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The Prince by Niccolò Machiavelli

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Rating: 8.5 / 10

Thoughts

I believe that there is a lot to learn from the book. While the book discusses methods that I don’t particularly agree with; deception, for example, there is still a lot of great and important points within the pages.


"Therefore, my son, if you wish to please me, and to bring success and honour to yourself, do right and study, because others will help you if you help yourself"

"... for one gange always leaves the toothing for another"

When seizing a state, make sure that, whatever blows you have to deals, you do it all at once, so that you don't have to do it daily. Then it is less offensive to the victims.

Either treat someone well, or injure them so much that they can't hurt you. If you do only partly, they can get revenge, and is never to be trusted.

It is better to be elected by the people than the nobles.

"Because men, when they receive good from him of whom they were expecting evil, are bound more closely by their benefactor, thus the people quickly become devote to him than if he had been raised to the principality by their favors".

"Therefore a wise prince ought to adopt such a course that his citizens will always in every sort and kind of circumstance have need of the state and of him, and then he will always keep them faithful"

"Because how one lives is so far distant from how one ought to live, that he who neglects what is done for what ought to be done, sooner effects his ruin than his preservation; for a man who wishes to act entirely up to his professions of virtue soon meets with what destroys him among so much that is evil. Hence it is necessary for a prince wishing to hold his own to know how to do wrong, and to make use of it or not according to necessity."

"Therefore, a wise prince ought to hold a third course by choosing the wise men in his state, and giving them only the liberty of speaking the truth to him, and then only of those things which he inquires, and of none others; but he ought to question them upon everything, and listen to their opinions, and afterward form his own conclusions".

"A prince, therefore, ought always to take counsel, but only when he wishes and not when others wish; he ought rather to discourage every one from offering advice unless he asks for bit; but, however, he ought to be a constant inquirer, and afterwards a patient listener concerning the things of which he inquired; also, on learning that any one, on any consideration, has not told him the truth, he should let his anger be felt".

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