|Santi di Tito’s famous portrait of Niccolò Machiavelli, now residing in the Palazzo Vecchio in Florence, Italy; headcrop. Deutsch: Niccolò Machiavelli; Ausschnitt aus dem Portrait von Santi di Tito. Македонски: Портрет на Николо Макијавели во функционерска облека. Санти ди Тито, 1500. Денес во Палацо Векио, Фиренца, Италија (Photo credit: Wikipedia)|
Over 400 years ago, the Florentine statesman Niccolo Machiavelli engaged in a profound study of methods used by various rulers to attain power... The findings of Machiavelli and other students of power decree that to obtain power it is essential to ignore the moral laws of man and of God; that promises must be made only with the intention to deceive and to mislead others to sacrifice their own interests; that the most brutal atrocity must be committed as a matter of mere convenience; that friends or allies must be betrayed as matter of course as soon as they have served their purpose.
But, it is also decreed that these atrocities must be kept hidden from the common people except only where they are of use to strike terror to the hearts of opponents; that there must be kept up a spurious aspect of benevolence and benefit for the greater number of the people, and even an aspect of humility to gain as much help as possible.