[Haile Selassie] never had the time, nor the means, to live through the age when one learns to distinguish between right and wrong. Raised among plots, intrigues and cruelty, he learned to survive through cynicism and all his life was focused on the struggle to conquer power and to hold onto it. He achieved this without any scruples, often turning to methods which would have shocked the Borgias and Machiavelli put together.
Machiavelli says that if as a ruler you accept that your every action must pass moral scrutiny, you will without fail be defeated by an opponent who submits to no such moral test. To hold on to power, you have not only to master the crafts of deception and treachery but to be prepared to use them where necessary.j. m. coetzee
Machiavelli is the complete contrary of a machiavellian, since he describes the tricks of power and “gives the whole show away.” The seducer and the politician, who live in the dialectic and have a feeling and instinct for it, try their best to keep it hidden.maurice merleau-ponty
The Prince was written by Machiavelli for the Haves on how to hold power. Rules for Radicals is written for the Have-Nots on how to take it away. In this book we are concerned with how to create mass organizations to seize power and give it to the people; to realize the democratic dream of equality, justice, peace, cooperation, equal and full opportunities for education, full and useful employment, health, and the creation of those circumstances in which man can have the chance to live by values that give meaning to life.saul alinsky
From Carlyle onwards, but especially in the last generation, the British intelligentsia have tended to take their ideas from Europe and have been infected by habits of thought that derive ultimately from Machiavelli.:; All the cults that have been fashionable in the last dozen years, Communism, Fascism, and pacifism, are in the last analysis forms of power worship.george orwell
The most superficial fact regarding the Discourses , the fact that the number of its chapters equals the number of books of Livy 's History , compelled us to start a chain of tentative reasoning which brings us suddenly face to face with the only New Testament quotation that ever appears in Machiavelli 's two books and with an enormous blasphemy.leo strauss
A thoughtful historian tells us that, between the Middle Ages and the nineteenth century, Italy produced three great men. As the first of these, he names Machiavelli , who he says, "taught the world to understand political despotism and to hate it"; as the second, he names Sarpi, who "taught the world after what manner the Holy Spirit guides the Councils of the Church"; and as the third, Galileo , who "taught the world what dogmatic theology is worth when it can be tested by science."Andrew Dickson White
Machiavelli, however, took his bearings from people as they are. He defined the political project as making the best of this flawed material. He knew (in words Kant would write almost three centuries later) that nothing straight would be made from the crooked timber of humanity.George Will
If a 19th century capitalist Machiavelli had wished to cripple the socialist intelligentsia of the 20th century, he could have invented no more cogent weapon than the labour theory of value. Yet this theory was the invention, not of a defender of capitalism, but of its greatest critic: Karl Marx.
I am firmly convinced that the passionate will for justice and truth has done more to improve man's condition than calculating political shrewdness which in the long run only breeds general distrust. Who can doubt that Moses was a better leader of humanity than Machiavelli ?
Machiavelli is the complete contrary of a machiavellian, since he describes the tricks of power and “gives the whole show away.” The seducer and the politician, who live in the dialectic and have a feeling and instinct for it, try their best to keep it hidden.