Sep. 19, 2013
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Machiavelli Chapters 35
Machiavelli: be a good friend
Machiavelli isn’t telling us to be moral. Instead he is telling us to stay on top of things
and put our friends down if necessary.
▯ rush your friends before they have the chance to crush you
What is the logic of friends?
This logic is that every relationship of friendship is a common interest and a common
enemy. You became friends in the first place to your own benefit.
Morality teaches that friendship is more sacred than your interest. Machiavelli says that it
would be contradictory not to betray your friend. The friendship and your friend was a
means to the good.
What will you do for me soon? ▯Question Machiavelli lays as the basis of friendship
• Winners and losers Examples of how to do and not to do things.
• Page 89: King Louis lost cities that were under his own control to the Romans.
Machiavelli holds the Romans as a model.
• Failure and death are already there inside of things. For Machiavelli this is the
basic truth about life.
• What you need is prudence and readiness to act swiftly and decisively
• Machiavelli contrasts the prudence of the Romans with the preachers of his time.
He is a dissenter/traitor to his times.
• What is the conventional wisdom of Machiavelli’s time (Relating to war)?
▯Conventional wisdom = make treaties and enjoy the moment. Except Machiavelli says
that the times wont save you and the more you wait the more you risk.
Conventional wisdom = convention of peace, and use war as a last resort
Roman ideology = pose a war. Don’t wait for anything to happen, as you will
gain/become powerful at the loser’s expense.
Louis was always acting as though other men were good. The Romans however acted as
though other men were bad. The best things in life are scarce, and thus they have to be
seized and held.
The Romans always presented themselves as eager to give a helping hand, but eventually
seized and conquered the entire world.
Romans were pagans.
Might Christianity be connected in anyway with the themes we have connected so far Habits of the heart – deep down habits engraved that are good in a Christian. These habits
might be to give things to the Church, being empathetic, morality. Trusting others,
treating them well, keeping promises, etc.
These habits of the heart however, might not b