读过 Machiavelli

  • 书名: Machiavelli
  • 作者: Quentin Skinner
  • 副标题: A Very Short Introduction
  • 页数: 120
  • 出版社: Oxford University Press
  • 出版年: 2001-1-18
  • 第38页
    And he is even more fulsomely commended for having grasped the basic lesson that any new prince needs to learn if he wishes to maintain his state: he must stop relying on Fortune and foreign arms, raise soldiers of his own, and make himself 'complete master of his own forces'.
    These writers had laid it down that, if a ruler owes his positions to the intervention of Fortune, the first lesson he must learn is to fear the goddess, even when she comes bearing gifts. Livy had furnished a particularly influential statement of this claim in book XXX of his History, in the course of describingthe dramatic moment when hannibal finally capitulates to the young Scipio. Hannibal begins his speech of surrender by remarking admiringly that his conqueror has so far been 'a man whom Fortune has never deceived'. But this merely prompts him to issue a grave warning about the place of Fortune in human affairs. Not only is 'the might' of Fortune immense, but 'the greatest good Fortune is always least to be trustsed'. If we depend on Fortune to raise us up, we are liable to fall 'the most terribly' when she turns against us, as she is almost certain to do in the end.

    鉴于本书不断提到Cesare Borgia的为人和权术,有必要mark一下这部电视剧了。 另外,强烈推荐斯金纳关于马基雅维利的Podcast,我听的是The Open University以对话形式录制的版本,很容易搜到。:)

    2012-02-02 19:51:50 回应
  • 第39页

    【Right qualities of princely leadership pt.1】 1. Analysis of the Roman moralists to some extent be fortunate; vir, in order to attract the favorable attentions of Fortune ——examples: Cicero's Tusculan Disputations 'for glory is virtus rewarded' 2. Humanists of Renaissance Italy Ditto——examples: Bartolomeo Sacchi, Giovani Pontano, Francesco Patrizi, who claim that the possession of virtus is the key to princely success. example: Giovanni Pontano, "De Principe" in Prosatori Lattini del Quottrocento, ed.E. Garin (Milan, n.d.) pp1042-4 ——Machiavelli shares their view on the relation between virtu and fortune. It still remains, however, to consider what particular characteristics are to be expected in a man of virtuoso capacities. The Roman moralists had bequeathed a complex analysis of the concept of virtus, generally picturing te true vir as the possessor of three distinct yet affiliated sets of qualities——four cardinal virtues of wisdom, justice, courage and temperance (Cicero in the opening book of De Officiis). But Cicero is also credited with another one: honesty, a willingness to keep faith and deal honourably with all men at all times. --> Supplemented by two another virtues, each of them analyzed by Seneca. Magnanimity, the theme of Seneca On Clemency Liberality, Seneca On Benefits ”This contention — that it is always rational to be moral — lies at the heart of Cicero De Officiis“【有意思,这个要探索了】--> Book II: many men believe that a thing may be morally right without being expedient and expedient without being morally right. 【But it is an illusion.哈哈西塞罗~~~】, for it is only by moral methods that we can hope to attain the objects of our desires. Any appearances to the contrary are wholly deceptive, for expediency can never conflict with moral rectitude.【西塞罗的观点到此结束~】 ---->后代的继承和延伸:Patrizi on The Education of the King: Next, they unhesitatingly endorsed the contention that the rational course of action for the prince to follow will always be the moral one, arguing the point with so much force that they eventually made it proverbial to say that 'HONESTY IS THE BEST POLICY'. And finally, they contributed a specifically Christian objection to any divorce between expediency and the moral realm【!】. They insisted that, even if we succeeded in advancing our interests by perpetrating injustices in this present life, we can still expect to find these apparent advantages cancelled out when we are justly visited with divine retribution in the life to come. --->The Machiavelliian Revolution Chapter 15 in the Prince: being liberal, merciful and truthful is most praiseworthy for a prince. But he totally rejects the fundamental assumption that it is the ticket to his highest goals.

    The position in which any prince finds himself is that of trying to protect his interests in a dark world filled with unscrupulous men. If in these circumstances he does not do what is generally done but persists in doing what ought to be done, he will simply undermine his power rather than maintain it.

