Machiavelli in Northeast Asia 9781032256917, 9781032256924, 9781003284598

Machiavelli has gained a new prominence in Western media due to the resurgence of Han Fei in recent official statements

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Machiavelli in Northeast Asia
 9781032256917, 9781032256924, 9781003284598

Table of contents :
List of Contributors vii
Acknowledgments xi
General Overview 1
1 Introduction: Machiavelli and Northeast Asia 3
Three Imperative Issues in Northeast Asia 15
2 Machiavelli’s Republicanism 17
3 Aristotle, Machiavelli, and Prudential Political Realism 26
4 The Book of Lord Shang Compared with Machiavelli and Hobbes 43
Receptions of Machiavelli: West and East 67
5 Machiavelli’s Fortune: Lines of Reception of His Works in Europe 69
6 The Introduction of Machiavelli’s Works and Thoughts into China 87
vi Contents
7 Machiavelli and the Intellectuals of Modern Japan 105
Reinterpreting Machiavelli in the Northeast Asian Context 121
8 Machiavelli and Han Fei Zi – A Comparison 123
9 The Prince between Confucianism and Machiavellianism:
Inoue Kowashi on Statecraft and Political Morality 143
10 “Seek Harmony but not Uniformity” – Machiavelli’s
Political Thought in the Chinese Context 160
Index of Names 176
Index of Terms 178

Citation preview

Machiavelli in Northeast Asia

Analyzing the multifaceted receptions of Machiavelli from early modernity to the present history of Northeast Asia, this book explores a better EastWest dialogue through which Machiavelli’s political philosophy can be appropriated properly in Northeast Asian practices. First, comparing the receptions of Machiavelli in Europe with the early introduction of his texts in Northeast Asia, it investigates what has been missing from the reception of his ideas in Northeast Asia. Second, examining the imperative issues which haven’t been construed appropriately even in recent reinterpretations of Machiavelli’s political philosophy in Northeast Asia, it searches for a direction of East-West dialogue through which Machiavelli’s political philosophy is not inordinately contextualized within the sociopolitical demands of Northeast Asian societies in accordance with time and place. Third, given the continuing interest in Machiavelli’s political realism, it examines the different conjunctions of his political realism with diverse traditional and contemporary political thinking in Northeast Asia. This book will be attractive to scholars in political philosophy, history, political theory, comparative philosophy, and area studies focused on East Asia, as well as scholars working in the field of comparative literature. Jun-Hyeok Kwak is Professor of Philosophy (Zhuhai) at Sun Yat-sen University, China.

Political Theories in East Asian Context Series Editor: Jun-Hyeok Kwak

Political Theories in East Asian Context aims to shed light on the essential theoretical issues spanning East Asia by situating them within cross-cultural frameworks that attend to both the particularity of East Asia and the potentially universal patterns arising from East Asia’s current issues that can be studied for the global prosperity. It reconsiders issues like historical reconciliation, nationalism, multicultural coexistence, political leadership, republicanism, and regional integration, with a view to opening the discourse of particular issues to a wider theoretical horizon. Including intellectuals in the fields of political science, history, ethnic studies, sociology, and regional studies, this interdisciplinary endeavor is a deliberative forum in which we can reflect on ethical problems facing East Asia in the global era. 2. Patriotism in East Asia Edited by Jun-Hyeok Kwak and Koichiro Matsuda 3. Worlding Multiculturalisms The Politics of Inter-Asian Dwelling Edited by Daniel P. S. Goh 4. Republicanism in Northeast Asia Edited by Jun-Hyeok Kwak and Leigh Jenco 5. Religion and Nationalism in Asia Edited by Giorgio Shani and Takashi Kibe 6. Leo Strauss in Northeast Asia Edited by Jun-Hyeok Kwak and Sungwoo Park 7. Global Justice in East Asia Edited by Hugo El Kholi and Jun-Hyeok Kwak 8. Environmental Philosophy and East Asia Nature, Time, Responsibility Edited by Hiroshi Abe, Matthias Fritsch and Mario Wenning

Machiavelli in Northeast Asia Edited by Jun-Hyeok Kwak

First published 2023 by Routledge 4 Park Square, Milton Park, Abingdon, Oxon OX14 4RN and by Routledge 605 Third Avenue, New York, NY 10158 Routledge is an imprint of the Taylor & Francis Group, an informa business © 2023 selection and editorial matter, Jun-Hyeok Kwak; individual chapters, the contributors The right of Jun-Hyeok Kwak to be identified as the author of the editorial material, and of the authors for their individual chapters, has been asserted in accordance with sections 77 and 78 of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988. All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reprinted or reproduced or utilised in any form or by any electronic, mechanical, or other means, now known or hereafter invented, including photocopying and recording, or in any information storage or retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publishers. Trademark notice: Product or corporate names may be trademarks or registered trademarks, and are used only for identification and explanation without intent to infringe. British Library Cataloguing-in-Publication Data A catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data Names: Kwak, Chun-hyŏ k, editor. Title: Machiavelli in Northeast Asia / edited by Jun-Hyeok Kwak. Description: Milton Park, Abingdon, Oxon ; New York, NY : Routledge, 2023. | Series: Political theories in East Asian context | Includes bibliographical references and index. | Summary: “Analyzing the multifaceted receptions of Machiavelli from early modernity to the present history of Northeast Asia, this book explores a better East-West dialogue through which Machiavelli’s political philosophy can be appropriated properly in Northeast Asian practices. This book will be attractive to scholars in political philosophy, history, political theory, comparative philosophy, and area studies focused on East Asia, as well as scholars working in the field of comparative literature”--Provided by publisher. Identifiers: LCCN 2022020416 (print) | LCCN 2022020417 (ebook) | ISBN 9781032256917 (Hardback) | ISBN 9781032256924 (Paperback) | ISBN 9781003284598 (eBook) Subjects: LCSH: Machiavelli, Niccolò, 1469-1527--Influence. | Political science--East Asia--Philosophy. | Political realism. Classification: LCC JA84.E18 M33 2023 (print) | LCC JA84.E18 (ebook) | DDC 320.1--dc23/eng/20220715 LC record available at LC ebook record available at ISBN: 978-1-032-25691-7 (hbk) ISBN: 978-1-032-25692-4 (pbk) ISBN: 978-1-003-28459-8 (ebk) DOI: 10.4324/9781003284598 Typeset in Times New Roman by SPi Technologies India Pvt Ltd (Straive)


List of Contributors Acknowledgments

vii xi


General Overview




Introduction: Machiavelli and Northeast Asia JUN-HYEOK KWAK


Three Imperative Issues in Northeast Asia




Machiavelli’s Republicanism NATHAN TARCOV


Aristotle, Machiavelli, and Prudential Political Realism




The Book of Lord Shang Compared with Machiavelli and Hobbes




Receptions of Machiavelli: West and East




Machiavelli’s Fortune: Lines of Reception of His Works in Europe GIOVANNI GIORGINI


The Introduction of Machiavelli’s Works and Thoughts into China 87 LIU XUNLIAN, LIU XUEHAO, AND CAO QIN

vi Contents   7 Machiavelli and the Intellectuals of Modern Japan




Reinterpreting Machiavelli in the Northeast Asian Context


  8 Machiavelli and Han Fei Zi – A Comparison 123 GABRIELLA STANCHINA AND TONGDONG BAI

  9 The Prince between Confucianism and Machiavellianism: Inoue Kowashi on Statecraft and Political Morality 143 TAKASHI KIBE

10 “Seek Harmony but not Uniformity” – Machiavelli’s Political Thought in the Chinese Context



Index of Names Index of Terms

176 178


Tongdong Bai is the Dongfang Chair Professor of Philosophy at Fudan University in China. His research interests include Chinese philosophy and political philosophy. His book, A New Mission for an Old State: The Comparative and Contemporary Relevance of Classical Confucian Political Philosophy (in Chinese), was published in 2009, and his book, China: The Political Philosophy of the Middle Kingdom (in English), was published in 2012. He recently published Against Political Equality: The Confucian Case (2019). He is also the Director of an English-based MA and visiting program in Chinese philosophy which is intended to promote the study of Chinese philosophy throughout the world. These and the other academic and social activities in which he is involved are all aimed at promoting new political norms which draw their resources from traditional Chinese philosophy and are informed by comparative philosophy and political theories. Demin Duan is Associate Professor with tenure at the School of Government, Peking University, China. He obtained his doctoral degree in philosophy at the Institute of Philosophy in Leuven (Dissertation: Tocqueville’s Notion of Freedom in the Light of His Writings on Empire and Colonialism). Since taking up his position in the School of Government at Peking University, he has published on Tocqueville, Machiavelli, the concept of political representation, and Chinese political thought (particularly Confucianism in the modern political context), among others. He has also translated multiple books such as Sheldon Wolin’s Tocqueville between Two Worlds – into Chinese. His current research interests include: Machiavelli, Tocqueville, contemporary democracy, and the concept and theory of political representation. He has been visiting scholar in many universities around the world, such as Brown University, Exeter University, and Jyväskylä University. Markus Fischer is Professor of Liberal Studies, Emeritus at California State University, Fullerton. He received his PhD from the University of Chicago in 1995. He is the author of Well-Ordered License: On the Unity of Machiavelli’s Thought (2000), “Machiavelli’s Political Psychology” (1997), and “Machiavelli’s Theory of Foreign Politics” (1995/1996). He has also

viii Contributors published on the international relations of feudal Europe and the role of culture in foreign affairs. Giovanni Giorgini is Professor of History of Political Thought at the University of Bologna and Adjunct Professor of Politics at Columbia University. He has been Visiting Professor at many universities in the United States and in Europe and is a Life Member of Clare Hall College, Cambridge. Giorgini is the author of La città e il tiranno (1993), Liberalismi eretici (1999), and I doni di Pandora (2002). He has also published a translation, with notes and introduction, of Plato’s Politicus (2005), numerous essays in English and Italian in learned journals, translations, and entries in encyclopedias. Recently, he co-edited (with Elena Irrera) The Roots of Respect (2017), a collection of essays examining the notion of “respect” in historical and philosophical perspectives, to which he contributed an essay on respect in ancient Greek poetry. Takashi Kibe is Professor of Political Science at the International Christian University. He received his doctoral degree from the University of Tübingen. His research interests are politics and religion, egalitarianism, multiculturalism, and Western history of political thought. He is the author of Frieden und Erziehung in Martin Luthers Drei-Stände-Lehre (1996), Luta no Seiji Shiso [The Political Thought of Martin Luther] (2000), and Byodo no Seiji Riron [Political Theory of Equality] (2015). His publications include “Differentiated Citizenship and Ethnocultural Groups,” Citizenship Studies (2006), “The Relational Approach to Egalitarian Justice,” Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy (2011), and “Myth-Making and Benevolent Politics in Japanese Political Modernity,” History of Political Thought (2020). He is a co-editor of Religion and Nationalism in Asia (Routledge, 2019). Jun-Hyeok Kwak is Professor of Philosophy at Sun Yat-sen University (Zhuhai). He received his PhD from the University of Chicago in 2002. Before joining Sun Yat-sen University in 2016, he taught at various universities including Korea University. His research interests lie at the crossroads of political philosophy from Socrates to Machiavelli, contemporary sociopolitical theories, and comparative philosophy. He has published numerous articles and books on political philosophy, comparative philosophy, and global justice in various languages, including recent publications, “Global Justice without Self-Centrism: Tianxia in Dialogue on Mount Uisan” (2021) and “Republican Patriotism and Machiavelli’s Patriotism (2017). Currently, he is serving as General Editor of the Routledge Series of Political Theories in East Asian Context and co-editor of the Journal of Social and Political Philosophy. Koichiro Matsuda is Professor of Japanese Political Thought at Rikkyo University, Tokyo. His research interests cover pre-modern and modern Japanese political thought from a comparative perspective. His recent publications in English include “From Edo to Meiji: The public sphere

