Tao Te Ching

The Power of Goodness, the Wisdom Beyond Words
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Discourses on Livy

By Machiavelli

Though not nearly as famous as The Prince, in fact almost unknown and unread; Machiavelli’s Discourses encompasses a much broader, comprehensive, and more insightful work from which a pamphlet, The Prince was hastily drawn in an attempt to impress and influence a patron. Reading The Discourses can radically change impressions about Machiavelli, his teachings, and his influence. For example, most may be surprised to see how highly Machiavelli regarded democracy as the best and highest form of government. One of the most significant repercussions of this book may apply almost equally to every form of politics, business, religion, and even personal life: the emphasis on seeing, understanding, and responding to situations as they really are rather than only relating to our beliefs about how things should be, how they have been, and how we wish them to be.

Quotes from Discourses on Livy

“A new prince, like David should exalt the humble and depress the great, ‘filling the hungry with good things, and sending the rich empty away.’”

Chapters: 77. Stringing a Bow

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“Cunning and deceit will serve a man better than force to rise from a base condition to great fortune.”

Chapters:

Themes: Lies Deception

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“Everything that occurs in the world, in every epoch, has something that corresponds to it in ancient times.”

Chapters: 40. Returning

Themes: History

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“Let no man lose heart from thinking that he cannot do what others have done before him… men are born, and live, and die, always in accordance with the same rules.”

Chapters:

Themes: Karma

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“Monarchies quickly becomes Tyrannies, Aristocracies Oligarchies, Democracies degenerate into Anarchy… no precaution can prevent them from sliding into their opposites because of how closely the virtue resembles the vice.”

Chapters: 18. The Sick Society

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“Politics have no relation to Morals.”

Chapters:

Themes: Virtue

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“Religion is the most necessary and assured support of any civil society... there never was a successful lawgiver who did not resort to divine authority, as otherwise his laws would not have been accepted by the people.”

Chapters:

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“The envious nature of men, so prompt to blame and so slow to praise, makes the discovery and introduction of any new principles and systems as dangerous almost as the exploration of unknown seas and continents”

Chapters:

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“The nearer people are to the Roman Church, the less religious they are... Possibly the Christian religion would have been entirely extinguished by its corruption had not St Francis restored it to its original principles”

Chapters:

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“Those who read what the beginning of Rome was, and what her lawgivers and her organization, will not be astonished that so much virtue would have maintained itself during so many centuries; and that so great an empire should have sprung from it afterwards.”

Chapters:

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“When a prince, a nobility, and the power of the people are combined under the same constitution, these three powers will watch and keep each other reciprocally in check.”

Chapters:

Themes: Government

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Quotes about Discourses on Livy (1 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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