Quentin Skinner: "Machiavelli: A Very Short Introduction" | Talks at Google
Well. Thank you very much for inviting me, it's really a pleasure to be here I was. Just looking up, checking. A reference this, morning for something that Shakespeare said about Machiavelli, so, what do I do. Google. Of. Course I could, not live my life without Google, I couldn't begin to do that so thank, you all very much for existing. And, thank. You for the invitation. Well. Here. We've lost him now but that was Machiavelli. And among. Philosophers Machiavelli. Is unusual. In fact I can't think of many other examples in, that, we've turned him into an adjective haven't, we so that you might say of someone well that was rather. Machiavellian. I'm. Not sure that we always know what we mean that's what I was looking up in Shakespeare he says of, course he makes, the infamous, Richard. Say I could. Send, the murderous, machiavel to. School so. He's murderous. But. Many different things are meant by talking about machiavellianism. So. I thought what might be useful is if I were to try to do something which is quite difficult which is not, to ask what we, might mean by this but what did Machiavelli. Mean, by it himself and. I'll. Try to do that by way of talking I'll just talk for half an hour just Ravon at you and then we. Can talk together I hope which will be more. Interesting I think for you, I've. Tried to do this by talking, about the book that I think people most often and most often, have in mind when they talk about. Machiavellianism, which is his book you, príncipe the prince. Completed. In, 1513. First printed. In, 1532. And of, course not, long, after that it becomes as it has remained ever since and absolutely. Global. Text and even if you write about him you, become a global text so just briefly to boast this, at the book is, currently available in. 25. Languages. And, of. Course that. Is simply. The, global name I'll. Start by saying a word if I may about Machiavelli's, life because, that's extremely, important, in relation, to his political philosophy so. He's a Florentine he's, born in 1469, son, of a lawyer all, that's learned about his early life is that, he has a good classical. Education which. In those days meant, learning, Latin, to. A very high standard I mean he writes he's, bilingual he. Writes in Latin as well as in English and and often, of course when he's writing, legations, he's. Writing effectively, in code, writing. In Latin rather than in Italian, they're on the cusp of Italian but of course they've already had Dante, and Petra and so they have a great literary language to which he very. Spectacularly. Contributes. Himself. So. There is his education. The first that history hears of Machiavelli, is in the Year 1498, so. France. Invades, Italy in 1490, the Medici, who have been informal. Tyrants. Of Florence, for the last 50 years they. Quite soon get thrown out and the traditional. Florentine. Republic is, restored. And from. Nowhere Machiavelli. Still only in his twenties becomes.
The, Second, Chancellor, of the. Florentine Republic. He. Has no previous administrative, experience, that's known about actually quite a lot of research has been done on this because the RTB only starter was good influence, and you can find out quite, a lot about Machiavelli's, entry, into the Chancery but. It comes from nowhere but. He is second. Secretary, and as. Second. Secretary he ranks, as one of the secretaries to, the, chancellor piero so Divini who is a friend in. Consequence, of which he, is sent, on a number of diplomatic, missions and, that's what's important, in relation, to his, political writings, the. First is in, 1499, to Catalina Schwartz I mention, it because it's important, to remind ourselves especially, in, a book that is I have to say very heavily gendered. In its thinking about politics that in order to be a prince in relational Italy you did not have to be a man and Machiavelli. Is extreme, impressed and actually rather cross, with Catherina, Sforza she, turns out to be a very difficult person to negotiate. With so. That's 1499, and then in 1500, he is sent for the first of four, trips. That he makes long trips to the court of Louis. The 12th of France, and on. Each of these occasions he has a number of audiences, with. The king in, 15. Three he sent to, cover the papal election, the Borgia, Pope Alexander. The, sixth has died and. He. Is succeeded, by julius, ii, Machiavelli. Meets of course both these, people, and, he. Subsequently has several meetings with julius, ii and. Then, in 15/8, last, of his really important, legations. He sent for six months to, the court of maximilian. The Holy Roman Emperor, now. He's. Met the Pope on many, occasions, he's met the King of France on many occasions, he spent several months. Talking. To the Holy Roman Emperor this explains a certain tone about his politics he's the insider he knows what's going on he's met the leaders of, Western. Europe of the time he really has and they, all of course reappear, in the pages of the Prince Louie, the twelfth typical Frenchman doesn't understand statecraft. Julius. Ii bonkers. Maximilian. Hopeless. Useless. Emperor, never. Can decide anything doesn't know what he's doing nobody knows nobody, can trust him so there's, a loftiness of course about the, resume that he gives all these people but my point is simply. He. Is the insider and that's a, truth, about him and he wants you to understand it, alright. Then so the final phase of his life stems. From julius, ii, with typical, impetuosity trying, to get the french out of Italy allies with the Spanish that, brings the dreaded Spanish, infantry, into, Italy and.