Contributors  ix and political criticism in nineteenth-century Japan” in Routledge Handbook of Modern Japanese History (Routledge, 2017); “An Intolerant but Morally Indifferent Regime? Heresy and Immorality in Early Modern Japan” in Toleration in Comparative Perspective (2017). Cao Qin is Associate Professor in the School of Philosophy, Nankai University. His major research interests include contemporary political philosophy, history of modern political thought, and applied ethics. Gabriella Stanchina holds a Phd in Western Philosophy from the Catholic University of Milan, Italy and a Phd in Chinese Philosophy from Fudan University in Shanghai. Her research area is Chinese Western Comparative Philosophy, but she mainly focuses on the problem of self-consciousness in Mou Zongsan and Novalis. She published Il limite generante. Analisi delle Fichte Studien di Novalis (2002), and several comparative articles including: “The butterfly dream as “creative dream”: dreaming and subjectivity in Zhuangzi and María Zambrano” (Asian Philosophy 2018), and “Naming the unnamable: a comparison between Wang Bi’s Commentary on the Laozi and Derrida’s Khōra” (Dao 2020). She is currently working on a monograph about consciousness and subjectivity in the thought of Mou Zongsan. Nathan Tarcov is Karl J. Weintraub Professor in the Department of Political Science and the Committee on Social Thought at the University of Chicago. Professor Tarcov has been recognized for excellence in undergraduate teaching, receiving the University’s Quantrell Award in 1997. Professor Tarcov’s scholarly interests include the history of political theory, education and family in political theory, and principles of US foreign policy. His publications include Locke’s Education for Liberty, Machiavelli’s Discourses on Livy, and The Legacy of Rousseau, and numerous articles on Locke, Machiavelli, the American Founders, Leo Strauss, democracy, and tyranny. He is also Director of the Leo Strauss Center at the University of Chicago. Liu Wei is Professor of Philosophy at Renmin University of China (RUC). His research interests lie in ancient philosophy, and the history of moral and political philosophy, with a special focus on Plato, Aristotle, Machiavelli, and virtue ethics. He has published two monographs, Machiavelli and Modernity (East China Normal University Press, 2012), Common Good and Private Good: A Study of Aristotle’s Practical Philosophy (Peking University Press, 2019), and edited History of Western Political Philosophy, vol. 1, From Ancient Greece to Reformation (RUC Press, 2017). He has also published a number of articles in journals such as Antiquorum Philosophia, Sophia, Frontiers of Philosophy in China, World Philosophy, and China Scholarship. Liu Xuehao is Editor of the Commercial Press (Nanjing). He received his PhD from the School of Politics and Administration, Tianjin Normal University.

x Contributors Liu Xunlian is Professor at the School of Politics and Administration, Tianjin Normal University. His research interests include republicanism, the history of Renaissance and modern political thought, and theories of freedom. His major publication is Gong He Zhu Yi: Cong Gu Dian Dao Dang Dai (Republicanism: From Ancient to Modern, Renmin Press, 2013).


The editorial process for this volume was supported by the Department of Philosophy (Zhuhai) at Sun Yat-sen University.

Part I

General Overview

1 Introduction Machiavelli and Northeast Asia Jun-Hyeok Kwak

Prologue Machiavelli has gained a new prominence in Western media due to the resurgence of Han Fei in recent official statements of the Chinese Communist Party. Western media pundits and think tanks nickname Han Fei “China’s Machiavelli” and describe the favorable citations of Han Fei made by the current leaders of the CCP as ideological guideposts for consolidating a distinctive “authoritarian” rule. But the current attention of the Western media to Han Fei or Machiavelli appears to be an idiosyncratic phenomenon in China. Han Fei is one of the most important ancient philosophers in the Chinese legalist tradition (Yang 2010), and Chinese legalism was frequently endorsed by rulers in imperial times and by political leaders in modern Chinese history (Pines 2018). Furthermore, interpretations of Han Fei’s thought have shown remarkable variety over the centuries, and therefore we can hardly reduce them to one predominant view. Even among scholars who perceive Han Fei as a teacher of realistic statecraft, there are different opinions about his concern for the urgency of political order. For instance, it is sufficient for some scholars to say it was for the common good of the people or for the viewpoint of the bureaucrat (Wang 1986; Graham 1989, 267–292; Bárcenas 2013), while some scholars maintain that it was mostly aimed at serving for the good of the ruler (Hsiao 1979, 368–424; Goldin 2005, 58–65). In brief, favorable references to Han Fei by Chinese leaders are not surprisingly new, and they cannot be reduced to a “Machiavellian” justification of authoritarian rule. More importantly, neither Han Fei nor Machiavelli is very popular in Northeast Asia. Although their ideas have been frequently endorsed or disparaged by scholars and politicians in Northeast Asia, they are not such influential political philosophers in the region as Western media and think tanks assume. Differing from the widely shared assumptions of Western media about the contemporary resurgence of Han Fei in China, the notion of “China’s Machiavelli” more or less undermines the place of the two political philosophers in Northeast Asia, and it plays a role in resurrecting the once-popular debate on “Asian values” that unduly reduced a variety of claims and ideas about individuality and commonality to culturally biased DOI: 10.4324/9781003284598-2

4  Jun-Hyeok Kwak comparisons of East and West. It implies a line between Western individualism and Eastern collectivism that eventually leads us to assume an excessively dichotomized view of Western individualism – which prioritizes individual autonomy over the common good – and Eastern collectivism – which emphasizes the relation between the self and society as a necessary condition for self-realization. At this juncture, overstating the former in terms of individuality without commonality, the imaginary of “China’s Machiavelli” unduly identifies the traditional views of the “correlated” self with “selfless” collectivism. At the same time, it paradoxically bolsters a “statist” view that reads the legitimate mode of governance only in terms of its efficiency at the expense of its moral justification and democratic accountability. Nevertheless, the current popularity of “China’s Machiavelli” in Western media opens the possibility of reconsidering Machiavelli in the Northeast Asian context. While the high-profile image of “China’s Machiavelli” in Western media carries a culturally biased analogy between Han Fei and Machiavelli, it provides us with an opportunity to observe carefully a set of cultural and philosophical dialogues between East and West. These “dialogues” in this context shouldn’t be confined to the diverse receptions of Machiavelli in Northeast Asia, which can be termed as the encountering of different cultures. They should cover a relatively broad range of subjects which include an eclectic adaptation of his thought for specific purposes as well as a relentless search for a general rule of politics across cultures. In other words, while keeping in mind the danger of displacing localities with culturally biased universalities, we need to see the realities of Machiavelli’s thoughts not in terms of what they should be but in respect of what they have been. By the same token, while reading the receptions of Machiavelli in Northeast Asia, we need to uncover the various ways in which Machiavelli’s unscrupulous and obtrusive views appealed to early modern thinkers in the region, whereby they became perceived as the art of dissolving the chains that bound them. Based on all these observations, analyzing the multifaceted receptions of Machiavelli from early modernity to the present history of Northeast Asia, we will explore a better East-West dialogue through which Machiavelli’s political philosophy can be appropriated properly in Northeast Asian practices. In the first section, examining the imperative issues – virtue politics, republicanism, and political realism – which haven’t been construed sufficiently even in recent reinterpretations of Machiavelli’s political philosophy in Northeast Asia, we will search for a direction of East-West dialogue through which Machiavelli’s political philosophy is neither largely determined by ethnocentrism nor inordinately contextualized within the demands of Northeast Asian societies. In the second section, comparing the receptions of Machiavelli in Europe with the early introduction of his texts in China and Japan, we will investigate what has been distinctively ignored or underemphasized in the receptions of his ideas in Northeast Asia and what needs to be added for the proper appropriation of his political philosophy in the Northeast Asian context. In the final section, given the continuing interest in Machiavelli’s political realism, we examine the different conjunctions of his

Introduction  5 political realism with the diverse traditional and contemporary political thinking in Northeast Asia. Through this task, the pervasive notorious images of Machiavelli’s political philosophy, which have been unduly insulated from debates over its possible contributions to moral and sociopolitical issues, will be challenged in the Northeast Asian context.

Problems in East-West Dialogues The central features of East-West dialogue which have been shaped through the receptions of Machiavelli in the region cannot be covered by either a euphemism or a dysphemism for the panoply of issues relating to Western impacts, particularly on Northeast Asia’s modernization. Many Western political philosophers and their works have been introduced into the region from early modernity to the present history of Northeast Asia. And major texts in the history of Western political philosophy have been translated into Chinese, Japanese, and Korean. However, the position of Machiavelli as a political philosopher has been peculiarly unstable in Northeast Asia since the first translation of The Prince in Japan was published in 1886. His ideas have been challenged not only through the controversial refutation of “Machiavellianism” in the West but also through references to the realist traditions of Northeast Asia. For instance, Machiavelli’s ideas have been frequently rejected by scholars in terms of their separation from ethics, and simultaneously the idea has been put forward that better philosophical grounds for political realism can be found within Chinese legalism. In other words, Machiavelli’s political thought has been unduly distorted through the articulation of the polemical arguments about Machiavelli in the West with the trend of “overcoming Westernization” that has reclaimed attention from time to time in Northeast Asia. Thus, once we grasp the multifaceted receptions of Machiavelli in Northeast Asia, we can readily see a broader mix of East-West dialogues that has been shaped not only by cultural elements but also by philosophical responses to sociopolitical movements in Northeast Asia. The recent scholarly works on Machiavelli’s political philosophy in Northeast Asia also reflect a quite similar phenomenon in terms of East-West dialogue. Some of the resulting research on Machiavelli has a clear focus on rediscovering what was missing in the early receptions of Machiavelli in Northeast Asia. Scholars in this trend make use of a selection of unsettled debates on Machiavelli’s political philosophy in order to recover what lies behind the unfavorable reputation Machiavelli has acquired in Northeast Asia. As a matter of fact, three major criteria for questions regarding Machiavelli’s works these days – virtue politics, republicanism, and political realism – clearly indicate this scholarly trend. Concomitantly, there has been a constant interest in Machiavelli’s political realism. On the one hand, putting forward the originality of Machiavelli’s realism beyond the recognizable historical roots of his political philosophy in the past, several scholars have tended to establish a political theory that could be applicable to contemporary Northeast Asian societies. Machiavelli in this trend is not a thinker informing Western modes of thinking on politics but a marker of cross-cultural learning the core

6  Jun-Hyeok Kwak of which has been termed “power politics.” On the other hand, scholars, particularly in the field of International Relations, incline to see how Machiavelli’s political realism could be integrated into the traditional realist views in Northeast Asia. At this juncture, Machiavelli’s political realism is taken as an example that can help better validate the feasibility of Chinese or Northeast Asian traditional realist views on domestic and international governance. Ironically, the recent reinterpretations of Machiavelli in Northeast Asia attend to a set of problems in East-West dialogue that were seen in the early receptions of Machiavelli. First, the reappraisals of Machiavelli as a republican thinker have been excessively tailored for issues spanning across Western societies. Most disturbing is the question of Machiavelli’s faith in Christianity. This question is particularly disturbing because it does not inspire Northeast Asians to appreciate the diverse facets of Machiavelli’s attack on the dominant moral and political thought of his age. In the Northeast Asian context, redeeming Machiavelli’s religiosity from the refutation of The Prince in the West does not necessarily relate to the hermeneutical problems of retrieving the civic humanist ideas of his time in Machiavelli’s works, and consequently does not invite Northeast Asians to engage in the long-standing debates over the originality of his political philosophy in the West. Furthermore, within the Northeast Asian senses of “Way” (Dao) or “Nature” (Ziran) that indicate the need for attuning oneself to all things in nature rather than the priority of the natural order or immanent values, the tension between “fortune” (fortuna) or “God” (Dio) and “virtue” (virtù) in Machiavelli’s political philosophy can be hardly grasped as it ought to be. Similar problems can be found in other imperative issues, such as Machiavelli’s modernity, his advocacy of the rule of law, his devotion to patriotism, and his quest for empire. Second, the recent appropriations of Machiavelli’s political realism in Northeast Asia are excessively inspired by an instantiation of “reason of state.” It would be wrong to say that any statist approach to Machiavelli has little to contribute to our understanding of his political philosophy. But obviously, a strong sense of national consciousness mingled with the concept of “reason of state” is inseparable from the general appropriation of Machiavelli’s political realism in Northeast Asian countries. A similar trend emerged in the early receptions of Machiavelli in the name of the exigencies of nation-building in Northeast Asia. Apart from the conditions of social equality and political freedom that a republic should live up to in Machiavelli’s republicanism, the incorporation of his political realism into the pursuit of national security in Northeast Asia was predicated upon a preoccupation with the priority of the state which was understood primarily as the privileging particularity of national culture. This selective appropriation of Machiavelli’s political realism may have been associated with the sociopolitical cultures of the Northeast Asian countries in which patriotism is perceived as identical to nationalism. But it is still question-begging when we are now witnessing that the juxtaposition of Machiavelli’s political realism with the realist traditions of Northeast Asia is directed toward espousing love of one’s country in an unreflective way. Unless we are searching for a parallel sense of Machiavelli’s political

Introduction  7 realism in Northeast Asia based on textual evidence, we will be left with an inescapable distortion of his political philosophy.

