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Joe Black: Should you choose to test my resolve in this matter, you will be facing a finality beyond your comprehension, and you will not be. Niccolò di Bernardo dei Machiavelli was an Italian diplomat, politician, historian, philosopher, .. Machiavelli felt that his early schooling along the lines of a traditional classical . See also: Machiavellianism and Machiavellian intelligence . "Black tacitism" was in support of princely rule, but "red tacitism" arguing the case for. Meet Joe Black is a film about a media mogul who acts as a guide to Death, who takes the form of a young man to learn about life on Earth, and in the.
Others, such as Leo Strauss and Harvey Mansfield, have argued strongly that there is a very strong and deliberate consistency and distinctness, even arguing that this extends to all of Machiavelli's works including his comedies and letters.
Others have argued that Machiavelli is only a particularly interesting example of trends which were happening around him. In any case Machiavelli presented himself at various times as someone reminding Italians of the old virtues of the Romans and Greeks, and other times as someone promoting a completely new approach to politics.
Their relative importance is however a subject of on-going discussion. It is possible to summarize some of the main influences emphasized by different commentators. The Mirror of Princes genre. Gilbert summarized the similarities between The Prince and the genre it obviously imitates, the so-called " Mirror of Princes " style.
This was a classically influenced genre, with models at least as far back as Xenophon and Isocrates. While Gilbert emphasized the similarities, however, he agreed with all other commentators that Machiavelli was particularly novel in the way he used this genre, even when compared to his contemporaries such as Baldassare Castiglione and Erasmus.
One of the major innovations Gilbert noted was that Machiavelli focused upon the "deliberate purpose of dealing with a new ruler who will need to establish himself in defiance of custom". Normally, these types of works were addressed only to hereditary princes. Xenophon is also an exception in this regard. Commentators such as Quentin Skinner and J.
Pocockin the so-called "Cambridge School" of interpretation, have been able to show that some of the republican themes in Machiavelli's political works, particularly the Discourses on Livycan be found in medieval Italian literature which was influenced by classical authors such as Sallust. Xenophonauthor of the Cyropedia 3. Xenophon, Plato and Aristotle. The Socratic school of classical political philosophy, especially Aristotlehad become a major influence upon European political thinking in the late Middle Ages.
It existed both in the Catholicised form presented by Thomas Aquinasand in the more controversial " Averroist " form of authors like Marsilius of Padua. Machiavelli was critical of Catholic political thinking and may have been influenced by Averroism.
But he cites Plato and Aristotle very infrequently and apparently did not approve of them. Leo Strauss argued that the strong influence of Xenophona student of Socrates more known as an historian, rhetorician and soldier, was a major source of Socratic ideas for Machiavelli, sometimes not in line with Aristotle. While interest in Plato was increasing in Florence during Machiavelli's lifetime, Machiavelli does not show particular interest in him, but was indirectly influenced by his readings of authors such as PolybiusPlutarch and Cicero.
The major difference between Machiavelli and the Socratics, according to Strauss, is Machiavelli's materialism, and therefore his rejection of both a teleological view of nature and of the view that philosophy is higher than politics. With their teleological understanding of things, Socratics argued that desirable things tend to happen by nature, as if nature desired them, but Machiavelli claimed that such things happen by blind chance or human action.
Strauss argued that Machiavelli may have seen himself as influenced by some ideas from classical materialists such as DemocritusEpicurus and Lucretius. Strauss however sees this also as a sign of major innovation in Machiavelli, because classical materialists did not share the Socratic regard for political life, while Machiavelli clearly did. Some scholars note the similarity between Machiavelli and the Greek historian Thucydidessince both emphasized power politics.
Yet Thucydides never calls in question the intrinsic superiority of nobility to baseness, a superiority that shines forth particularly when the noble is destroyed by the base. Therefore Thucydides' History arouses in the reader a sadness which is never aroused by Machiavelli's books. In Machiavelli we find comedies, parodies, and satires but nothing reminding of tragedy. One half of humanity remains outside of his thought.