The. Whole of the area held by the French which is roughly the line in. The Po Valley of, the great cities including. Milano. And of course we then see is an ally they. Are under. Enormous threat and to. Stop Florence being sacked they simply surrender. The. Republic collapses, the, main princes are returned, so. Machiavelli, is out, of a job, permanently. He. Goes into retirement in to, his his farm South the floor I didn't have any we've seen it he complains a lot about it in his letters but if you go there I don't think you would complain it's absolutely lovely house in San Andrea very, good restaurant there as well so he, is there until his death in 1527. And the outpouring, of literary. Works none of which of course he expected to write he was going to go on being a major civil servant of the Republic but. He. Writes the discourse she on Livy, he. Writes the, art of war which, is published in I mean printed in 1521. He. Writes the florentine histories, which talk to of huge work occupies, him the last five years of his life but, the first work that she writes after he loses his position is the, prince and we know a lot about the, writing, of the prince because he's in correspondence with a friend of his Francesco Totti, about. Writing, it so he it's a wonderful letter and recently, described as the most famous letter in the Italian language he. Says you know I'm living it in this terrible hole and I'm not in Florence but I'm entering. The courts of the Ancients and asking, them to tell me their wisdom and I've written a little book about it and it's, called actually he says they prin key part of us but, T he, writes it in Italian, and it's, completed by, Christmas of 1513. Now. Of course all these books the mirror for princes books this is a book of advice to princes they have dedications, and the, usual dedication, will say well you're amazing, and I'm, nothing Matthew. Those dedication, is extraordinary. It's. From. A literary point of view because he says to these medici, princess to whom the book is dedicated first, to Giuliano. Who. Dies in 1516, and then to Lorenzo, its rededicated. In 1516. When he revises it he says look your new princess you don't know everything I've, been doing this for many years I really know what's going on so listen. Up good is it. I mean it's an extraordinary. Address. To a prince in the Renaissance you don't talk to them like that but, this is Machiavelli, and then. There is a concluding exhortation, to the Medici says look you've got back into path and, there's. A great metaphorical. Account of how it, is bleeding. Italy. Is wounded, so. Of, course the metaphor is Italy, needs doctors, well he doesn't have to because he's echoing. It what is the Italian for doctors. Made. It she. So. He's addressing the people whom he thinks will be the doctors, so. They. Need advice what. Advice. Do, they need, well. Machiavelli, has two answers and one is a high-flown one which, is brings, us into the heart of, Renaissance. Moral, and political ideals, is what. Is it to be a prince it is to seek glory and posthumously.
Fame Of course famous in the hands of the historians, which is why you must be polite to them but, for the moment what you're seeking is to do what Machiavelli calls, grand, cosy great, things of such, a kindness will give contentment. To the people they'll be amazed and pleased and they. Will bring, you honor and glory, but. He says that's not of course the basic thing that you have to do as a prince the, basic, thing is and here's a little phrase that echoes, all through the príncipe you've, got to Montaner. He lost a toe lost. A toe in modern italian of course just means the state but, it already got four Machiavelli, very, very early instance in the very first sentence of the book he says all the states that's how he begins to te least RT all the states exist in suggests that either monarchies, or republics so, he has the idea of a state as an apparatus of government meaning. And apparatus of government but of course in addressing, a prince he's also saying look you've got to maintain your state at your standing, your status. Your. State as the prince your princely state as we would say in an old literary. Phrase, because. Of course if you lose, your, princely state you, will have lost your state as well. So. The question is and notice there's. A little piece of French echoing, here isn't there the coup d'etat the blow against. Your state or standing as a ruler how. Do you avoid that how do you maintain, your. State that's the question. Well. There are two basic, answers I think in this book the prince and. One. This is again, a very. Renaissance. Opposition. It's an opposition, between two, great powers, or forces, and one, is foot fortuna, one is fortune, and the other is veer too however, we translate, that so. We begin with, fortune, so, Machiavelli, of, course he doesn't say this but he's, the kind of political philosopher, who thinks the idea of a science of politics is ridiculous, because, politics, is actually all about statecraft. It's not about institutions. About which you might have rules and even predictions, and it, might begin to look like a science but he's saying no this is about leadership, and, this is a book about leadership. And. So, the, first thing that you have to understand, if you're a political leader is you need so much luck, you. Need buona fortuna. And. You. Need luck in all sorts, of ways first, of all you. Need to suit the x, chapter. 25 which is the chapter on Fortuna. Says, if you don't suit the times you're. Ridiculous, and of course you know the the figure of Cervantes is not far, off is it you know someone who, he. Doesn't know nobody, goes around on a horse rescuing, maidens, from castle we don't do that anymore you know you're looking silly so. Matthew Bailey has this profound sense, that you're going to look silly unless you suit 8mp the times and sometimes. He seems to think the times is, going to do everything, for you you can be swept away by the times, but. You could be someone he says of julius ii, the pope look this man was actually crazy. But. The times were, exactly, right for him because. He was utterly impetuous. If he, needed to moderate and sink then, of course the times would have been. Hopeless. For him because, he couldn't do that but. He suited the time so that's why he's succeeded, but. There's a second way in which even very great political, leaders, need luck, and. This takes us into a particular passion. Of classical, and relational. Philosophy, the idea of time. Is not just duration. But also timeliness, in in the Greek Kairos you, remember it from Ecclesiastes there, is a time for this there is a time for that Machiavelli. Has this very, strongly in mind there, is a time. Even for great leaders, and. The idea of a mutant glorious, Milton, is always there you could be a great leader but no one has ever heard of you because the times didn't require it and. He gives the example of Moses he says well cause Moses cheated because he had this great help which, nobody else has had in politics, which is this person you, know he says come up the mountain I'll tell you what, to do. So, Moses has God but, above, all the. Israelites, are enslaved, there's. No leadership of them unless they're enslaved so that was a bit of luck not, a bit of luck for the Israelites but a tremendous, piece of Warner for tuna for Moses. Because he had the chance to. Display his great powers and duly did. Thirdly. Machiavelli. Doesn't, of course use this phrase because it's a piece of modern American, slang but you can get lucky and.