Early Modernity and Amoral Politics As Giovanni Giorgini in his chapter points out, the reception of Machiavelli’s works in early modern Europe divided largely along two lines of interpretation: one was a “republican” tradition and the other was a “tyrannical/reason of state” interpretation. The key to understanding early modern readings of Machiavelli’s works in Europe lies with the convergence of the former with the latter throughout the diverse trajectories of modernity in Europe. Historically, these two lines of interpretation gradually converged with one another through the radical transformation of the classical meanings of political prudence from the architectonic guidance for good governance with morality to the amoral justification of the use of violence in the name of the art of ruling for the common good of the people (Soll 2005, 22–58). And in this convergence, Machiavelli’s republican ideals of freedom and equality were eventually downplayed by the sociopolitical demands of contemporary societies for political stability, and his mixture of republican goals with tyrannical modes of governance ushered in what Giorgini calls the “genealogy of modern Western political thought.” Machiavelli’s reception in Northeast Asia in general reiterates a similar pattern of the reception of Machiavelli in early modern Europe. But the imaginary of modernity, which was reflected through the justification of amoral politics in which early modern thinkers in Northeast Asia repudiated Confucian ideals of moral politics with Machiavelli’s works, did not retain the line of republican interpretation in which the centrality of his teachings on actual politics was placed in the realization of republican ideals. As we can see from the Chinese cases in Chapter 5, early modern thinkers such as Liang Qichao in China read Machiavelli’s works chiefly through his longing for establishing a modern nation-state. At this juncture, their perceptions of modernity that did not separate the need for a strong state from the imperativeness of establishing a nation-state perpetuated the line of the “tyrannical/ reason-of-sate” interpretation, and subsequently, Machiavelli’s republican ideals were dropped out of their readings of his works that were imbricated with their convictions of Social Darwinism (Kwak 2015). And, as Koichiro Matsuda in his chapter delineates, the line of republican interpretation that appeared in Japan at the initial stage of the reception of Machiavelli became gradually sporadic, and by the same token, an intellectual split between a “tyrannical/reason-of-state” and an “anti-moralist justification of politics” interpretation became predominant. Particularly in the latter interpretation, there was no place for Machiavelli’s republican ideas of freedom and equality. And thinkers trapped in such an intellectual split tended to find a breakthrough in the scientific study of politics which was chiefly aimed at searching for general rules in politics through Machiavelli’s works. Needless to say, Machiavelli’s republican ideals were understated in this scientific realism.

8  Jun-Hyeok Kwak However, this is not to say that Machiavelli’s republican ideals were totally absent in the early reception of Machiavelli’s works in Northeast Asia. The republican aspects of Machiavelli’s works, embedded in his patriotic laments over the fortunes of his fatherland, were carried into the patriotic concerns of Northeast Asian readers along with the crises of their countries. In this context, the first translation of The Prince came out in 1886 when Natsume Soseki’s autobiographic novels had not yet captured young Japanese hearts with what Robert Bellah named the “spiritual breakdown,” a crisis of identity driven by the disturbing effects of the encounter with the modern West in non-Western societies (Bellah 1991, 65). It preceded the first complete translation of Dante’s Divine Comedy, one of the most influential works of Western literature in early modern Japan, that was published in 1912 during the period of time when Soseki’s novels, such as London to (The Tower of London, 1905), spoke of the spiritual crisis of Japanese intellectuals standing at the crossroads between tradition and modernity. In other words, what the first translation of Machiavelli’s Prince in Japan reflected was not a spiritual crisis driven by modernity but a sense of expectation which was more akin to the daunting scale of the reforms that were converging on the complete dismantling of the Tokugawa system after the Meiji Restoration (1868). The concerns of the sociopolitical crisis under the Tokugawa, nurtured by increased domestic tensions after the arrival of Americans and Europeans in the 1850s, were transformed into the longing for constructing a powerful nation under the Meiji state that could cope with the interventions of foreign powers. In many ways, as Takashi Kibe in his chapter argues, the first translation of The Prince mirrored the period in which Japan sought to forge a modern state in the face of the threats of foreign powers, and by the same token, it reflected the strenuous exertion for establishing a strong state which was more or less associated with a Japanized Romantic mixture of Machiavelli’s patriotic love of his fatherland with his arguably modern discovery of the specific terrain for amoral politics. Maruyama Masao (1914–1996), one of the most influential political theorists in postwar Japan, once tried to find Machiavelli’s amoral politics, defined as the separation of personal morality from public politics, in Ogyu Sorai (1666–1728)’s political thought, the essential features of which reflected the growing concerns about philosophical and sociopolitical problems in the Tokugawa period. For instance, he argues that just as the honor of having established political science as a science in modern Europe is conferred upon the author of The Prince, so it would not be inappropriate to call Sorai the ‘discoverer of politics’ in the Tokugawa feudal system. (Maruyama 1988, 83) As much as interpretative problems that are innate in his understanding of Machiavelli, which relied excessively on the Weberian vision of modernity, particularly with respect to individual freedom and rationalized governance,

Introduction  9 it is questionable that Sorai’s view of public politics can be equated with Machiavelli’s departure from the classical and Biblical conventions of his time. As we can see from Markus Fischer’s chapter, the major propositions of political realism, which include the justification of cruel deeds in the name of the universal security for the people, can be found in the Legalist tradition in ancient China. Along the same lines, Gabriella Stanchina and Tongdong Bai argue in their chapter that despite the differences that exist between them, Han Fei’s repudiation of Confucian moral virtues is equivalent in terms of political realism to Machiavelli’s notion of “effectual truth” (verità effettuale). Furthermore, if we imply the current studies of Confucian democracy into our consideration (Tan 2003; Angle 2012; Kim 2020), Sorai’s view of amoral politics can be seen as a return to Confucian conventions that placed the benefit of the people at the center of benevolent governance. The recognition of amoral politics in the reception of Machiavelli’s works in early modern Northeast Asia cannot be simplified and reduced to the vision of the modern world first articulated by Max Weber, particularly with respect to its emphasis on the rationalization of governance. It can rather be construed as a resurrection of political realism that was already laid out in the diverse philosophical traditions of Northeast Asia. At this juncture, those who wished to construct a strong state found in Machiavelli’s works a justification for the “modern” state as the legitimate site of amoral politics. In this line of “reason of state” interpretation, the primacy of state interest and necessity, termed the struggle for its existence, became the ultimate goal of collective life. And, those who fought against inefficient governments and foreign powers borrowed Machiavelli’s theatrical love of the fatherland for their subsequent patriotic interpretations. The pertinent sources for their interpretations came from diverse sources including Ugo Foscolo’s Romanticist poems and Giuseppe Mazzini’s stories of the Risorgimento. In brief, neutralized by the lines of “reason of state” and “love of the fatherland” interpretation, Machiavelli’s teachings on amoral politics became part of the trajectories of modernity in Northeast Asia. And the promise of these two aspects of interpretation was later associated precisely with the visions of nationalist movements in Northeast Asia, in which the justification of amoral politics was embodied in the hopes for national independence as well as imperial expansion.

Overcoming “the” Modernity Nathan Tarcov in his chapter meticulously investigates Machiavelli’s statements regarding the “republic” in two major works, The Prince and Discourses on Livy. In his reading of Machiavelli’s republican thoughts in The Prince, Machiavelli does not speak of republics as if there were a duty of a ruler to take care of the benefit of the people. According to him, whereas it is certain that Machiavelli identifies republics with “liberty” and “living by their own laws” in The Prince, it is not clear that his descriptions of republics espouse a demand for justice or fairness beyond his admiration for the power and

10  Jun-Hyeok Kwak durability of republics. This textual reading of republics in The Prince relates to Machiavelli’s arguments for the kingly use of absolute power by republics in the Discourses on Livy. He points out that we are often faced with difficulties in considering his republicanism in Discourses on Livy to be an archetype of “civic republicanism” that places the common good before the private good. In other words, apparent virtue in the Discourses on Livy does not presuppose any selfless devotion of individuals to the common good of the people but the malignity of human nature that should be properly constrained and regulated by necessity termed as safety, freedom, command, wealth, or glory. In this context, Tarcov maintains that whatever the types of reconciliation of private interest with public interest might be, what stands out in Machiavelli’s republicanism is that he combines “a liberalism that does not posit individual rights with a republicanism that does not posit disinterested love of the public good.” Recently, Machiavelli’s republicanism has been rendered chiefly through the view of “civic republicanism” in Northeast Asia. From the republican perspective in this dominant approach, Machiavelli’s counsels for princes are understood not in the sense of the interest of the ruler but in terms of the common good of the people. By the same token, Machiavelli’s notorious justification of the kingly use of power by republics is neutralized by the general antagonism of the Aristotelian civic humanists of his time toward tyranny. This civic republican reading of Machiavelli’s amoral politics in turn implies that his amoral politics is not so very different from his contemporaries who tried to find a source of political realism in Aristotle and Cicero, and it emphasizes that his consequential justification of evil deeds stood along the same line with the discussions of “good government” (buono governo) in the civic humanist tradition of his time. Certainly, such a civic republican interpretation of Machiavelli’s republicanism has been influenced by the so-called “Cambridge school” that puts forward the rule of law, freedom, civic virtue, and patriotism in his political philosophy. More specifically speaking, the republican reading of Machiavelli’s works in Northeast Asia is more inclined to John Pocock’s civic republicanism than to Quentin Skinner’s neo-Roman republicanism (Pocock 1975; Skinner 1978). In other words, whatever commonalities they share with one another, most Northeast Asian scholars, who give Machiavelli the credit for the presence of “civic humanism” in his counsels for rulers, tend to leave aside the emphasis of the latter on the reconciliation of the private interest with the common interest in his republicanism. Tracing the similarities of Machiavelli’s counsels for princes with the civic humanist exhortations for the education of tyrants, they usually conclude that Machiavelli’s republicanism was classical republicanism that was imposed on the primacy of civic virtue despite his acknowledgment of the insatiable human desires for individual interests. However, as we can see from Wei Liu’s chapter in this book, there are slight differences in the civic republican approach to Machiavelli’s counsels for princes in Northeast Asia. He also tries to find similarities between Aristotle’s teachings for tyrants and Machiavelli’s teachings of amoral politics, but his

Introduction  11 interpretation of Machiavelli does not include a tradition that spanned from Aristotle to contemporary Florentine civic humanists. Without mentioning the civic republican vision of equal participation in political rule, Liu reaches a conclusion about political realism in which Aristotle’s architectonic view of politics is radicalized by his recognition of brutal realities in politics, while Machiavelli’s thought on amoral politics is accounted for by the quality of the times. For Liu, both Aristotle and Machiavelli elicited a “prudential kind of political realism” that never depreciated the need for morality in politics. And, in this interpretation of Aristotle and Machiavelli, he does not make much of their differences in their understandings of the origin of human society and the moral prudence of rulers, while emphasizing the aspects of political realism that suit his own overcoming of the classical opposition between morality and politics. As a result, Liu’s reading of Aristotle and Machiavelli inadvertently reinforces the distinctively Northeast Asian mixture of Machiavelli’s amoral politics with the Romanticist ideal of reason of state. And by the same token, in this reading, Machiavelli’s republican goal is more or less confined to teach the real “end” of politics, that is what Gian Mario Anselmi defines as the liberation of humanity from the shackles of the times (2013). The mixture of the notion of amoral politics with the idea of reason of state is still predominant in Northeast Asian interpretations of Machiavelli’s works. Hegel’s discussion of Machiavelli in terms of Realpolitik is often called upon to justify this mixture, and Meineke’s view of the art of the state in which Machiavelli’s teachings for princes are identified with the ideas of reason of state in the Counter-Reformation tradition is also summoned for the same purpose. In various ways, Machiavelli’s republicanism in Northeast Asia is still taking a path toward a vision of modernity that once fascinated his readers in the region who longed for the construction of a strong state or the liberation of their countries from foreign domination. In this context, Demin Duan’s chapter in this book echoes an increasing challenge to the long-standing mixture of amoral politics with reason of state in the Northeast Asian reception of Machiavelli. Based on insights from the Confucian ideals of harmony, he tries to read Machiavelli’s republicanism with respect to the need for harmonious relationships in politics. More specifically, on the one hand, he aims to overturn the dominant view of Machiavelli’s republicanism that finds its ingenuity in the salutary aspects of conflict in politics. On the other hand, he intends to see Machiavelli’s republicanism through the Confucian ideal of harmony that professes the idea of peaceful coexistence under the law. This reading may be countered with the criticism that Machiavelli’s texts remain at a distance from the selective dialogues between the East and the West. But it can contribute to challenging the long-standing mixture of amoral politics with reason of state in the reception of Machiavelli in the region. At the same time, it leads us to see the Confucian ideal of harmony in the light of republicanism in which the parties involved are active in promoting harmony within society while striving for justice between themselves.

