Gabriele Pedulla, The Jacobin
For centuries, detractors of Niccolò Machiavelli have presented him as the founding father of political cynicism. But the Italian thinker was really a republican idealist whose support for popular rule can inspire struggles against the oligarchies of today.
A misleading view of Machiavelli as the founding father of political cynicism — or even political evil — is almost as old as the man himself. But John P. McCormick, author of influential works like Machiavellian Democracy, argues that the Florentine thinker is better understood as a forerunner of today’s left-wing populism. Far from being outdated, some of Machiavelli’s arguments are still ahead of our own time, and a truly “Machiavellian” approach to politics can help strengthen popular democracy.
Categories: Left and Right