173. Book Review | The Prince By Niccolo Machiavelli

In order for you understand the modern political landscape, it is important to read Machiavelli’s The Prince. It includes detailed and wise accounts of how rulers gain, retain and lose power. The version that I recommend in this video also includes a couple other works by Machiavelli. In these other works, he describes the forms of government and which are most preferable and why.

What can be learned from The Prince?

Niccolo Machiavelli’s The Prince is a political work that teaches how to rule pragmatically, rather than philosophically. Instead of describing the best form of government, Machiavelli teaches those in power how to remain in power. Unlike Aristotle’s Politics, The Prince is a handbook for leaders. In this book, he explains practical steps for rulers to take given certain situations. In other words, this book reads more like a diagnostic manual for rulers than a treatise on government.

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

Niccolo Machiavelli

Grab your copy of The Prince

Niccolo Machiavelli, author of The Prince
Portrait of Niccolo Machiavelli

About Niccolo Machiavelli

Machiavelli has become somewhat of a shadowy figure in history. He is often thought of as a very mysterious figure. However, Niccolo Machiavelli was a rather normal politician whose work has likely inspired good and leaders. In fact, he’s not much of a mystery at all. We know quite a bit about him.

Machiavelli was  an ambassador and military adviser in the Florentine Republic. But, he was not a highly-ranked figure. That said, his knowledge of history and understanding of politics ensured he had the ear of his superiors. His acumen as a tactful observer helped him to see the big picture and predict outcomes fairly well. If you want to learn more about Machiavelli, you can do that here.

211. Elitism and Prideful Disdain | A Nasty Story by Fyordor Dostoevsky Conversation of Our Generation

In Dostoevsky's Nasty Story, we follow the dreadful evening of a prideful bureaucrat. The story follows Ivan Ilyich Pralinsky, as he decides to crash his subordinate's wedding reception. His reason for doing so, whether he admits it or not, is his pride. And, that's what I want to discuss today: how elitism leads people to pride and a disdain for "common people." What is Elitism? Basically, elitism is the idea that a group of wealthy, powerful people deserve their wealth and power. Even if the elites are born into it, they still feel deserving. And, if they're deserving, then the common people they look down on did something to be undeserving. So, it turns out to create a sort of social, political, and financial caste system. The problem is, the self-proclaimed elites aren't always deserving of the praise they seek. So, it can go wrong for them. Humbling the Elites In the past, I've reviewed Dostoevsky's work, and discussed the neuroticism of his characters. Ivan Ilyich Pralinsky is no exception. Throughout this story, he has this inner dialogue where he'll be held up as a hero of the people. But, the story doesn't go the way he planned it. In the end, he is humbled terribly and it shows that the higher one holds himself up, the further he can fall. Pralinsky's elitist attitude blinded him from reality just as our elites are today. If you want to read it, you can find it for free here. For more book reviews and discussions like these, check out my library. For more on this, click here for the full episode and show notes to Elitism and Prideful Disdain. Subscribe to my podcast, wherever you listen, here>> — Send in a voice message: https://anchor.fm/conofourgen/message Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/conofourgen/support
  1. 211. Elitism and Prideful Disdain | A Nasty Story by Fyordor Dostoevsky
  2. 210. Political Action and the Call to "Do Something"
  3. 209. Breaking the Rules of Philosophy
  4. 208. Failures of Modernity and Rationality
  5. 207. Was Lincoln a Good President?

Leave a Reply

Powered by WordPress.com.

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: