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Nicollo Machiavelli
1469 - 1527

Italian bureaucrat and diplomat. Author of The Prince and Discourses on Livy, both published in 1513.

Books by Nicollo Machiavelli
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The Discourses
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The Prince
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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.

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

There is nothing more difficult to arrange, more doubtful of success, and more dangerous to carry through, than initiating change...

1513 - from The Prince
When neither their property nor their honour is touched, the majority of men live content.

1513 - from The Prince
He who desires or attempts to reform the government of a state... must at least retain the semblance of the old forms, so that it may seem to the people that there has been no change in the institutions, even though they are in fact entirely different from the old ones.

... men are generally incredulous, never really trusting new things unless they have tested them by experience.

1513 - from The Prince
A wise prince must devise ways by which his citizens are always and in all circumstances dependent on him and his authority; and then they will always be faithful to him.