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Niccolo Machiavelli Quotes


“Men are so simple and so much inclined to obey immediate needs that a deceiver will never lack victims for his deceptions.”

The Niccolo Machiavelli's quote says that we are always inclined to accept the immediate good.

Immediate goods fall into the short-term sphere, that is, those things that give satisfaction and enjoyment for a short period and are not helpful in the long run.

We must be visionary and forward-looking. We must seek what is useful, beneficial, and positive in the long term.

We must be aware that particular objects and relationships with people are short-term things that will not be useful for our whole life. We must not give too much relevance or heaviness to these things.


“It is better to be feared than loved, if you cannot be both.”

Exploring the depths of Niccolo Machiavelli quotes, we find a profound understanding of human nature and power dynamics. This particular quote encapsulates his pragmatic approach to leadership and influence.

When Machiavelli suggests that fear is preferable to love in the absence of being able to command both, he is not advocating for tyranny or cruelty. Rather, he is highlighting the transient and fickle nature of love, which can easily turn into indifference or even hatred. On the other hand, fear, if balanced with respect, can ensure loyalty and obedience.

From a Stoic perspective, this quote serves as a reminder to focus on what we can control. We cannot command love from others, but we can influence how we are perceived through our actions.

In essence, Niccolo Machiavelli quotes like this one, invite us to reflect on the nature of power, the human condition, and the art of leadership. It's a lesson in pragmatism, resilience, and the understanding of human emotions.


“If an injury has to be done to a man it should be so severe that his vengeance need not be feared.”

When we explore the depth of Niccolo Machiavelli quotes, we find a profound understanding of human nature and power dynamics. This particular quote speaks to the idea of absolute action.

In the realm of actions and consequences, half measures often lead to long-term problems. If one must resort to causing harm, it should be done in a way that eliminates the possibility of retaliation. This is not a call for unnecessary harshness, but rather a strategic approach to prevent future conflicts.

Machiavelli's wisdom reminds us of the importance of decisiveness and completeness in our actions. We should not leave room for uncertainty or potential threats. This teaching can be applied in various aspects of life, from personal relationships to business strategies.

However, it's essential to remember that this quote doesn't advocate for harm but rather emphasizes the importance of thoroughness when one is left with no other choice. It's a lesson in responsibility and foresight.


“Politics have no relation to morals.”

In the realm of Niccolo Machiavelli quotes, the statement, Politics have no relation to morals, holds a profound place. Machiavelli, with his astute understanding of human nature and power dynamics, asserts that politics, in essence, is a game of strategy and survival, not a moral endeavor.

The core teaching here is the separation of personal ethics from political actions. This perspective can be transformative, allowing us to view political maneuvers as strategic moves rather than moral judgments. It prompts us to question, evaluate, and understand the motives behind political actions, rather than hastily labelling them as right or wrong.

Furthermore, this quote encourages us to develop a balanced perspective, understanding that political decisions often involve a complex interplay of factors, and are not solely guided by moral principles. This understanding can lead to a more nuanced perception of politics, fostering patience, tolerance, and wisdom.

Ultimately, Machiavelli's quote serves as an insightful guide, helping us navigate the intricate and often perplexing landscape of politics with a clear, pragmatic mind.


“The wise man does at once what the fool does finally.”

When we delve into the realm of Niccolo Machiavelli quotes, we encounter a profound wisdom that is as relevant today as it was in the Renaissance era. In this quote, Machiavelli is urging us to act with wisdom and foresight, rather than delay and procrastinate.

From a Stoic perspective, this suggests an understanding of the impermanence of time. Time, once lost, can never be regained. Hence, the wise man understands the value of time and acts promptly. The fool, on the other hand, wastes time in indecision and delay, only to end up doing what the wise man has already accomplished.

Furthermore, this quote also emphasizes the importance of action. Stoicism teaches us that it is not enough to know what is right, we must also act upon it. The wise man does not merely contemplate, he acts.

