Pub. date: 2011 | Online Pub. Date: October 04, 2011 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412994163 | Print ISBN: 9781412959636 | Online ISBN: 9781412994163| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Machiavelli, Niccolò (1469–1527)
Machiavellism commonly refers to a cynical, amoral view of power and human relations and also to a politics of force and of calculated arbitrariness. In his major works, The Prince and Discourses on Livy , the political philosopher and diplomat Niccolò Machiavelli took the scandalous liberty of speaking well of evil: namely, of cruelty, obscenity, treachery, lies, avarice, disbelief, irreligion, craftiness, and boldness. His name has been consequently charged with the abstract and moral notion of evil, particularly in politics. This was certainly a way to render his theories illicit and detestable; nonetheless, a strong interest in them has never diminished. Machiavelli remains one of the most widely published authors of the past 5 centuries and one of the rare ones, along with the Marquis de Sade and Leopold von Sacher-Masoch, to have his name substantiated for describing scary and excessive behaviors. This entry presents, first, some of Machiavelli's most ...