Tao Te Ching

The Power of Goodness, the Wisdom Beyond Words
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The Prince

By Machiavelli

Quotes from The Prince

“A man who wishes to act entirely up to this professions of virtue soon meets with what destroys him”

Chapters:

Themes: Golden Chains

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“A prince should have no other aim or thought, nor select anything else to study than the art of war, its rules and discipline.”

Chapters:

Themes: War

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“Above all things, good policy is to prevent treasuries and monies in a state from being gathered into a few hands.”

Chapters:

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“Although you may have fortresses, they will not save you if you are hated by the people.”

Chapters: 17. True Leaders

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“Always choose the lesser evil never imagining that you can decide on a perfectly safe course. You can never avoid one trouble without running into another one.”

Chapters:

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“Appear as you may wish to be.”

Chapters:

Themes: Strategy

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“Everyone who wants to know what will happen ought to examine what has happened: everything in this world in any epoch has their replicas in antiquity.”

Chapters:

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“Injuries should be done all at one time—being tasted less, they offend less. Benefits should be given little by little—so that the flavor of them may last longer.”

Chapters:

Themes: Strategy

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“It is better to act and repent than not to act and regret.”

Chapters:

Themes: Inspiration

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“It must be remembered that there is nothing more difficult to plan, more doubtful of success, nor more dangerous to manage than a new system. For the initiator has the enmity of all who would profit by the preservation of the old institution and merely lukewarm defenders in those who gain by the new ones.”

Chapters:

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“Make men understand that to tell you the truth does not offend you... Those who do otherwise are either overthrown by flatterers, or so often changed by varying opinions that they fall into contempt.”

Chapters:

Themes: Truth

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“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.”

Chapters:

Themes: Deception

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“Men in general judge more from appearances than from reality. All men have eyes, but few see clearly.”

Chapters: 21. Following Empty Heart

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“The first opinion one forms of someone and of his understanding, is by seeing those he has around him.”

Chapters:

Themes: Friendship

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“The majority of mankind are satisfied with appearances, as though they were realities, and are often more influenced by the things that seem than by those that are.”

Chapters:

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“The more sand that escapes from our life’s hourglass, the more clearly we can see through it”

Chapters: 76. The Soft and Flexible

Themes: Old Age

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

Chapters:

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“There are 3 classes of intellects: one that comprehends by itself; one that appreciates what others comprehend; and a third that neigher comprehends by itself nor by the showing of others. The first is excellent, the second good, the third useless.”

Chapters:

Themes: Wisdom

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“There is nothing more important than appearing to be religious.”

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“To experience constant success, it's necessary to change habits and attitudes, to recreate yourself according to the changing times.”

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“Whoever wishes to foresee the future must consult the past. Human events always resemble those of earlier times because human nature doesn't change, people are always animated by the same passions and so produce the same results.”

Chapters:

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“Wisdom consists of knowing how to distinguish the nature of trouble, and in choosing the lesser evil.”

Chapters:

Themes: Wisdom Wisdom

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“Only a good leader understands the nature of the people; only the people understand the true nature of the leader.”

Chapters:

Themes: Leadership

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Quotes about The Prince (2 quotes)

“The contradiction between the teaching of The Prince and that of the Discourses on Livy and the History of Florence shows that this profound political thinker has so far been studied only by superficial or corrupt readers. The Court of Rome sternly prohibited his book. I can well believe it; for it is that Court it most clearly portrays.”

Jean-Jacques Rousseau 1712 – 1778 CE
from Social Contract

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The Prince—the first ever handbook on opportunism—which advised rulers to 'learn how not to be virtuous' in order to maintain their power.”

Roman Krznaric c. 1964
Practical, popular, modern philosopher

from Carpe Diem Regained (2017)

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  1. Shan Dao
    Will Durant said about this book, "Nowhere else shall we find so much independent and fearless thinking on ethics and politics. Machiavelli was justified in claiming that he had opened new routes on relatively untraveled seas."