In this episode we talk through the work of one of the most infamous figures in the history of political thought, Niccolò Machiavelli. Looking both at the Prince and some passages from the Discourses, we ask ourselves what the Florentine can teach us about strategy, the need for vision and flexibility, and the virtues of leaders and citizens in a world of duplicity and chance. Is he a ruthless lover of cruelty, a clear-eyed political scientist, or a partisan defender of freedom as non-domination?
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Niccolò Machiavelli, The Prince, eds. Quentin Skinner and Russell Price (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2019).
Niccolò Machiavelli, Discourses on Livy, trans. Harvey C. Mansfield and Nathan Tarcov (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1998).
Antonio Gramsci, The Modern Prince, in Selections from the Prison Notebooks, ed. and trans. Quintin Hoare and Geoffrey Nowell Smith (New York: International Publishers, 1971).
Louis Althusser, Machiavelli and Us, ed. François Matheron, trans. Gregory Elliott (New York: Verso, 2000).
Music: Vintage Memories by Schematist | schematist.bandcamp.com