    He argues that, if a ruler wishes to reach his highest goals, he will not always find it rational to be moral; on the contrary, he will find any consistent attempts to cultivate the princely virtues will prove to be a ruinously irrational policy. ---> But what about Judgement Day? About this Machiavelli says nothing at all. His silence was eloquent, indeed epoch making. 【!】; it echoed around Christian Europe, at first eliciting a stunned silence in return then a howl of execration that has never finally died away. 【!】

    2012-02-02 20:03:04 回应
  • 第42页

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    【Right qualities of princely leadership, pt.2 Positive advice】
    Negative advice和Roman Moralists的说法参见p39的笔记。
    1. Above all, be guided by the dictates of necessity.
    If he wishes to maintain his power he must always be prepared to act immorally when necessary. Moreover, he must reconcile himself to the fact that, 'in order to maintain his power', he will often be forced by necessity to act treacherously, ruthlessly and inhumanely. 
    Everyone, he says, likes to follow their own particular bent: one man proceeds cautiously, another impetuously; one forcefully, another cunningly. But in the meantime, 'times and circumstances change', so that a ruler who 'does not change his methods' will eventually 'come to grief'.
    (Drawn from diplomatic experiences: necessity, chameleon qualities)
    ——想起塔列朗同志了,记上一笔。从反面来讲这个道理,就是隆美尔那句话:Don't fight a battle if you don't gain anything by winning.
    2. Redefining Virtù
    Virtù is the name of that congeries of qualities that enables a prince to ally with Fortune and obtain fame, honor and glory. But the term should be divorced from any necessary connection with the cardinal and princely virtues.The defining characteristic of a truly virtuoso prince will be a willingness to whatever is dictated by necessity - whether the action happens to be wicked or virtuous - in order to maintain his highest goals. 
    So virtù comes to denote precisely the requisite quality of moral flexibility in a prince: He must be prepared to vary his conduct as the winds of fortune and changing circumstances constrain him.
    【Chapter18】There are indeed two ways of acting. The first is appropriate for men, the second for animals. But because the former is often ineffective, one must ahve recourse to the latter. One of the things a prince therefore needs to know is which animal to imitate. A prince will come off best if he learns to imitate both the fox and the lion. For example, Septimius Severus, a very firece lion and a very cunning fox and as a result he was feared and respected by anyone.
    3. How to avoid appearing wicked when you cannot avoid behaving wickedly?
    反面教材之一:Agathocles of Sicily, a man who had always lived a dissolute life and been known for appalling cruelty and inhumane conduct. Although these attributes brought him to the throne of Syracuse, he won only power but not glory. He cannot be called a man of virtù and was precluded from being numbered among the finest men.
    接着马基雅维利颇愤世地写道:Because all men at all times are UNGRATEFUL, FICKLE, FEIGNERS AND DISSEMBLERS, AVOIDERS OF DANGER, EAGER FOR GAIN so that any ruler who has relied COMPLETELY on their promises and goodwill, and has neglected to prepare other defences, will be ruined. 
    The prince needs only to remember that, although it is not necessary (and possible) to have all the qualities usually considered good, it is indispensable to appear to have them. It is desirable to be considered liberal; it is sensible to seem merciful and not cruel; it is essential in general to appear meritorious. The solution is thus to become a great simulator and dissimulator, learning the skills of 'cunningly confusing men' and making them believe in your pretence.
    It is possible: 1. Most men are so simple-minded and above all so prone to self-deception that they usually take things at face value in a wholly uncritical way.  2. The other is that when it comes to assessing the behavior of princes, even the shrewdest observers are largely condemned to judge by appearances, isolated from the populace, sustained by the majesty of his role, the prince's position is such that 'everyone can see what you appear to be but few have direct experience of what you really are'—尤其是在这个大众传媒的时代。
    4. Attitude: The prince should not deviate from right conduct if possible, but be capable of entering upon the path of wrongdoing when necessary. 借用Podcast里一句话: Do not lose any sleep over it.
    2012-02-03 11:02:15 回应
  • 第50页


