Political Philosophy of the Renaissance and Modern Times, Formation...

Political Philosophy of the Renaissance and Modern Times

Forming the Machiavellian Tradition

A new understanding of the role of political power and management marked the era of the Later Renaissance. For political philosophy, the central figure here is the Italian thinker Niccolo Machiavelli.

Curriculum Vitae

Niccolo Machiavelli (1469-1527), an Italian political writer, historian, poet, came from an old noble family. In his youth, he mastered the Latin language and freely read the ancient authors in the original. Independent in his civic sympathies and political views, Machiavelli was not a supporter of the Medici, nor did he become a follower of Savonarola. After the fall of the latter in 1498, Machiavelli began active political activity: he was elected secretary of the Second Chancellery, and later - of the Council of Ten, who was in charge of diplomacy and military affairs. For 14 years, he carried out the assignments of the Florentine government, traveled with embassies to various Italian states, to France and Germany, conducted correspondence, compiled reports and reports on current politics, the state of affairs in Italy and Europe. The experience of a state man and the observation of a diplomat, as well as the study of ancient writers gave Machiavelli a rich material in the development of his own political and social concepts. In 1512, after the restoration of the Medici government in Florence, Machiavelli, as a supporter of the republic, was dismissed from his duties and expelled from the city for a year. In early 1513, on suspicion of conspiracy, he was arrested and tortured, but he was soon amnestied and sent to his small estate in Sant'Andrea. Here he began work on "The Discourse on the First Decade of the Gita Libya" (1531), and a little later created a treatise "The Emperor" (1532), who immortalized his name.

Machiavelli is the first to consider the problems of political philosophy in a technological way - as technology of political power.

The technological approach in political philosophy suggests that the criterion of effectiveness is placed above moral norms and rules. For Machiavelli, a politician is an expert who is looking for useful technological recipes for gaining power. Machiavelli proceeds from the premise that political power can change its owners, go from hand to hand. Recipes of political management Machiavelli addresses the "new sovereign", seeking to retain the power, which is constantly contested by new applicants.

From the source

"It's hard to keep power to the new sovereign. And even to the hereditary sovereign, who has added a new possession-so that the state becomes mixed, it is difficult to retain power over him primarily because of the same natural cause as the coups in all the new states. Namely: people, believing that the new ruler will be better, willingly rebel against the old, but soon experience is convinced that they were deceived, for the new ruler always turns out to be worse than the old one. "

The instrumental science of political management, according to Machiavelli, must be mastered not by philosophers, but by political professionals, who, above all, place political effectiveness as such. In his view, the "new sovereign" Do not follow the moral commandments, if necessary - must retreat from the good and use this skill depending on the circumstances. To exercise his domination, the "new sovereign" can use any means: "If possible, do not move away from the good, but if necessary do not shy away and evil." Murders from around the corner, intrigues, conspiracies, poisoning and other insidious means Machiavelli recommended widely used in the conquest and retention of state power. That is why his name became in the public administration a synonym for treachery and amoralism. When people talk about Machiavellianism in political philosophy, they mean the manifestation of low moral qualities.

Machiavelli divided princes into lions and foxes. Lions are brave and fearless, but they can not notice the danger in time, therefore, in the government, foxes are more prosperous - fair deceivers and hypocrites. In the eyes of people they are compassionate, faithful to the word, merciful, sincere, pious, but internally retain the ability to manifest directly opposite qualities, if necessary.

From the source

So, of all beasts, let the sovereign be like two: a lion and a fox, "wrote Machiavelli. - The lion is afraid of traps, and the fox is wolves, therefore, one must be like a fox to be able to bypass traps, and a lion to scare off wolves. Anyone who is always like a lion may not notice a trap. From which it follows that a reasonable ruler can not and must not remain true to his promise if it harms his interests and if the reasons that led him to make a promise have disappeared. Such advice would be unworthy if people honestly kept their word, but people, being bad, do not keep words, so you should do the same with them. A plausible excuse to break a promise will always be found. There are many examples of this: how many peace treaties, how many agreements did not come into force, or went to ruin because the sovereigns broke their word, and always had the benefit of someone who had a fox-nature. However, this nature must still be able to cover up, you have to be a fair cheat and a hypocrite, people are so simple-hearted and so absorbed in immediate needs that the deceiver will always find someone who will fool himself. & lt; ... & gt; In other words, it is necessary to appear in the eyes of people compassionate, faithful to the word, merciful, sincere, pious - and to be so in fact, but internally one must remain willing to show the opposite qualities if it proves necessary. "

Much later, at the end of the 19th century, the German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche, in many respects following the traditions of Machiavellianism, created the concept of a superman - "the great man of the crowd".