12  Jun-Hyeok Kwak

Epilogue Machiavelli’s patriotism remains appealing to political philosophers in Northeast Asia who seek a moderate version of commonality that is both morally unobjectionable and ethnically non-exclusive. As the recent revival of scholarly interest in Machiavelli’s patriotism shows, his love for republican liberty diverts the central tenet of his political realism away from the boundless pursuit of power to be effective political advice for his fatherland or the rhetorical strategy for persuading his young patrician audience. Nevertheless, among scholars who are interested in Machiavelli’s patriotism, only a few have recognized the lack of a regulative ideal to tame patriotic fervor infused with collective egoism. Preoccupied with a discrete republican formula in this reading, the group egoism in Machiavelli’s patriotism disappears under the banner of the restoration of republican political life. These problems can be found in the Western literature that sheds light on Machiavelli’s patriotism with respect to different kinds of normative values. For instance, Maurizio Viroli, who finds the equation of civic virtue with the love of country in Machiavelli’s republicanism, counsels patriotic citizens to appeal to emotions rooted in pre-political elements – namely, language, culture, and history – to encourage their compatriots to dedicate themselves to the common good of the people (1995, 10). Likewise, patriotic readers of Machiavelli in Northeast Asia attempt to derive the love of common liberty from cultural and ethnic bonds that are not necessarily entwined with the republican ideal of liberty and its enjoyment. Certainly, “patriotic loyalty” is the obvious source of Machiavelli’s republicanism. But we must not neglect the way that republics appear in Machiavelli’s major works. Whereas Machiavelli explicitly preferred republics over other political regimes, he did not overtly state that a non-expansionist republic was well suited to the circumstances of quattrocento Florentines. Even if we leave aside the recent historiographical dispensation that Machiavelli was an imperialist (Hörnqvist 2004, 38–75), we can hardly dismiss Machiavelli’s ruminations on empire, in which he did not endorse city-republics but proclaimed his fascination with the mode of expansion through the indisputable dominance of power. Machiavelli’s endorsement of empires shows how ordering republics was related to his interest in governing the endless conflicts of passions and interests in free republics. But it also relates to his realistic perspective that the political discussion of patriotic loyalty should be free from any illusions of moral and communal commitment to republican ideals (Hanasz 2010; Kwak 2017). Within this expansionist formula, it is difficult to support the recent redemption of Machiavelli’s patriotism that embellishes his militant republicanism with love of humanity. Particularly when we consider the peculiarity of patriotism in Northeast Asia that is articulated with nationalism, the exclusive focus of which on ethnic homogeneity preoccupies the psyche of Northeast Asians, Machiavelli’s patriotism cannot be the best defense of Machiavelli’s republicanism.

Introduction  13

References Angle, Stephen. 2012. Contemporary Confucian Political Philosophy, toward Progressive Confucianism. Malden, MA: Polity. Anselmi, Gian Mario. 2013. “Per leggere Il Principe.” In Il Principe di Niccolò Machiavelli e il suo tempo, 1513-2013. Edited by Alessandro Campi. Rome: Treccani, 117–131. Bárcenas, Alejandro. 2013. “Han Fei’s Enlightened Ruler.” Asian Philosophy, 23(3): 236–259. Bellah, Robert. 1991. Beyond Belief. Berkeley: University of California Press. Goldin, Paul R. 2005. After Confucius: Studies in Early Chinese Philosophy. Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press. Graham, Angus Charles. 1989. Disputers of the Tao. La Salle, IL: Open Court. Hanasz, Waldemar. 2010. “The Common Good in Machiavelli.” History of Political Thought, 31(1): 57–85. Hörnqvist, Mikael. 2004. Machiavelli and Empire. New York: Cambridge University Press. Hsiao, Kung-Chuyan. 1979. History of Chinese Political Thought, Vol. 1, From the Beginnings to the Sixth Century, A.D. Translated by F. W. Mote. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press. Kwak, Jun-Hyeok. 2015. “Patriotism and Nationalism: “Republican Patriotism” in Northeast Asian Context.” In Patriotism in East Asia. Edited by Jun-Hyeok Kwak and Koichiro Matsuda. London: Routledge, 28–45. ———. 2017. “Republican Patriotism and Machiavelli’s Patriotism.” Australian Journal of Political Science, 52(3), 436–449. Kim, Sungmoon. 2020. Theorizing Confucian Virtue Politics: The Political Philosophy of Mencius and Xunzi. New York: Cambridge University Press. Maruyama, Masao. 1988. Studies in Intellectual History of Tokugawa Japan. Translated by Mikiso Hane. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press. Pines, Yuri. 2018. “Legalism in Chinese Philosophy.” The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. November 16 edition. chinese-legalism/ Pocock, John G. A. 1975. The Machiavellian Moment, Florentine Political Thought and the Atlantic Republican Tradition. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press. Skinner, Quentin. 1978. The Foundations of Modern Political Thought Vol. 1. New York: Cambridge University Press. Soll, Jacob. 2005. Publishing the Prince: History, Reading, and the Birth of Political Criticism. Ann Arbor: The University of Michigan Press. Tan, Sor-hoon. 2003. Confucian Democracy, A Deweyan Reconstruction. Albany: State University of New York Press. Viroli, Maurizio. 1995. For Love of Country, An Essay on Patriotism and Nationalism. New York: Oxford University Press. Wang, Hsiao-Po. 1986. “The Significance of the Concept of ‘Fa’ in Han Fei’s Thought System.” Translated by Leo S. Chang. Philosophy East and West, 27(1): 45–52. Yang, Yi. 2010. “韩非子还原” [“Restoring Han Feizi’s Original Form”]. 文学评论 [The Journal of Literary Criticism], (1) (January): 5–24.

Part II

Three Imperative Issues in Northeast Asia

2 Machiavelli’s Republicanism Nathan Tarcov

For readers familiar only with Machiavelli’s most famous book, The Prince, often described as a manual for princes, even for tyrants, it may be surprising to hear of his republicanism.1 He had, however, been a faithful servant of the Florentine Republic during the 15 years preceding his writing of The Prince. His longer work, the Discourses on the First Ten Books of Titus Livy, primarily advises the peoples, leaders, reformers, and founders of republics on how to order republics, and it praises republics over principalities and peoples over princes.2 Although the Discourses is the obvious source for Machiavelli’s republicanism, it is nonetheless illuminating to look at how republics appear in the primarily princely perspective of The Prince. While in the Discourses he explicitly praises republics over principalities, in The Prince, he does not explicitly praise principalities over republics. Indeed, republican political philosophers such as Spinoza (Political Treatise, V 7 in Spinoza 2016, 531) and Rousseau (Social Contract, III 6 in Rousseau 1994, 177) claimed The Prince is a republican book addressed to free peoples. The first sentence of Chapter 1 of The Prince declares: “All states, all dominions that have held and do hold empire over men have been and are either republics or principalities.” In starting with this dichotomy between republics and principalities, Machiavelli implicitly defines republics as non-monarchical states, one might even say in opposition to monarchical states. In doing so, he departs from that traditional usage in which “republic” could refer to any form of governance or any lawful state whether ruled by the one, the few, or the many (Hankins 2010, 452–482). Machiavelli instead uses the terms “state” and “dominion” for this broader generic category. Rather than proceeding directly to his discussion of the types of principalities, Machiavelli immediately draws attention to the republican alternative to princely rule. Furthermore, among additional dominions that a prince might acquire, Machiavelli makes a crucial distinction: they “are either accustomed to living under a prince or used to being free.” Thus he equates republics with being free whereas living under a prince is the opposite, being servile or enslaved. Freedom means in the first place republican freedom, not living under a prince. Machiavelli avows in the first sentence of Chapter 2 of The Prince: “I shall leave out reasoning on republics because I have reasoned on them at length DOI: 10.4324/9781003284598-4

18  Nathan Tarcov another time [in the Discourses]. I shall address myself only to the principality.” In that very chapter, however, Machiavelli mentions the ability of the duke of Ferrara to withstand the attack of “the Venetians,” meaning the Venetian republic. In Chapter 3 of The Prince, on “mixed principalities,” that is, those in which a prince has added a newly acquired province to his old hereditary principality, Machiavelli writes of those “not used to living free” as especially easy to hold, meaning again those used to living under a prince. Despite his avowal in Chapter 2 that he will “leave out reasoning about republics,” in the next chapter he offers the ancient Roman republic’s domination of Greece as the model for “wise princes” in acquiring and maintaining a province differing in language, customs, and orders from their own (he also offers praise for the Turkish Sultan’s orders for holding Greece). In Chapter 4, discussing the difficulty in holding provinces with many barons or principalities, he offers the Romans as the example of managing to become secure possessors of such provinces. The most infamous mention of republics in The Prince is the recommendation in Chapter 5 that the only secure way to hold states that are “accustomed to living by their own laws and in liberty,” that is, republics, is to destroy them and disperse their inhabitants. Machiavelli thereby identifies republics both with liberty and with living by their own laws, suggesting that the laws which the inhabitants of a principality live under are not truly their own, not being made by them, or that they do not truly live under laws at all but under the arbitrary will of their prince. He warns that whoever becomes patron of a city accustomed to living free and does not destroy it, should expect to be destroyed by it; for it always has as a refuge in rebellion the name of liberty and its own ancient orders which are never forgotten. He concludes with an eloquent appreciation of the republican spirit of liberty: “in republics there is greater life, greater hatred, more desire for revenge; the memory of their ancient liberty does not and cannot let them rest, so that the most secure path is to eliminate them or inhabit there.” Although his advice to destroy conquered republics seems shockingly anti-republican, nevertheless, if republics are to be acquired only to be destroyed, acquisitive princes might decide instead to try to acquire other principalities, which are more easily and usefully held. The final suggestion in the chapter, that a prince might instead securely choose to inhabit a republic he has acquired, could merely mean that the prince makes it his capital. It might, however, also suggest that a prince who has acquired a republic might choose instead to inhabit it as a republic, to become the leader of that republic, leaving it free and under its own laws (in the Discourses Machiavelli sometimes refers to the leaders of republics as their “princes”).3 Like Chapters 3 and 4, Chapter 5 again offers the Romans, that is the Roman republic or its leaders, as the example of conquerors who succeeded in holding the states they acquired, in this case, the republics of Greece. The

Machiavelli’s Republicanism  19 preceding chapter on how Alexander the Great held Asia even after his death, together with the succeeding chapter on the founders of new states, may incline a glory-seeking prince to consider founding the most enduring kind of state, a republic that, unless it is destroyed and its inhabitants dispersed, never forgets its founder’s orders.4 Only the extraordinarily powerful Roman republic was able to make the inhabitants of other republics forget their ancient liberty.5 The memory of the liberty and orders of the ancient Greek republics was not, however, entirely eliminated but was preserved by Greek and even Roman writers, whom Machiavelli has read continuously, according to the dedicatory letter of The Prince. His own praise of ancient liberty helps to revive its memory, as he promises to do in the preface to Book I of the Discourses. Machiavelli’s admiration for republics may even be reflected in his infamous discussion of those who “ascend to a principality by some criminal and nefarious path,” such as Agathocles of Syracuse and Oliverotto of Fermo (Chapter 8). Machiavelli declares that the criminal means employed by Agathocles could enable him to acquire rule but not glory, but Machiavelli leaves it vexingly unclear how his case differs from those of such glorious founders as the fratricide Romulus.6 The reason may be that unlike Romulus, who Machiavelli claims in the Discourses left a lasting legacy by founding Rome with good laws that were more in conformity with its later free (republican) way of life than with an absolute or tyrannical one,7 Agathocles overthrew the Syracusan republic, turning it into a tyranny, and left no lasting legacy. Oliverotto of Fermo, the other example in Chapter 8 of a prince who rose by criminal means, similarly overthrew the former republic. Chapter 9 of The Prince addresses what its title calls “the civil principality,” which, it turns out, means the sort of princely status one could attain in a republic with the support of one’s fellow citizens. This status would, at least initially, be within “a civil order,” what we would call an elective office or what might be called, less formally, a political “boss” within a constitutional system, as was Cosimo de’ Medici. It could, however, “ascend from a civil order to an absolute one,” from one the so-called “prince” governs by means of and at the will of magistrates to one he commands by himself with “absolute authority.” The latter case occurs when a republic is turned into a principality (or tyranny) peacefully, with the support of the people or the great, rather than violently as in the previous chapter on ascending to a principality by criminal means. Here, Machiavelli explains that in every city there are what he calls “these two diverse humors,” the people who “desire neither to be commanded nor oppressed by the great” and the great who “desire to command and oppress the people,” and that from this conflict of desires “one of three effects occurs in cities: principality or liberty or license.” Machiavelli explains how a principality results from this conflict of desires: either the great, unable to resist the people, make one of themselves prince so they may oppress the people under his shadow, or the people, unable to resist the great, make someone prince to defend them from the great with his authority. In accordance with the princely addressee and perspective of the book,

