وقسم حديثة النشأة لجديدة بالكامل و اخرى أضيفت الى أمارة ...

    وسيسير باقي الكتاب حسب تلك التقسيمه في ثلاث خطوط متوازيه (كيف تغدو أميراً,كيف تحافظ على أمارتك من الاعداء الخارجيين,كيف تحافظ على عرشك)

    فيرى مكيافيلي انك إذا كنت أميراً من هؤلاء الذين وثبوا ع العروش حديثا بفعل ثورة شعبيه فعليك ان تدرك ان بلد كهذه من الصعوبة بمكان أحتلالها ...كما ان خلعك عن عرشك يسير لأن الشعب ذو رأي وبأس ...ولكن إذا راقك الاحتفاظ بالعرش فعليك ان تكسب حب الناس ...او ان تجعلهم يهابوك ...

    ""الناس في عمومهم يحبون تبعا لأهوائهم و إرادتهم و يخافون وفقا لأهواء الاخريين ...والامير العاقل اللبيب هو الذي يعتمد على ما يقع تحت سلطانه لا تحت سلطان الآخريين وسطوتهم وكل ما يملكه ان يتحاشى و يتجنب كراهية رعاياه له وبغضهم لشخصه""

    أما إذا كنت أمير على دولة مُحتله (قمت انت ومن معك بأحتلالها) فهناك عدة سينريوهات ..أما ان تكون قد قمت باحتلال البلده بعد ان كره الشعب حاكمه وهنا يمكنك أرساء قواعد ملكك ويمكنك ان تولي الاقليات من اهل هذه الدولة زمام الامور.

    او تكون قمت باحتلالها بمساعدة أكابرها ...الحصول على دولة كهذه سهل لكن السيطرة عليها صعب للغايه لأن القوة ممزقه بين جهات عدة عليك ارضاءها جميعا ...هنا عليك ان تقييم في هذه الدولة ليستتب لك الامر ...

    ويرى مكيافيلي ان أكبر ضمان للحيلولة دون احتلال بلد ما هو اعطاء اهلها هامش من الحريه ...فأن الشعوب الحره تهب للدفاع عن حريتها وتزداد المعركة ضراوة كلما زاد هامش الحريه ...بينما تحتاج الشعوب الخانعه لوقت طويل حتى تكافح وجود المحتل .

    وهنا يعطي مكيافيلي نصيحه عظيمه لأي مُحتل ...""عليك ان ترتكب فظائع مرة واحده ثم يتوقف ليبعث الطمأنينه في نفوس الشعب "" بمعنى ان البطش شديد وجماعي ولمرة واحده حتى لا يفقد هيبته ورهبته في النفوس بينما النفع والرخاء بالقطاره...حتى يزيد من امتنان الرعيه له .

    في رأي مكيافيلي ان بعض الحكام ورث السلطة لكن اولئك الذين حصلوا عليها دون ان يجري في عروقهم دم ملكي يتمتعون قطعا بمواهب عظيمه و ظروف أذكت قدراتهم الى جانب المكر والخسه أحيانا ...!

    يلاحظ في فكر ميكافيلي تبنيه للسيادة و السلطة المطلقة ...

    قد لايكون الكتاب هو الافضل ...لكن قراءته واجبه كتراث فكري

  • Petra Eggs
    Sep 15, 2011

    How to run things and hopefully remain popular but not give a monkey's if they hate you. How to instil enough fear in people that they at least show respect to your face.

    Plenty of good lessons here for a politician, but adaptable by anyone if you don't mind being thought evil by your nearest and dearest. And I don't.

  • Florencia
    Jun 23, 2013

    This is no

    , that's for sure. You must kill the fox, burn the rose, murder the businessman, if any of them tries to take control over your princedom. There is no time to be nice! There is only time to seem to be nice. At the end of the day, it is better to be feared than loved, if you can't be both. But, keep in mind chapter 23.

    The Prince was written in the 16th century, and some of its ideas are too contemporary. It is a major treatise that influenced political leaders, through his

    This is no

    , that's for sure. You must kill the fox, burn the rose, murder the businessman, if any of them tries to take control over your princedom. There is no time to be nice! There is only time to seem to be nice. At the end of the day, it is better to be feared than loved, if you can't be both. But, keep in mind chapter 23.

    The Prince was written in the 16th century, and some of its ideas are too contemporary. It is a major treatise that influenced political leaders, through history. Machiavelli is widely regarded as the father of modern politics, by taking away any trace of theology and morality from his works. (That is something no one has ever said before.) I should have read it long ago, but everything has its time, I guess.

    So, there are a lot of concepts that should stay in the book. A few you can apply in ordinary circumstances. But, it delivers what you are waiting for, if you want to know how to have and keep power to yourself, no matter the head you are crushing, and all that with a straight-forward prose. It is short, easy to understand, even though the concept of achieving glory, power and survival, no matter how immoral you have to be..., it is not tough to get; THAT we get.

    All that cruelty, wickedness, immorality; all those things apparently needed to achieve greatness, printed long ago in the form of a little book, just like that... From a twisted point of view, sometimes, it is almost a bit funny.