There is no tragedy in Machiavelli because he has no sense of the sacredness of "the common. Empiricism and realism versus idealism[ edit ] Machiavelli is sometimes seen as the prototype of a modern empirical scientist, building generalizations from experience and historical facts, and emphasizing the uselessness of theorizing with the imagination. He undertook to describe simply what rulers actually did and thus anticipated what was later called the scientific spirit in which questions of good and bad are ignored, and the observer attempts to discover only what really happens.
Nevertheless, he advocated intensive study of the past, particularly regarding the founding of a city, which he felt was a key to understanding its later development. For example, Machiavelli denies that living virtuously necessarily leads to happiness. And Machiavelli viewed misery as one of the vices that enables a prince to rule.
But since the two rarely come together, anyone compelled to choose will find greater security in being feared than in being loved. A related and more controversial proposal often made is that he described how to do things in politics in a way which seemed neutral concerning who used the advice—tyrants or good rulers. The Prince made the word "Machiavellian" a byword for deceit, despotism, and political manipulation. Even if Machiavelli was not himself evil, Leo Strauss declared himself inclined toward the traditional view that Machiavelli was self-consciously a "teacher of evil," since he counsels the princes to avoid the values of justice, mercy, temperance, wisdom, and love of their people in preference to the use of cruelty, violence, fear, and deception.
In his opinion, Christianity, along with the teleological Aristotelianism that the church had come to accept, allowed practical decisions to be guided too much by imaginary ideals and encouraged people to lazily leave events up to providence or, as he would put it, chance, luck or fortune.
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While Christianity sees modesty as a virtue and pride as sinful, Machiavelli took a more classical position, seeing ambition, spiritedness, and the pursuit of glory as good and natural things, and part of the virtue and prudence that good princes should have. Famously, Machiavelli argued that virtue and prudence can help a man control more of his future, in the place of allowing fortune to do so. Najemy has argued that this same approach can be found in Machiavelli's approach to love and desire, as seen in his comedies and correspondence.
Najemy shows how Machiavelli's friend Vettori argued against Machiavelli and cited a more traditional understanding of fortune. On the other hand, humanism in Machiavelli's time meant that classical pre-Christian ideas about virtue and prudence, including the possibility of trying to control one's future, were not unique to him. But humanists did not go so far as to promote the extra glory of deliberately aiming to establish a new state, in defiance of traditions and laws.
While Machiavelli's approach had classical precedents, it has been argued that it did more than just bring back old ideas and that Machiavelli was not a typical humanist. Strauss argues that the way Machiavelli combines classical ideas is new. While Xenophon and Plato also described realistic politics and were closer to Machiavelli than Aristotle was, they, like Aristotle, also saw Philosophy as something higher than politics.
Machiavelli was apparently a materialist who objected to explanations involving formal and final causationor teleology. Machiavelli's promotion of ambition among leaders while denying any higher standard meant that he encouraged risk-taking, and innovation, most famously the founding of new modes and orders.
His advice to princes was therefore certainly not limited to discussing how to maintain a state. It has been argued that Machiavelli's promotion of innovation led directly to the argument for progress as an aim of politics and civilization.
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But while a belief that humanity can control its own future, control nature, and "progress" has been long-lasting, Machiavelli's followers, starting with his own friend Guicciardini, have tended to prefer peaceful progress through economic development, and not warlike progress.
As Harvey Mansfieldp. Strauss concludes his Thoughts on Machiavelli by proposing that this promotion of progress leads directly to the modern arms race. Strauss argued that the unavoidable nature of such arms races, which have existed before modern times and led to the collapse of peaceful civilizations, provides us with both an explanation of what is most truly dangerous in Machiavelli's innovations, but also the way in which the aims of his apparently immoral innovation can be understood.
Religion[ edit ] Machiavelli explains repeatedly that he saw religion as man-made, and that the value of religion lies in its contribution to social order and the rules of morality must be dispensed with if security requires it.
In The Prince, the Discourses, and in the Life of Castruccio Castracanihe describes "prophets", as he calls them, like MosesRomulusCyrus the Greatand Theseus he treated pagan and Christian patriarchs in the same way as the greatest of new princes, the glorious and brutal founders of the most novel innovations in politics, and men whom Machiavelli assures us have always used a large amount of armed force and murder against their own people.
