By Paul J. Rasmussen
This publication is an in depth comparability of the main political writings of Machiavelli and Xenophon. by means of elucidating the impressive scope, intensity, and subtlety of the controversy among those nice thinkers,Excellence Unleashed deals a clean point of view at the philosophic and political importance of Machiavelli's proto-modern holiday from the classical culture.
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Extra info for Excellence Unleashed: Machiavelli's Critique of Xenophon and the Moral Foundation of Politics
Still, he acknowledges that the people experience their selfish and ambitious spiritedness as moral indignation; they view their cause as inherently just and righteous. The people believe that they are morally justified in resisting the few, who bear the responsibility for factional conflict through their active oppression. As we have seen, Machiavelli exposes the selfish, submoral foundations of this indignation, and shows that the people bear as much responsibility for civil unrest as the few.
The question of whether Persia’s most educated and honored citizens are in fact the most excellent human beings becomes even more salient when we consider Xenophon’s postscript to this account of the Persian republic. ” In practice, however, since the Persian education to virtue is so extensive and consuming, only the sons of those citizens who can afford to allow them not to work have the leisure necessary to attend these schools. 5 8 Chapter 1 Paradoxically, because of its overwhelming concern with virtue, the Persian regime is ultimately dependent upon conditions and factors that are themselves ambiguous with respect to virtue.
3 It is also designed to obligate them to the regime itself. The Persians believe that ingratitude is “the greatest leader to all things shameful,” particularly neglect of the gods and the fatherland. Persian justice demands gratitude toward the beings and institutions that are ultimately responsible for the good things enjoyed by the citizens. 1). Thus far, Xenophon’s account of Persia does indeed appear to be a description of a lawful republic that surpasses most others with respect to the care it exerts to ensure the moral and political virtue of its citizens.