20  Nathan Tarcov Machiavelli (1996, I 2–5) does not explain how republican liberty or license may result from this conflict as he does in the Discourses, but what he writes here in The Prince indicates that liberty results when the people and the great are able to resist each other. When Chapter 10 of The Prince considers princes who do not have a sufficient army to take the field and fight a battle against whoever attacks them but are compelled to take refuge behind the walls of their town and defend it, the example of doing so effectively is, again, not a prince at all but the “very free” republican cities of Germany, who obey the emperor only when they want to.8 The only passage in The Prince that explicitly considers an issue from the perspective of republics occurs in Chapter 12, a chapter full of examples of republics: Rome, Sparta, the Swiss, the Carthaginians, the Thebans, and the short-lived Milanese republic that fell into the hands of its mercenary commander Francesco Sforza. Machiavelli recommends here that a republic keep in check its able military commanders with laws so as not to be brought “to obey one of its citizens,” that is, in order to remain a republic and avoid becoming a principality. Even Machiavelli’s advice in The Prince as to how princes should rule their principalities has some quasi-republican aspects. He advises the prince to secure his subjects against himself by avoiding unnecessary cruelty (Chapter 8), to favor the many over the few by keeping expenditures, taxes, and crime rates low (Chapters 16 and 17), and to avoid being hated by the people by leaving their property and women alone, and putting them to death only with appropriate justification and manifest cause (Chapter 17). In Chapter 19, however, Machiavelli admits a surprising and disturbing exception to his advice to avoid being hated by the people. In the late Roman Empire, when the soldiers formed a body separate from the people (presumably the Praetorian Guard), a body entrenched in the government and which had been indulged and made licentious and corrupt by Commodus, it became necessary for the emperors to satisfy the soldiers and let them vent their avarice and cruelty on the people. The general rule is not to satisfy and avoid being hated by the people specifically but to satisfy and avoid being hated by the most powerful group, the group the prince needs to maintain himself, whichever group that may be. Machiavelli adds that the princes of his time were not under such a necessity with the exceptions of the Turkish and Egyptian sultans, whose kingdoms depended on their soldiers (presumably the Janissaries and the Mamelukes prior to the elimination of the latter and of the Egyptian sultanate by the Turkish sultan) (1996, I 1.4). In Chapter 20, however, Machiavelli offers solutions for avoiding the terrible situation of being compelled to let soldiers vent their avarice and cruelty on the people. Here he advises princes to arm their subjects and not to build a fortress in which to escape popular uprisings. Instead “the best fortress is not to be hated by the people.” As Machiavelli (1996, II 24) explains in the Discourses, “a wise and good prince, so as to keep himself good and not to give cause to or dare his sons to become bad, will never make a fortress.”

Machiavelli’s Republicanism  21 A prince who has armed his subjects and has no fortress from which to resist their uprising, we may conclude, has compelled himself to be good, that is, to act almost like a republican magistrate who must take account of the will of the people. Thus we have seen that even in The Prince, Machiavelli describes republics as living by their own laws and in liberty, whereas principalities as such are not free; he repeatedly offers the Roman republic’s policies of expansion as the model for wise princes; he stresses the enduring attachment of the inhabitants of republics to their liberty and their ancient orders, thereby tempting glory-seeking founders to consider ordering republics; he explains that the class conflict between the great and the people can lead either to republican liberty or principality; he advises republics to keep their military commanders in check with laws so as to avoid becoming subject to them, and he advises princes to follow the quasi-republican policies of satisfying the people by providing them with an approximation of the lawful security provided by republics and to compel themselves to take account of an armed people. None of this amounts to an argument for republics on the grounds of justice or fairness; these passages instead express prudential admiration for the power and durability of republics rather than principled republicanism, but that may be expected in a book written largely from a princely perspective. While considering The Prince one has to look hard for traces of Machiavelli’s admiration for republics, one is faced with the opposite difficulty in considering his Discourses on Livy, that is to select the most significant features of his richly detailed analysis of republics ancient and modern. Whereas The Prince is dedicated to an actual prince and considers everything including republics primarily from a princely perspective, the Discourses is dedicated to two young friends of Machiavelli’s who he writes deserve to be princes. In itself, this might imply that the Discourses is written from an even more princely perspective than The Prince. Machiavelli’s preface to Book I of the Discourses, however, suggests a broader audience than the rulers of oneman principalities: all those whether princes or republics concerned with “ordering republics, maintaining states, governing kingdoms, ordering the military and administering war, judging subjects, and increasing empire.” Occasional passages, sometimes apologetically, even address tyrants who may overthrow republics (Machiavelli 1996, I 16.6, I 26, I 40.5–6, I 41, III 8). But Machiavelli most emphatically addresses founders, especially founders or re-founders or reformers of republics. For example at the start of Chapter 3 of Book I, he writes: “it is necessary to whoever disposes a republic and orders laws in it to presuppose that men are bad.” This presupposition is the first characteristic that I shall note of Machiavelli’s republicanism revealed in the Discourses. Far from supposing that men are good in the sense of preferring the common good over their private good, a view often attributed to so-called “civic republicanism,” Machiavelli or his republican founder presupposes that men are bad in the sense that they prefer their private good. They must be made good by necessity, whether by laws or by fear of tyranny or fear of death as in “some strong

22  Nathan Tarcov and difficult accident in which each, seeing himself perishing, puts aside every ambition and runs voluntarily to obey him who he believes can free him with his virtue.”9 Machiavelli accordingly suggests there that apparent virtue is actually hidden malignity, or put more neutrally, properly channeled or controlled concern for one’s private good, whether that be the desire for security, freedom, command, wealth, or glory. So first of all, Machiavelli’s is a hardheaded, realistic republicanism free from any illusions about human goodness or disinterested love of the common good except as it includes one’s private good. Machiavelli, therefore, does not argue for republics as if there were an abstract duty to favor them, but shows how ordering them is in the interest of their founders and why peoples love them. He tends to write perspectively offering prudent advice to some party or other as to what is in its interest. He (1996, III 9.2) argues that “a republic has greater life and has good fortune longer than a principality” because it can match its leaders to fit the times. He (1996, I 20) claims that whereas principalities are exposed to the danger of a weak prince succeeding a strong one, a well-ordered republic through the mode of an election has “infinite most virtuous princes who are successors to one another.” He writes that a well-ordered people is “more prudent, more stable, and of better judgment than a prince,” usually choosing the better opinion among those presented by orators of equal ability, and making a better choice of magistrates than a prince. He concludes that “governments of peoples are better than those of princes,” and that “the people will be seen to be by far superior [to princes] in goodness and in glory.” In explaining why peoples love the free republican way of life, he argues that it is because “cities have never expanded either in dominion or in riches if they have not been in freedom” and “the common good is not observed if not in republics,” whereas “the contrary happens when there is a prince” (Machiavelli 1996, II 2.1). That is not because the people are disinterested but because the common good is their interest. Machiavelli explains that although what is executed for the common good in republics “may turn out to harm this or that private individual, those for whom the aforesaid does good are so many that they can go ahead with it against the disposition of the few crushed by it.” What he calls “the common good” is the good not of everyone but of the many, who may prevail in a republic at the expense of the few. That is why the Roman people was for 400 years “a lover of the glory and common good of its fatherland” (Machiavelli 1996, I 58.3). The second point I will note about Machiavelli’s republicanism as presented in the Discourses is that the sort of republic he regards as well-ordered and most likely to endure is not a simple government by the people or multitude but a mixture of principality, aristocracy, and popular government along the lines of the Roman constitution of consuls, senate, tribunes, and people as described by Polybius, or the Spartan constitution of kings, ephors, senate, and people (Machiavelli 1996, I 2.5–7). Among such mixed governments, he recommends the relatively popular Roman kind over the relatively aristocratic Spartan or Venetian kind (Machiavelli 1996, I 4–6). He does so

Machiavelli’s Republicanism  23 not on the grounds of justice but because a state needs to arm its people in case necessity compels it to expand and an armed people can demand laws and institutions providing for its security. The liberty of such a mixed republic results not from the concord among the classes stressed by Livy but from the discord among them, especially the tumults, riots, or strikes of the people (Machiavelli 1996, I 3–4). An armed and occasionally tumultuous people must be a vigilant and suspicious defender of republican liberty. It must be receptive to accusations against those who would “sin against the free state,” and “vent its animus” against those whom they suspect would pass beyond a civil way of life (Machiavelli 1996, I 7). Its suspicion, even when erroneous, helps to maintain liberty and prevent tyranny since “men are kept better and less ambitious longer through fear of punishment.” It must be especially suspicious of any citizen whose accomplishments and virtues gain him so much authority that the magistrates fear him, for a city cannot call itself free where a citizen is feared by the magistrates.10 The people of a republic with many virtuous men, however, does not “have cause to fear any one of them” since they “guard one another” and are “hesitant to cast a shadow of any ambition or give cause to the people to offend them for being ambitious” (Machiavelli 1996, I 30.2). A republican people must be especially on its guard against citizens who acquire reputation and partisans by doing private favors rather than conferring public benefits (Machiavelli 1996, III 28). A new republic that has newly emerged from a previous tyranny, in particular, must be careful to secure itself against the enemies of the new order who hanker after the old, what Machiavelli calls “killing the sons of Brutus” (1996, I 16, III 3). The great obstacle to such popular vigilance is what Machiavelli calls corruption, a people’s indifference to defending its liberty and willingness to sell it to would-be tyrants (Machiavelli 1996, I 16–18). Machiavelli links such corruption to inequality, especially of the feudal sort in which gentlemen live idly on the returns of their possessions and have castles and subjects who obey them (Machiavelli 1996, I 55). Every republic tends to become corrupt for which the cures are grave external dangers, laws, and institutions that hold men to account and counter their ambition and insolence, enforced above all  by exemplary executions, and the examples of virtuous individuals (Machiavelli 1996, III 1). Both the discord among the classes and the necessity to counter corruption require Machiavelli’s republic to be dynamic rather than static, changing not only its laws but its fundamental orders or institutions “every day” (Machiavelli 1996, I 18, 49; III 49). Third, although Machiavelli recommends a mixed government with a strong popular element, he also stresses the occasional necessity for one-man rule. Although the many are best at maintaining the orders or institutions a founder establishes, one man is best at ordering or founding (Machiavelli 1996, I 9.2, I 58.3). One man is necessary not only at the founding but also later to deal with emergencies or to put in motion well-ordered laws with extreme force to deal with widespread corruption to make the state be “reborn with many dangers and much blood” (Machiavelli 1996, I 17.3, I 18.5, I 34).

