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Political Thinking – POL 161 Erik Rankin Machiavelli 34-53.

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Presentation on theme: "Political Thinking – POL 161 Erik Rankin Machiavelli 34-53."— Presentation transcript:

1 Political Thinking – POL 161 Erik Rankin Machiavelli 34-53

2 Machiavelli – Book VIII Other than fortune and prowess a man can come to power by the use of criminal acts They attain power by killing citizens & betraying friends Princes who commit these acts find power, but never glory –Here we see a condemnation of “evil power” –Does this seem odd given Machiavelli’s reputation? Machiavelli goes on to give the examples of King Agathocles of Syracuse –Rose to power through crime –Was a common citizen who rose through the ranks of the military –Called a meeting with the Senate and ordered his men to kill the Senate and he took power

3 Machiavelli – Book VIII Agathocles’ Lack of Virtue –Rose to power via military –Used those ties to make a deal with Hamilcar of Carthage, effectively using Hamilcar’s troops –Invites all of the senate together for a meeting and promptly slaughters them –The Carthaginians attempted to take power for themselves, only to be attacked by Agathocles’ forces, they fled with Agathocles in control of Syracuse –Odd passage on pg. 60 –Why is this passage odd?

4 Machiavelli – Book VIII How is Borgia different from Agathocles? Story of Borgia and d’Orco –How did Borgia come to power? –Hires d’Orco to govern the Romagna, and was told to use whatever cruelty was necessary –After d’Orco achieved what Borgia wanted he returned and appeared angry with d’Orco –He punished him by cutting him to pieces (literally) in the public square for all to see –The people were both obedient and grateful to Borgia, and then set up courts to handle disputes Now I ask what is the difference?

5 Machiavelli – Book VIII The answer is the way Borgia carried out his cruelties –He did not do them himself –Convinced the people he was unaware of d’Orco Thus, pacification without liabilities If he had done these things himself, he would have been hated by the people It is wise to be feared, but NOT hated Hated means plots, which mean more time money and stress to defend ones self against your own people Simply, not in the Princes best interest to have a reputation for being arbitrarily cruel and immoral

6 Machiavelli – Book VIII Machiavelli tempers his criticism of Agathocles because he did not sustain his cruelty But he never praises Agathocles, because he does not think his cruelty was accomplished with finesse Finesse is HUGE for Machiavelli Allows the Prince to achieve more with less expended in terms of money, skill, and less risk Chapter 18 will tie all of this up –“You should seem to be compassionate, trustworthy, sympathetic, honest, religious, and indeed, be all these things; but at the same time you should be constantly prepared, so that, if these become liabilities, you are trained and ready to become their opposites”

7 Machiavelli – Book IX Prince can also come to power through his fellow citizens – Constitutional Principality Every city is comprised of 2 groups: commons and nobles Common people want to avoid being dominated and oppressed by nobles Nobles naturally want to dominate and oppress commoners – seems like we have an issue! The opposition between the two is where we end up with a principality, a free state or anarchy

8 Machiavelli – Book IX Principality –Power to form is with either nobles or commoners –If either side can’t get what they want they will try to establish one of their own as the Prince –A noble Prince will have troubled if he is not supported by the people, however a Prince created by the people is supreme –Nobles will become dependent on the Prince or independent of his control –Princes must watch Nobles, they can become enemies –Prince’s must retain the peoples friendship, Benevolence is the best way to command the people

9 Machiavelli – Book X Armies should be maintained in terms of size to that of any aggressor Must also put a priority on maintaining defenses and fortifications These defenses will provide security and a valid deterrent to all enemies Idea that that if a fortified city is attacked the people seeing their city in flames will cause the people to turn on the Prince A Prince that has made proper preparations defensively will actually inspire subjects to fight Prince must inspire patriotism & enthusiasm by convincing subjects that hardships are only temporary After the battle the people will love the Prince even more!

10 Machiavelli – Book XI Ecclesiastical Principalities are those regions controlled by the Catholic Church Taking control of these principalities is difficult, one must have good fortune or prowess Prince does not even need to rule in this type of principality because it is the religion that is the ruler The states are always secure and happy, and they need not be defended These principalities are “sustained by higher powers which the human mind cannot comprehend” Do you get the feeling that Machiavelli respects the church?

11 Machiavelli – Book XI Machiavelli goes on to describe how the church has recently come to power –Power was once split up by the city-states and the papacy –Power was quite weak then –Pope Alexander VI (with the help of his son, Cesare Borgia) and Julius II greatly strengthened the church by using force –Machiavelli felt that the new Pope, Leo X needed to maintain the empire through goodness and virtue, the arms work had already been done

12 Machiavelli – Book XII Two foundations of a strong state are: –Strong laws and strong armies Good laws w/o good armies are impossible & a good army shows that there are strong laws 3 types of armies for Machiavelli –Prince’s own troops –Mercenaries –Auxiliary Mercenary & Auxiliary troops are “useless and dangerous”

13 Machiavelli – Book XII Mercenaries are “disunited, undisciplined, ambitious, and faithless” All they care about is making money and this impacts their morale and effectiveness Mercenary commanders are either skilled or not skilled –The unskilled ones are worthless –The skilled ones cannot be trusted The Prince should command his own army Machiavelli blames the reliance on mercenary armies as the reason for the degrade in Italy’s political and military might

14 Journal Entry When Machiavelli describes the city, who does it exist for, the ruler or the populace? Do you feel there is a difference between King Agathocles and Cesare Borgia in terms of cruelty? Do you feel that cruelty is a useful tool in today's society?

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