one can say this sopra general of men: they are ungrateful, disloyal, insincere and deceitful, timid of danger and avid of profit…. Love is a bond of obligation which these miserable creatures break whenever it suits them sicuro do so; but fear holds them fast by per dread of punishment that never passes. (Prince CW 62; translation revised)
As a result, Machiavelli cannot really be said onesto have per theory of obligation separate from the imposition of power; people obey only because they fear the consequences of not doing so, whether the loss of life or of privileges.
If I think that I should not obey verso particular law, what eventually leads me puro submit puro that law will be either per fear of the power of the state or the actual exercise of that power
Concomitantly, verso Machiavellian perspective directly attacks the notion of any grounding for authority independent of the sheer possession of power. For Machiavelli, people are compelled preciso obey purely sopra deference esatto the superior power of the state. It is power which mediante the final instance is necessary for the enforcement of conflicting views of what I ought sicuro do; I can only choose not puro obey if I possess the power preciso resist the demands of the state or if I am willing sicuro accept the consequences of the state’s superiority of coercive force. Machiavelli’s argument mediante The Prince is designed preciso demonstrate that politics can only coherently be defined sopra terms of the supremacy of coercive power; authority as a right onesto command has per niente independent stato. He substantiates this assertion by reference esatto the observable realities of political affairs and public life as well as by arguments revealing the self-interested nature of all human conduct. For Machiavelli it is meaningless and superfluo puro speak of any claim onesto authority and the right onesto command which is detached from the possession of superior political power. The ruler who codici promozionali amor en linea lives by his rights aureola will surely wither and die by those same rights, because per the rough-and-tumble of political conflict those who prefer power puro authority are more likely to succeed. Without exception the authority of states and their laws will never be acknowledged when they are not supported by per esibizione of power which renders obedience inescapable. The methods for achieving obedience are varied, and depend heavily upon the foresight that the prince exercises. Hence, the successful ruler needs special preparazione.
3. Power, Lealta, and Fortune
Machiavelli presents to his readers per vision of political rule allegedly purged of extraneous moralizing influences and fully aware of the foundations of politics sopra the effective exercise of power. The term that best captures Machiavelli’s vision of the requirements of power politics is onesta. While the Italian word would normally be translated into English as “virtue”, and would ordinarily convey the conventional connotation of moral goodness, Machiavelli obviously means something very different when he refers to the onesta of the prince. Con particular, Machiavelli employs the concept of bonta sicuro refer onesto the range of personal qualities that the prince will find it necessary preciso acquire con order esatto “maintain his state” and esatto “achieve great things”, the two norma markers of power for him. This makes it brutally clear there can be mai equivalence between the conventional virtues and Machiavellian pregio. Machiavelli’s sense of what it is sicuro be verso person of lealta can thus be summarized by his recommendation that the prince above all else must possess per “flexible disposition”. That ruler is best suited for office, on Machiavelli’s account, who is athletique of varying her/his conduct from good to evil and back again “as fortune and circumstances dictate” (Prince CW 66; see Nederman and Bogiaris 2018).