Machiavelli - Dr Chris West Lecture Notes March 4, 2009...

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Lecture notes: Machiavelli Machiavelli can be credited as the founder of the modern state, having reconfigured elements from both the Christian empire and the Roman republic, creating therefore a new form of political organization that is distinctly his own. Machiavelli's state has universalist ambitions, just like its predecessors, but it has been liberated from Christian and classical conceptions of virtue. The management of affairs is left to the prince, a new kind of political leader, endowed with ambition, the ability to reject Christian and classical morality, love of glory, and even elements of prophetic authority. Machiavelli’s realism or “reason of state” leads to the employment of calculated cruelty and murder, to the use of spectacle and execution. Such displays “satisfy” and “stupefy” his subjects, who are led by a mixture of respectful fear and psychological participation in the ends of the state. Historical Context Machiavelli was a Florentine Florence: a republic, a city state Spent his life in service of the republic Wanted to do for politics what DaVinci and Michaelangelo, others had done for science, arts sculpture and architecture Modernity given its first expression Dr Chris West Lecture Notes March 4, 2009
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Grew up under the Medici, deposed during his lifetime by Savanarola, a Dominican friar (set up a kind of theocracy, then a republic was set up in which he served in a diplomatic post for 14 yrs 1498-1512, then, when Medici reinstated, he was exiled to his estate, where he wrote his major works, also hundreds of letters Letter to Francesco Vittori, on how he came to write The Prince "When evening comes, I return to my house and go to my study. At the door, I take off my clothes of the day covered with muck and dirt and I put on my regal and courtly garments. And decently reclothed, I enter the ancient courts of ancient men, where received by them lovingly, I feed on the food that alone is mine and that I was born for. There I am not ashamed to speak with them and to ask them the reasons for their actions and they, in their humanity, reply to me. And for the space of four hours every night, I feel no boredom. I forget every pain. I do not fear poverty and death does not frighten me. I deliver myself entirely unto them.
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This note was uploaded on 02/01/2012 for the course 790 101 taught by Professor Graf during the Spring '09 term at Rutgers.

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Machiavelli - Dr Chris West Lecture Notes March 4, 2009...

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