It's. Very important, in politics, to know how to get, lucky, notice. There's a distinction, as. The Royces in relational philosophy between fortune. And fate fortune. Is a power that is susceptible. Of alliance you can do something, as we would say commercializing. The idea you can make your fortune, but. That's the underlying idea of course he doesn't mean make money he means make glory that, is making, your fortune, so. You have to know how to make your fortune what are the qualities needed and, he. Has in this great chapter on the power of fortune in human affairs chapter 25 he. Has two letter firs one is highly, objectionable but. I'll have to mention them both the first is Fortuna. He. Says it's called me what is it like it's calming and fuming, it's like a river so. The force of the metaphor is that's treacherous, he's thinking of the honor you go to Florence in June, the arno is almost empty of water you go after the Alps of melted, in March and it's an absolute, raging torrent, so. He's saying look. You're. Going to have to embankment. It's no use waiting for the winter, you've. Got to embankment, when it's empty so, the whole point is, foresight. Prudence. That's. How to get lucky. The. Other and highly objectionable. To. Us metaphor. Is famously, Machiavelli La Fortuna you know Donna. Fortune, is a woman, that's. To say this is an arena of conquest. You're trying to win. So. There's the. Male/female. Principles, which have do somewhat, underlie the text, and they're. The point is Machiavelli, says, be. Audacious, in. His very last letter Machiavelli, reflecting, on his own life says and. It sort of summarizes, this part of his philosophy it's, always, better to have done something and repented, than not to have done it and repent it so. There's the I go, for it is that's. How to get lucky you won't get lucky unless you go for it you may not get lucky but you may get lucky that's, what it's like, la fortuna even, adorned up. Okay. So there's fortune, but. In a position to fortune and this is you, find this iconography, all over, the, Nationals buildings of Florence. Don't you is Vitas. That in against. Fortuna in Italian. Veer true and this. Is, the. Figure of the virtuoso, and. In, a way we we. Talk about a virtuoso, still. Don't we but we mean well of course it in general we mean something who can do something absolutely amazing. In public and that's. What Machiavelli means, of course that's what a prince is someone, who can do amazing things in public that's to say has. This quality well what is the quality of vr-2 it is this quality it is with, complete consistency, the name of that set of qualities which enable, you to deal. With misfortunes. To ally with fortune. And. To. Rise to. Glory while. Maintaining your state it's, the name of the qualities, that do that okay. However. You'll want to say yeah but wait a minute. What. Are those qualities. What. Are those qualities. Now. To understand, Machiavelli's, Prince I think, you, have to see that his answer, to that question, takes, the form of a commentary, on the.
