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POL 161 Machiavelli Notes continued

by: Hailey True

POL 161 Machiavelli Notes continued POL 161.001

Marketplace > Illinois State University > Political Science > POL 161.001 > POL 161 Machiavelli Notes continued
Hailey True

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These notes detail chapters 9-19 and begin to address chapters 20-26
Introduction to Political Theory
Jakeet Singh
Class Notes
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This 4 page Class Notes was uploaded by Hailey True on Saturday March 19, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to POL 161.001 at Illinois State University taught by Jakeet Singh in Spring 2016. Since its upload, it has received 58 views. For similar materials see Introduction to Political Theory in Political Science at Illinois State University.

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Date Created: 03/19/16
Machiavelli­ The Prince (continued)  Key themes (9­19) o Focus on armies and war  Never use mercenaries or auxiliary armies (pg. 38 and 42­43)  Mercenaries are fighting for money, not for their land or loyalty,  which means they will run from the fight when they face death and will fight for the highest bidder.   Auxiliaries are someone else’s army. Therefore, if you lose then it  is only your loss and not theirs. If you win, they will hold you as  prisoner for their prince.  Self­reliance  Constant preparation, study, and planning  Especially in times of peace  Chapter 14, pg. 46­47  Review o Pull apart morality from politics  There are some times where they overlap, but not usually  Important to chapters 15­18  Most theoretical significance  Key themes (9­19) o Chapter 15  Lays groundwork  Contrast realism and idealism  Clarifies how and why he has written this book, comparing it to other  books that have been written  How a ruler ought to deal with others o “our next task is to consider the policies and principles a  ruler ought to follow in dealing with his subjects or with his friends” (pg 47)  However, he stays practical and looks at how things actually are rather than imposing ideals  Despised Greeks because they are too  focused on morality and took ideals and  imposed on the world.  Opposes Plato and Aristotle (pg. 48)  Realism vs. Idealism  Deal with politics as it is, with circumstances as they are, and with  humans as they are. o To be successful in politics  Classical version of realism  Human beings, political actors, necessarily  crave and seek power o Constant contest for power, greater  power over others  Reason for seeking power and what to do  with power is to preserve self­interest o Humans and political actors are self­ interested human beings, and act  rationally to preserve self­interest  Begins with self­preservation  Basic need to survive  In a contest for power there is always a  winner and a loser o Power gained by one actor means the power loss by all others, other  contestants.   Zero­sum contest  Need for self­preservation comes from fear;  fear is a central motivating factor for self­ preservation  One can’t always be good/moral to hold  onto power o Derives this from the idea that  human beings cannot be trusted, self­ interested, therefore you cannot trust  others. So, you cannot be moral  either  Living up to an ideal, being  moral, will bring himself  destruction  Pulling apart morality and politics o A break from traditional morality, in  order to be successful in politics.  Ways of fighting: Human and animal, fox ad lion  (chapter 18)  Can’t always be good and live up to ideal  Then cannot always fight in distinctively human way (fight with  rules and hold yourself accountable to fight with in rules)  Animals do not fight this way o Animals do not fight this way o Animals do not fight this way o 2 ways to fight (human and animal) (pg. 54) o Can’t always win by fighting within the rules, be prepared  to break them.  o Prince both learn both ways of fighting o Know when to break the rules  Another model (2 animal ways of fighting) o Lion  Shortcoming: Cannot avoid traps, does not foresee  in this way; not nimble, agile   Has brute force and ferocity o Fox  Shortcoming: does not have sheer force (ferocity,  does not scare enemies away)  Cunning; knows how to avoid traps o Prince must be both  People often prioritize the lion  Reputation for morality more important than actuall being moral  (chapter 18) o Relates to be Ring of Gyges  Cultivate best reputation for being moral, but you  can’t always be it, therefore, make them think you  are moral. (pg. 55)  Subject judge on appearances and outcomes  rather than who you really are because they  don’t know who you really are.  Know when to switch over from morality to politics  Better to be feared than loved, but never hated (chapter 17) o Brings in another famous argument in 17 and 18 o Best rulers need to be both feared and loved  Most of the time you will have to choose, and if you have to choose, choose to be feared  Pg. 51 and 52  Much more able o control someone’s fear  but not love  Love is in the other person’s hands  Fear is generated by yourself; human beings  are naturally fearful and self­preserving and  act on fear in predictable ways  Love is no in their self­interest, fear is their  self­interest o But do not provoke hatred o Hatred is the most dangerous and  fear can tip easily from fear to hatred  Idea of cruelty well used vs  cruelty abused  Continually creating disorder  can lead to hatred  Hated overcomes fear and  can cause people to act  irrationally and rebel. o Do not take one’s loved ones or  property unnecessarily to avoid  being hated (pg. 52) o Do not appear weak by going back  and forth on actions  Do not seem weak  Key Themes (20 to 26) o The better between princely virtu and fortune (chapter 25)  Fully articulates broad picture of what the prince’s challenger is  Main challenger is to cultivate virtu (skill) to battle fortune  (Goddess of fortune) o Gender battle, manly prince battling off feminine fortune o Continual battle o It is easy to give up and put life in hands of fortune o Human actor can control about ½, fortune about other ½  (pg 74)  Can be prepared for  Prince must have foresight, planning, adaptability  ‘River’ analogy  Metaphor of Fortune being a lady.  


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