Thus, in the realm of Niccolo Machiavelli quotes, we find a teaching that resonates with the core principles of Stoicism - the value of time and the importance of action.


“There is no avoiding war; it can only be postponed to the advantage of others.”

In the realm of Niccolo Machiavelli quotes, the inevitability of conflict stands as a poignant reminder. The idea that war cannot be avoided, only delayed, speaks volumes about the human condition. It is a call to confront our problems head-on, rather than procrastinating, which only serves to benefit others.

From a stoic perspective, this quote encourages us to accept the inevitable, understanding that conflict is a part of life. It urges us to face our battles courageously, knowing that postponement only gives an advantage to others. This notion aligns with the Stoic belief in accepting reality as it is and not as we wish it to be.

In the Eastern philosophical context, this quote resonates with the concept of karma and the cycle of cause and effect. Postponing conflict does not eliminate it; instead, it merely shifts the balance to others' favor. It teaches us the importance of taking action and not shying away from our responsibilities.

In essence, Machiavelli's quote teaches us about the importance of courage, acceptance, and decisive action in life.


“It is double pleasure to deceive the deceiver.”

Delving into the depth of Niccolo Machiavelli quotes, we find a reflection of life's complexities and the human nature's inherent cunningness. The statement, "It is double pleasure to deceive the deceiver" is not just a witty remark, but a profound observation on the dynamics of power and manipulation.

In the realm of stoic philosophy, we learn to perceive this as a reminder of the inevitable presence of deceit in life. It invites us to maintain our composure and wisdom, even when faced with manipulation. The pleasure derived from outsmarting a deceiver is not a celebration of cunningness, but a testament to our resilience and wisdom.

From an Eastern philosophical perspective, this quote encourages us to embrace the duality of life. It teaches us that even in deception, there can be a hidden lesson and growth. The joy in outwitting a deceiver is a testament to our spiritual growth and understanding of the world.

Thus, the wisdom embedded in Niccolo Machiavelli quotes is not just about politics or power, but about life and our journey through it.


“Never was anything great achieved without danger.”

When we explore the realm of Niccolo Machiavelli quotes, we are struck by the profound wisdom encapsulated in his words. The essence of this particular quote lies in the acceptance of danger as an inevitable part of achieving greatness.

It's an embodiment of the Stoic philosophy that encourages us to embrace challenges, not avoid them. It's in the face of adversity that we grow, learn, and evolve. This is a call to action, urging us to step out of our comfort zones and take calculated risks.

From an Eastern philosophical perspective, it resonates with the idea of Yin and Yang, where opposites coexist. Greatness and danger, in this context, are two sides of the same coin. They are interconnected, interdependent, shaping the circle of life.

In essence, this quote is a reminder that the path to greatness is fraught with danger, but it is this very danger that fuels our pursuit of greatness. So, let's embrace the danger, for it is the stepping stone to greatness.


“There is nothing more difficult to take in hand, more perilous to conduct, or more uncertain in its success, than to take the lead in the introduction of a new order of things.”

Niccolo Machiavelli quotes often highlight the complexity and uncertainty of initiating change. Indeed, the act of introducing a new order of things is fraught with difficulty and risk. Yet, it is through this struggle that we find our true strength.

From a philosophical perspective, it's important to understand that the path to success is rarely straightforward. The journey is often fraught with obstacles and setbacks. It's through navigating these challenges that we grow and learn.

Moreover, Machiavelli reminds us that leadership in times of change is a precarious position. The outcome is uncertain and the process is perilous. Yet, there is a certain nobility and honor in taking up this mantle. To be the one who dares to disrupt the status quo, to challenge the existing order, is a testament to one's courage and conviction.

So, let us not shy away from the challenge of introducing a new order. Instead, let us embrace it, knowing that our efforts, no matter how difficult or perilous, have the potential to bring about meaningful change.


“Men should be either treated generously or destroyed, because they take revenge for slight injuries - for heavy ones they cannot.”

