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  1. alaskadoggie
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    3 von 3 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
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    ONE OF THE TEN BEST EVER WRITTEN, 29. Dezember 2004
    Von 
    alaskadoggie (Boom (near Antwerp), BELGIUM) – Alle meine Rezensionen ansehen

    Rezension bezieht sich auf: The Prince (Penguin Great Ideas) (Taschenbuch)
    Here are some BASIC, UTMOST IMPORTANT and UNIVERSAL REMARKS for those that start reading Niccolò Machiavelli, be it ‚Il Principe‘ or his ‚Discorsi sopra la prima deca di Tito Livio‘, better known as ‚The Discourses‘, giving a very original political comment on the the first ten books of Titus Livius.
    * Machiavelli’s ideas are NOT a close-fitting nor a rounded down system: who thinks elsehow will get into everlasting problems;
    * The ‚Secretarius Florentinus‘ is NOT a SYSTEMATIC philosopher in the scholastic sense of the word: he DOESN’T WORRY whether the question or idea he describes is IN CONCORDANCE with notions or opinions written down elsewhere. Therefore lots of statements can but difficultly be brought in accordance to the former AND can even bring CRITICISM INTO TROUBLE. This is of far lesser importance while these incongruities are merely touching the general points of departure of his work, instead of the distinct parts of his arguments. You can notice this through his LOGIC (as strong as iron!!) and an IRREFUTABLE CONSEQUENCE.
    * Machiavelli stays A-MORAL in Il Principe, just as nature is: not judging about good and bad, not influenced by a religion or anything else!! I know people have problems with this last ‚way of writing, thinking‘, BUT this is the most important factor that makes his work so IMMENSELY UNIVERSAL…
    There are two central themes in this work: POLITICS and THE PROBLEMS THAT ARE CONNECTED WITH THE NOTION, THE CONCEPT ‚POWER‘.
    Il Principe is a flaming and militant political piece of writing in which the author is not only rationally, but also emotionally ‚present‘ with the full power of his personality.
    Machiavelli’s ideas are closely related to the general philosophical concept of the Renaissance. His vision too is antropocentric: the only right to exist man has, is present in man himself AND in the realisation of the self in this world.
    Machiavelli is the founder of the political science(s): nobody before him had considered that politic is a single, separate science, free of any moral or religion.
    In his system he isolates the technical bias (read: orientation) on what is politically useful from the moral and theological aspect of kindness and justice. He defines sharply THE PURPOSE that one wants to reach, to achieve and THEN, starting from the situation in which a (the) person stands, WEIGHS UP THE PROS AND CONS (on a rational-technical basis) OF THE MEANS THAT LEAD TO THE PURPOSE. WHICH MEANS THOSE ARE, DOES NOT MATTER (= AMORAL).
    A means or reason that is MORALLY BAD, can be GOOD FOR POLITICS and VICE VERSA…!
    Instead of talking about The Prince, it is only correct to use the word RULER: the crucial person in this work. For Machiavelli it was Cesare Borgia, for Nietzsche it was Napoleon, who REALLY ’slept with Il Principe‘ (he understood the book very well).
    Too many readers are misled by words as "fortune, virtue": in Middle-Italian (very difficult, even for specialists) the author uses the words "FORTUNA" and "VIRTU": these two words (f.e.) have NOTHING OR LITTLE IN COMMON with fortune and virtue or virtus. There are about 23 POSSIBLE TRANSLATIONS for the word virtù…
    To be a good ruler is not easy. In 26 short chapters the biggest philosopher of the 16th century, Machiavelli describes what the ruler can and/or should do … to stay ‚the ruler‘, not to lose the power he/she has, in absence of moral and religion: amoral. THAT IS DIFFICULT TO MAINTAIN: JUST LOOK AROUND, LISTEN TO THE NEWS, THINK ABOUT GLOBAL PROBLEMS: EVERYWHERE YOU’LL MEET NICCOLO MACHIAVELLI, WAVING WITH HIS HAND TO YOU AND TRYING TO MAKE YOU AND US FREE FROM PREJUDICES, WHISPERING WHAT WE SHOULD DO OR NOT.
    I have read several editions of Il Principe, but have only one that stays with me since decades now: I read and keep on reading about our ruler forever, so my book will stay with me too.
    Last note: The saying "The end justifies the means" is NOT from Machiavelli: it already existed for a few centuries.
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  2. Mark O'Neill
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    2 von 2 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
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    It is better to be feared than to be loved, 6. Juni 2008
    Von 
    Mark O’Neill (Würzburg) – Alle meine Rezensionen ansehen

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    Rezension bezieht sich auf: The Prince (Penguin Classics) (Taschenbuch)
    "The Prince" is a political essay, written by Machiavelli, in which he lays down his views on how a prince should gain power and keep it at all costs. His views are quite shocking at times but you have to bear in mind the unstable and violent circumstances in which he was writing it – the Italy he was living in is not the Italy we know today. So to survive in that age, you had to watch your back at all times, recognise your enemies, court your friends and build up your armies.

    Machiavelli does not attempt to hide his contempt for mercenaries whom he describes as lazy, unreliable and without morals. He also believes that you should gain the love and respect of the people but at the same time you should also be feared by them. But if you have to choose between love and fear, fear is the better of the two.

    He also espouses strong laws and strong military forces, stating that in order to stay in power, you must have the ability to meet your enemy on the battlefield and defeat them. Failing that, you must be able to fortify your city and hold it against a siege.

    Another major point that he makes is that it is better to gain power from ordinary people rather than be taken to power from nobles. Ordinary people will then be content if you provide them with peace, stability and prosperity. Nobles on the other hand will have shifting allegiences, powerful interests and other people they will want to see at the top.

    "The Prince" is considered to be a handbook for politicians everywhere and a masterpiece for how to gain power and keep it. The name "Machiavelli" is practically a verb for something underhanded and sly which goes to show how famous the author has become.

    A must-read!

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  3. unraveler
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    2 von 2 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
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    A Guide to Power, A Question of Morality, 23. Juni 2000
    Von 
    unraveler (Nevada) – Alle meine Rezensionen ansehen

    Rezension bezieht sich auf: The Prince (Bantam Classics) (Taschenbuch)
    Machiavelli is here at his best: terse, poignant, and profound. His insights into politics and his practical advice apply not just to autocratic princes of Italian city states, but to anyone who has authority and wants to maintain it, as well as to all those who want to gain authority. True, the book is an excellent attempt to describe politics, which is pervasive in the world, the way it is, and not the way that sanctimonious characters want it to be, but at the same time it raises one of the most difficult and even painful questions that a thinking being can confront: What does it mean to be moral in a world where cunning, cruelty, and underhanded methods of all kinds are sometimes the most effective, if not the only, way to achieve what you so passionately want? The Prince is a superb confrontation with reality, revealing, perhaps inadvertantly, the courage of human intellect.
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