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Article :: Supporting Evidence

Machiavailli Reconsidered

The Prince

by Nicolo Machiavelli


How Many Kinds Of Principalities There Are, And By What Means They Are Acquired

ALL STATES, all powers, that have held and hold rule over men have been and are either republics or principalities.[1]

Principalities are either hereditary, in which the family has been long established; or they are new.

The new are either entirely new, as was Milan to Francesco Sforza, or they are, as it were, members annexed to the hereditary state of the prince who has acquired them, as was the kingdom of Naples to that of the King of Spain.

Such dominions thus acquired are either accustomed to live under a prince, or to live in freedom; and are acquired either by the arms of the prince himself, or of others, or else by fortune or by ability.[2]

  • All states and forms of government fall into two main categories: Republics and Principalities.
  • Principalities: Two types:
    • Hereditary: Rulers pass down control of the territory to the next of kin.
    • New Principalities: Land that is won after a battle, or from a treaty.
  • The lands that a ruler takes are either used to being free or used to living under one ruler; they are either acquired with one's own armies or with the help of mercenary or auxiliary armies.

[1]The key distinction and precise definitions of these terms has been lost to educational subversion:

  • A principality (or princedom) is a monarchical feudatory or sovereign state, ruled or reigned over by a monarch with the title of prince or by a monarch with another title within the generic use of the term prince. In practical terms, the prince may be a ruling group acting in a unified manner. In economics of power terms, political power is monopolized and is, to a great degree wielded without public involvement or fully informed "consent of the governed".
  • A republic is a form of government in which state institutions are considered a "public matter" (Latin: res publica), not the private property or private concern of the ruler. In modern times, a common simplified definition of a republic is a government where the head of state is not a monarch. In economics of power terms, political power is not monopolized and is, to a great degree wielded according to public involvement and fully informed "consent of the governed".

[2]When political power is monopolized (principality) and citizens excluded from power over their own lives and affairs, you have servitude, the source of princely power. When political power is not monopolized and people have a say in their affairs, you have freedom (personal power). Machiavailli, in advising monopolists how to maintain and acquire more power, is in reality, arguing how to suppress and destroy freedom within dominions.

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