24  Nathan Tarcov This princely or even tyrannical aspect of Machiavelli’s republicanism is its most problematic and dangerous element, as he himself recognized: Because the reordering of a city for a political way of life presupposes a good man, and becoming prince of a republic by violence presupposes a bad man, one will find that it very rarely happens that someone good wishes to become prince by bad ways, even though his end be good, and that someone wicked, having become prince, wishes to work well, and that it will ever occur to his mind to use well the authority that he has acquired badly. (Machiavelli 1996, I 18.4) Fourth, there has been a tendency in the study of Western political thought to draw a dichotomy between liberalism and republicanism as if political thinkers were concerned exclusively either with the private liberty of individuals or with the common good, political participation, and public virtue. I must admit that I can hardly think of a liberal or republican political thinker who was not concerned with both private liberty and public virtue. I am persuaded that it makes more sense to speak of republican liberalism or of liberal republicanism as in Machiavelli’s case. According to Machiavelli (1996, I 16.5), only a small sector of the people desires republican liberty so as to command, but all the others desire it only so as to live securely. Republics grow in population because each person willingly procreates children believing he can support them without fear that his patrimony will be confiscated and knowing not only that they are “born free and not slaves, but that they can through their virtue become princes.” Princely ambition if only for one’s children to reach the highest offices is at work in a republic. Riches also multiply in a republic, for “each willingly multiplies and seeks to acquire those goods he believes he can enjoy once acquired” without fear of their confiscation by the state, and “men in rivalry think of private and public advantages, and both the one and the other come to grow marvelously” (Machiavelli 1996, II 2.3). Machiavelli combines a liberalism that does not posit individual rights with a republicanism that does not posit disinterested love of the public good. My final point about Machiavelli’s republicanism concerns its relation to religion (Tarcov 2014, 193–216). Machiavelli (1996, II 2.2) attributes the lack of republics tarcov and of love of freedom in modern times to the influence of Christianity, which “placed the highest good in humility, abjectness, and contempt of things human” rather than in worldly glory and makes men “think more of enduring their beatings than of avenging them” so as to go to paradise. In contrast, he attributes the strength of ancient republics and ancient love of liberty to pagan religion and calls for an interpretation of Christianity that permits the exaltation of the fatherland and prepares men to defend it. Machiavelli (1996, I 12, I 14, III 1.4; 1998, 3, 11) not only contrasts the moral teachings of Christianity and ancient paganism, but also contrasts the interference of Christian prelates in politics with how the Roman leaders interpreted religion to accord with what reason showed them they ought to do and

Machiavelli’s Republicanism  25 subordinated priests to civil and military authority. In addition to these political considerations of religion, Machiavelli philosophically declares it is good to reason about everything and not a defect to defend an opinion with reasons without using authority or force (Machiavelli 1996, I 18.1, I 58.1). Machiavelli’s republicanism rests not on authority but on reason, both the prudential reason of statesmen and the reason of men like Machiavelli himself.11

Notes 1 This is a revised version of a paper delivered at a conference on “The Tradition of Republican Thought and Middle Eastern Practices,” November 29, 2013, at Bilgi University, Istanbul, The Republic of Turkey. 2 Niccolò Machiavelli, Discourses on Livy, tr. Harvey C. Mansfield and Nathan Tarcov (Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press, 1996), I 58.3, II 2.1, III 9.2. All citations to this work are by book, chapter, and paragraph numbers in this edition. 3 See, e.g. Machiavelli (1996): I 12.1, I 20, II 2.3. 4 On glory after death see ibid. I 10.2, I 10.6, I 27. 5 See also ibid. II 2.2. 6 See ibid. I 9, I 10.6. 7 See ibid. I 2.7, I 9.2. 8 Machiavelli does not use the term “republics” to characterize them in Chapter 10 but he does so in Discourses II 19. 9 Ibid. III 30.1; see also I 1.4, III 12. 10 Ibid. I 29.3; also, I 46. 11 Machiavelli claims, however, that under the good Roman emperors each person could “hold and defend the opinion he wishes,” something he never claims is true in a republic. Machiavelli (1996), I 10.5.

References Hankins, James. (2010) ‘Exclusivist Republicanism and the Non-Monarchical Republic’. In Political Theory 38, No. 4. 452–482. Machiavelli, Niccolò, tr. Harvey C. Mansfield and Nathan Tarcov. (1996) Discourses on Livy. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press. ———. Mansfield. (1985, 1998) The Prince, 2nd ed. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press. Rousseau, Jean-Jacques, ed. Roger D. Masters and Christopher Kelly. (1994) Collected Writings, Vol. 4. Hanover: University Press of New England. Spinoza, Benedict de, ed. and tr. Edwin Curley. (2016) The Collected Works of Spinoza, Vol. 2. Tarcov, Nathan. (2014) ‘Machiavelli’s Critique of Religion’. Social Research (Spring Issue) 81, No. 1. 193–216.

3 Aristotle, Machiavelli, and Prudential Political Realism Liu Wei

“Devil” and “Angel” Machiavelli opens the second half of The Prince with a powerful manifesto of searching after the “effectual truth” (verità effetuale), lamenting that previous political thinkers all concentrate on “imagined republics and principalities,” and claiming: [T]ere is such a distance between how one lives and how one ought to live, that anyone who abandons what is done for what ought to be done achieves his downfall rather than his preservation. A man who wishes to profess goodness at all times will come to ruin among so many who are not good. Therefore, it is necessary for a prince who wishes to maintain himself to learn how not to be good, and to use this knowledge or not to use it according to necessity (necessità).1 (Prince, Ch. 15) In what follows (Chapters 16–23), Machiavelli offers a number of effectual truths to be used to deal with “how one lives,” and about “how not to be good.” Those teachings are so successful, and with so little care for ordinary morality, that Machiavelli, after his death, was immediately regarded as the embodiment of the devil, a teacher of evil, and is taken as the paradigmatic political realist. On the other hand, Aristotle is considered the apex of classical political philosophy, which is marked by its idealism and moralism. So in contrast to Machiavelli, the teacher of evil, Aristotle is often regarded as the teacher of virtue and a moral angel. But interestingly, Aristotle at the opening of his Politics IV also makes a powerful manifesto, speaking of the twofold task of a politician: (a) most ideally, he needs to know the best or ideal regime, and make laws aiming at true virtue and happiness, but this may imply certain changes, even radical ones, to the present regime, and also, to a certain extent, depend on chance (tuche ̄); (b) less ideally and more realistically, he should try to find the best laws in a given regime and under given circumstances, and find the best way to preserve the present regime, without making radical changes to it, because DOI: 10.4324/9781003284598-5

Aristotle, Machiavelli, and Prudential Political Realism  27 to change a regime means, in the strict sense, to destroy the city, since the regime is the identity or form of a polis (Politics, III.3.1276b1–13). It is about the latter aspect that Aristotle also complains that his predecessors failed to make useful observations: Those who have expressed views about the regime, even if what they say is fine in other respects, certainly fail when it comes to what is useful (tōn chre ̄simo ̄n). For one should not study only what is best, but also what is possible, and similarly what is easier and more attainable by all…That is why…a statesman should also be able to help existing regimes (tais huparchousais politeiais).2 (Politics, IV.1.1288b35–1289a6) It is also for this task that Aristotle extensively discusses the causes of destroying and the ways of preserving the present regime in Politics V. In his entire discussion of these issues, the most remarkable, even astonishing, part is V.10–11, where he discusses the destruction and preservation of monarchs, and most of his attention is actually paid to tyranny. Aristotle offers rather detailed advice for a tyrant about how to preserve his tyrannical rule, and it may seem surprising that many ingredients of Aristotle’s discussion are identical to Machiavelli’s. Leo Strauss once wittily commented, “if we are forced to grant that his [i.e., Machiavelli’s] teaching is diabolical and he himself a devil, we are forced to remember the profound theological truth that the devil is a fallen angel” (Strauss 1958, 13). This paper is to argue that if Aristotle is an angel, so is Machiavelli, and not even a fallen one. Machiavelli is certainly not an angel in the Christian heaven, but one belonging to the pagan classical tradition.

Aristotle’s Realism: Advising the Tyrant After summarizing the major causes of the destruction of tyranny into two, that is, hatred (misos) and contempt (kataphronēsis), Aristotle speaks of two modes of preserving tyranny. The first is the mode handed down in the history of tyrannical rulers, especially Periander of Corinth, such as cutting down the outstanding and eliminating the high-minded, prohibiting messes, clubs, and education, guarding against high-mindedness and mutual trust, keeping the subjects in view through spies and other means, slandering people to one another, impoverishing the subjects, and waging wars to make sure the polis needs a leader. These devices may “help preserve their rule, but there is no vice they leave out” (V.11.1313a34–1314a29). Contrary to this open despotism and brutality, Aristotle recommends the second mode of preserving tyranny, which is “practically the opposite” (schedon ex enantias). But as we may expect, since it is still tyranny, not kingship, that is to be preserved, the so-called “opposite” advice would still be very different from the advice to a virtuous king. It turns out that most of what Aristotle advises in this “second mode” is hypocrisy and manipulation, for

28  Liu Wei the general principle of this new mode is “to make it more like a kingship” (poiein auten̄ basilikōteran) and the tyrant should “perform or seem to perform everything else in a noble, kingly fashion (ta men poiein ta de dokein… ton basilikon kalōs)” (1314a39–40).3 More specifically, Aristotle provides the tyrant with the following guidelines: 1

He should “seem (dokein) to care about the public funds,” not take money from the laboring people and spend money on lavish gifts to prostitutes, foreigners, and artisans, “seem (doxeien) to manage the polis like the head of a household rather than a tyrant,” and “appear (phainesthai) that taxes and public services exist for the purpose of administration, and to meet the needs of military emergencies” (1314a40–b17). 2 He should “appear (phainesthai) not harsh but dignified” so people meet him with awe instead of fear (1314b18–20). Aristotle admits that this is no easy task for the tyrant, since he has always been contemptible, and the remedy Aristotle recommends is that “even if a tyrant neglects the other virtues, he must cultivate military virtue and get himself a reputation (doxan) for it” (1314b18–23). 3 Concerning his relations with others, the tyrant should “not only avoid any appearance (phainesthai) of behaving arrogantly toward any young boys and girls among his subjects, but neither should those around him,” and with regard to bodily pleasures, even if he cannot be moderate, the tyrant should “at least appear (phainesthai) to avoid his indulgence” (1314b23–36, see also 1315a14–30). 4 A tyrant should “always appear (phainesthai aei) to be serious about matters concerning the gods,” because people will be more hesitant to conspire against rulers who have the favor of the gods. Somewhat strikingly, Aristotle immediately adds the warning that he “should not appear foolish in the process (aneu abelterias phainesthai toiouton)” (1314b38– 1315a4), which seems to mean that the tyrant should not foolishly follow religious belief and practice, for a religious appearance helps his preservation, whereas a too religious tyrant will be destroyed by his foolish faith. 5 Since honor is a great good for human beings, and an important cause of political faction, the tyrant should also take good care of this. He should honor the people who are good in certain respects, and make them believe that the honor they receive from the tyrant is greater than what they could possibly receive from their fellow citizens. When doing this, the tyrant should honor several persons so that they can watch one another, and even if he has to elevate one single person above all the rest, he should make sure that the one most honored does not have a bold character. Aristotle also advises the tyrant that he should himself distribute the sweet honors, but impose the bitter punishments through his officials and courts (1315a4–13). 6 The last piece of advice is to keep a certain balance between the poor and the wealthy, the two classes in any city, and to make both believe that their safety is owed to the tyrant, and especially to win over the superior side to his rule (1315a31–40).

Aristotle, Machiavelli, and Prudential Political Realism  29 Aristotle summarizes his discussion of this “new mode” of preserving tyranny in the following words: But it is superfluous to discuss all such measures in detail. For their aim is evident. A tyrant should appear (phainesthai) to his subject not as a tyrant but as a head of household and a kingly man, not as an embezzler but as a steward. He should also appear to pursue the moderate things in life (tas metriotet̄ as tou biou diok̄ ein), not excess, maintaining close relations with the notables, while playing the popular leader with the many. For as a result, not only will his rule necessarily be nobler and more enviable, but since he rules better people who have not been humiliated he will not end up being hated and feared. And his rule will be longer lasting, and his character will either be nobly disposed to virtue or else half good, not vicious but half vicious (eti d’ auton diakeisthai kata to et̄ hos et̄ oi kalos̄ pros areten̄ e ̄ hem ̄ ichres̄ ton onta, kai me ̄ poner̄ on all’ hem ̄ iponeron). (1315a40–b10) There are two keys to this new mode of preserving tyranny. The first, as I have repeatedly emphasized above, is the kingly appearance. Although Aristotle does not provide an explicit explanation for the significance of appearance in this context, it is presumably because many judge things not through their reason but through their perception.4 And the second key is a certain amount of moderation. It is somewhat curious to see that Aristotle would like to call such a moderate tyrant who cares about appearance “half-virtuous” and “half-vicious.” Why does Aristotle, without any anticipation in the previous passages, suddenly shift his tone from appearance to truth or reality? The ethical theory which is behind this comment seems to be the way of acquiring ethical virtues. According to Aristotle, ethical virtues are acquired through habituation and repeated action, “We acquire virtue just as we acquire other crafts, by having first activated them…we become just by doing just actions, temperate by doing temperate actions, brave by doing brave actions” (NE, II.1.1103a32–b3). Although full ethical virtue is difficult to acquire without good early upbringing and cultivation, which the tyrant seems to lack, and although habit as our “second nature” is very difficult to change, some awareness of moderation and repeated actions are important to “achieve some share of virtue,” that is, to be “half-virtuous” (see NE, I.4.1095b4–6, VII.10.1152a30–33, X.9.1179b7–1180a24). Therefore, the general direction of Aristotle’s advice to the tyrant is toward moderation and virtue.5

