Niccolò Machiavelli’s The Discourses on the First Ten Books of Titus Livius, hereafter “The Discourses“, are the most elaborate statement of classical republican thought. Ever since republican philosophers, such as Hannah Arendt, have been influenced by The Discourses. In fact it is hard, if not impossible, to define and discuss classical republican theory without referring to Machiavelli’s magnus opus.
In this series I will go through The Discources and I will discuss what lesson Space Settler could and should learn from Machiavelli. We will see what he has to say on issues such as active citizenship, separation of power and the rule of law. However, one should keep in mind that our modern concepts are often in sharp contrast to Machiavelli’s ideas.
Last but not least, I will not provide a blind adoration of The Discourses. Instead it is my intention to give a critical reflection of this work and I will not hesitate where, in my humble opinion, Machiavelli is wrong.
The planning of this series will be flexible, but it is my intention to do an installment each week. Per installment we will look at one or more paragraphs – depending upon their relatedness. The series will follow a cover-to-cover approach in its discussion of The Discources.