Nationalism and patriotism are two of the most powerful forces shaping world history. In this paperback edition of a highly successful, wide-ranging study, Maurizio Viroli shows exactly why patriotism is a political virtue and nationalism a political vice.
This book studies a central but hitherto neglected aspect of Rousseau's political thought: the concept of social order and its implications for the ideal society which he envisages. The antithesis between order and disorder is a fundamental theme in Rousseau's work, and the author takes it as the basis for this study. In contrast with a widely held interpretation of Rousseau's philosophy, Professor Viroli argues that natural and political order are by no means the same for Rousseau. He explores the (...) differences and interrelations between the different types of order which Rousseau describes, and shows how the philosopher constructed his final doctrine of the just society, which can be based only on every citizen's voluntary and knowing acceptance of the social contract and on the promotion of virtue above ambition. The author also shows the extent of Rousseau's debt to the republican tradition, and above all to Machiavelli, and revises the image of Rousseau as a disciple of the natural-law school. (shrink)
This book presents a critical examination of Machiavelli's thought, combining an accessible, historically-informed account of his work with a reassessment of his central ideas and arguments. Viroli challenges the accepted interpretations of Machiavelli's work, insisting that his republicanism was based not on a commitment to virtue, greatness, and expansion, but to the ideal of civic life protected by the shield of fair laws. His detailed study of how Machiavelli composed The Prince offers a number of new interpretations and he further (...) contends that the most challenging--and underestimated--aspect of Machiavelli's thought is his philosophy of life, in particular his conceptions of love, women, irony, God, and the human condition. (shrink)
This highly acclaimed volume brings together some of the world's foremost historians of ideas to consider Machiavelli's political thought in the larger context of the European republican tradition, and the image of Machiavelli held by other republicans. An international team of scholars from a variety of disciplinary backgrounds (notably law, philosophy, history and the history of political thought) explore both the immediate Florentine context in which Machiavelli wrote, and the republican legacy to which he contributed.
Current debates about patriotism and nationalism have so far failed adequately to take into account the historical meaning of republican patriotism. For classical and modern republican theorists, love of country is a charitable love of the republic and of its citizens. It is an attachment to the political values of republican liberty and to the culture based upon them. As such, it is a theoretical alternative to both civic and ethnic nationalism, and it is not at all confined within the (...) bygone experience of city‐states. (shrink)
In Redeeming "The Prince," one of the world's leading Machiavelli scholars puts forth a startling new interpretation of arguably the most influential but widely misunderstood book in the Western political tradition. Overturning popular misconceptions and challenging scholarly consensus, Maurizio Viroli also provides a fresh introduction to the work. Seen from this original perspective, five centuries after its composition, The Prince offers new insights into the nature and possibilities of political liberation.Rather than a bible of unscrupulous politics, The Prince, Viroli argues, (...) is actually about political redemption--a book motivated by Machiavelli's patriotic desire to see a new founding for Italy. Written in the form of an oration, following the rules of classical rhetoric, the book condenses its main message in the final section, "Exhortation to liberate Italy from the Barbarians." There Machiavelli creates the myth of a redeemer, an ideal ruler who ushers in an era of peace, freedom, and unity. Contrary to scholars who maintain that the exhortation was added later, Viroli proves that Machiavelli composed it along with the rest of the text, completing the whole by December 1513 or early 1514.Only if we read The Prince as a theory of political redemption, Viroli contends, can we at last understand, and properly evaluate, the book's most controversial pages on political morality, as well as put to rest the cliché of Machiavelli as a "Machiavellian."Bold, clear, and provocative, Redeeming "The Prince" should permanently change how Machiavelli and his masterpiece are understood. (shrink)
En este artículo Maurizio Viroli muestra que aunque el patriotismo republicano tiene una dimensión cultural es, sobre todo, una pasión política basada en la experiencia de la ciudadanía. Patriotismo es el amor por una república libre y por su forma de vida: il vivere libero. En este sentido, el patriotismo es casi lo opuesto al nacionalismo. Para los nacionalistas el patriotismo es el amor por una libertad más modesta: la libertad de disfrutar a la sombra del trono, y en paz, (...) de la casita y el majuelo. Para los patriotas republicanos el amor por la patria es una pasión artificial, para los nacionalistas es natural. Como conclusión, Viroli sugiere que el patriotismo republicano es capaz de responder a los dilemas de la democracia moderna al ir más allá de la elección entre el mito del nacionalismo cívico y el horror del nacionalismo étnico. (shrink)
Niccolò Machiavelli is one of most influential modern political thinkers. His works, above all The prince, The discourses on Livy, The Florentine histories, and The art of war, are still passionately discussed in the intellectual community. Against the trite commonplace that Machiavelli was a teacher of evil who justified political immorality, Maurizio Viroli shows, on the basis of a rigorous study of his texts, that Machiavaelli taught instead the best way to attain true glory through political action.