Machiavelli’s Realism: Advising the Prince If one reads Machiavelli’s The Prince with the above passages from Aristotle in mind, he will surely be surprised by their similarities. In a number of places, Machiavelli seems to be literally quoting Aristotle. In these chapters

30  Liu Wei Machiavelli seems to teach the prince hypocrisy and to care only about appearance rather than truth. As he summarizes in Chapter 18: A prince must be very careful never to let anything fall from his lips that is not imbued with the five qualities mentioned above; to those seeing and hearing him, he should appear to be all mercy, all faithfulness, all integrity, all humanity, and all religion. We may now turn to Machiavelli’s more specific discussion, and see the similarities between him and Aristotle.6 1




Aristotle’s first piece of advice is about money, and so is Machiavelli’s. In Chapter 16, he discusses the virtue of generosity and the vice of miserliness. He teaches the prince not to spend his money lavishly, not to care about the reputation of a miser, but rather to make sure that his income is sufficient and that he is able to defend himself and undertake enterprises without overburdening his people. In so doing, he will certainly not look like a tyrant, but a manager of his state. Machiavelli in Chapter 17 advises the prince to appear to be merciful instead of cruel, but the prince should not be hesitant to use cruelty in “keeping his subjects united and loyal,” for this kind of “cruelty” is actually more merciful compared with the destruction of his state. In Chapter 19, Machiavelli speaks of the causes of being despised, and advises the prince to “strive to make everyone recognize in his actions greatness, spirit, dignity, and strength,” and these seeming qualities will guarantee that the subjects will revere, not disdain, him. With such a reputation, it will also be difficult to conspire against him. As for the importance of military virtues, Machiavelli also gives very similar advice, even similar exaggeration: “a prince must not have any other object nor any other thought, nor must he adopt anything as his art but war, its institutions, and its discipline” (Ch. 14). Machiavelli describes the manner of treating the subjects also in a manner similar to Aristotle’s. He warns the prince to make sure that he is not hated by his subjects, and the best way of achieving this is that “he abstains from the property of his citizens and subjects, and from their women.” Machiavelli explains this with rather exaggerated words: “for men forget the death of their father more quickly than the loss of their patrimony” (Ch. 17). He also endorses moderation, as he praises the Roman emperor Antoninus for his endurance of any kind of hardship and his contempt for all delicate food and soft living (Ch. 19). According to Aristotle, the tyrant should always appear to be religious, and Machiavelli is in perfect agreement with Aristotle on this point. In Chapter 18, after emphasizing appearance as quoted above, Machiavelli immediately adds, “and there is nothing more necessary than to seem to possess this last quality [i.e., religion].” For Machiavelli, it is certainly true that religion should not be practiced in a foolish way, for it should be used as a tool for political success, not a constraint imposed on the

Aristotle, Machiavelli, and Prudential Political Realism  31



prince. He highly praises Ferdinand of Aragon for his “pious cruelty,” because he “always employs religion for his own purposes” (Ch. 21). Machiavelli is fully aware of the importance of honor in political affairs, so when someone performs extraordinary acts, the prince should find a way to reward him, which will provoke discussion so that the prince would be seen as “a great man of outstanding intelligence” (Ch. 21). The prince should also give so much honor to good minister that “he has to prevent him desiring more” (Ch. 22). Aristotle says that the tyrant should reserve the grant of honor to himself, and leave the depriving of honor to others, and Machiavelli gives similar advice by saying that “princes must delegate distasteful tasks to others, while pleasant ones they should keep for themselves” (Ch. 19). Machiavelli also recognizes the two opposite forces in a state, the nobles and the people in his day, and describes their respective temperaments nicely, “the people do not wish to be commanded or oppressed by the nobles, while the nobles do desire to command and to oppress the people” (Ch. 9). As for the prince’s task of balancing these two elements, he says: Well-organized states and wise princes have taken great care not to drive the nobles to desperation and to satisfy the people and keep them content, for this is one of the most important matters that concern a prince…a prince must respect the nobles but not make himself hated by the people. (Ch. 19)

As we have seen, for every point Aristotle discusses in his advice to a tyrant, there is a striking correspondence in Machiavelli’s advice to a prince. It is also true on a general level. The keys to Machiavelli’s “new mode” are also appearance and a particular kind of being “half-virtuous and half-vicious.” This is best shown in his overall advice in Chapter 18, where he teaches the prince to possess the nature of both man and beasts, and among the beasts, both lion and fox.7 The all-importance of appearance is also emphasized in this context, Therefore, it is not necessary for a prince to possess all of the above-mentioned qualities, but it is very necessary for him to appear to possess them. Furthermore, I shall dare to assert this: that having them and always observing them is harmful, but appearing to observe them is useful: for instance, to appear merciful, faithful, humane, trustworthy, religious, and to be so; but with his mind disposed in such a way that, should it become necessary not to be so, he will be able and know how to change to the opposite. (Prince, Ch. 18) Machiavelli also offers an explanation for the reason why appearance, instead of reality, will work: Men in general judge more by their eyes than their hands: everyone can see, but few can touch. Everyone sees what you seem to be, few touch

32  Liu Wei upon what you are, and those few do not dare to contradict the opinion of the many who have the majesty of the state to defend them. (Prince, Ch. 18) As for the second key, Machiavelli never recommends the prince to be all-vicious, for he always admits that those traditional virtues, such as generosity, trustworthiness, mercy, and piety, are indeed virtues, and as long as the situation allows, the prince should follow them, and match the appearance with reality, but if the situation forces the prince to do the opposite, he has to know how to do it: One must understand this: a prince, and especially a new prince, cannot observe all those things for which men are considered good, because in order to maintain the state he must often act against his faith, against charity, against humanity, and against religion. And so it is necessary that he should have a mind ready to turn itself according to the way the wind of Fortune and the changing circumstances command him. And, as I said above, he should not depart from the good if it is possible to do so, but he should know how to enter into evil when forced by necessity. (Prince, Ch. 18) I know that everyone will admit it would be a very praiseworthy thing to find in a prince those qualities mentioned above that are held to be good. But since it is neither possible to have them nor to observe them all completely, because the human condition does not permit it, a prince must be prudent enough to know how to escape the infamy of those vices that would take the state away from him, and be on guard against those vices that will not take it from him, whenever possible. (Prince, Ch. 15) Despite the epithet “Old Nick” and the seemingly amoral teaching, Machiavelli never recommends vice, naked force, or sheer fraud for their own sake, and he has a strong moral sense. He never considers the traditional virtues as vices as Plato’s Callicles does in the Gorgias. Machiavelli does not deny that the traditional virtues are good qualities, and to practice them is certainly admirable.8 But to practice them all the time will only cause the ruin of the prince and the downfall of the state because the world is not a beautiful place, enemies surround him, and the human condition is so easily corruptible. As a prince, especially a new one, the ultimate necessity is the maintenance or preservation of the state and his rule, as he passionately asserts: [W]here the ultimate decision concerning the safety of one’s country is to be taken, no consideration of what is just or unjust, merciful or cruel, praiseworthy or shameful, should be permitted; on the contrary, putting aside every other reservation, one should follow in its entirety the policy that saves its life and preserves its liberty. (Discourses, III.41)

Aristotle, Machiavelli, and Prudential Political Realism  33 For this supreme goal, a prince is justified in shaking off the bondage of morality and virtue, and entering the realm of immorality and evil. He has to be “half-virtuous and half-vicious” according to the turn of necessity or as Fortune requires. This is the ultimate truth in politics, and also points in the direction of prudence (prudenza or prudenzia), as will be discussed shortly. We do not know for sure how well Machiavelli knew Aristotle in general and the Ethics and Politics in particular. Throughout his works, Aristotle is rarely mentioned by name. But judging from one explicit reference to Aristotle, Machiavelli seems to be at least familiar with Aristotle’s discussion about the destruction of tyranny, for he says with approval that Among the principal causes Aristotle gives for the downfall of tyrants is the one of having injured others through women by raping them, violating them, or breaking up marriages…Let us say, therefore, that absolute rulers and the governors of republics must not take this matter slightly… (Discourses, III.26) Among Machiavelli’s three explicit references to Aristotle, this is the only accurate quotation.9 We can reasonably suppose that if Machiavelli is familiar with what Aristotle says about the destruction of tyranny in Politics V.10, he would also be familiar with Aristotle’s suggestions about its preservation in V.11.10 Given the revival of Aristotelian political philosophy since the mid13th century, and the continuous influence on the Renaissance Italian humanists,11 it seems quite safe to assume that Machiavelli should be familiar with Aristotle’s Politics, at least certain parts of it. It is therefore quite plausible that the above similarity which we find between Aristotle’s advice to the tyrant and Machiavelli’s advice to the prince is actually from Machiavelli’s appropriation of Aristotle,12 although we cannot rule out the possibility that he took these ideas from other sources and from his own practice and observation. At any rate, in this paper, what I am concerned with is not quite a “historiography of fact,” but rather a “historiography of spirit.”13 Such a comparison of the similarities between Aristotle and Machiavelli forces us to reconsider the easy labels of “devil” and “angel,” to re-examine the nature of their political realism, and to pose a question mark against the too-ready conclusion that Machiavelli is the founder of modern political philosophy on the grounds of his political realism or his rejection of classical morality.

Prudential Political Realism According to a convenient distinction between “tragedy-realism” (which emphasizes the “flaws in human nature…that frustrate and taint human endeavors”) and “prudence-realism” (which emphasizes “caution, calculation, restraint, and a sense of proportion”), both Aristotle and Machiavelli fall into the latter category. Neither of them shows the kind of pessimism about the human situation, in which “human dreams exceed human capacities to achieve those ambitions”; on the contrary, they trust that political endeavors can have positive results, and advocate restraint and caution.

34  Liu Wei Further, among the prudentialists, both Aristotle and Machiavelli belong to the so-called “enlightened prudence” (which is “an attitude of mind and a disposition of character that combines a number of virtues into enlightened practical wisdom”), in contrast with “unenlightened prudence” (which is “at best merely caution without having the purposes of a cautious policy…at worst, low cunning or skill at attaining one’s purpose, even if those purposes are of the meanest sort”).14 For our present purpose, we may summarize Aristotle’s characterization of prudence (phrone ̄sis, or practical wisdom) in what follows. First, prudence is defined as “the true state (hexin ale ̄thē), involving reason, concerned with action about things that are good or bad for a human being” (NE, VI.5.1140b4–6). It is the intellectual virtue that aims at human happiness (eudaimonia) in general by deliberating about the particular situation, and by analyzing the practical cause-effect relationship (see NE, III.3, VI.1–2, VI.5, VI.7–13). Second, it is an essential element in the political realm. For “political science and prudence are the same state,” the four branches of prudence in Aristotle are legislative prudence, political prudence (which is further divided into deliberative and judicial), household managing prudence, and individual prudence (NE, VI.8). Both the most universal political issue, that is, establishing laws in a polis, and the most particular political issues, that is, deliberating about a particular policy or action and passing a particular verdict, fall into the realm of prudence. Therefore, prudence is the virtue that particularly pertains to the ruler (Politics, III.4.1277a14–16, b25–29). Third, it is also prudence, through its deliberation, that defines whether a decision or an action hits the mean (meson), and thus whether it should be counted as virtuous or not, as his famous definition of ethical virtue shows: [Ethical virtue is] the state that decides (hexis prohairetikē), consisting in a mean, the mean relative to us, which is defined by reference to reason, that is, by reference to which the prudent person would define it (ho ̄i an ho phronimos horiseien). (NE, II.6.1106b36–1107a3) Machiavelli never defines prudence, as he never takes pains to define most of his important terms, such as virtù, ordini, or stato, but his understanding of prudence is fundamentally Aristotelian. First, for Machiavelli prudence aims at a general goal, that is, primarily for the preservation of the independence of a state and the prince, and more ideally for republican liberty, just as for Aristotle the more realistic goal of a politician is to preserve the regime while the more ideal goal is to achieve the best regime. For Machiavelli prudence is also the intellectual quality that analyzes particular situations, and does not simply stick to some general principles, as we already saw above (the prince “should have a mind ready to turn itself according to the way the wind of Fortune and the changing circumstances command him”). Even if it is generally true that Fortune is like a woman and needs to be beaten and forced, that is only the second-best strategy; the best would be to adjust your action in