He estimated that these sects last from 1, to 3, years each time, which, as pointed out by Leo Strauss, would mean that Christianity became due to start finishing about years after Machiavelli.
For Machiavelli, a truly great prince can never be conventionally religious himself, but he should make his people religious if he can. According to Strausspp. Machiavelli's judgment that democracies need religion for practical political reasons was widespread among modern proponents of republics until approximately the time of the French Revolution. This therefore represents a point of disagreement between himself and late modernity.
Firstly, particularly in the Discourses on Livy, Machiavelli is unusual in the positive side he sometimes seems to describe in factionalism in republics. For example, quite early in the Discourses, in Book I, chapter 4a chapter title announces that the disunion of the plebs and senate in Rome "kept Rome free.
Similarly, the modern economic argument for capitalismand most modern forms of economics, was often stated in the form of "public virtue from private vices.
Now if we give him license to absorb Parrish Communications, and he has his eye on a few others after us, in order to reach the world you will have to go through John Bontecou. And not only will you have to pay him to do this, far more important, you'll have to agree with him.
Reporting the news is a privilege and a responsibility, and it is not exploitable. Parrish Communications has earned this privilege. John Bontecou wants to buy it. As your Chairman, I urge you to agree this company is not for sale. Easy Bill, you'll give yourself a heart attack and ruin my vacation. Thank you for loving me. I can't believe you people. I come for you, and you want to stay, I let you stay and you want to go.
Make no mistake, should you choose to test my resolve in this matter, you will be looking at an outcome that will have a finality that is beyond your comprehension, and you will not be counting the days, or the months, or the years, but millenniums, in a place with no doors. You got enough nice pictures? Others[ edit ] Allison: I should have my head examined again.
Love, passion, obsession, all those things you told me to wait for, well, they've arrived. What are you afraid of, Dad? That I'll fall head over heels for Joe? It nice it happen to you. Like you come to the island and had a holiday.
- Niccolò Machiavelli
Sun didn't burn you red-red, just brown. You sleep and no mosquito eat you. But the truth is, it bound to happen if you stay long enough. So take that nice picture you got in your head home with you, but don't be fooled. We lonely here mostly too. If we lucky, maybe, we got some nice pictures to take with us. I'm here William Parrish: What is this a joke, right? Some kind of elaborate practical joke?
Heh, at my fortieth reunion we delivered a casket to the class presidents hotel room and uh-- Death: Where are you going, Bill? The great Bill Parrish at a loss of words? The man from whose lips fall "rapture" and "passion" and "obsession"? All those admonitions about being "deliriously happy, that there is no sense in living your life without" all the sparks and energy you give off, the rosy advice you dispense in round pear shaped tones. What the hell is this? Just think of millenniums, multiplied by eons, compounded by time without end.
I've been around that long. But it's only recently your affairs here have piqued my interest. The natural curiosity of me, the most lasting and significant element in existence has come to see you.
I want to have a look around before I take you. It requires competence wisdom and experience, all those things they say about you in testimonials. The one to do what?
Show me around, be my guide. And in return you get Minutes, days, weeks, let's not get encumbered by detail, what matters is that I stay interested. Oh Bill, come on. The question you've been asking yourself with increased regularity, at odd moments, panting through the extra game of handball, when you ran for the plane in Delhi, when you sat up in bed last night and hit the floor in the office this morning.
The question that is in the back of your throat, choking the blood to your brain, ringing in your ears over and over as you put it to yourself. You want me to be your guide? You fit the bill, Bill. I want to be friends. I have many friends. With you here and seemingly occupied, how's your work going, I mean, elsewhere? While you were shaving this morning, you weren't just shaving. What do you mean? You were hatching ideas, making plans, arriving at decisions, right? Yeah, I guess so Joe Black: So you get the concept.
While part of you is doing one thing, another part of you is doing another, perhaps even attending to the problems of your work. Of course Joe Black: So you understand the idea. Now multiply that by infinity, take that to the depth of forever, and you still will barely have a glimpse of what I'm talking about. What an odd pairing. You know about money, don't you?
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It can't buy happiness? I not evil, woman. And what you is then? I from that next place.