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The Ends Justify The Means
on June 18, 2005
The combination of these two works into one unified book shows how clearly Machiavelli saw the value of power. His vision was straightforward: Might Makes Right. Or, at least, morality is only important to the survivors. The application of hard, cold logic to the ends of grasping and wielding power was applied by Machiavelli in these two discourses with astonishing clarity.
In Machiavelli's philosophy, success was all important. His is the prime example of the doctrine of "The Ends Justify the Means." To win, to obtain and hold power and thereby achieve fame and glory was considered by Machiavelli to be the only worthy goal of those who had an opportunity to find greatness in the exercise of power.
The combination of these two important documents in one volume reinforces his view that success by any means is justifiable if one succeeds. After all, the winner writes the epitaph. Who can argue that the victor, with the reins of power firmly in his grasp, does not have the right to tell the story so his side is presented in the best possible light?