| Quote #4
Above all else a king must guard against being despised and hated. (16.4)
Studying this book would be a lot easier if he just wrote everything out like the ten commandments. A lot shorter, too.
| Quote #5
So if a leader does what it takes to win power and keep it, his methods will always be reckoned honourable and widely praised. (18.6)
So what exactly does a ruler's reputation rest on, anyway? On what he does, or on the final outcomes? This may sound similar, but that whole "the ends justify the means" thing? Machiavelli never said it.
| Quote #6
The ruler who projects this impression of himself will be highly thought of and it's hard to conspire against a man who is well thought of. Then so long as he has a reputation for excellence and is respected by his people it will be hard for outside enemies to attack him either. (19.2)
If you don't agree with Machiavelli that people never attack rulers they respect and love, think of the last time that someone conspired against Elmo. Can't think of one, can you?