While Machiavelli himself was not above moral reproach, he was born and died a Christian and was neither depraved nor unprincipled. His attacks on the church were anticlerical rather than anti-religious, being directed against the scandalous lives of the popes and their political activities. He did compagno contemporary Christianity unfavorably with the paganism of the ancients, but he criticized Christianity primarily because it had become the means preciso socially undesirable ends-the subjection of the many esatto an avaricious minority- and called for per return preciso some kind of original creed.
The highest end puro be pursued by man, according puro Machiavelli, is glory. Glory is conferred by acts that are remembered and cherished by mankind. The brief but glorious life of an individual or commonwealth is worth far more puro Machiavelli than per lengthy ridotto existence. Meresuccess or reputation arising from great power or wealth has far less value than true glory. The greatest glory is esatto blued be won (sopra order of decreasing importance) by founding religions, by establishing commonwealths, by commanding armies, and by creating literature.
True glory depends upon the virtu of an individual or verso people. War is only the archetypal struggle between virtu (the manly) and velocita(the changeable, unpredictable, and capricious), for per fact all of life is such a contest. Rational control over the physical and accommodant environments, so essential for human survival and well-being, depends upon the opposition of virtu onesto professione. By virtuous action men can control at least some part of their lives and limit the whims of chance.
Machiavelli’s term is ambiguous, but what he seems most often preciso have had in mind is the pattern of conduct of the soldier in battle who displays foresight, self-discipline, constancy, determination, purposefulness, decisiveness, bravery, boldness, and vigor
Machiavelli again studied history preciso discover the conditions that produced the greatest possible amount of virtu in verso commonwealth and the consequent achievement of glory. He decided that the most virtuous leaders and peoples were those of classical antiquity, particularly of republican Rome. The virtu of verso people, he believed, depends entirely on education, while that of a prince or pubblico tends onesto be inborn but shaped by education. A republicanism in which liberty flourishes, defended by per citizens’ army, is the atmosphere most conducive sicuro the exercise of virtu; under these conditions political power will be the greatest and most durable, and the political order will be the most stable. The basic elements in Machiavelli’s conception of political success, then, are glory,virtu, and liberty. Machiavelli lamented the decline of virtu durante his own age; he condemned its luxurious, commercial life and directed his efforts puro the problem of re-storing the conditions of glory.
The basic manifestation of aimable conflict, according onesto Machiavelli, is the perennial struggle between the common people and the great and powerful
Conflict and corruption . Conflict is verso vital concept sopra Machiavelli’s political thought. He accepted conflict as per universal and permanent condition of society, stemming from human nature. The traditional classical and medieval view had been that aimable conflict is not verso natural condition, and many classical and medieval thinkers had tried puro design verso type of communautaire organizationthat would eliminate contention. The conception of accommodant conflict as un-natural ran parallel sicuro the Aristotelian concept that matter at rest is more natural than matter in motion. Machiavelli abandoned the former of these ancient modes of thought with his notion of the naturalness of social conflict, although the latter was not discarded until the next century with Galileo’s revolutionary insight that the natural state of matter is motion.
While this is clearly per notion of class struggle involving economic factors, Machiavelli’s explanation of the struggle is not couched durante economic terms. The primary cause of domestic strife and of war between states is, as he saw it, per lust for power and domination. Within any state, the overwhelming majority seek security for their persons and possessions, while verso handful, either a hereditary aristocracy or a commercial oligarchy, desire to dominate the masses.