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Machiavelli Readings.docx

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Political Science
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Clifford Orwin

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There are two types of principalities, they are either hereditary or they are new. - if they are new they are either entirely new or they are like limbs added on to the hereditary state of the ruler who acquired them - dominions that are acquired by a ruler are either used to living under the rule of one man, or accustomed to being free - they are either acquired with soldiers belonging to others, or with one’s own - it is much easier to hold onto hereditary states than it is to hold on to new acquisitions - an hereditary ruler will never lose his state unless some extraordinary and overwhelming force appears that can take it away from him o because his state has belonged to his family from one generation to another, memories of how they came to power, and motives to overthrown them, have worn away - new principalities are the ones that present problems - the problem is that people willingly change their ruler, believing the change will be for the better, and this belief leads them to take up arms against him - they find out in time they are mistaken because you always have to give offense to those over whom you acquire power when you become a new ruler, both by imposing troops upon them , ad by countless other injuries that follow as necessary consequences of the acquisition of power - you make enemies of all those to whom you have given offense in acquiring power and you cannot keep the good will of those who put you in power - at the same time you cannot use heavy handed methods against them, for you are obliged to them - after a ruler has regained power in rebel territories, he is much more likely to hang on to it, the rebellion gives him an excuse to punish delinquents - the territories that are newly added on to a state that is already securely in te possession of a ruler are either in the same geographical region as his existing possessions and seek the same language, or they are not - in order to get a secure hold on them one need merely eliminate the surviving members of the family of their previous rulers - if the old territories and the new have similar customes, the new subjects will live quietly - he who acquires neighoouring territories in this way, intending to hold on to them, needs to see ot two things o he must ensure their previous ruler has no heirs o he must not alter their old law or impose new taxes - when you acquire territories in a region that has a different language, different customes and different institution, then you realy have problems - one of the best policies, and one of the most effective, is for the new ruler to go and live in his new territories o The Sultan of Turkey did this in Greece p.9 - For if you are on the spot, you can identifiy difficutlues as they aise, and can quickly take approtproate action - If you are there in person, the territory will not be plundered by your officials - As a consequence they have more reason to love you - Anyone who wants to attack the territory from without will have to think twice, so that, if you live there, you will be unlucky indeed to lose it - The second excellent policy is to send colonies to settle in one or two places - Colonies do not cost much to run. You will have to lay out little or nothing to establish and maintain them. You will only offend those from whom you seize fields and houses to give to your settlers, and they will only be a tiny minority within the territory - All the rest will remain uninjured - People should either be caressed or crushed - If you do them minor damage they will get their revenge, but if you cripple them there is nothing they can do - If you rely on an occupying army instead of colonies, it costs a good deal more and you acquisition will be a loss, not a gain - Your army will make more enemies than colonies would, for the whole territory will suffer from it - And these are enemies who can hur you, for they remain even if beaten, in their own homes. - Anyone who finds himself with territory in a region with different customes from those of his hereditary possessions should make himself the leader and protector of neighbouring powers who are weaker than he is, and should set ou to weaken his powerful neighbours - Outside powers will always be urged to intervene by those in the region who are discontended - As soon as a foreign power enters into a region, all the local states that are weal rally to it, for they are driven by the enby they have felt for the state that has excercized predominance over them - The invader does not have to make any effort at all to win ovr these lesser states - In politics as well, if you foresee prob;lems while they are far off they can easily be dealt with; but when, because you have failed to see them coming, you allow them to grow to the point that anyone can recognize them, then it is too late to do anything - Whenever men do what will siceed towards this end, they will be praised, or at least not condemned. But when they are not in a position to make gains, and try nevertheless, then they are making a mistake, and deserve condemnation - One should never allow a problem to develop in order to avoid a war, for you end up not avoiding the war, but deferring it to a time that will be less favourable Chapter Four - the principalities recorded in history have been governed in two different ways: either by a single individual, and everyone else has been his servant, or by a monarch together with barons, who, not by concession of the ruler, but by virtue of their noble lineage, hold tha rank - such barons have their own territories, and their own subjects: subjects who recognize them as their lords and feel a natural affection for them - in those states that are governed by a sing;le individual and his servants, the sovereign has more authority in his own hands; for in all his territories there is no one recognize as having a right to rule except him alone - if the subjects obey anyone else, they do so because he is the ruler’s minister and representative, and they do not feel any aprticular loyalty to these subordinate authorities - it would be difficult to occupy the lans of the sultan for two reasons (p. 15) o the local authorities of that kingdom will not invite tou to invade o nor an you hope hose arounf the ruler will