Niccolo Machiavelli

Niccolo Machiavelli

Niccolò Machiavelli (3 May 1469 – 21 June 1527) was an Italian Renaissance historian, politician, diplomat, philosopher, humanist, and writer. He has often been called the founder of modern political science. He also wrote comedies, carnival songs, and poetry. 

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Never was anything great achieved without danger.

Hatred is gained as much by good works as by evil.

Princes and governments are far more dangerous than other elements within society.

For among other evils caused by being disarmed, it renders you contemptible, which is one of those disgraceful things which a prince must guard against.

No enterprise is more likely to succeed than one concealed from the enemy until it is ripe for execution.

When you disarm the people, you commence to offend them and show that you distrust them, either through cowardice or lack of confidence, and both of these opinions generate hatred.

Men are so simple and so much inclined to obey immediate needs, that a deceiver will never lack victims for his deceptions.

A return to first principles in a republic is sometimes caused by the simple virtues of one man. His good example has such an influence that the good men strive to imitate him and the wicked are ashamed to lead a life so contrary to his example.

Men shrink less from offending one who inspires love, than one who inspires fear.

A son can bear with equanimity the loss of his father but the loss of his inheritance may drive him to despair.

Politics have no relation to morals.

The wise man does at once what the fool does finally.

Whoever conquers a free town and does not demolish it commits a great error and may expect to be ruined himself.

The wish to acquire more is admittedly a very natural and common thing, and when men succeed in this they are always praised rather than condemned. But when they lack the ability to do so and yet want to acquire more at all costs they deserve condemnation for their mistakes.

Entrepreneurs are simply those who understand that there is little difference between obstacle and opportunity and are able to turn both to their advantage.

Severities should be dealt out all at once so that their suddenness may give less offense, benefits ought to be handed ought drop by drop so that they may be relished the more.

Since it is difficult to join them together it is safer to be feared than to be loved when one of the two must be lacking.

Men are so simple and yield so readily to the desires of the moment, that he who will trick will always find another who will suffer to be tricked.

Where the willingness is great the difficulties cannot be great.

Tardiness often robs us opportunity and the dispatch of our forces.

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