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Every free action is produced by the concurrence of two causes; one moral, i. When I walk towards an object, it is necessary first that I should will to go there, and, in the second place, that my feet should carry me.
If a paralytic wills to run and an active man wills not to, they will both stay where they are. The body politic has the same motive powers; here too force and will are distinguished, will under the name of legislative power and force under that of executive power.
Without their concurrence, nothing is, or should be, done. We have seen that the legislative power belongs to the people, and can belong to it alone. It may, on the other hand, readily be seen, from the principles laid down above, that the executive power cannot belong to the generality as legislature or Sovereign, because it consists wholly of particular acts which fall outside the competency of the law, and consequently of the Sovereign, whose acts must always be laws.
The public force therefore needs an agent of its own Machiavelli the qualities prince essays bind it together and set it to work under the direction of the general will, to serve as a means of communication between the State and the Sovereign, and to do for the collective person more or less what the union of soul and body does for man.
Here we have what is, in the State, the basis of government, often wrongly confused with the Sovereign, whose minister it is. What then is government? An intermediate body set up between the subjects and the Sovereign, to secure their mutual correspondence, charged with the execution of the laws and the maintenance of liberty, both civil and political.
The members of this body are called magistrates or kings, that is to say governors, and the whole body bears the name prince. It is simply and solely a commission, an employment, in which the rulers, mere officials of the Sovereign, exercise in their own name the power of which it makes them depositaries.
This power it can limit, modify or recover at pleasure; for the alienation of such a right is incompatible with the nature of the social body, and contrary to the end of association. I call then government, or supreme administration, the legitimate exercise of the executive power, and prince or magistrate the man or the body entrusted with that administration.
In government reside the intermediate forces whose relations make up that of the whole to the whole, or of the Sovereign to the State. This last relation may be represented as that between the extreme terms of a continuous proportion, which has government as its mean proportional.
The government gets from the Sovereign the orders it gives the people, and, for the State to be properly balanced, there must, when everything is reckoned in, be equality between the product or power of the government taken in itself, and the product or power of the citizens, who are on the one hand sovereign and on the other subject.
Furthermore, none of these three terms can be altered without the equality being instantly destroyed. If the Sovereign desires to govern, or the magistrate to give laws, or if the subjects refuse to obey, disorder takes the place of regularity, force and will no longer act together, and the State is dissolved and falls into despotism or anarchy.
Lastly, as there is only one mean proportional between each relation, there is also only one good government possible for a State. But, as countless events may change the relations of a people, not only may different governments be good for different peoples, but also for the same people at different times.
In attempting to give some idea of the various relations that may hold between these two extreme terms, I shall take as an example the number of a people, which is the most easily expressible.
Suppose the State is composed of ten thousand citizens. The Sovereign can only be considered collectively and as a body; but each member, as being a subject, is regarded as an individual:The New Lifetime Reading Plan by The New Lifetime Reading Plan.
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Robert M. Adams’s superb translation of Machiavelli’s best-known work is again the basis for this Norton Critical Edition. Accurate.
Niccolò Machiavelli (—) Machiavelli was a 16th century Florentine philosopher known primarily for his political ideas. His two most famous philosophical books, The Prince and the Discourses on Livy, were published after his regardbouddhiste.com philosophical legacy remains enigmatic, but that result should not be surprising for a thinker who .
Western philosophy - Renaissance philosophy: The philosophy of a period arises as a response to social need, and the development of philosophy in the history of Western civilization since the Renaissance has, thus, reflected the process in which creative philosophers have responded to the unique challenges of each stage in the development of Western culture itself.