Niccolo Machiavelli And The Prince

the-prince-west-sideNiccolo Machiavelli (1469-1527) was an Italian author and statesman. He was an important figure during the Renaissance period.

Macchivelli served the Florentine republic as a political servant and later as defense secretary. He implemented a citizen militia to replace the previous system of using mercenary soldiers. He was sent on a number of diplomatic missions for Florence.

The return of the Medicis to power in Florence led to his dismissal.

Machiavelli wrote a number of books, the most famous of which was Il Principe (English translation: The Prince). This book describes how a prince may gain and maintain his power.

The Prince (by Niccolo Machiavelli):

The philosophies and applications to leadership given in this book are timeless truths with application in war, politics, business, and personal endeavors. The scope and complexity of Machiavelli’s ideas are complimented by their basic simplicities. It can lead one to wonder that is today’s leaders took more time to review the ideas laid out almost 500 years ago if the course of modern wars may have been different. Machiavelli’s understanding of the difference between occupying and conquering a foreign land or enemy are sadly over looked in today’s international politics.

“The wish to acquire is in truth very natural and common, and men always do so when they can, but when they cannot do so, yet wish to do so by any means, then there is folly and blame.” Without out making this post about US Foreign Policy I will simply state that the truths of this book are vastly ignored buy those who try to lead today. This book encompasses thousands of years of practical application of leadership all of which has value today.

Niccolo Machiavelli:

Portrait_of_Niccolò_Machiavelli_by_Santi_di_TitoNiccolò di Bernardo dei Machiavelli (3 May 1469 ? 21 June 1527) was an Italian diplomat, political philosopher, musician, poet, and playwright ? an Italian Renaissance Man and a Servant of the Florentine Republic. In June of 1498, after the ouster and execution of Girolamo Savonarola, the Great Council elected Niccolò Machiavelli as Secretary to the second Chancery of the Republic of Florence.

He is most famous for a short work, The Prince, often described as a work of realist political theory, however, both that text and the more substantial republican Discourses on Livy ? and the History of Florence (a Medici family commission) ? were printed only after his death, all published in the early 1530s. In his lifetime (while circulating The Prince among friends), Machiavelli promoted to published, bound book only his dialogue on The Art of War. To wit, political generations, from the sixteenth century onward, remain most attracted and repelled, by the cynical (realist) approach to power exposited in The Prince, the Discourses, and the History. S. Anglo, Machiavelli: the first century (Oxford, 2005) Whatever Machiavelli’s personal intentions (today debated still), his name became synonymous with ruthless politics, deceit, and the pursuit of power by any means.