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Quotes

Quote #4

Republics, on the other hand, have more life in them, more hatred and a greater thirst for revenge. Their memory of old freedoms lingers on and won't let them rest. In these cases, your only options are to reduce the place to rubble or go and live there yourself. (5.4)

Isn't it interesting that there's no third option, like leave the people alone to govern themselves? Unfortunately, modern history proves Machiavelli wrong because even those crushed nations seem to have eventually remembered enough to get pretty angry and kick their rulers out.

Quote #5

So first of all he weakened the Orsini and Colonna factions in Rome by luring the noblemen who supported them over to his side with generous salaries and military and political appointments in line with each man's rank. In a few months old loyalties were forgotten and they were all for the duke. (7.6)

In Machiavelli's day, the Medicis greased a few palms to get their way. It seemed to work for them and for Cesare Borgia, so Machiavelli gives it as an example of what to do to get allies. How faithful do you think these allies will be?

Quote #6

Anyone who thinks that an important man will forget past grievances just because he's received some new promotion must think again. Borgia miscalculated in this election, and the mistake was fatal. (7.15)

Here he goes again, taking the morality out of politics. "Miscalculated" is an interesting word here, because it implies that politics is cold and rational like math or science. How close is that to the truth?

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