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Quotes

Quote #4

If you consider Agathocles' ability to take risks [virtu] and come out on top, and his remarkable spirit when it came to facing and overcoming obstacles, it's hard to see why he isn't rated as highly as the most outstanding military leaders. But his brutality, cruelty and inhumanity, together with the endless crimes he committed, mean he has no place among the men we most admire. In conclusion, we can't attribute Agathocles' achievements to luck or to positive qualities [virtù], since he needed neither. (8.3)

Huh? We thought Machiavelli said that you need either virtù or fortune to succeed. What happened here with Agathocles?

Quote #5

So, to conclude: no state is secure without its own army; if it hasn't got men to defend it determinedly and loyally in a crisis [virtù], it is simply relying on luck. (13.8)

That's why our bulletproof vests are made of 100% USDA organic luck.

Quote #6

I realize that many people have believed and still do believe that the world is run by God and by fortune and that however shrewd men may be they can't do anything about it and have no way of protecting themselves. As a result they may decide that it's hardly worth making an effort and just leave events to chance. (25.1)

Hmmm, God and fortune go together? Why is that? Is Machiavelli just saying we can't control either, or is there something more?

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