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Niccolò Machiavelli (1469-1527) – The Prince – FULL Audio Book – ll Principe (The Prince) is a political treatise by the Florentine writer Niccolò Machiavelli, originally called “De Principatibus” (About Principalities).
It was written around 1513, but not published until 1532, five years after Machiavelli’s death. The treatise is not actually representative of his published work during his lifetime, but it is certainly the best remembered one
Niccolò di Bernardo dei Machiavelli (Italian: [nikoˈlɔ makjaˈvɛli]; 3 May 1469 — 21 June 1527) was an Italian historian, politician, diplomat, philosopher, humanist and writer based in Florence during the Renaissance. He was for many years an official in the Florentine Republic, with responsibilities in diplomatic and military affairs. He was a founder of modern political science, and more specifically political ethics. He also wrote comedies, carnival songs, and poetry. His personal correspondence is renowned in the Italian language. He was Secretary to the Second Chancery of the Republic of Florence from 1498 to 1512, when the Medici were out of power. He wrote his masterpiece, The Prince, after the Medici had recovered power and he no longer held a position of responsibility in Florence. Machiavelli’s best-known book, “Il Principe,” contains a number of maxims concerning politics, but rather than the more traditional subject of a hereditary prince, it concentrates on the possibility of a “new prince.”
To retain power, the hereditary prince must carefully maintain the socio-political institutions to which the people are accustomed; whereas a new prince has the more difficult task in ruling, since he must first stabilize his new-found power in order to build an enduring political structure. He asserted that social benefits of stability and security could be achieved in the face of moral corruption. Aside from that, Machiavelli believed that public and private morality had to be understood as two different things in order to rule well. As a result, a ruler must be concerned not only with reputation, but also positively willing to act immorally at the right times. As a political scientist, Machiavelli emphasizes the occasional need for the methodical exercise of brute force, deceit, and so on. Scholars often note that Machiavelli glorifies instrumentality in statebuilding – an approach embodied by the saying that “the ends justify the means.”
Violence may be necessary for the successful stabilisation of power and introduction of new legal institutions. Force may be used to eliminate political rivals, to coerce resistant populations, and to purge the community of other men strong enough of character to rule, who will inevitably attempt to replace the ruler. Machiavelli has become infamous for such political advice, ensuring that he would be remembered in history through the adjective, “Machiavellian.” Notwithstanding some mitigating themes, the Catholic Church banned The Prince, registering it to the Index Librorum Prohibitorum, and humanists also viewed the book negatively. Among them was Erasmus of Rotterdam.
As a treatise, its primary intellectual contribution to the history of political thought is the fundamental break between political Realism and political Idealism, because The Prince is a manual to acquiring and keeping political power. In contrast with Plato and Aristotle, Machiavelli insisted that an imaginary ideal society is not a model by which a prince should orient himself. (summary from wikipedia)