MACHIAVELLI (2014)Apunte Inglés
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POLITICAL PHILOSOPHY. UNIT 5
Italian philosopher who lived in XV-XVI century.
“The Prince” one of his most important works.
-We don’t need to have lot of ideas to rule the world — Governors must be clever, but they don’t need to have ideas.
WHICH IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN AUTHORITY AND POWER? Authority is related to recognition — I don’t need to have power in order to become an authority.
*Is rather a moral value.
Power is related to influence and fear — Having influence and the capacity to impose your will.
*To have control.
MACHIAVELLI generation saw the fall of Constantinople.
Florence became soon one of the most corrupted cities in the world — Moral corruption, political corruption, economic corruption. This fact was putting in danger the continuity of the prosperity of the city.
SAVONAROLA - His goal was to improve the moral quality of the city.
*He was a dictator — He was killed after 4 years in power.
MACHIAVELLI represents a new era — Continuity with the classical way of thinking.
(Couple of differences between Machiavelli and classic philosophers such as Socrates and Plato).
POLITICAL PHILOSOPHY. UNIT 5 GREEK PHILOSOPHERS MACHIAVELLI Very strong relationship between politics and ethics Politics has to do with police — The prince will have the right to use all the means (including violence) Everything that assures order and peace is justified.
The State has the monopoly of violence — He is the one that can use it.
Most important aspect in politics is JUSTICE.
Ideas are usless — We don’t need them to rule the world.
The most important concept is to know how to deal with politics.
They are concerned about ORDER (it is the essential goal).
Machiavelli discovers the nature of power (we won’t change power, as we won’t change weather) Nobody is interested in truth, what matters is something else.
Truth and good were united — The prince has to say the truth, must be clear.
Ruling a city can just be with honesty — Ruling a city implies saying the truth.
We are interested in order, money, peace, security, private property, etc.
We accept to use violence although we are far away from honesty — We accept this and we use violence, because we don’t care at all about justice and good things (human rights, honesty, truth…) GOOD and TRUTH are completely DIFFERENT.
Has no hope in educating people Hope in EDUCATION.
He thinks society won’t change — People will be the same in the future than in the past.
the only thing we can find in the world is VULGARITY -How to know if that person is a good prince? According to Machiavelli: Because he lasts in power.
The key question: If he is able to last.
POLITICAL PHILOSOPHY. UNIT 5 MIDDLE AGE PHILOSOPHERS MACHIAVELLI Ethics and morality are very close to politics.
Politics has nothing to do with ethics and morality.
*He’s indifferent to moral questions — They have nothing to do with politics Power comes from a metaphysical dimension POWER COMES FROM GOD’S WILL Power comes from the divine dimension Political institutions don’t represent anything — They are just an expression of power, but nothing else.
POWER DOESN’T COME FROM GOD Attempting to change the political institutions is a religious crime — Attempt to change the will of God.
The prince is not a symbol.
Everything in politics is RELATIVE — Everything can be changed and negotiated.
Political institutions are untouchable.
SECULARIZATION of power — Religion has nothing to do with politics.
Religion is very important for politics and the society as well. Everything has to do with the religion.
But the Prince can use the religion to manipulate the society — Appear as a religious person as it will help him to manipulate the society. He can be shown as a religious person but he doesn’t need to believe in God.
RELIGION = TOOL MOST IMPORTANT CONTRIBUTIONS OF MACHIAVELLI.
1-The Prince will only be able to control power if he knows which is the nature of it.
-Only the one who knows the power can master the State.
-But that’s not the only requisite: They need to know the society, the territory, the traditions, culture, etc.
-The most important task of the State is not education but control — What can we expect from human being? 2-The law is an instrument to be used according to the interests of somebody.
*There are enough reasons to kill somebody if it is because of the State’s security.
3-In politics there are friends and enemies.
-There are common interests — Friendship *There is no trust in politics — “Trust is good but controlling is better” -My friend today can be my enemy tomorrow.
POLITICAL PHILOSOPHY. UNIT 5 THE STATE.
It doesn’t represent anything.
There are reasons that are beyond good or evil: 1-The SECURITY of the State —> One of the obsessions of the State 2-The State has the right to do whatever he wants.
Is a crime justifiable? *If the State feels that the security is in danger —> Has the right to kill someone.
The State is selfish by nature —> If security is in danger, everything is permitted.
WHAT IS HUMAN BEING? 1.Human being is coward (no courage) —> Just few people have courage.
-The State has the capacity to provoke fear to society —> They will obey because they are too cowards to face the power.
*People adapt their behavior to the will of the government.
2.Most people are vulgar — Vulgarity is the most common thing in society.
Money, properties, vanity, security, etc.
*If the Prince can offer all these things to society he will win their hearts.
-It’s too easy to make people happy — Just need to provide what they need and want.
[Ideas don’t matter —> We only consider few things] 3.It’s selfish by nature —> It’s not interested at all in happiness for everybody, and human being will never change —> They just care about their happiness and nothing else.
-Without power, society would be impossible because each one would only protect its interests.
NEED OF THE STATE to create a society.— It puts limitations to this selfishness.
4.Human being will never forget humiliation —> Human being is too proud.
WHY IT IS IMPORTANT TO LEARN ABOUT THE PAST? If we were equal to those who live in the past — History wouldn’t be history.
HISTORY means TRANSFORMATION -What happened in the past mustn’t be completely different to what happens in the present.
At the same time: Our present is something completely new — Every generation discovers something, and every generation has to face new situations.
*History can provide some orientation, but not completely orientation.
There are some things that are similar to the past — history has limitations, it cannot helps us always.
POLITICAL PHILOSOPHY. UNIT 5 We have the tendency to reconstruct the meaning of the past with the experiences we have in the present.
-It is very common in politics to adapt and manipulate the history to their needs or benefits — They manipulate the past in order to justify their acts and to benefit themselves.
*What can be manipulated is the interpretation. — The facts are common, but the interpretation of the facts are different.
*Interpretation of the historical facts will never be neutral.
The past is not a neutral thing — The past is the interpretation of somebody.
That’s why there are different conceptions about what or which is the past.
WE WILL NEVER KNOW HOW THE PAST REALLY WAS.
-We tend to represent our present according the references of the past — We understand our present according to the experiences we had to face in the past.
There is continuity — The present is a continuation of the past (we are always repeating the past).
History is the greatest teacher that we can have — Our present is confusing, we have the impression of being blind.
*When we read history we realize that only the past can be understood.
-Is like jumping into the future to understand our present as if it was the past — Our present becomes much more evident.
In history there are always the same actors although they are represented by different persons.