rebel, making your task easier - since they are all his slvaes, and indebted to him, it is harder to corrupt the, and even if you can corrupt them, they are not going to be much use to you - the opposite is true in kingdoms governed like that of France o it is easy to invade them, once one has gained support of some local noble - but when you try to hold on to power, you will find the nobility, both those who have been your allies and those tou have defeated, present you with an infinity of problems - you cannot win their loyalty, or wipe them out, so tou will always be in danger of losing your kingdom should anything go wrong - the crucial factor in these differing outcomes is not the strength or weakness of the concueror but the contrasting character of the societies that have been conquered Chapter Five - When the states one qquires by conquest are accustomed to living under their own laws and in freedom, there are thee policies one can follow in order to hold on to them o The first is to lay them waste o The second is to go and live there in person o The third is to let them continue to live under their own ;aws, make them pay you, an create there an administrative and political elite who will remain loyal to you - It is easier to rule a city that is used to being self-governing by employing its own citizens than by other means, assuming you do not wish to destroy it - He who becomes the ruler of a city that is used to livning under its own laws and does not knowck it doen, must except to be knocked doen by it - Whenever it rebels, it will find strength in the language of liberty and will seek to restore its ancient constitution - No matter what one does, and what precautuinons one takes, if one does not scatter and drive away the original inhabitants, one will not destroy the memory of liberty or the attraction of the old institutions - But when cities or provinces are used to being ruled by a monarch, and one has wiped out his relatives and descendants, then matters are very different - Their old ruler isgone, and they cannot agree among themselves as to who sould replace him - But in former republics there is more vitality, more hatred, more desire for revenge. The memory of their former freedom gives them no rest, no peace - So the best thing to do is demolish them or to go and live there oneself Chapter Six - Men almost always walk along the beaten path, and what they do is almost always an imitation of what others have done before - A prudent man will always try to follow in the footsteps of great men and imitate those who have been truly outstanding, so that, if he is not wuote has skilful as they, at least some of their ability may rub off on him - In completely new kingdoms, the new ruler has more or less difficulty in keeping hold of power depending on whether je is more or less skilful - He who relies least on luck has the best prospect of success. One advantage is common to any completely new sovereign: because he has no other territories, he has no choice but to come in person and live in his new kingdom - Those who become rulers through strength for purpose, as they did, acquire their kingdoms with difficulty, but they hold on to them with ease - One ought to pause and consider the fact that there is nothing harder to undertake, nothing more likely to failure, nothing more risky to pull off, than to et oneself up as a leader who plans to found a new system of government - For the founder makes enemies of all those who are doing well under the old system, and has only lukewarm support from those who hope to do well under the new core - The weakness of their support springs partly from their fear of their adversaries - For men do not truly believe in new things until they have had practical experience of them - Whenever those who are enemies of the new order have a chance to attack it, they do so refociously, while the oter defend it half-heartedly, so the new ruler is in danger, along with his supporters - It is necessary if we are going to make sense of his situation to find out if our innovator stands on his own feet, or depends on other to prop him up - But when he can stand on his own feet, and can resort to forve, ten he can susually overcome the dangers he faces - There is another problem; People are by nature inconstant. It is easy to persuade them of something, but it is difficult to stp them from changing their minds - You have to be prepared for the momentwhen they no longer believe: then you have yo force them to believe - The founders of the ned states have immense difficulties to overcome, and dangers beset their pat, dagers they must overcome by skill and strength of purpose - Once they have overcome them, and they have begin to be idolized, having got rid of those who were jealous of their superior qualities, they are establisged, they are powerful, secure, honoured, happy. - It is some points of similarity to them, and I want it to stand for all the other lesser examples I could have chosen Chapter Seven - those who, having started as private individuals, become rulers merely out of good luck, acquire power with little trouble but have a hard time holding on to it - they have no problems on the road to power, because they leap over all the obstavles, but dangers crowd around them once they are in power - states that spring up overnight, like all other things in nature that are born and grown in a hurry, cannot have their roots deep in the soil, so they shrivel up in the frist drought, blow over in their first storm Chapter Eight - There are two other ways a private citizen can become a ruler, two ways that do not simply involve the acquisition of power either through fortune or strength o First when one acquires power through some wicked or nefarious action, and second when a private citizen becomes ruler of his own country because he has the support of his fellow citizens - If you take control of a state, you should make a list fo all the crimes ou have to commit and to them all at once - That way you will not have to commit new atrocities every ay,and you will be able, by not repeating you evil deeds, to reassure your subjects and to win their support by treating them well - He who acts otherwise, either out of squeamishness r out of bad judgment, has to hold a bloody knife in his hand of all time - He can never rely on this subjects, for they can never trust him for he is always maing new attacks upon them - Do all the garm you must at one and the same time, that way the full extent of it will not be