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Machiavellian

Posted by Bruce Kahl on August 16, 2001

In Reply to: Mac Theory posted by Tiko on August 16, 2001

: Please excuse the obvious misspelling but I'm phonetically attempting to explain the phrase.
: " A Macavelion Theory". What does this mean? Thanks.

Machiavellian is an adjective.

Niccol Machiavelli 1469-1527 was an Italian politician philosopher best known for his work "Il principe" (The Prince) detailing his theory of government and maxims of practical statecraft suggesting certain principles of conduct specifically: cunning, duplicity, or bad faith.

The main theme of this short book is that all means may be resorted to for the establishment and preservation of authority and that the worst and most treacherous acts of the ruler are justified by the wickedness and treachery of the governed.

Some people claim that because of Machiavelli's pragmatic view of the relationship between ethics and politics, he has been widely misinterpreted. The adjective "Machiavellian" has become a pejorative used to describe a politician who manipulates others in an opportunistic and deceptive way.