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Political Theory 3VV3 Machiavelli jan 31.docx
Political Theory 3VV3 Machiavelli jan 31.docx

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McMaster University
Political Science
James Ingram

Political Theory 3VV3 January 31, 13 Machiavelli  2 Families of Republicanism (res publica)  1. Developmental o Represented through Aristotle/Rousseau o Model: Athens o Participate in politics, the point of citizenship is to realize your capacities, way of living the best possible life  2. Protective o Represented by Machiavelli/Madison o Model: Rome o Much less democratic (democratic is an insult  dealing with the lower people), there are real advantages with having people involved politics  Varieties of Politics o 1. Political/civic freedom o 2. Individual/civil freedom  Machiavelli reminds us of a third sense o 3. Independent  Free City  City has everything you need for human life  City is self ruled  Machiavelli is a modern thinker  How is Machiavelli different from others?  Aristotle distinguishes between 6 different types of regimes (Monarchy or Tyranny; Aristocracy or Oligarchy; Constitutional government or democracy)  Machiavelli distinguishes between 3 different types of regimes (denies there is a importance difference between a good and bad regime) o Even the good ones tend to tyrannate o Politics runs by its own rules o You cant only focus on the good, focus on how things practically work o Therefore the distinguishing between the good and bad regime is not important o Difference between optimism and pessimism o (How things should be and how they will work  idealism vs cynicism)  Machiavelli wants to know how to make something to last (Machiavelli says nothing last forever)  Pg. 89-90 “A popular government...” o We are not interested in the abstract questions… want to ask pragmatic questions to figure out how to make something last o “All kinds of government are defective…”  Something wrong with all regimes  When combined in the same constitution a Prince, a nobility, and the power of the people  Achieve a mixed government (do this in order to keep each other in check)  Pg. 93 Chpt. 4: it is the disunion of the republic that renders it powerful and free o This is a crazy idea in the perspective of the ancients o “I maintain that those who blame the quarrels of the Senate…”  Bi
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