Review from a Transgressive Fiction Fan
I’m weirdly pleased that The Prince lives up to its reputation: it is indeed Machiavellian. Here’s his advice on conquering self-governing states (i.e. democracies): “The only way to hold on to such a state is to reduce it to rubble.” Well then.
I’d like to say that any guy whose last name becomes a synonym for evil is a badass, but Machiavelli wasn’t; he was a failed minor diplomat who wrote this in a failed attempt to get reemployed. Stupid attempt, too; anyone who hired him would be advertising that he espoused Machiavellian values. This book was published, after all. And as he himself advises, “A leader doesn’t have to possess virtuous qualities, but it’s imperative that he seem to possess them.”
“Insightful” Review from a Mainstream Reader
While the reasons for his suggested policies and actions are stated clearly and understandably, everything is reasoned from an entirely pragmatic viewpoint. Little or no thought is given to accomplishing any lasting good. The main objective is to succeed in one’s ambitions for a specific, short time period.