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Machiavelli regnes for å være en grunnleggende maktpolitiker som levde i Italia på begynnelsen av 1500-tallet.
Han skrev boka 'Fyrsten', som ble brukt av politikere og statsledere helt fram til vår tid for å legitimere bruk av makt og vold.
Kort sagt kan man si at uttrykket 'hensikten helliger middelet' passer godt på boken.

Her er et utdrag om 'Fyrsten' fra Wikipedia:

"Machiavellis hensikter med Fyrsten var dobbel. På overflaten og tilsynelatende var det et verk i fyrstespeilers tradisjon, for å forklare hvordan en leder kan gjenopprette en tilstand av sivilisert orden gjennom bruk av alle nødvendige midler. Han skriver at fysisk vold er all makts opphav, og at alle statsgrunnleggere bare har ett middel, nemlig vold. Uttrykket om at målet helliger midlene kan belyses fra debatten omkring Fyrsten. Grunnen til at det er slik, mener boken, er fordi menneskenaturen er korrumpert og i elendig forfatning, og at samfunnet trenger en sterk leder for å skape orden. Men for at en fyrste, eller makthaver skal kunne utøve legitim vold, er det en forutsetning at denne utøves i statens interesser, aldri personlig interesse. Machiavelli skiller således skarpt mellom den personlige moral, som må være upåklagelig, og den offentlige moral hvor handlingene er legitime når de tjener statens, eller fellesskapets interesser. Boken ble skrevet som en praktisk veiledning for herskere, spesielt tilegnet Lorenzo de'Medici, fyrsten av Firenze, og bærer preg av å være en analyse av politiske prosesser. Machiavelli sier at han har som mål å diskutere tingene slik de virkelig er, og ikke nøye seg med å diskutere idealer. Han mener det ikke børe være noen sammenheng mellom politikk og etiske prinsipper. Dette gjør at han regnes som realpolitikkens far."

Kilde: Wikipedia

Nedenfor finner du diverse sitater fra Machiavelli hentet fra nettet:

"A prudent ruler cannot, and must not, honour his word when it places him at a disadvantage and when the reasons for which he made his promise no longer exist. And if men were all good, this rule would not be good; but since men are a sorry lot and will not keep their promises to you, you likewise need not keep yours to them. But one must know how to colour one's actions and to be a great liar and deceiver."

"One can generally say this about men: that they are ungrateful, fickle, simulators and deceivers, avoiders of danger, greedy for gain; and while you work for their good they are completely yours, offering you their blood, their property, their lives, and their sons when danger is far away; but when it comes nearer to you, they turn away."

"When neither their property nor their honor is touched, the majority of men live content."

"Whoever desires to found a state and give it laws, must start by assuming that all men are bad and ever ready to display their vicious nature. Men act right only upon compulsion."

"A wise prince must devise ways by which his citizens are always and in all circumstances dependent on him and on his authority; and then they will always be faithful to him."

"A prince never lacks legitimate reasons to break his promise."

"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."

"The people resemble a wild beast, which, naturally fierce and accustomed to live in the woods, has been brought up, as it were, in a prison and in servitude, and having by accident got its liberty, not being accustomed to search for its food, and not knowing where to conceal itself, easily becomes the prey of the first who seeks to incarcerate it again."

"A prince should therefore have no other aim or thought, nor take up any other thing for his study, but war and its organization and discipline, for that is the only art that is necessary to one who commands."

"...on whether it is better to be loved, rather than might perhaps be answered that we should strive to be both; but since love and fear can hardly exist together, if we must choose between them, it is far safer to be feared than loved. Men are more likely to offend or do harm to someone they have cause to love, than someone they have cause to fear because love is held together by a chain of obligation which, since men are a sorry lot, is broken on every occasion in which their own self-interest is concerned; but fear is held together by a dread of punishment, which will never abandon you."

"The chief foundations of all states, new as well as old or composite, are good laws and good arms; and as there cannot be good laws where the state is not well armed, it follows that where they are well armed they have good laws."

"Ambition is so powerful a passion in the human breast, that however high we reach we are never satisfied."

"Of mankind we may say in general they are fickle, hypocritical, and greedy of gain."

"There are three kinds of intelligence: one kind understands things for itself, the other appreciates what others can understand, the third understands neither for itself nor through others. This first kind is excellent, the second good, and the third kind useless."

"Whosoever desires constant success must change his conduct with the times."

"A prince must not worry about the reproach of cruelty when it is a matter of keeping his subject united and loyal; for with a very few examples of cruelty he will be more compassionate than those who, out of excessive mercy, permit disorders to continue..."

"I strongly believe that it is better to be bold rather than cautious; because Fortune is a woman, and it is necessary, in order to keep her down, to beat her and to struggle with her. Experience shows that she is more often subdued by men who do this than by those who act coldly; and then, being a woman, she favors young men, because they are less cautious, more aggressive, and they command her with more audacity."

"A prudent man should always follow in the footsteps of great men and imitate those who have been outstanding. If his own prowess fails to compare with theirs, at least it has an air of greatness about it."

Det er mye å finne om Machiavelli på YouTube. Her er en dokumentar på nesten 50 minutter:

"Machiavelli • The Prince • The Common Sense of Politics"

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