noticed,m and it will give least offense. One should do giid , on the other hand, little by little, so people can fully appreciate it - A ruler should, above all, behave towards his subjects in such a way that, whatever happends, whether for good orill, he has no need to change his policies. For if you fall on evil times, and are oibliged to change course, ou will not have time to benefit from the harm you do, and the good you do will do you no good, because people will think you have been forced to do it, and they will not be in the slightest but grateful to you. Chapter Nine - when a private citizen become the ruler of his homeland, not through wickedness, or someact of atroctity, but through the support of his fellow citiznens, so hat we may call him a citizen ruler, I would point out there are two waus to such power: the support of the populace or the favour of the elite - in every city one find sthese opposed classes - thet are at odds because the populace do not wan to be order about or oppressed by the elite; and the elie want to order about and oppress the populace - the conflict between these two irreconcilable ambiions has in each city one of three possible consequences; rule b one man, liberty or anarchy - Rule by one man can be brought about either by the populace or the elite, depending on whether one of the other of these factions hopes to benefit from it - For if the elite fear that they will be unable to control the populace, they egin to build up the reputation of one of their own, and they make him sole ruler in order to be able, under his protection, to achieve his objectives. - The populace on the other hand, if they fear thet are going to be crushed by the elit, build ip the reputation of one of heur number and mae him sole ruler, in orer that his authority may be employed in their defense - He who omes to power with the help of the elite has more difficulty in holdng on to powr than he who comes to power with the help of the populace, for in the former case he is surrounded by many who think of themselves as equals, and whom he consequently cannot order about or manipulate as he might wish - He who comes to power with the support of the populace, on the other hand, has it all to himself: There is no one, or hardly anyone, around him who is not prepared to obey - One cannot honourably give the elite what they want, and one cannot do I without harming othes; but this ois not true with the populace, for the objectives of the populace are less immoral than those of the elite, for the latter want to oppress, and the forme not to be oppressed - Thirdly, if the masses are opposed to you, you can never be secure, for there are too many of them; but the elite since there are few of them, can be neutralized - The worst a ruler who is opposed by the populace has to fear is that they will give him no support; but from the elite he has to gear not only lack of support, but worse, that they will attack him - For the elite have more cunning and foresight; they act in time to protect themselves, and seek ot ingratiate themselves with rivals for power - Finally, the ruler cannot get rid of the populace but must live with them - He can, however, get by perfectly well without the members of the elite, being able to make and unmake them each day, and being in a position to give them status or take it away, as he chooses - There are two principal points of view from which one should consider the elite o Either they behave in a way that ties their fortunes to yours,or they do not - Those who tie themselves to you and are not rapacious, you should honor and love; those who do not tie themselves to you are to be divided into two catgeories - If they retain their independenxe through pusillanimity and bcause they are lacking in courage, the you shold employ them, especially if they have good judgement, for you can be sure they will help you achieve success so long as things are going well for you, and you can also be confident you have nothing to fear from them if things go badly - But if they retain their independence form you out of calculation and ambition then you can tell they are more interested in their own welfare than yours - A ruler must protect himself against such people and fear them as much as if they were publicly declared enemies, for you can be sure that they will help t overthrow you - Anyone who becomes a ruler with the support of the populace ought to ensure he keeps their support, which will not be difficult, for all they ask is not to be oppressed - But anyone who becomes a ruler with the support of the elite and against the wishes of the populace must above all else seek to win the populace over to his side, which will be easy to do, if he protects their interests - Since people, when they are well-treate by someone whom they expected to treat them badly, feel all the more obliged to their benefactor, he will find that the populace will quickly become better inclined towards him than if he had come to power with their support - The type of one-man rule we are discussing tends to be at risk at the moment of transition from consititutional to dictatorial government - Such rulers either give commands in their own name, or act through the officers of state - In the second case, their situation is more dangerous and less secure - For they are entirely dependent on the cooperation of those citizens who have been appointed to the offices of stat, who can, particularly at times of crisis, easily deprive them of their power, eitherby directly opposing them or by simply failing to carry out their instructions - It is too late for a ruler once a crisis is upon him to seize dictatorial authority, for the citizens and the subjects, will not obey him, and he will always have, in difficult circumstances, a shortage of people on whom he can rely - When all citizens are conscious of what the government can do for them, then everuone flocked around, everyone promised support, everyone was willing to die for him, when there was no prospect of having to do so. - When times ae tough, when the government is dependent on its citizens, then there will be few who are prepared to stand by it. - A wise ruler will seek to ensure that his citizens always, have an interest in preserving both him and his authority Chapter Ten - One should also ask if a ruler has enough resoures to be able, if necessary, to look after himself, or whether he will always be dependent on having alliances with other rulers - Those rulers can look after themselves who