Die Ästhetik herrschaftserhaltenden Regierens

Zur Einordnung persistenter machtpolitischer, rhetorischer Strategien in Machiavellis Il Principe


  • Daphne Tokas Goethe-Universität Frankfurt, Institut für Philosophie


Anti-democratic resistance is not uncommonly relied on critical theorems which design a model against domination. A look at the conditions of the sphere of influence in which Niccolò Machiavelli’s „Principe“ moved, who has become famous in political theory, must be astonishing in this context: it was different from today’s political sphere of influence of democratic states, but it produced similar political behavioral preferences – the stategical preservation of power. Whether it is a democratic system or not seems to be secondary. Machiavelli has often been accused of cynical amoralism by his contemporaries and by posterity. This article, in contrast to these approaches, seeks to support new views on Machiavelli and aims to show that his reflections in „Il Principe“ are so complex and variable that they would still be applicable to today’s debates on domination in political discourses. The central thesis of this paper is that, according to Machiavelli, political stability can only be guaranteed through the preservation of power, which is based on specific rhetorical and aesthetic strategies, which will be examined and analysed in this paper.