Niccolo Machiavelli's quotes often carry a deep understanding of human nature and power dynamics. In this particular quote, he presents a stark dichotomous view of dealing with people - either with generosity or with complete annihilation. This is not to promote violence but to underline the reality of human tendencies for revenge and retaliation.

When we treat people generously, we cultivate goodwill and positive relationships. This aligns with the Stoic philosophy of being virtuous and treating others with kindness and respect. On the other hand, if we cause harm, it should be so severe that the capacity for revenge is completely eliminated. This mirrors an Eastern philosophical approach where one must fully commit to their actions, whether they are of peace or conflict.

Overall, Machiavelli's quote encourages us to be conscious of our actions and their consequences, especially when dealing with others. It's a reminder that our actions can either build bridges or burn them, and we must choose wisely.


“He who wishes to be obeyed must know how to command.”

When we delve into Niccolo Machiavelli quotes, we often encounter profound wisdom. This particular quote speaks volumes about leadership and authority. Leadership is not merely about issuing orders, it necessitates understanding the art of command.

Command is not about instilling fear or asserting dominance, it is about earning respect and trust. A leader who knows how to command can inspire obedience without resorting to coercion. This is a reflection of the leader's wisdom, compassion, and strength.

The essence of this quote lies in the understanding that to be obeyed, one must first know how to lead. It is a call to all leaders to refine their command skills, to lead with wisdom and compassion. This is a timeless teaching from Machiavelli, reminding us of the importance of effective leadership.

So, when we apply this to our lives, let's remember that authority comes with responsibility. To command respect and obedience, we must first show that we are worthy of it. This is one of the many lessons we can learn from Niccolo Machiavelli quotes.


“Men are so simple of mind, and so much dominated by their immediate needs, that a deceitful man will always find plenty who are ready to be deceived.”


“It is not titles that honor men, but men that honor titles.”


“The promise given was a necessity of the past: the word broken is a necessity of the present.”


“There are three kinds of intelligence: one kind understands things for itself, the other appreciates what others can understand, the third understands neither for itself nor through others. This first kind is excellent, the second good, and the third kind”


“Severities should be dealt out all at once, so that their suddenness may give less offense; benefits ought to be handed ought drop by drop, so that they may be relished the more.”


“Before all else, be armed.”


“The more sand has escaped from the hourglass of our life, the clearer we should see through it.”


“I'm not interested in preserving the status quo; I want to overthrow it.”


“One who deceives will always find those who allow themselves to be deceived.”


“Men ought either to be indulged or utterly destroyed, for if you merely offend them they take vengeance, but if you injure them greatly they are unable to retaliate, so that the injury done to a man ought to be such that vengeance cannot be feared.”


“Where the willingness is great, the difficulties cannot be great.”


“The first method for estimating the intelligence of a ruler is to look at the men he has around him.”


“Whosoever desires constant success must change his conduct with the times.”


“No enterprise is more likely to succeed than one concealed from the enemy until it is ripe for execution.”


“Men rise from one ambition to another: first, they seek to secure themselves against attack, and then they attack others.”


“God is not willing to do everything, and thus take away our free will and that share of glory which belongs to us.”


“Hatred is gained as much by good works as by evil.”


“It is necessary for him who lays out a state and arranges laws for it to presuppose that all men are evil and that they are always going to act according to the wickedness of their spirits whenever they have free scope.”


“The main foundations of every state, new states as well as ancient or composite ones, are good laws and good arms you cannot have good laws without good arms, and where there are good arms, good laws inevitably follow.”


“The fact is that a man who wants to act virtuously in every way necessarily comes to grief among so many who are not virtuous.”


“Of mankind we may say in general they are fickle, hypocritical, and greedy of gain.”


“War should be the only study of a prince. He should consider peace only as a breathing-time, which gives him leisure to contrive, and furnishes as ability to execute, military plans.”