Roman, Moral, and political philosophy that, he learned at school and. If. You think of this book as a book about Cicero. You. Won't go, far wrong there. To great, moral philosophers, who would. Have been studied by Machiavelli in the greatest detail and the. First is Cicero, and especially the, book called the deaf Ickes I. Mean. It was said you, know movable-type. Printing in, the West has invented in Germany in the 14th 40s and what do they do is it will they print the Bible but, of course it comes to Italy only less, than a generation later and what do they do they print Cicero, so. They have the difference between German initially in the restaurants and. Cicero's. Book the, Cordell focus concerning, duties your offices what what what, is your the duty of your office this. A Machiavelli, would have learnt his Latin by. Reading. Ok, what. Is Cicero tell us he. Says well there are four virtues, and there the so called cardinal, virtues and they are the cardinal virtues of antiquity. They are prudence. That's to say practical. Wisdom and. Courage temperance. And most important. Of all and especially in politics justice. So. Cicero, focuses, on justice. Now. Justice, is the distinctively, human virtue that's the first thing he wants you to know I mean animals, have courage of, course and they they might even have, temperance. Who knows but. They. Don't have justice, and so. Injustice. Is, unworthy. Of humankind. And, Cicero. Loves these metaphors it's brutal, you're being a brute it's beastly you're being a beast you're not being a man, so notice man woman but also man beast very. Important in. The in the in. The layout of the metaphoric ality of this work and, so. There are two forms of injustice, one. Is using, force instead, of law and of, course what's, beastly, about that is which is the animal you are imitating the lion that's, the image of pure force or even. Worse, and contrary to justice is fraud, and. Which. Is the animal you're imitating then, the, Fox the Fox is the symbol of fraud and guile just. As the line is for symbol of strength both are brutal. Beastly. Not. Humane, not human so. There's the first thought. This. Second is. Encapsulated. In. The English, proverbial. Phrase honesty is the best policy, always be just, y. Always, be just well. In politics. Cicero, really wants to stress this you're on a stage, you. Are seen by, everyone they, can see what's going on you, you're, always on display. So. You've. Got nowhere to hide let that's the thought it's in public, life and that's the force of the image you are in, front, of an audience all the time so, you better behave and if you don't behave your. Sins will find you out. Now. To. That thought, Christian. Writers on how. To advise. Princes and I'm thinking of someone like Aquinas, ease education. Of the Christian prints ad. Yeah. But there's a much more important, reason why you must always be just which is that there's a day of judgment and, if. You. Have seriously. Sinned as a ruler that, will be declared at the day of judgment and you will be penalized and then, you'll be sorry that you weren't just so, it's always here's, the thought it's, always, rational, to, be moral. Okay. So there Cicero the other figure I need to say a word about very, very important for the political theory of the resource is Seneca, because Seneca writes, under, Nero two very important, moral, treatises, about politics and one is called the day benefit keys on, concerning, benefits which, is about non contractual, relations, and here, the fundamental virtue, is not justice, but generosity. The. Great thing about generosity is it's better, than justice. The. Second text. She writes is called de clemente are concerning mercy, and again. This of course he's writing on De Niro's he's writing in praise of monarchy. Monarchs. Can be Clement laws can't be Clement laws have to be just so clemency, again it's better than justice, so you have these two so-called. Princely, virtues. Okay. Now I, want, to say. Now. Think. Of the Prince as a commentary, on all of that now. If, you think of it as a country on the four cardinal virtues.
Machiavelli. He doesn't speak up for temperance, does he but we've seen him speaking up because. He prefers impetuosity I, think but. We've seen him speaking up for prudence in relation to the fool who may and courage. In relation, to LaDonna, but. What, she mainly concentrates, on and these are the central, chapters, of the prince both. Politically. Speaking and, also physically, speaking chapters, 15 16 17 18 19 is, a book of 26 chapters the, core chapters, are Machiavelli. Says introducing. Him in chapter 15 how, should the Prince behave towards other princes and his, subjects, he always says his but of course he will have Caterina in mind the, prince are, their subjects, as we would say. So. He's going to concentrate, on the princely, virtues liberality. And. Clemency. And. Justice. Okay. So what does he want you to understand about these the, first thing he wants you to know is that, we live in corrupt times and we often misunderstand. The virtues and he, thinks in Renaissance, Europe, the, virtue of liberality, is. Misunderstood. People. Think it means giving enormous gifts, to a small number of people Machiavelli. Says that's not liberality that's, extravagance. Extravagance. Is the name of a vice not a virtue so you've misunderstood, the virtue. The. The. Other cardinal not, cardinal virtue the other princely, virtue which is crucial to Machiavelli, in. Misunderstanding. The virtues is. Clemency, he. Says well now we think, we're very civilized and so what we think is Clement, is just not punishing, but. He says that's that's not clemency. That's. Being proper factually. That's that's being too. Easygoing, I suppose would be the best translation and at, this moment amazingly. He mounts an attack on the most impeccable of the Roman heroes skip EO and skip here was famous for his clemency you remember, and. His, clemency was most celebrated in Spain, when his army. Mutinied. And he, forgave the mutiny no one was punished, so.
