Niccolo Machiavelli on Governance - Dictionary of Arguments
Höffe I 194
Governance/Machiavelli/Höffe: [Justification of Governance]:
1. A ruler who is committed to reality must prepare himself for the situation that either his competitors, his officials or his subjects or all of them prove to be ungrateful, fickle and hypocritical. In order not to be surprised by this situation and then suffer political damage, it is better both to reckon with it and to act preventively, i.e. to prefer to act immorally oneself rather than become the prey of foreign immorality.
2. The Reigning Prince takes his consistently power-functional view under the political conditions of the time, the obvious lack of legal certainty.
Necessity: Indirectly, this brings another basic concept into play, the necessita, the necessity: both for the sake of his own power and for the common good, the ruler sees himself forced to deny personal morality every right of his own and to rely on two other things: (...) one's own willingness to perform and efficiency, the virtü, and on its competitive but also complementary concept, the unavailable but nevertheless influenceable fortuna.
Machiavelli (...) tacitly advocates the unquestionably unrealistic view that the good of the ruler always coincides with the common good, in the end even with the good of every citizen.
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