Curriculum Vitae

Friedrich Nietzsche (1844-1900), a German philosopher, the largest representative of the "philosophy of life", was born in a Protestant pastoral family. In early childhood, he lost his father (1849), to whom he retained warm and tender feelings (later, in the autobiography of Essay Homo, Nietzsche directly indicates the relationship of his disease with his father's disease and even interprets his "crisis" as a repetition of his father's fate ). From 1858 to 1864, Nice visited the gymnasium in Schulpfort, then studied classical philology in Bonn and Leipzig, met the main works of Arthur Schopenhauer, which had the strongest and lasting influence on him. In the years 1869-1879. Nietzsche holds the position of professor of classical philology at the University of Basel. During the Franco-PUnited States War of 1870-1871. works as a nurse. At the end of this first period of Nietzsche's spiritual and creative development (1873) another powerful factor enters his life: illness: severe headaches, periodic seizures, loss of strength, temporary blindness, etc. However, Nietzsche abandons the services of medicine, and due to the dependence on climatic conditions, he has to change the places of his seasonal haven (mainly the mountain villages of Switzerland and Italy). In this first period, already overshadowed by his illness, Nietzsche publishes the writings "The Birth of Tragedy from the Spirit of Music" (1872) and "Untimely Reflections" (1873-1876). The second period in Nietzsche's life is marked by the appearance of works "So Zarathustra spoke" (1883-1885), Human, too human (1878-1880), Morning dawn (1881), etc. In the third period he creates his main works: "On the other side of good and evil" (1886), Twilight of Idols (1889), the autobiography of the Essay Homo (1888). During this period, Nietzsche formulates the idea of ​​"eternal return" and begins to develop a doctrine of the will to power. However, due to a sharp exacerbation of the disease (a stroke overtakes him in Turin), on January 3, 1898, he was placed in a psychiatric hospital.

The concept of will to power Nietzsche justifies as the basic and all-determining principle of life. For him, the will to power is the form of the existence of the living, it can not be reduced to anything else, it has no meaning and purpose. The principle of will to power Nietzsche transfers not only to the areas of human activity, but also to an inanimate and organic nature. As the supreme manifestation of the will to power, he develops the idea of ​​a "superman" capable of exercising political management, using the lowest human passions and vices. Not surprisingly, during the Second World War, fascist leaders sought to rely on Nietzsche's philosophy to justify the inhuman state policy of the Third Reich.

Nietzsche was convinced that political management should be based on violence and use technologies of propaganda and manipulation of public consciousness. He gave political philosophers an "easy recipe" production at the helm of the government "the great man of the crowd". Nietzsche advised, under all conditions, to deliver to the crowd what was very pleasant to her, or first "hammer her in the head" that one or the other would be nice, and then give it to her.

From the source

But in no case immediately; on the contrary, you should win it with the greatest strain or pretend that you are conquering. The crowd must have the impression that before it is a mighty and even invincible will power; or at least it should seem that such a force exists. Strong will is admired by everyone, because no one has it, and everyone says to himself that if he had it, there would be no boundaries for her and for his selfishness. And if it turns out that such a strong will carries out something very pleasant to the crowd, instead of listening to the desires of its greed, it is even more admired and congratulates itself with this. Otherwise, such a person should have all the qualities of the crowd: then she will nevertheless be ashamed of him, and he will be all the more popular. "

According to Nietzsche, a statesman - "superman" - can be a rapist, an envious person, an exploiter, an intriguer, a flatterer, a prologue, a haughty person - all this depends on the circumstances.


Benito Mussolini (1883-1945), founder and head of the Italian fascist party, in his essay "The Doctrine of Fascism" (1932) in many ways concretized the philosophical position of Nietzsche in the practice of political management. Mussolini wrote: "The Fascist state is the incarnate will to power and government. The Roman tradition here is the ideal of power in action. According to the teachings of fascism, the government is not so much what is expressed in territorial and military terms, but what is expressed in terms of morality and spirituality. It must be thought of as an empire, i.e. as a nation that directly or indirectly rules other nations without having the desire to take possession of a single square yard of territory. For fascism, the rise of the empire, i.e. expansion of the nation, is an essential manifestation of vitality and the opposite of the signs of decline. People who rise or rise again after a period of decline are always imperialists; any retreat is a sign of decadence and death. "

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