What Happened, them. Usually it again so. Machiavelli says so that wasn't. That, was just stupid. So. We misunderstand. The virtues and underlying, this is a passion, in relational sculpture, Shakespeare. Is obsessed, by it that, you can always manipulate the. Terminology, of virtue and vice. So. I can, say well. To. Take some, of Shakespeare's examples. That was, a very cautious, act so some always say when that wasn't cautious that was avaricious or well. That was really courageous I wasn't courageous, that was just reckless, so. The whole of moral, language can, begin to, look, fuzzy in this way and Machiavelli is saying where we are indeed a victim, of that fuzziness. But. The, main thing he wants you to think about is justice, and what he wants you to know and I'm going to come to a close shortly, and so I'm going to turn to the text because I really need to read exactly what he says is it's not that we misunderstand, justice, we, must misunderstand. The role of justice. In political. Life, now. Here, you are your prince what's your basic, task remember, it is, Montaner. Ela started, to remain, in power not, be taken. Down and of. Course to use your, power to do great. Things and, hovering is an almost impious thought the power and the glory you're. Using power for, glory but. Then he says look. Wake. Up this is an unjust world, if you. Always. Behave, justly, in an unjust world you. Will lose, your, state and I, want to quote now but because what I want to show you is that this which, is almost the most central claim that he wishes to make is laid, out as a, parody. I think satyr on. Cicero. Everyone. Knows how praiseworthy it, is for rulers to keep their promises, and live uprightly, nevertheless. His, favorite, fresh non DiMarco no rules I mean there's always an exception nevertheless. Experience. Shows that in, our time the rulers, who have done grande cozy who have done great things have, held the keeping of their word and the maintenance of justice of little. Account I. Say. There are two ways of contending, one, is by law but the other is by force the first it's true is appropriate, for men and the second for beasts, notice all the Ciceronian story, but. The former, is insufficient. So the prince must, have recourse to the latter so. Ruler. Must know how to imitate beasts. As well as employing. Manly. Methods. Sisera. Must, know how to act like a beast he'd better know which to imitate, and I say, he should imitate both, the lion and the, Fox, a. Prudent. Ruler therefore is not going, to keep his word and nor should he when. That will endanger. His. Startle. This. Advice would not be good if men were good but. They are not and will, not keep their promises to you. So. You should, not necessarily. Keep your promises, to, them it. Is those who are best able to imitate the Fox who. Succeed, best. So. The basic, Machiavellian, rule I thought it's very simple it's. At the heart of the book and I'm going to quote at the very beginning where he lays it out when he says I'm now turning to how Prince's should behave chapter, 15, there. Is such a great distance between, how we live and how he ought to live that anyone who sets aside what is done for what ought to be done learns, more, quickly what will ruin him then maintain, his state a man. Who wishes to make a profession, of doing, good in all things will be ruined, amongst. The many who, are not good, hence. If a, ruler wishes, mantenere. Lo stato he. Must learn. Esther. Anand warner, the italian says he must learn to be, not good to. Act contrary to justice, so. There's the fundamental, claim. However. There, are two supplementary, Machiavellian. Rules. One. Is you. Must only act, like this if it's necessary, this. Is this, is not advice, to a mafia boss this, is advice. It in extremis, that's to say where, it is indispensable. To, preserving, your state you, must be willing to against, the dictates of justice, not. Otherwise. Secondly. And of course this is where Mac evades notoriety, arraign. Arises. You've. Got a seem to be good that's.
Very Important, you can't always act, well, but, you must make absolutely sure it, looks all right. And. Let. Me quote where he says that exactly, a. Ruler. Then need not possess, the princely virtues but, he must seem, - indeed. I shall, be so bold as to say that having. And always, cultivating, them is harmful, but, seeming, to have them is indispensable. You must seem merciful, you were seen trustworthy, you must seem upright. But. If it becomes necessary to refrain, you. Must be prepared to act in the opposite way but notice if it is necessary. Otherwise, you, must always seem. Well. There in brief is the story except. That of course there, are as we saw going to be classical, objections, to that and Christian, objections. The. Classical, objection, you remember is it's always rational, to be honest I mean honesty, is the best policy it's, rational to behave justly, because, you are on stage, as a leader people are going to see everything you do they'll, soon find you out, what. Did Machiavelli, say about that well. He, says I'm. Going. To quote again. He. Says this. Is extremely. Naive. In these, days and in these matters. Men. Judge more by their eyes than, by their hands, everyone. Is capable of seeing you but few really touches, you everyone. Can see what you appear to be, no. One much, has the direct experience of how you really, are and those, will not dare to challenge the popular perception with. Regard to all actions, but especially those of rulers men. Pay attention, to the outcome. They're. Not really going to ask is this. An honest, Presidente. They're going to ask how is the economy doing, if. A, ruler from tribes therefore, to conquer and preserve his state he. Will always be judged, honorable, and be praised by everyone, so. He's, saying don't. Be naive about that politics. Is about outcomes. But. Remember, the Christian objection, the, final, and most important, one is because a day of judgment you've got it all wrong, if you act like this now that's, going to be disclosed, you're, going to be punished eternally don't. Do it so, what is Machiavelli, say about. That. Nothing. And. That. Silence, at. The time would. Have been the most amazing, thing about the, book. Thank. You. Thank. You very much, any. Questions. Thank. You very much Quentin um you. Mentioned concept of shame and the idea that if. You you may have to do shameful, things but you should present yourself as not having done those yes shameful, things. Obviously. We live in a world where you. Might argue push in doing things that would previously, have been embarrassing to them and it's, being. Put onto public stage we know when they are being hypocritical, we know when they have done something in their personal life it's embarrassing, and yet.
