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Niccolo Machiavelli
Summary of the Political Philosophy of Niccolo Machiavelli. Biography, pictures & quotes from 'The Prince'

There is nothing more difficult to plan, more doubtful of success, more dangerous to manage than the creation of a new system. The innovator has the enmity of all who profit by the preservation of the old system and only lukewarm defenders by those who would gain by the new system.

A return to first principles in a republic is sometimes caused by the simple virtues of one man. His good example has such an influence that the good men strive to imitate him, and the wicked are ashamed to lead a life so contrary to his example. (Niccolò Machiavelli)

Niccolò Machiavelli Biography & Political Philosophy Summary

'There is nothing more difficult to plan, more doubtful of success, more dangerous to manage than the creation of a new system. The innovator has the enmity of all who profit by the preservation of the old system and only lukewarm defenders by those who would gain by the new system.' (Niccolo Machiavelli)Niccolò Machiavelli (1469 - 1527) was a Florentine statesman and political philosopher. As a theorist, Machiavelli was the key figure in realistic political theory, crucial to European statecraft during the Renaissance.
His two most famous books, Discorsi sopra la prima deca di Tito Livio (Discourses on Livy) and Il Principe (The Prince), were written in the hopes of improving the conditions of the Northern Italian principalities, but became general handbooks for a new style in politics.

The Prince, written to encourage the appearance of a political savior who would unify the corrupt city-states and fend off foreign conquest, advocated the theory that whatever was expedient was necessary - an early example of utilitarianism and realpolitik (German for "realistic politics" - foreign politics based on practical concerns (political expediency) rather than theory or ethics).

Machiavelli was born in Florence. His father was from an impoverished branch of an influential old Florentine family. His life can be divided into three periods, each of which constitutes a distinct and important era in the history of Florence. His youth was concurrent with the greatness of Florence as an Italian power under the guidance of Lorenzo de' Medici, Il Magnifico.

The downfall of the Medici in Florence occurred in 1494, in which year Machiavelli entered the public service. During this time, he traveled to various European courts in France, Germany, and other Italian city-states on diplomatic missions. During his official career Florence was free under the government of a Republic, which lasted until 1512, when the Medici returned to power, and Machiavelli lost his office.

His name was found on a list of 20 persons supposedly involved in a conspiracy to oppose Medici rule. It is likely he had no part in the plot, though he was briefly imprisoned in the Bargello in Florence. He was tortured yet maintained his innocence throughout. He was later exiled and returned to Sant'Andrea in Percussina where he had a small property. Here he devoted himself to literature whilst the Medici again ruled Florence from 1512 until 1527. He died, within a few weeks of the expulsion of the Medici, in 1527, aged fifty eight, without having regained office.

Niccolò Machiavelli Quotes

The evening has come, I return home and go to my study; at the entrance I pull off my peasant- clothes, covered with dust and dirt, and put on my noble court dress, and thus becomingly re-clothed I pass into the ancient courts of the men of old, where, being lovingly received by them, I am fed with that food which is mine alone; where I do not hesitate to speak with them, and to ask for the reason of their actions, and they in their benignity answer me; and for four hours I feel no weariness, I forget every trouble, poverty does not dismay, death does not terrify me; I am possessed entirely by those great men.
And because Dante says, “Knowledge doth come of learning well retained, Unfruitful else”
I have noted down what I have gained from their conversation, and have composed a small work on 'Principalities,' where I pour myself out as fully as I can in meditation on the subject, discussing what a principality is, what kinds there are, how they can be acquired, how they can be kept, why they are lost: and if any of my fancies ever pleased you, this ought not to displease you: and to a prince, especially to a new one, it should be welcome …
(A letter to Francesco Vettori, dated 13 December 1513, Machiavelli describes his life at this period, which elucidates his methods and his motives in writing The Prince)

He who wishes to be obeyed must know how to command.

It is not titles that honor men, but men that honor titles.

The first method for estimating the intelligence of a ruler is to look at the men he has around him.

The wise man does at once what the fool does finally. (Niccolo Machiavelli)

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"You must be the change you wish to see in the world."
(Mohandas Gandhi)

Albert Einstein"When forced to summarize the general theory of relativity in one sentence: Time and space and gravitation have no separate existence from matter. ... Physical objects are not in space, but these objects are spatially extended. In this way the concept 'empty space' loses its meaning. ... The particle can only appear as a limited region in space in which the field strength or the energy density are particularly high. ...
The free, unhampered exchange of ideas and scientific conclusions is necessary for the sound development of science, as it is in all spheres of cultural life. ... We must not conceal from ourselves that no improvement in the present depressing situation is possible without a severe struggle; for the handful of those who are really determined to do something is minute in comparison with the mass of the lukewarm and the misguided. ...
Humanity is going to need a substantially new way of thinking if it is to survive!" (Albert Einstein)

Biography: Geoffrey Haselhurst, Philosopher of Science, Theoretical Physics, Metaphysics, Evolution. Our world is in great trouble due to human behaviour founded on myths and customs that are causing the destruction of Nature and climate change. We can now deduce the most simple science theory of reality - the wave structure of matter in space. By understanding how we and everything around us are interconnected in Space we can then deduce solutions to the fundamental problems of human knowledge in physics, philosophy, metaphysics, theology, education, health, evolution and ecology, politics and society.

This is the profound new way of thinking that Einstein realised, that we exist as spatially extended structures of the universe - the discrete and separate body an illusion. This simply confirms the intuitions of the ancient philosophers and mystics.

Given the current censorship in physics / philosophy of science journals (based on the standard model of particle physics / big bang cosmology) the internet is the best hope for getting new knowledge known to the world. But that depends on you, the people who care about science and society, realise the importance of truth and reality.

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A new scientific truth does not triumph by convincing its opponents and making them see the light, but rather because its opponents eventually die, and a new generation grows up that is familiar with it. (Max Planck, 1920)

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