    It was an excellent read.

    Lovely.

    * Also on

  • Henry Avila
    Dec 04, 2016

    Italy in the early 1500's was a sad, dispirited land of constant wars, deaths, destructions, political betrayals, schemes of conquest by greedy aristocrats, trying to enlarge their petty Italian states, invasion by ruthless, foreign troops, from France, Spain, the Swiss, rulers being overthrown and killed, armies continuously marching, towns sacked, fires blazing, black smoke poring into the sky , mercenary soldiers, slaughtering the innocent, pestilence spreading, only the wise, the strong and

    Italy in the early 1500's was a sad, dispirited land of constant wars, deaths, destructions, political betrayals, schemes of conquest by greedy aristocrats, trying to enlarge their petty Italian states, invasion by ruthless, foreign troops, from France, Spain, the Swiss, rulers being overthrown and killed, armies continuously marching, towns sacked, fires blazing, black smoke poring into the sky , mercenary soldiers, slaughtering the innocent, pestilence spreading, only the wise, the strong and the lucky could abide...Niccolo Machiavelli, during the Renaissance, was a successful politician , and astute diplomat , from volatile Florence, until losing power and influence there...exiled, living seven miles from his native city, bored, he had plenty of time to think, write letters to friends, the nobles and books... and knowing how treacherous men are. His most famous book, The Prince, based on the cunning Cesar Borgia, the illegitimate son of Pope Alexander VI, no silly words about the nobility of rulers, ( a brief history, the recent bloodbaths, cities and men making bad decisions, philosophical discussions, how a Prince can remain in charge, at whatever cost) should act for the good of the people, but the real facts ..."Men are wretched creatures"... "It is better to be feared than loved,"..."Never attempt to win by force what can be won by deception "...stated the experienced Machiavelli, he knew the hearts of the Princes. Having seen Cesar Borgia and talked at length with him, became an admirer, ( well aware of all his evil, the butchering, and deceit, it can be forgiven in these times ) ...this man could bring peace to his native country, by conquest... chase out the foul, foreign soldiers, unite Italy again, make her a mighty force ...But dreams are only dreams, somethings are not quite possible...."Men are simple", yet events can't be predicted..The Prince, still widely read, and quite important book on the ways of the world, told by a man who was involved during that turbulent era...While Cesar Borgia, The Prince, is greatly sanitized, into a better person, than he really was, this writer wanted to give the Italian reader hope, for a better, more prosperous future...in a land that he loved, the suffering and chaos must end... 500 years after this brilliant, but controversial little book was published, aspects of its contents will be recognized by modern audiences, a new adjective made, machiavellian ...to deceive people , by clever methods, to gain power... nations rise and fall, the maps change, but men's avarice, do not...

  • Foad
    Sep 11, 2015

    به کسایی که به تحلیل سیاسی علاقه دارن.

    و خصوصاً به کسایی که آرمانگرا هستن یا تصور ساده ای از عرصه ی سیاست دارن و از پیچیدگی ها و غموضش بی اطلاعن.

    نیکولو ماکیاولی (١٤٦٩-١٥٢٧)، از بزرگ ترین اندیشمندان سیاسی اواخر قرون وسطا و اوایل رنسانس، به خاطر سه نظریه ش معروفه:

    به کسایی که به تحلیل سیاسی علاقه دارن.

    و خصوصاً به کسایی که آرمانگرا هستن یا تصور ساده ای از عرصه ی سیاست دارن و از پیچیدگی ها و غموضش بی اطلاعن.

    نیکولو ماکیاولی (١٤٦٩-١٥٢٧)، از بزرگ ترین اندیشمندان سیاسی اواخر قرون وسطا و اوایل رنسانس، به خاطر سه نظریه ش معروفه:

    با همین سه مقدمه، میشه حدس زد که با چه کتاب هیجان انگیزی رو به رو هستیم. کتاب شهریار، مهم ترین کتاب این نویسنده است که توی اون دستورهای لازم برای رسیدن به حکومت و اداره ی اون رو تعلیم میده.

    کتاب از دو دسته دستورات و تعالیم تشکیل شده:

    ملاک نیکی و بدی چیه؟ آیا همه جا باید به آن چه از نظر مردم خوبه عمل کرد؟

    چند فصل از نیمه ی دوم کتاب به این سؤال ها و سؤال های مشابه اخلاقی اختصاص داره.

    و در نهایت، با لحنی طنزآلود حکم قطعی رو صادر میکنه:

    در این بخش، بحث این نیست که چی خوبه و چی بده، بحثه اینه که چطور باید شهر رو در محاصره حفظ کرد، چطور باید در مناسبات سیاسی رفتار کرد، چطور باید قشون را اداره کرد، چطور باید احساسات مردم را مدیریت کرد، یعنی بحث دستورالعمل های حکومت داری.

    در این بخش جزئیات و ظرافت هایی رو در امر حکومت تبیین می کنه که میشه حدس زد که رعایت شون یک شهریار حقیقی رو به جنون می کشه.