have sufficient reserves, to be able to put together a sound army and face battle agains any opponent. - rulers are dependent on the support of others if they could not take the field against any potential enemy, but would be obliged to take shelter behind the walls of their cities and castles, and stay there - A ruler, who has a well-fortified city and who does not set out to make enemies, is not going to be attacked. - For political circumstances change so fast it is impossible for anyone to keep an army in the field for a year doing nothing but maintaining a siege - It is in the nature of things that the enemy will burn and pillage the countryside when they first arrive, at which time the subjects will still be feeling brave and prepared to undertake their own defense - It is in men’s nature to feel as obliged by the good they do to others, as by the good others do to them. It is not difficult for a wise ruler to keep his subjects loyal during a siege, both at the beginning and as it continues Chapter Eleven - All that remains to be discussed is the ecclesiastical states - All the problems are encountered before one gets possession of them - One acquires them either trhough strength ro through luck - One can hold on to them without either - They are maintained by their long established institutions that are rooted in religion - They can suppise their rulers in power no matter how they live and bhave - Their states are not taken from them, their subjects do not resent them, and they neither think of replacing their rulers nor are they in a position to do so. - Because they are ruled by a higher power, only a presumptuous and rash person would debate about them Chapter Twelve - Outline the various strategies for offense and defense that are common to all these principalities - It is necessary for a ruler to lay good foundations - The principal foundations on which the power of all governmnes is based are good laws and good armies - A ruler defens his state with armies that are made up of his own subjects, or of mercenaries or of auxiliary forces - Mercenraries and auxiliary forces are both useless and dangerous - Mercenrayr focr are factiours and ambitious, ill-disciplined, trechearous - They do not fear God and do not keep faith with mankind. A mercenary army puts off defeat for only so long as it postpones going into battle - In peacetime they pillage you, in wartime theur let the enemy do it - They have no otive or principle for joining up beyond the desire to collect their pay - They are delighted to be oyur soldiers when you are not at war, when you are at war, they walk away when they do not run. - It is true that occasionally a ruler seems to benefit from their use, and they boast of their own prowess, but as soon as they face foreign troops their true worth becomes apparent - Mercenary officers are either excellent or they are not. If they are excellent oyu cannot trust them, for they will always be looking for ways of increasing their own power. If they are not first rate, then they will be the ruin of you in the normal course of events - A sovereign ought to go to war himself, and be his own general - A republic has to send one of its citizens - Experience shows individual sovereigns and republics that arm the masses are capable of making vast conquests but mercenary troops are always a liability - It is harder to a treacherous citizen to suborn an army consisting of his o wn fellow subjects than one made up of foreigners Chapter Thirteen - auxiliaries are the other sort of useless troops. You rely on auxiliaries when you appeal to another ruler to come with his own armies to assist or defend you - Auxiliary troops can be useful and good when fighting on their own behalf, but tey are almost always a liability for anyone relying on their assistance - If they lose, it is you who are defeated, if they win, you are their prisoner - A wise ruler will always avoid using mercenary and auxiliary troops, and will rely on his own forces. He would rather lose with his own troops than win with someone else’s - Someone’s else’s armour either falls off, or it weighs you down or it trips you up - A ruler who cannot foresee evil consequences before they arise is not truly wise Chapter Fourteen - a ruler should pay attention to nothing else than war, military institutions, and the training of his soldiers - the prime reason for losing power is neglect of military matters - there are two ways he can prepare for war: o by thinking and by doing - every rulers should read history books, and in them he should study the actions of admirable men p.47 Chapter Fifteen - p.49 Chapter Sixteen - it would be good to be thought generous; nevertheless, if you act in the way that will get you a reputation for generosity, you will do yourself damage - generosity used skilfully and practiced as it ought to be, is hiden from sight, and being truly generous will no protect you from acquiring a reputation for parsimony - if you want to have a reputation for generosity, you must throw yourself into lavish and ostentatious expenditure - a ruler who pursues a reputation for generosity will always end up waisting all his resources; and he will be obliged in the end, if he wants to preserve his reputation, to impose crushing taxes upon the people, to pursue every possible source of income, and to be preoccupied with miximizing his revenues - this will begin to make him hateful to his subjects - his supposed generosity will have cost him to offen the vast majority and to have won favour wih few - a ruler ought not to mind being called a miser - for, as time goes by, he will be thought of as growin ever more generous, for people will recognize that as a result of his parsimony he is able to live on his income, maintain an adequate army, and undertake new initiatives without imposing new taxes - the result is he will be thought to be generous towards all those whose income he does not tax, which is almost everybody, and stingy towards those ho miss out on handouts p. 49 examples chapter seventeen - a ruler ought not to mind being called cruel if he keeps his people peaceful and law abiding - it is more compassionate to impose harsher punishments on a few than, out of excessive compassion, to allow disorder to spread, which leads to murders and looting - employ policies that are moderated by prudence and sympathy - avoid excessive self-confidence, which leads to carelessness - is it better to be loved than feared? -
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