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The Friends of the Machiavellian Prince

Another day, another essay; this time, a brief inspection of the ideals of the Machiavellian order, and the authour's conception of friendship:


" As perhaps many a student of philosophy has noted in their studies of the works of Niccolo Machiavelli (NM), and particularly of "The Prince", an alien word has often found itself interspersed within the pages of Machiavellian insight; the word "friend".

How is it that such a word as "friend" - a noun that seemingly implies mutual bonds of trust - comes to rest within the pages of a tome in which its authour most authoritatively states, "For one can state this generally of men: that they are ungrateful, fickle, pretenders and dissemblers... when the need for them is far away [they are yours]; but when it is close to you, they revolt."?

How can such a thing as friendship arise in the order of the prince, whose very position denies him the grace of trust or loyalty? One may ask oneself, "What is the nature of a friend; what is Machiavelli's conception of the thing; and is it possible, in a Machiavellian order, for friends to be had by a Machiavellian prince?"; these, it seems, are the questions that must be answered in their turn, if we are to know whether these persons that surround the prince, and which the authour terms "friends", are truly what they are claimed to be, or something else entirely."

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