    موقع خوندن کتاب، به تناوب یاد دو کتاب بزرگ دیگه می افتادم که با همین دید ماکیاولیستی واقع بینانه و عمل گرایانه به مسائلی مشابه می پرداختن و همین قدر برام لذت بخش بود خوندنشون.

    یکی کتاب

    از سون تزو فرمانده چینی که شرح اداره ی لشگره.

    دیگری

    از کیکاوس بن اسکندر، پادشاه زیاری که شرح امور مختلف زندگی از جمله اداره ی حکومته.

    یکی از این سه کتاب (هنر رزم) رو دارم و دو تای دیگه رو حتماً باید بخرم و علی الدوام بهشون رجوع کنم.

  • Sidharth Vardhan
    Aug 04, 2016

    I don't know how come I never reviewed this one but recently I was visiting this friend of mine in south India, Pramod (yes, the one from goodreads), when he showed me this not-so-popular smaller piece, allegedly written by the author in his last days, 'Le Gente' and never published - for common people about how they can succeed in social life using diplomacy.

    There were only twenty copies of same written in 19th century, of which Pramod's was one. Since he is a sort of book-worshipper, he won't

    I don't know how come I never reviewed this one but recently I was visiting this friend of mine in south India, Pramod (yes, the one from goodreads), when he showed me this not-so-popular smaller piece, allegedly written by the author in his last days, 'Le Gente' and never published - for common people about how they can succeed in social life using diplomacy.

    There were only twenty copies of same written in 19th century, of which Pramod's was one. Since he is a sort of book-worshipper, he won't let me touch it. Needless to say, I stole it before starting on my return journey.

    If he finds about this review, he might unfriend me and sue me for theft - so this review won't be here too long. Anyway, in case of a legal action, I can always take sheltar in points 14, 16 and 17 below.

    ...Ever since my return, I have been made to understand that critics believe these copies to be forgeries, none of these copies completely agree amongst themselves. Moreover, the writing style and some of the words used, suggest a later day authorship.

    That being said, I think mine (or Pramod's) made some good points, although they weren't all so original. It will seem them that past and present owners of these copies have been quoting them without mentioning their source.

    Since document is medieval and vague, I have been able to translate it only partially. Google translator helps only so much. Here are a few tips I found (I will add more, whenever I’m able to decipher the rest of it):

    1. Honesty might win you friends, but not the powerful ones. (The later will be you enemies.)

    2. If you delay it to the last moment and pretend to be anxious, one of your friends will come in and want to help you finish the project. Best way to half your work load.

    3. Tell them an obvious lie to begin with. This will make them think that you are a bad lier and they will be inclined to believe in your more-cleverly told lies.

    4. If you hate doing something - do it wrong the first time, they won't ask you to do it again.

    5. Honesty is a terrible policy, that is, unless you put it on auction,

    or,

    Character doesn't buy food - not unless you get a good price for it.

    6. Always

    to be extremely religious. It creates a halo effect and makes people invest in you, virtues you don't have. Also, if you are lucky, call it ‘Karma’, If you are unlucky, call it ‘God’s mysterious ways’. Always say 'God willing' whenever you make a promise - the best way to shrug off responsibility if you don't want to honor your promise.

    7. A clever person always appreciates polite friends. They will let you walk all over them and take credit of their hard-work. Nothing like them.

    8. Never be on time. Let them wait for you.

    9. Lying shows lack of art. The cleverness lies in telling people selective truth. Still if you have to lie, do. Scientists say there are alternative worlds in which almost everything is truth. So, technically you can’t tell a lie. And you can’t be accused if people

    that you are speaking only of this world.

    10. Any show of your real sentiments is weakness. The ability to show the sentiments that people want to see, even if you don’t have them, on the other hand, is a strength.

    11. Never ever let the underdogs fool you into kindness.

    12. Always have someone handy to blame* your failure upon.

    13. Be quiet, and they will think of you as very wise. Be too talkative, and they will think of you as fools. A clever disguise both ways.

    14. If they can’t prove it, you can’t be wrong.

    15. If you say it repeatedly and are loud enough, it will become a truth.

    16. The only crime is being caught. Criminals have got away with almost everything when they weren’t caught. So, make sure you are never get caught at anything. A clever person reads a law saying ‘Theft is punishable by law’ as ‘Being caught and proved a thief is punishable by law.’

    17. At the end of the day, most advocates belong to Devil. And if you happen to come across a righteous one, Devil also happens to have most of the judges. However looking for a legal loophole before you leap is still more beneficial economically.

    18. If you owe a bank five thousand dollars, the bank owns you. If you owe a bank five million dollars, you own the bank.

    19. Gangsters and soldiers are boys. Managers, Lawyers, priests and politicians are women.

    20. Nothing helps in creating money like an unhealthy conscience.

    21. There are four kinds of people (the order is such that ones lower in the order have a better chance at being successful);

    - those who are good, and are seen by others as good,

    - those who are good but are seen by others as wicked.

    - those who are and are seen by others as wicked,

    - those who are wicked but are seen by others as good (thank you!).

    * erroneously written in original italian as 'lo borgeso' instead of 'lo biasimo'.