Was Machiavelli Machiavellian?
“Machiavellian” is now a term used to describe ruthless politics, cunning manipulation, and a whole host of other negative practices, but would Machiavelli himself have practiced what he preached? In the video above, author Salman Rushdie makes an interesting argument that Machiavelli may not have actually been trying to encourage the methods for success that he talked about in “The Prince.” An alternative explanation is that he was a devoted democrat and astute observer who was sharing the methods that he saw being used effectively by other rulers, whether he personally approved of them or not. He offers some interesting arguments and background to make his case, including a lot of background that wasn’t explored in our readings. Some of what he said makes me reconsider the way I understood the point Machiavelli was trying to make in his writing. Maybe Machiavelli was just criticized for calling things like he saw them. Check it out and let me know what you think.