To Some extent they are living. With their sins and maintaining. Their position would that have surprised. Machiavelli would it yes. Well, he's, quite cynical about this that's a very good point to raise and he doesn't have a subtle answer to it. Because. He thinks that most of this classical, moralism is quite naive, and that. It's. Actually, because. It's. Not really, true that you're on the public stage here's, the point Cicero. Is writing about a Republican, politics you're in a representative. Assembly or you're meeting the people everything. Is indeed in public but he's saying look that's, not how it is in modern politics you're, actually living in a palace you've got guards, you're you've got a big security service, it's you're out of sight, and. This. Actually. Allows him a further thought which is the absurdity, for Machiavelli, of the, classical, idea of decorum, in public, life and, especially sexual, decorum, and. And he says well I don't see why we're worrying about this this is not going to cause, you to lose your state, you're. Living in this enormous palace you're, paying these people if they start to tell on you you're fathom, they know that they won't don't, don't you don't have to worry about that and so. There's, this idea that, the. Politics, of modernity is not the politics of the Republic it's the politics of the. Closed space. It's, presidential, politics. It's absolutist. Politics, and then. Your worries just don't arise it's naive to think they do. Of. Course in Republic's it's, different. But. He's writing for monarchies. Yes. You. Started off by Croatian, Shakespeare, and obviously, making him regal in our time how, did his name. Persist, over centuries. Machiavelli's. Yes well, um. Yes. It. It's. An interesting development. When. This book is first printed. There's. No difficulty about printing, it and it's. Printed, in first, in Rome and then in Florence and then, it begins to be printed all over Europe it's, not until the papacy, panics in the counter-reformation and, sets. Up an index, of prohibited books, the, very first person to appear on the index of prohibited books for opera omnia everything. He ever wrote is prohibited. Was Machiavelli and so. In a way it's the papacy, who invents, the, murderous machiavel, and then. He appears as a figure, on the Elizabethan, stage if, we're talking about the English language case. Shakespeare. Is very aware of him and but. He's aware of the sort of Machiavelli. Who Marlowe. Puts, on the stage. And. The figure of Yago of someone who seems to me motiveless in his malignity, has, sometimes been thought of as Machiavellian, but, what it's come to mean by then is simply. Having. No morality at all whereas, I'm trying to say look this is someone who is a classical. Moralist, critical, of certain naivety, of classical, moralism and so, he is a profound moralist. It's, just that it's not a morality that gels. With Christian morality at all on the contrary it's. Really an anti Christian morality, so. There's. The early modern story and then, Machiavelli, is rediscovered.
Machiavelli, I haven't had time to talk about you all you have to invite me back which. Is why he gets a gigantic, tomb in the 18th century in Santa Croce and is. Widely. Worshipped in, the resoultion mento is the. Machiavelli, who wrote the discourse II in which he says look you, can either live it freely or you can live under a prince, now he says that in the first gentleness of the prince but he doesn't go into it he says I'm writing for princes but he is a Republican, he. Is a, profound. Believer, in, self-government. And it's. Not exactly democracy. Because, of course it's it's going to be, the. Enfranchise, a, small. Subset, of the total population but. They will enact, laws for themselves and that, ideal of self-government. In. A republic, as the, proper model then, turns Machiavelli. Into. A hero first of all in, in 17th, century in the English revolution where. All, the Republicans, read Machiavelli so, Milton, and. Harrington, and, Sidney, and all the heroes of English, republicanism, Machiavelli. Is the, hero. Absolutely. The same in the American Revolution, it's, Machiavelli's, discourse she which amongst others is the, founding, text for the American Revolution because, he is the person who says if your subject in any way to, a monarchical, power which is arbitrary, you are a slave that's, what slavery is it's, being subject, to somebody else's will and that's. The beginning of the discourse see he's saying if you live under a ruler you're subject to their will but that's slavery slavery, is being subject to someone's will you, must only be subject to your own will but, how can you be subject only to your own world in politics well by governing yourself so, it's a story about democracy, or. At least about republicanism, a radical, republicanism, so that became extremely, important, in the English revolution and in. The American Revolution, and then. Of course the 19th century story it is one of the Risorgimento I mean get, rid of the Austrians get rid of the monarchy set up a modern Republic and so. Graham Sheehan and others make a hero out of Machiavelli's, príncipe as the person who, sees what it would be to have a sovereign state which, was, nonetheless. A self-governing, state so. It's a complex story but, I mean the irony is I think that the the murderous, machiavel is, an invention of the papacy. Of. Course Machiavelli, detested. And despised the papacy, and, he says that one amazing moment in the discourse see writing. In 1516, this, institution. Is so corrupt, that I cannot but imagine, that some enormous. Is about to hit it because, he's out by only ten months. Luther. Okay. Thank. You so much and you were talking in the beginning about you know, how. He was starting. To write the book and that he dedicated it to the to the Medici yes you've just been saying how sort, of the perception, changed, over time and, so on but, how is it perceived, at the time sort of for, the people he was writing it for yes okay any sort of reaction, of the Medici, maybe. Even to how he dedicated, it to them or you know how they were perceiving, this at the time yeah of other leaders very. Good question and from. The machiavelli's, perspective, it's a bitterly disappointing, answer he writes the book as a book of advice it's almost a job application.