    An endlessly intriguing question: Whether it is better to be loved than feared, or vice versa. 
    Cicero's answer, in De Officiis:
    Fear is but a poor safeguard of lasting power, whereas love may be trusted to keep it safe forever. (Dictators and so on)
    Machiavelli's distort:
    It is much safer, for a prince to be feared than loved. Because many of the qualities that make a prince loved also tend to bring him into contempt.(值得玩味) If your subjects have no dread of punishment, they will take every chance to deceive you for their own profit. But if you make yourself feared, they will hesitate to offend or injure you, as a result of which you will find it much easier to maintain your state. (是不是又被Vettori给耍了)
    It soon became clear, however, that Machiavelli's hopes were again going to be dashed. Having read the whole of The Prince early in 1514, Vettori responded with an ominous silence. He never mentioned the work again, and instead began to fill up his letters with distracting chatter about his latest love affairs. (我都快笑出来了><)
    "I'm going to continue in this sordid way of life, without finding a single man who remembers the service I have done or believes me capable of doing any good."
    2012-02-04 20:51:22 回应
  • The Theorist of Liberty
    1. But he insists —again echoing The Prince — that the achievement of great things is never the outcome merely of good Fortune; it is always the product of Fortune combined with the indispensable quality of virtu, the quality that enables us to endure our misfortunes with equanimity and at the same time attracts the goddess's favorable attentions. 2. The possessionof virtu is accordingly represented as a willingness to do whatever may be necessary for the attainment of civic glory and greatness, whether the actions involved happen to be intrinsically good or evil in character. This is first oif all treated as the most important attribute of political leadership.
    引自 The Theorist of Liberty
    2012-02-05 19:07:01 回应
  • 第61页
    Cicero had declared in De Officiis that 'there are some acts either so repulsive or so wicked that a wise man would not commit them even to save his country'. Machiavelli retorts that 'when it is absolutely a question of the safety of one's country', it becomes the duty of every citizen to recognize that there must be no consideration of just or unjust, of merciful or cruel, of praiseworthy or disgraceful; instead, setting aside every scruple, one must follow to the utmost any plan that will save her life and keep her liberty.

    读到这里,忍不住想起杨威利和救国军事委员会。 贴两篇讨论的文章—— 没想到还有历史上的prototype,实在让人不知作何评论。

    This, then, is the sign of virtu in rules and citizens alike: each must be prepared 'to advance not his own interests but the general good, not his own posterity but the common fatherland'. This is why Machiavelli speaks of the Roman republic as a repository of 'so much virtu': patriotism was felt to be more powerful than any other consideration, as a result of which the populace became for 400 years an enemy to the name of king, and a lover of the glory and the common good of its native city.

    提两个问题,但是我现在无力找到答案。 1. Is it instituitionally safe to loan on character? 2. Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel. (Samuel Johnson, 1775)

    2012-02-08 16:04:37 回应
  • 第62页
    核心问题来了:How can we hope to instil this quality widely enough, and maintain it for long enough, to ensure that civic glory is attained?
    1. A great founding father. (luck)
    A city which has not chanced upon a prudent founder will always tend to find itself in a somewhat unhappy position. The reason why a city needs this 'first Fortune' is that the act of establishing a republic or principality can never be brought about 'through the virtú of the masses', because their 'diverse opinions' will always prevent them from being 'suited to organise a government' (218, 240). It follows that 'to set up a republic it is necessary to be alone' (220). Moreover, once a city has 'declined by corruption', it will similarly require 'the virtú of one man who is then living', and not 'the virtú of the masses' to restore it to greatness (240). So Machiavelli concludes that 'this we must take as a general rule: seldom or never is any republic or kingdom organised well from the beginning, or totally made over' at a later date, 'except when organised by one man' (218).
    He then declares, however, that if any city is so imprudent as to rely on this initial good Fortune, it will not only cheat itself of greatness but will very soon collapse. For while 'one alone is suited for organising' a government, no government can hope to last 'if resting on the shoulders of only one' (218). The inescapable weakness of any polity that puts its trust in 'the virtú of one man alone' is that 'the virtú departs with the life of the man, and seldom is it restored in the course of heredity' (226). What is needed, therefore, for the salvation of a kingdom or a republic is not so much 'to have a prince who will rule prudently while he lives', but rather 'to have one who will so organise it' that its subsequent fortunes come to rest instead upon 'the virtú of the masses' (226, 240). The deepest secret of statecraft is to know how this can be done.
    The problem, Machiavelli stresses, is one of exceptional difficulty. For while we can expect to find a surpassing degree of virtú among the founding fathers of cities, we cannot expect to find the same quality occurring naturally among ordinary citizens. On the contrary, most men 'are more prone to evil than to good', and in consequence tend to ignore the interests of their community in order to act 'according to the wickedness of their spirits whenever they have free scope' (201, 215). There is thus a tendency for all cities to fall away from the pristine virtú of their founders and 'descend towards a worse condition' - a process Machiavelli summarizes by saying that even the finest communities are liable to become corrupt (322).
    The image underlying this analysis is an Aristotelian one: the idea of the polity as a natural body which, like all sublunary creatures, is subject to being 'injured by time' (45).  (How can entropy be reversed? —Asimov)
    2012-02-08 16:15:31 回应
  • The Onset of Corruption

