HomeIAMURE International Journal of Literature, Philosophy and Religionvol. 1 no. 1 (2012)

Machiavelli is not Machiavellian

Glenn G. Pajares

Discipline: Philosophy



Niccolo Machiavelli, the Florentine philosopher and author of the Prince, is known as a proponent of tyranny and the use of brute force in governance. Thus, the word Machiavelli or Machiavellian would mean evil, amoral or immoral. Contrary to popular belief, this paper by means of descriptive textual analysis demonstrated that Machiavelli is not in favor of tyranny and his political ideas are neither amoral nor immoral. The study showed that Machiavelli being a republican, a patriot, and a humanist was not in favor of tyranny and despotism and by all means did not support cruelty for cruelty sake in the exercise of political power. His political ideas are neither amoral nor immoral because he valued and acknowledged the importance and role of faith and religion in politics. He did not even relinquish Christian values or virtues per se but went beyond them in circumstances and situations when they were no longer efficient /effective or expedient. Hence, he used pragmatism, utilitarianism, and consequentialism as his ethical standards. Therefore, he proposed moral pluralism in the actual practice of politics which is a comprehensive approach to the study of political science and political philosophy. He was not only idealistic but also realistic and practical. It is recommended that scholars and students should study the relevance of Machiavelli’s political ideas to contemporary Philippine and global politics and dig deep into the similarities and differences of his two major works on politics namely: the Prince and theDiscourses to be able to reconcile them and arrive at a more holistic understanding and interpretation of his political thought.