Niccolo Machiavelli

Niccolo Machiavelli

Niccolò Machiavelli (3 May 1469 – 21 June 1527) was an Italian Renaissance historian, politician, diplomat, philosopher, humanist, and writer. He has often been called the founder of modern political science. He also wrote comedies, carnival songs, and poetry. 

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There is nothing more difficult to take in hand more perilous to conduct or more uncertain in its success than to take the lead in the introduction of a new order of things.

A wise ruler ought never to keep faith when by doing so it would be against his interests.

War should be the only study of a prince. He should consider peace only as a breathing-time which gives him leisure to contrive and furnishes as ability to execute military plans.

War is just when it is necessary, arms are permissible when there is no hope except in arms.

Benefits should be conferred gradually, and in that way they will taste better.

If an injury has to be done to a man it should be so severe that his vengeance need not be feared.

The promise given was a necessity of the past: the word broken is a necessity of the present.

The first method for estimating the intelligence of a ruler is to look at the men he has around him.

The main foundations of every state new states as well as ancient or composite ones are good laws and good arms you cannot have good laws without good arms and where there are good arms good laws inevitably follow.

Men ought either to be indulged or utterly destroyed for if you merely offend them they take vengeance but if you injure them greatly they are unable to retaliate so that the injury done to a man ought to be such that vengeance cannot be feared.

A prince never lacks legitimate reasons to break his promise.

It is necessary for him who lays out a state and arranges laws for it to presuppose that all men are evil and that they are always going to act according to the wickedness of their spirits whenever they have free scope.

There are three kinds of intelligence: one kind understands things for itself the other appreciates what others can understand the third understands neither for itself nor through others. This first kind is excellent the second good and the third kind useless.

The distinction between children and adults while probably useful for some purposes is at bottom a specious one I feel. There are only individual egos crazy for love.

Men should be either treated generously or destroyed because they take revenge for slight injuries - for heavy ones they cannot.

It is double pleasure to deceive the deceiver.

God is not willing to do everything and thus take away our free will and that share of glory which belongs to us.

Hence it comes about that all armed Prophets have been victorious and all unarmed Prophets have been destroyed.

I'm not interested in preserving the status quo, I want to overthrow it.

One change always leaves the way open for the establishment of others.

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