By Mark Jurdjevic
Like many population of booming metropolises, Machiavelli alternated among love and hate for his local urban. He usually wrote scathing comments approximately Florentine political myopia, corruption, and servitude, but in addition wrote approximately Florence with satisfaction, patriotism, and assured wish of higher instances. regardless of the alternating tones of sarcasm and melancholy he used to explain Florentine affairs, Machiavelli supplied a stubbornly power feel that his urban had all of the fabrics and strength priceless for a wholesale, victorious, and epochal political renewal. As he memorably positioned it, Florence used to be "truly a very good and wretched city."
Mark Jurdjevic specializes in the Florentine measurement of Machiavelli's political inspiration, revealing new facets of his republican convictions. via The Prince, Discourses, correspondence, and, such a lot considerably, Florentine Histories, Jurdjevic examines Machiavelli's political occupation and relationships to the republic and the Medici. He indicates that major and as but unrecognized elements of Machiavelli's political idea have been fantastically Florentine in idea, content material, and objective. From a brand new standpoint and armed with new arguments, an outstanding and Wretched City reengages the venerable debate approximately Machiavelli's courting to Renaissance republicanism. Dispelling the parable that Florentine politics provided Machiavelli in simple terms unfavorable classes, Jurdjevic argues that his contempt for the city's shortcomings used to be a right away functionality of his massive estimation of its unrealized political potential.
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Additional info for A great and wretched city : promise and failure in Machiavelli's Florentine political thought
The chapter should thus be interpreted in tandem with the sixth chapter that discussed institutional innovation and the introduction of new customs. 11. If we consider these passages together, we can see Machiavelli’s increasing appreciation of the role that prophecy plays in state formation and the degree to which Machiavelli’s reflection on Savonarola dictated the language of chapter 26. Machiavelli adopted the language of prophecy in the last chapter of the Prince not to signal his rejection of prophetic assumptions but because it was the only language appropriate for the foundation of a new state.
For example, Gennaro Sasso and Martelli have both stressed the letter’s sarcasm, and Sasso in particu lar that Machiavelli wrote in an ironic tone to imply that anyone of relatively common intelligence possessed enough acumen to penetrate the political motives behind Savonarola’s sermons. But given the significance of Becchi’s stature and connections, surely Machiavelli’s goal was not to answer Becchi’s questions with observations that anyone of average intelligence could make but to impress Becchi with keen insight.
30. 30 he considered envy from a different perspective, as an obstacle to effective action by virtuous citizens. Given human nature, the wise and ambitious will always face resistance to their plans, however necessary and beneficial to the republic, because of the envy of shortsighted and self-interested citizens. In virtuous regimes, such as the Roman republic, it is possible for wise citizens to extinguish envy in others without recourse to violence. In corrupt cultures, however, no amount of persuasion will convince men to accept higher reputation and status for someone else, even if their obstinacy means the ruin of their country.
A great and wretched city : promise and failure in Machiavelli's Florentine political thought by Mark Jurdjevic