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Was Machiavelli a cunt?

There’s this beautiful series of 20 books called ‘Great Ideas’ published by Penguin. These are the two I have:


And one of the others in the series is The Prince by Niccolò Machiavelli.

Now, when you think of ‘Machiavellian’ you think of: cunning; exploitative; manipulative; brazen; heartless; wanton; deceptive, or evil. So basically, all in one word: Cunty.

Machievelli’s known as the father of modern political science and his way of thinking detailed the motivations behind what happens behind closed doors in government and politics, and how you know, being a cunt’s the only way you’re going to succeed and live well.

But was he actually one himself? I couldn’t be fucked spending even one second actually reading The Prince to find out, so let’s be completely unfair and superficial (so in other words, kind of cunty like Machiavelli himself) and just judge him entirely on his most famous quotes from the book:

It is better to be feared than loved, if you cannot be both.
If an injury has to be done to a man it should be so severe that his vengeance need not be feared.
Since love and fear can hardly exist together, if we must choose between them, it is far safer to be feared than loved.
But he also extolls some useful wisdom on leadership:
He who wishes to be obeyed must know how to command.
The first method for estimating the intelligence of a ruler is to look at the men he has around him.
And on determination:
Where the willingness is great, the difficulties cannot be great.
But fuck him. Cunt.
A friend today suggested to me that one reason someone might read The Prince would be if you wanted to understand your enemies. So yeah, there is that I guess. And even though living in naïveté that everyone is good and no one ever wants to take advantage of you is demented, it’s still not the life to aim for.
Machiavelli, according to the world’s most accurate encyclopaedia
I like the Machiavelli entry in The Onion Book of Known Knowledge:
Machiavelli, Niccoló di Bernardo del (b. May 3, 1469 d. June 21, 1527), Italian political philosopher and author of The Prince, a treatise on using unethical means to attain power that has been read by every living junior account executive, each of whom actually believes it will give him or her a professional edge.