He's. Been very very senior official in the Republic he wants back into power you. Know he's had I didn't have any of you have seen his offices in the Palazzo Vecchio in Florence I mean, they're very spectacular, he's very important, and they're, well worth seeing. So. He's out of all that he wants this is his passport back and, so. He first, tries. It on Giuliano, but he's he, dies in 1516, and then. It's going to be presented to. Not. Answer but, Vettori won't do it Vittori, who. Is back in the regime and is. Important, from is a very close friend. Just. Won't talk to him about it he says well I've rigged your book and then. He won't, say anything about it she's horrified. And. So, it's never presented and. He. Dies without it being printed. It's, not quite clear how it comes to be printed except that his wife who is much younger outlived, him by 25, years and she, would have had all the manuscripts, and then, it. Is put into print almost immediately and of course it's a sensation, straightaway of course. But. It's never, it. Never does the job that he hoped it would do. Thanks, going to does, Machiavelli, specifically. Talk about trust. You framed. Something. Similar around being, honorable but does he explicitly, explore. The. Concept, of trust, itself yes that's a good question and. He. Does in as much as he thinks and he. Says at one point he's not a great political psychologist, but, he says at one point in the prints look everything. I say is predicated. On the assumption that people are not to be trusted, and. That you cannot expect. Trust and he or Oh other than thinking of treaties, our. Treaty will be kept especially, about the French if and only if it suits the French to keep it otherwise it won't be kept and that's, the hard truth about politics, so. Trust. Of course in Latin fides, is in. The classical, tradition held, to be the foundation of justice, and of course the watchword, of the law is fides. Sit serve and a good faith trust. Must always be kept and you, could therefore say, and. It wouldn't be much of a stretch that, this is a book about how that's that's, really not going to work that really is not going to work and I, think another extraordinary, shocking, moment in the book is one that we can't readily recapture.
Is. In. The book although it's written in Italian the chapter headings are in Latin and chapter. 18 in the Latin and takes. Up this question. Which. Is Cicero's. Phrase. But of course it's it's almost a proverb fides. Sits evander trust, good face keeping. Your promises must always be kept and. Machiavelli's. Chapter, heading is. Quomodo. Fides. Sits, around there how far should we keep our faith well if you're reading that I mean no wonder the books an immediate sensation you can't believe that, chapter any what do you mean how far should i but. That for him is the whole point. But. Of course he's not a theorist, of trust and here later. Writers. On santa politics and especially I, think, Hobbes, probably, has him in mind in Leviathan, when he. Introduces, the figure of the fool and the, fool is the person who says in his heart there is no justice. I'm. Now quoting Hobbes and he, says look this person, cannot be allowed into any, corporation. Into, any civil, Association, at all because. What this person, has just proclaimed is, that. They will tell you that they're going to meet you for lunch at 1:00 but you've got no reason to think they will but, this is someone you can't contract with but if you can't contract with them you can't have any social. Relations at all so. That, view, of Machiavelli's, became, of, course, an. Extremely polemical. One and. The. Natural law tradition is, there to say actually. That's, really a huge mistake about politics and the question of whether it is or it isn't of course we. Continue to debate. Thank. You so much for coming and for, sharing your thoughts with us it's very interesting, my. Question is real going we're living through a very interesting time politically, everywhere, you know Latin America, Europe the US and I. Just wonder if Machiavelli, was alive what. Would he be thinking, about the leaders we have you, know some of the more. Exciting, or interesting, world, leaders, what, would he be I don't know saying to people, close to him yes. Well. He, is a fierce moralist, and. His. Morality is however completely, consequential. Always so. He. Doesn't think that there are inherent goods he thinks that you. Have to judge whether something, was politically, good by the consequences. He. Never says the end justifies, the means but, he does at one point in the discourse he say, ends, can excuse means, so. He's, talking about Romulus, and the founding of Rome and the fact that he killed his brother when they disagreed, and that's, fratricide, so he, says the, deed accuses, him but. The outcome, which was the founding of Rome which roasts rule in the world excuses.