“When you disarm the people, you commence to offend them and show that you distrust them either through cowardice or lack of confidence, and both of these opinions generate hatred.”


“A return to first principles in a republic is sometimes caused by the simple virtues of one man. His good example has such an influence that the good men strive to imitate him, and the wicked are ashamed to lead a life so contrary to his example.”


“Tardiness often robs us opportunity, and the dispatch of our forces.”


“Princes and governments are far more dangerous than other elements within society.”


“One change always leaves the way open for the establishment of others.”


“There is no surer sign of decay in a country than to see the rites of religion held in contempt.”


“A prince never lacks legitimate reasons to break his promise.”


“It is much more secure to be feared than to be loved.”


“A wise ruler ought never to keep faith when by doing so it would be against his interests.”


“The one who adapts his policy to the times prospers, and likewise that the one whose policy clashes with the demands of the times does not.”


“A son can bear with equanimity the loss of his father, but the loss of his inheritance may drive him to despair.”


“War is just when it is necessary; arms are permissible when there is no hope except in arms.”


“Men shrink less from offending one who inspires love than one who inspires fear.”


“The distinction between children and adults, while probably useful for some purposes, is at bottom a specious one, I feel. There are only individual egos, crazy for love.”


“We cannot attribute to fortune or virtue that which is achieved without either.”


“Whoever conquers a free town and does not demolish it commits a great error and may expect to be ruined himself.”


“Hence it comes about that all armed Prophets have been victorious, and all unarmed Prophets have been destroyed.”


“To understand the nature of the people one must be a prince, and to understand the nature of the prince, one must be of the people.”


“The wish to acquire more is admittedly a very natural and common thing; and when men succeed in this they are always praised rather than condemned. But when they lack the ability to do so and yet want to acquire more at all costs, they deserve”


“The new ruler must determine all the injuries that he will need to inflict. He must inflict them once and for all.”


“Men are so simple and yield so readily to the desires of the moment that he who will trick will always find another who will suffer to be tricked.”


“For among other evils caused by being disarmed, it renders you contemptible; which is one of those disgraceful things which a prince must guard against.”


“Benefits should be conferred gradually; and in that way they will taste better.”


“Nature that framed us of four elements, warring within our breasts for regiment, doth teach us all to have aspiring minds.”


“Since it is difficult to join them together, it is safer to be feared than to be loved when one of the two must be lacking.”


“Everyone sees what you appear to be, few experience what you really are.”


“The lion cannot protect himself from traps, and the fox cannot defend himself from wolves. One must therefore be a fox to recognize traps, and a lion to frighten wolves.”


“There is no other way to guard yourself against flattery than by making men understand that telling you the truth will not offend you.”


“Never attempt to win by force what can be won by deception.”


“It is much safer to be feared than loved because is preserved by the link of obligation which, owing to the baseness of men, is broken at every opportunity for their advantage; but fear preserves you by a dread of punishment which never fails.”


“People should either be caressed or crushed. If you do them minor damage they will get their revenge; but if you cripple them there is nothing they can do. If you need to injure someone, do it in such a way that you do not have to fear their vengeance.”


“Men are driven by two principal impulses, either by love or by fear.”


“Because there are three classes of intellects: one which comprehends by itself; another which appreciates what others comprehend; and a third which neither comprehends by itself nor by the showing of others; the first is the most excellent, the second is”


“It is not titles that honour men, but men that honour titles.”


“How we live is so different from how we ought to live that he who studies what ought to be done rather than what is done will learn the way to his downfall rather than to his preservation.”


“Men in general judge more by the sense of sight than by the sense of touch, because everyone can see but few can test by feeling. Everyone sees what you seem to be, few know what you really are; and those few do not dare take a stand against the general”


“The vulgar crowd always is taken by appearances, and the world consists chiefly of the vulgar.”


“A man who is used to acting in one way never changes; he must come to ruin when the times, in changing, no longer are in harmony with his ways.”

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