    没有这个章节,但有这个主题。 读过银英的同学们请自行参考自由行星同盟的衰落。

    The onset of corruption is thus equated with the loss or dissipation of virtú, a process of degeneration which develops, according to Machiavelli, in one of two ways. A body of citizens may lose its virtú and hence its concern for the common good - by losing interest in politics altogether, becoming 'lazy and unfit for all virtuoso activity' (194). But the more insidious danger arises when the citizens remain active in affairs of state, but begin to promote their individual ambitions or factional loyalties at the expense of the public interest. Thus Machiavelli defines a corrupt political proposal as one 'put forward by men interested in what they can get from the public, rather than in its good' (386). He defines a corrupt constitution as one in which 'only the powerful' are able to propose measures, and do so 'not for the common liberty but for their own power' (242). And he defines a corrupt city as one in which the magistracies are no longer filled by 'those with the greatest virtú', but rather by those with the most power, and hence with the best prospects of serving their own selfish ends (241).
    引自 The Onset of Corruption

    但是注意到一点—— It is not from the benevolence of the butcher, the brewer, or the baker that we expect our dinner, but from their regard to their own interest. We address ourselves, not to their humanity, but to their self-love, and never talk to them of our own necessities, but of their advantages.

    2012-02-08 16:55:32 回应
  • Machiavelli's Dilemma, Solution One

    没有这个章节,但是有这个主题。这笔记我私人用,估计对你没什么意义。 How the body of the people, in whom the quality of virtu is not naturally to be found have this quality successfully implanted in them? 1. Sheer luck. The occurrence of great individuals and their leadership —— Then the outcome would be the mriacle of an everlasting republic, a body politic with the ability to escape death. The virtu of an outstanding leader will always take the form, in part, of a capacity to imprint the same vital quality on his followers even though they may not be naturally endowed with it. (Hannibal, Manlius Torquatus) 2. My possible answer: education???

    2012-02-08 17:10:42 回应
  • Machiavelli's Dilemma, Solution Two

    Solidarity through religion (cult, worship) RELIGION: The secret known to the ancient Romans - and forgotten in the modern world - is that the institutions of religion can be made to play a role analogous to that of outstanding individuals in helping to promote civic greatness. Religion can be used, that is, to inspire - and if necessary to terrorize - the ordinary populace in such a way as to induce them to prefer the good of their community to all other goods. Machiavelli's principal account of how the Romans encouraged such patriotism is presented in his discussion of auspices. Before they went into battle, Roman generals always took care to announce that the omens were favourable. This prompted their troops to fight in the confident belief that they were sure of victory, a confidence which in turn made them act with so much virtú that they almost always won the day (233). Characteristically, however, Machiavelli is more impressed by the way the Romans used their religion to arouse terror in the body of the people, thereby inciting them to behave with a degree of virtú they would never otherwise have attained. He offers the most dramatic instance in chapter 11. 'After Hannibal defeated the Romans at Cannae, many citizens met together who, despairing of their native land, agreed to abandon Italy.' When Scipio heard of this, he met them 'with his naked sword in his hand' and forced them to swear a solemn oath binding them to stand their ground. The effect of this was to coerce them into virtú: although their 'love of their country and its laws' had not persuaded them to remain in Italy, they were successfully kept there by the fear of blasphemously violating their word (224). (completely instrumental view of religion and morality, remarkable) So he not only concludes that the leaders of any community have a duty to 'accept and magnify' anything that 'comes up in favour of religion'; he insists that they must always do so 'even though they think it false' (227). 【Stalinist Russia~】 --->He declares that, judged by these standards, the ancient religion of the Romans is much to be preferred to the Christian faith. There is no reason why Christianity should not have been interpreted 'according to virtú' and employed for 'the betterment and the defence' of Christian communities. But in fact it has been interpreted in such a way as to undermine the qualities needed for a free and vigorous civic life. It has 'glorified humble and contemplative men'; it has 'set up as the greatest good humility, abjectness, and contempt for human things'; it has placed no value 'in grandeur of mind, in strength of body', or in any of the other attributes of virtuoso citizenship. By imposing this other-worldly image of human excellence, it has not merely failed to promote civic glory; it has actually helped to bring about the decline and fall of great nations by corrupting their communal life. As Machiavelli concludes - with an irony worthy of Gibbon - the price we have paid for the fact that Christianity 'shows us the truth and the true way' is that it 'has made the world weak and turned it over as prey to wicked men' (331).

    2012-02-08 17:11:13 回应
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