Niccolò Machiavelli, formally Niccolò di Bernardo dei Machiavelli

Niccolò
Machiavelli, formally Niccolò di Bernardo dei Machiavelli
1469
1527

Italian Florentine Statesman, Political Philosopher, Historian, Humanist and Writer

Author Quotes

Wars begin when you will, but they do not end when you please.

You must know there are two ways of contesting, the one by the law, the other by force; the first method is proper to men, the second to beasts; but because the first is frequently not sufficient, it is necessary to have recourse to the second.

Then also pretexts for seizing property are never wanting, and one who begins to live by rapine will always find some reason for taking the goods of others, whereas causes for taking life are rarer and more quickly destroyed.

Those modes of defense are alone good, certain and lasting, which depend upon yourself and your own worth.

We cannot attribute to fortune or virtue that which is achieved without either.

You ought never to suffer your designs to be crossed in order to avoid war, since war is not so to be avoided, but is only deferred to your disadvantage.

There are many who think a wise prince ought, when he has the chance, to foment astutely some enmity, so that by suppressing it he will augment his greatness.

Those who by valorous ways become princes, like these men ['Moses, Cyrus, Romulus, Theseus, and such like'], acquire a principality with difficulty, but they keep it with ease. The difficulties they have in acquiring it rise in part from the new rules and methods which they are forced to introduce to establish their government and its security. And it ought to be remembered that there is nothing more difficult to take in hand, more perilous to conduct, or more uncertain in its success, then to take the lead in the introduction of a new order of things. Because the innovator has for enemies all those who have done well under the old conditions and lukewarm defenders in those who may do well under the new. This coolness arises partly from fear of the opponents, who have the laws on their side, and partly from the incredulity of men, who do not readily believe in new things until they have had a long experience of them. Thus it happens that whenever those who are hostile have the opportunity to attack they do it like partisans, whilst the others defend lukewarmly, in such wise that the prince is endangered along with them.

We knew the extent to which lavished praise prince who saves his reign and live a straight life without guile. But the experiences of our time indicate that those princes who have achieved great works are not classifies Testament only slightly. They are able to affect the mind with its cunning. As they were able to overcome the Alomanah made ??of guiding them

In general, men judge more by the eyes than by intelligence, as everyone can see, but few understand what they see.

It is necessary for a prince wishing to hold his own to know how to do wrong, and to make use of it or not according to necessity.

Machiavelli fought for unity, not morality.

Men must either be caressed or else destroyed.

Nevertheless, he must be cautious in believing and acting, and must not inspire fear of his own accord, and must proceed in a temperate manner with prudence and humanity, so that too much confidence does not render him incautious, and too much diffidence does not render him intolerant. From this arises the question whether it is better to be loved more than feared, or feared more than loved.

One of the best and most efficacious methods for dealing with such a State is for the Prince who acquires it to go and dwell there in person, since this will tend to make his tenure more secure and lasting.

Since love and fear can hardly exist together, if we must choose between them, it is far safer to be feared than loved

The end of the republic is to enervate and to weaken all other bodies so as to increase its own body.

The Prince who establishes himself in a Province whose laws and language differ from those of his own people, ought also to make himself the head and protector of his feebler neighbors, and endeavor to weaken the stronger, and must see that by no accident shall any other stranger as powerful as himself find an entrance there. For it will always happen that some such person will be called in by those of the Province who are discontented either through ambition or fear; as we see of old the Romans brought into Greece by the Aetolians, and in every other country that they entered, invited there by its inhabitants. And the usual course of things is that so soon as a formidable stranger enters a Province, all the weaker powers side with him, moved thereto by the ill-will they bear towards him who has hitherto kept them in subjection. So that in respect of these lesser powers, no trouble is needed to gain them over, for at once, together, and of their own accord, they throw in their lot with the government of the stranger. The new Prince, therefore, has only to see that they do not increase too much in strength, and with his own forces, aided by their good will, can easily subdue any who are powerful, so as to remain supreme in the Province. He who does not manage this matter well, will soon lose whatever he has gained, and while he retains it will find in it endless troubles and annoyances.

In judging policies we should consider the results that have been achieved through them rather than the means by which they have been executed.

It is necessary for him who lays out a state and arranges laws for it to presuppose that all men are evil and that they are always going to act according to the wickedness of their spirits whenever they have free scope.

Man are so simple and yield so readily to the desires of the moment that he who will trick will always find another who will suffer himself to be tricked.

Men ought either to be indulged or utterly destroyed, for if you merely offend them they take vengeance, but if you injure them greatly they are unable to retaliate, so that the injury done to a man ought to be such that vengeance cannot be feared.

Nevertheless, that our freewill may not be altogether extinguished, I think it may be true that fortune is he ruler of half our actions, but that she allows the other half or a little less to be governed by us.

One ought perhaps not to count Moses, as he was a mere executor of the will of God; he must nevertheless be admired, if only for the grace that made him worthy of speaking to God.

So in all human affairs one notices, if one examines them closely, that it is impossible to remove one inconvenience without another emerging.

Author Picture
First Name
Niccolò
Last Name
Machiavelli, formally Niccolò di Bernardo dei Machiavelli
Birth Date
1469
Death Date
1527
Bio

Italian Florentine Statesman, Political Philosopher, Historian, Humanist and Writer