Him So. His complete consequentialist. He's, also someone who, has, a passion for not seeming naive, so. He would he, likes not to be shocked. And. Indeed, he's very reluctant, to feel shocked, that's just seems to be a feature of his personality, so, I don't think he would be shocked. By our politics I don't think he'd be surprised, by our politics, but. He would definitely think they're extraordinarily. Corrupt. Because. The. Foundation of corruption, is putting. Your interests. Sectional. Or personal, or party, or corporate, above, the public interest that's what corruption, means in, Machiavelli, because. Unless you put the public interest, first there, will be no success. Of running, a civil society that has, to be run in an uncorrupted and, that's, really the central. Doctrine. Of the discovery. In talking about democratic, politics which is what he is talking about there is how. Easy it is to corrupt people and, that's why he's a great enemy of the rich he says the rich will always bribe you, and. That's what the Medici did they found out who was sitting on all the committees and they went round and said how about a. Big. Loan the. Bank and of course a of course the bank went bankrupt because they did this so much but they, corrupted, an entire political. Community. So, and we still say don't we bribery, and corruption bribery, being the example of it so, he's a great foe of that and. He. Would think that. Issuing. Manifestos, before a general election where you have no fiscal. Means to produce the results of your promises that just is corrupt, and, that. Is completely. Untrustworthy because, you're telling people things which, you know you're not going to do so. He would not, be surprised but he would be very shocked by us and, he'd. Be right. Thank. You very much my question is to, perhaps try, to understand. What. Is it that happened to Machiavelli. During. His life that he was he, who was so bald in the way he wrote and kind of so extra-ordinary even. Yeah not, only back, in bay but also we still are kind of moved. And shocked yes and about yes. Isn't it interesting I'm, not a psychologist, and I can't say that there is a biography, of him that clumsy. Steps very well, it's. Understandable. That, he should have been a passionate Republican, he'd served a republic he believed in self-government, he, wanted it restored and. So. He is in that way and a strong, anti major chin and he suffers an appalling misfortune.
At The collapse, of the, Republic in 1512, when he's mistakenly, supposed, to have been part of a maybe, Chi and antimatter chi and conspiracy, and he's imprisoned and he's horribly tortured and. That. Must, have marked the rest of his life I mean must have injured him seriously. But also just must have marked him psychologically, but. I think that it's the psychology, of someone. Who. Is amongst, other things as satirist, I mean in a way what I presented you with this morning was a satire on Cicero, it wasn't it the lion and the Fox, he picks up all the phraseology and he turns the whole thing upside down in the, name of the fact that this is naive, and this is unrealistic, and, this is not politics. So. He, someone who's passionate about about. Politics, and about a, kind. Of political realism, and he's, passionate about, a. Republic. But of course he's living in an age of princes, so he's a disillusioned, person, so, I think of him as. Disillusioned. And melancholy. And. Satirical. There. Was a very great fictional. Portrayal of, him by George Eliot in. Ramallah. I don't know if you know that book is not one of her greatest novels, but Machiavelli, appears, quite, prominently, fictionalized. In ramallah and it's an absolutely, brilliant. Portrait. Of him and. In. It. They meeting above the shop and they're always talking about politics, and he's every, time he speaks it's an epigram and. Then. Someone says to him well you're just completely, cynical and, George. Eliot makes Machiavelli. Say and I quote exactly, my. Philosophy, is for, anyone who can see beyond their own nose. That's. All it is. But. If you're self-interested. That is not seen beyond you and it's a big demand yeah. Thank. You very much for educating me today certainly reminding, me of having read that book too long ago but. If I may just end with a little bit of a tongue-in-cheek, yes. Comment. In today's days already been raised slightly but how would he have seen, the. Brexit, conversation. And what. Would he have interpreted. From that. Yes. And would you care, to guess which way he would have leaned. Well. He does not have a a. Constitutional. Theory in the prints there, are two great. Works of politics by macular if 15:13. Is, príncipe and then, a much larger work written between 15 15 and 15 18 Denis Garcia Witcher discourses on Livy that's. To say the history of Rome that's to say the celebration, of the Republic and there. He, says. Self-government. Requires a republic and. It. Requires a particular kind of Constitution, and. He. Says, look the only way that you can manage it is to, divide. Power. You'll. Always have the Papa law and you'll always have the grandi so it's a class politics, the grand ER the rich the mercantile, rich and of. Course the landed rich and then. There's the popular so. He, says all right they're, both going to have to have an, assembly, and he's thinking of Rome there's a Senate for the grandi and thus, the tribunes of the people but he thinks no you should have a concealed grande, which. Is which is why in the great republics, of Italy especially in Florence and in Venice above all you, come upon these gigantic. Rooms why. Well because that's the popular it's got to be able to assemble it's going to debate war, and peace it's going to debate taxation. Thousands. Of people will be present they're going to raise their hand or not. And that's. Self-government. So, Machiavelli, says all right but they're never going to agree the. Grongi will have one, view and the popular will have another right. Law. Must. Be only what they both agree, to, don't. Try, for a law where half of them don't agree that's. Never going to work. So. He says it's a paradox, of politics, that, if you want Liberty, you, need conflict, because you need conflict, of the orders, but. The conflict, of the orders that produces. Liberty is that. Neither gets its own way. So. The, laws are a series, of compromises. And, he says you know otherwise it's not going to work and why is that because you'll get very big minorities, and they're pissed off and. Very. Big minorities, are always pissed off and. That's very dangerous or. True, by the way. These. Are good questions. No. Thank you. You.