Comparing Machiavelli And The Industrial Revolution

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The ancient philosophers, or those who practiced philosophy before the Age of Enlightenment, generally believed politics should aim high in regard to virtue and happiness; in other words: The ancients were inegalitarian or did not believe individual people were equal to one another (Cahn, 121). Inegalitarians accept and support social, political and economic inequality; they believe some people are physically, morally or mentally inferior or superior. Thus, the ancients desired a closed, aristocratic society, which was controlled via censorship. They believed only an elite aristocratic class was capable of achieving pre-modern virtues such as courage or temperance; ultimately pre-modern virtuous qualities were intentionally rare to find, and …show more content…

This economic transformation can only be attributed to the fathers of Modernity or The Enlightenment, such as Machiavelli, due to their radical departure from ancient tradition or dogma like mercantilism. Mercantilism holds that only the advancement of state power matters, but Machiavelli contested the state’s welfare depended on its people; it’s in the states own interest to satisfy the people for political and social stability (Cahn, 153). In order to promote the general populations welfare, the state must abandon Mercantilism and embrace a more liberal system; a free market approach would entice public virtue by creating businesses, jobs, and other forms of public affluence, improving the individual status of citizens vying for more economic independence. The Industrial Revolution is a testament to that affluence; through the virtue of science and technology, fortune, or nature is conquered and humankind can be free to control their own virtues by acquiring knowledge and wisdom through nature or science (Cahn, 181). The quality of conquering nature was instilled by Machiavelli in order to demonstrate humankind’s unbound capability to thrive by accepting this new radical concept of virtue or self-interest; in this specific case, economic and scientific virtue would sustain and encourage security, pleasure, and …show more content…

It’s defined as being the “divine influence” which operates in persons to promote virtuous impulses, gather strength to endure trials, or resist temptation (Cahn, 188). In other words, Christianity had convinced people that they had almost no control over their lives, which meant they had no worldly interest to improve their life through their own personal virtue. This was a problem for Machiavelli, as he believed the Ancients and religion made life hard, and happiness unfeasible for many; these superstitious religious beliefs stifled moral, political and economic progress, as they contradicted Machiavelli’s definition of virtue (Cahn, 192). For him, Christianity was a major threat to Modernity, because it directly contradicted and opposed its values and goals, which were formulated to improve man’s status on earth through rational virtue with a tangible outcome; Christianity is too outer-worldly, it devalues the reality of life by saying its Hell on Earth,

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