Wie machiavellistisch ist Machiavelli? (German Edition)
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Niccolo Machiavelli. Publisher: Insel, Frankfurt , This specific ISBN edition is currently not available. View all copies of this ISBN edition:. Buy New View Book.
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Other Popular Editions of the Same Title. Search for all books with this author and title. Customers who bought this item also bought. Stock Image. Iago is the Machiavellian antagonist in William Shakespeare's play, Othello. This article is about the psychology term. Machiavellianism is the term that some social and personality psychologists use to describe a person's tendency to deceive and manipulate others for personal gain.
In the s Richard Christie and Florence L. Geis developed a test for measuring a person's level of Machiavellianism. This eventually became the MACH-IV test, a twenty-statement personality survey that is now the standard self-assessment tool of Machiavellianism. But these remained towns without territorial connections. By referring the confederates to the Helvetians, a nation that had settled in the Swiss Central Plateau, Tschudi claimed not only privileges for his fellow Swiss, but also territorial and ethnic continuity going back to the revered times of antiquity. The league thus became a nation in the early modern sense.
It remained, however, a nation within the Holy Roman Empire. The humanist invention of tradition made the Swiss a nation on the same level as the Swabians, the Bavarians, or the Prussians. They were still part of the Germans as a whole and not a people opposed to them. Simler was a very authoritative author, a minister from Zurich, married to the granddaughter of Zwingli and the daughter of the aforementioned Antistes Gwalther. Against those who accused the Swiss of rebellion, Simler maintained that they always had been loyal to the emperors and even to the nobility.
Liberty did not mean liberation from the Empire, but liberty through and within the Empire. Simler showed as much by presenting the Swiss cantons and their allies in a descriptive way, relating their history and detailing their institutions. This was not a theoretical, philosophical approach, but a historical, empirical one. Each canton was either an aristocracy or a democracy of its own.
After all, the Confederation was not a philosophical or legal construction, but a customary structure that one could only explain historically the way Simler had done: many cantons and still one state; not obedient to the emperor, but still adhering to the universal Empire; united not by one general law, but by a multitude of particular treaties that brought together thirteen fully entitled cantons, different categories of allies Zugewandte , allied respectively with all or only some of these cantons , and finally joint dependencies Gemeine Herrschaften , governed in common by some or almost all of the cantons.
If one judged such a variety of established networks by the sole criterion of sovereignty, one inevitably simplified and wronged them. Bodin did something quite similar when discussing the Empire. To him, it was not a monarchy, but an aristocracy composed of secular and ecclesiastic princes, not to mention the counts and knights, imperial towns, even imperial villages, and so on. Hence the theoretical challenge for the Swiss in the late sixteenth and seventeenth centuries was not Machiavelli, but Bodin; and the political challenge was not Italy, but France, where from Henry IV onwards, absolutist kings drew the consequences of the doctrine of sovereignty.
Switzerland shared this challenge not only with the Holy Roman Empire, but with most other European countries. They reacted, as did many others, to the Cartesian theory of passions and especially to Hobbes as a successor to Bodin in conceiving absolutist sovereignty.
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The Dutch accepted the concept itself, but not the monarchical bias of these authors, which they deemed more dangerous for liberty than useful for security. However, the answer Machiavelli opposed to civil strife and anarchy was not the monopoly of force of an individual who always risked abusing it. Most of all, these laws had to control the religious passions and those who abused them: the churches and clerics.
In such a secular constitution, where the political order was no longer part of the metaphysical structure, decline became a major preoccupation. If the political order depended only on human beings who would behave better or worse depending on man-made laws, constitution mattered. If the sovereign was no longer God, but human either one or many and thus flawed, constitution mattered.
If the quality of a sovereign depended no longer on his piety and confessional zeal, but on his ability to guarantee both security and freedom of citizens, constitution mattered. For them, the decisive criterion was justice; for Machiavelli, it was stability and security; and in the course of the century the true faith, as with Zwingli or Calvin, often became the one criterion to distinguish between bad and good government, whether a monarchy or an aristocracy. Only then could monarchic, aristocratic, and democratic elements cease to be combined in a mixed constitution and give way to a clear alternative: sovereignty could reside either in the one or in the many—in a king, or a republic.
The Swiss political imagery could easily combine a Simlerian mixed constitution with the idea of a universal imperial monarchy. As a poor country, where the princely power had vanished already in the fourteenth century, the Confederation lacked the kind of internal conflicts between estates and king that provoked the Dutch reflections on an absolute republic in the seventeenth century.
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What stimulated perpetual friction and periodic confrontations was the religious divide between Catholic and Protestant cantons. As long as salvation was at stake and as long as nobody threatened the customary order, constitutional questions did not matter. In a society that secularized only slowly, it took some time and different contested fields until some protagonists took interest in the logic of modern political theory and started asking questions about who was the sovereign. In this process of learning, three areas of conflict became decisive: 1 the relation of the Confederation with the Empire and its exemption in ; 2 the dilemma during the wars opposing Louis XIV and the United Provinces; and 3 the internal struggle, within the cantons, to define the circle of those who belonged to or rather who were the sovereign body.
His aim was to prevent litigants from appealing to the imperial chamber after a judge from Basel had given his verdict. During the Thirty Years' War that had happened, sometimes ending in the arrest of Basel merchandise in the Empire, and Wettstein planned to ask for the privilege of exemption from the imperial chamber. But French diplomats implored him not to use the language of imperial law and its privileges, but to follow the Dutch example and to cite the liberty acquired by the arms.
That would be an argument of a sovereign within international law and implied that the Swiss did not belong to the Empire. Wettstein should refer only to the effective possession of rights and not to their historical origin, as the French did in those former provinces of the Empire that they had annexed. The French used the language of sovereignty in Westphalia not only in support of the Swiss, but also for other members of the Empire.
Wettstein, however, insisted that the Confederation was a free and independent state that did not accept judges it had not appointed itself. He was right in the sense that in the international context of the time, not only the French but other nations as well rather quickly interpreted the exemption as sovereignty, agreeing that the Swiss had the necessary requirements in foreign policy, namely the unrestricted jus belli ac pacis and the jus foederis.
By the end of the seventeenth century, German jurists and even the imperial diplomats treated the Confederation as a republic outside the Empire. In Switzerland itself, however, there was rarely a deliberate shift from imperial symbols to those of republican sovereignty. One exception was when in Zurich built a new town hall according to a clear political and artistic conception, replacing all the imperial and hence monarchic emblems by republican symbols.
Interestingly, those founding cantons themselves were much less interested in symbolizing sovereignty. The cantons of Nidwalden and Obwalden embellished their town halls with two-headed eagles until as late as and , respectively, and Obwalden, Appenzell-Innerrhoden, and Schwyz minted two-headed eagle coins into the s. To these Catholic petty states, the Empire and imperial law remained the metaphysical structure that guaranteed their privileges and hence their statehood.
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They had little to gain by switching to the Bodinian international and constitutional law that favored the strong sovereigns who were able to defend themselves and conquer others by military force—in this case, after another civil war in , most likely the large Protestant cantons Berne and Zurich. The model for sovereign expansion was elsewhere. The French king Louis XIV not only rolled back the Habsburgs in several wars and conquered important territories from them, but he also appeared to be an antagonist of republican rule.
The Sun King despised and humiliated the Netherlands, Venice, and Genoa by means both of military aggression and diplomatic protocol. Nevertheless, he sounded out the possibility of a republican alliance with the Venetians and the Swiss.