Aristotle, Machiavelli, and Prudential Political Realism  35 harmony with Fortune’s wave and to surf on it. If you have only one way of conducting yourself, you are at the mercy of Fortune, but if you are fully equipped with prudence, and can change your temperaments and courses of action, you will be the master of Fortune (see Discourses, III.9). Second, he takes it to be the essential intellectual quality required in the political realm or even the human realm, as he famously contrasts Fortune and prudence as the two basic forces in the world: “I am not unaware that many have held, and do still hold, the opinion that the affairs of this world are controlled by Fortune and by God, that men cannot control them with their prudence” (Prince, Ch. 25),15 and “prudence consists in knowing how to recognize the nature of disadvantages, and how to choose the least sorry one as good” (Prince, Ch. 21). Moreover, in Machiavelli, the word prudence is usually associated with princes, dictators, senates, generals, conspirators, that is, rulers or leaders, but rarely used to describe the ruled or the people.16 Third, for Machiavelli prudence is also the quality that defines the correctness of a particular action, which he also regards as a kind of mean, in opposite to deficiency or excess: It is evident that in their works some men proceed with impetuosity, others with care and caution; and because either of these methods may exceed the proper limits, being unable to follow the true path, one may err in employing either one.17 (Discourses, III.9) It is clear that traditional virtù may bring the downfall of a prince, but prudenza is never used to describe a wrong decision or action.18 One might raise an objection at this point that there seems to be an important difference between Aristotle’s phronēsis and Machiavelli’s prudenza. For Aristotle takes ethical virtues, such as courage, generosity, temperance, and justice, as setting the goal of phrone ̄sis and thus distinguishes phronēsis and cleverness (deinote ̄s): “we fulfil our function [i.e., realize our happiness] insofar as we have prudence and ethical virtue; for virtue makes the goal correct, and prudence makes the things promoting the goal” (NE, VI.12.1144a6–9), and cleverness is different from prudence in that “cleverness promotes whatever goal is assumed and to attain it. If the goal is noble, cleverness is praiseworthy, and if the goal is base, cleverness is unscrupulousness” (NE, VI.12.1144a23–27). But for Machiavelli, there seems no such distinction, and political success is all that matters. To put this objection in another way, can we call Aristotle’s suggestions of hypocrisy “prudent”? Can we say Machiavelli’s goals belong to Aristotle’s category of “noble ends”? To this objection we can reply that for Aristotle, both ethical virtue and prudence allow different degrees, for ethical virtue is defined “in something continuous and divisible (sunechei kai diaireto ̄i)” (NE, II.6.1106a26), that is, our desires (orexeis) and feelings (pathē). So we can be more or less courageous, temperate, prudent, and so on. Even if the degree of virtue realized in a moderate tyrant is not the highest kind, and the kind of prudence is not perfect. The tyrant’s appearance of virtue is nevertheless better than without

36  Liu Wei even the appearance. By the same token, the preservation of a moderate tyranny is nevertheless a noble task (especially given that one of the politician’s tasks is to preserve the present regime), for this kind of tyranny is nevertheless better than the traditional kind of tyranny such as the rule of Periander, and better than disastrous political anarchy. The same can be said about Machiavelli, whose prudence is not merely instrumental, like deinotēs, but also for something noble. The bottom line is the preservation of the state, but beyond that Machiavelli also cherishes moral value in regular circumstances and condemns unnecessary cruelty. His refusal to call Agathocles “virtuous” and “honorable” most tellingly shows this: It cannot be called virtue to kill one’s fellow citizens, to betray allies, to be without faith, without pity, without religion; by these means one can acquire power, but not glory. If one were to consider Agathocles’ virtue in getting into and out of dangers, and his greatness of spirit in bearing up under and overcoming adversities, one can see no reason why he should be judged inferior to any most excellent commander. Nevertheless, his vicious cruelty and inhumanity, along with numerous wicked deeds, do not permit us to honor him among the most excellent of men. (Prince, Ch. 8) Therefore, we can be certain that Machiavelli is following the classical model of prudential political realism represented by Aristotle, and this might even be deliberate. The admirers of Machiavelli should not feel ashamed about this, just as Machiavelli himself never feels ashamed about his admiration and imitation of the ancients. What he laments is that while his contemporaries read the ancient writings with great enthusiasm, they “fail to draw out of them that sense or to taste that flavor they intrinsically possess…without otherwise thinking about imitating them, since they believe that such imitation is not only difficult but impossible” (Discourses, Preface). And when talking about the establishment of new principalities, the most glorious task for a prince, he has no hesitation in recommending imitation: Since men almost always follow the paths trod by others, and proceed in their affairs by imitation, although they are not fully able to stay on the path of others, nor to equal the virtue of those they imitate, a wise man should always enter those paths trodden by great men, and imitate those who have been most excellent, so that if one’s own virtue does not match theirs, at least it will have the smell of it. (Prince, Ch. 6) To be sure, this imitation is not simply to copy without reflection what the ancients did, for circumstances have changed, but imitate them wisely and prudently, that is, with one’s own digestion, one’s own analysis, and one’s own deliberation, just as Machiavelli did when he put all that he knew through “long experience and continuous study” into his books.19

Aristotle, Machiavelli, and Prudential Political Realism  37

Machiavelli’s Enemy and Modernity Leo Strauss famously argued that Machiavelli originated modernity by deliberately rejecting classical morality and Christianity. I would like to show, based on the above comparison, that his first thesis is not quite right, while the second is. It is true that most ancient political authors, when speaking of political realism, especially about the life of a tyrant, only speak scornfully and in most cases not in their own names, especially in Plato, Xenophon, and Cicero.20 What is common to these ancient authors is the emphasis on the central importance of virtue. This tradition is fully inherited by generations of Renaissance political thinkers up to Machiavelli’s time. Among his direct predecessors and contemporaries, such as Petrarch, Bruni, Bracciolini, Rinuccini, Patrizi, Pontano, and Castiglione (some of them addressed republics and their leaders, while others princes and their courtiers), drew heavily on the discussions in Cicero’s De officiis, and stressed the cardinal virtues, especially justice, as the guarantee of political greatness.21 Against this background, Machiavelli’s political realism, his open advocacy of the mixed use of virtue, vice, and brutal force, was indeed shocking and novel enough in the eyes of his contemporaries. In this sense, Machiavelli departed dramatically from the genre of the “mirror for princes” in the Italian humanistic tradition, and also seems to depart radically from the classical tradition represented by Plato, Xenophon, and Cicero. But Aristotle poses a difficulty for Strauss’ first thesis, for Aristotle has revealed much of Machiavelli’s “effectual truth” in his own name, and in an unambiguous manner. Machiavelli should be seen as an heir of, instead of a revolutionary against, this Aristotelian tradition of prudential political realism. It is true that to a certain extent he may have gone further than his master, but these are just a few steps in the same direction. Machiavelli certainly carried out Aristotle’s project in more detail, but this cannot be a surprise for Aristotle because he had said, “it is superfluous to discuss all such measures in detail.” Then, did Machiavelli mean to “enlighten” the multitude and thereby opened the epoch of Enlightenment as Strauss suggests?22 The evidence shows quite the opposite. The Prince was written mainly for the purpose of restoring Machiavelli’s political career, broken by the recovery of power by the Medici family in 1512, and it was eventually dedicated to Lorenzo de’ Medici, an actual prince of Florence. Therefore, Machiavelli did not intend to teach the general public with The Prince. The Discourses, on the other hand, was written at the request of, and dedicated to, Zanobi Buondelmonti and Cosimo Rucellai, two virtuous young men in a circle of humanists in which Machiavelli himself also involved, so he did not intend to teach the general public either. Furthermore, both these books were published posthumously (in 1532 and 1531, respectively), and we do not have any evidence that Machiavelli intended to get them published in his lifetime. One might argue that Machiavelli’s contribution to the revival of civil republicanism could be seen as opening a new epoch in political history. But

38  Liu Wei for me, this novelty should be understood in a similar fashion to what I have done concerning political realism. For his republicanism is mainly inherited from the ancient republican tradition beginning with Aristotle and culminating in Roman republican writers, such as Cicero, Sallust, Tacitus, and Livy.23 Even if Strauss is not quite right about Machiavelli’s novelty on the ground of his rejection of classical morality, I believe Strauss is correct in arguing for Machiavelli’s modernity on the ground of his critique of Christianity. Furthermore, Christianity is the greatest enemy when Machiavelli champions prudential political realism. For it is the very doctrine of Christianity that looks to the value of the afterlife, maintains rigid moral laws, and advocates rigid patterns of action, without aiming at worldly glory, without deliberating particulars, and without respecting political necessity. It is the very doctrine of Christianity and the practice following that doctrine that emasculates the world, as he famously laments: In considering, therefore, why all the people of ancient times were greater lovers of liberty than those of our own day, I believe this arises from the same cause that today makes men less strong, which I believe lies in the difference between our education and that of antiquity, based upon the difference between our religion and that of antiquity. For, while our religion has shown us truth and the true path, it also makes us place a lower value on worldly honor, where the pagans, who greatly value honor and considered it the highest good, were more ferocious in their actions…. Besides this, ancient religion beautifies only men fully possessed of worldly glory, such as the leaders of the armies and the rulers of republics. Our religion has more often glorified humble and contemplative men rather than active ones. Moreover, our religion has defined the supreme good as humility, abjection, and contempt of worldly things; ancient religion located it in greatness of mind, strength of body, and in all the other things apt to make men the strongest. And if our religion requires that you have inner strength, it wants you to have the capacity to endure suffering more than to undertake brave deeds. This way of life seems, therefore, to have made the world weak and to have given it over to be plundered by wicked men, who are easily able to dominate it, since in order to go to paradise, most men think more about enduring their pains than about avenging them.24 (Discourses, II.2) In an age that had forgotten the place of prudence in politics after the long domination of Christianity, Machiavelli was important in restoring it. And in this sense, Machiavelli, this cunning and obstinate enemy of Christianity, also deserves the title of “founder of modern political thought,” for by going back to and imitating pagan prudential political realism and its prudent use of religion (see Discourses, I.11–14), he opens a secular (if not realistic) time of political philosophy. Therefore, we should be reminded that in this sense, the “­pre-modern” he overthrew is not classical political philosophy, but Christianity.25

Aristotle, Machiavelli, and Prudential Political Realism  39

Notes 1 Quotations from Machiavelli’s The Prince are from Machiavelli (2005), and Machiavelli (1995) and Machiavelli (1998) are consulted; quotations from the Discourses are from Machiavelli (1997), and Machiavelli (1984) and Machiavelli (1996a) are consulted; quotations from his correspondence are from Machiavelli (1996b). All italics in quotations are the author’s. 2 Quotations from Aristotle’s Politics are from Aristotle (1998), with slight amendments according to Aristotle (1957); quotations from Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics (abbreviated as NE) are from Aristotle (1999), with slight amendments according to Aristotle (1894). All italics in quotations are the author’s. 3 Keyt (1999): 175, discusses the nuanced difference between phainesthai plus participle (meaning “appears to the senses”) and phainesthai plus infinitive (meaning “appears to be doing”), but this difference plays no substantial role for our purpose, and Aristotle uses them, together with the verb dokein rather interchangeably, so I understand them in the same way, only marking the different verbs dokein and phainesthai by translating them differently into “seem” and “appear.” 4 A famous passage which represents Aristotle’s disdain for the many or the multitude may give us some clue about this presupposition: “the many…live by their feelings, they pursue their proper pleasures and the sources of them, and avoid the opposed pains, and have not even a notion of what is noble and truly pleasant, since they have had no taste of it” (NE, X.9.1179b11–16). 5 Keyt points to the same solution to the curious remark by Aristotle, but his words sound too optimistic: “at the worst, he will become half-good; at the best, he will become ‘nobly disposed toward virtue’, which seems to imply that he will become wholly good and ultimately ceases to be a tyrant” (Keyt 1999: 181). 6 Keyt (1999): 176–180 and Hörnqvist (2004): 205–208, 211–212 also provide some general account of these similarities. What I am doing here is to offer a more comprehensive and point-by-point comparison. 7 The two animal images are borrowed from Cicero’s De Officiis. See Cicero (1991): I.41. While Cicero sees them simply as two kinds of injustice to be avoided, Machiavelli strongly recommends the combination of both. While for Cicero deceit is more alien to human nature and thus deserves more hatred, for Machiavelli it is more useful in politics. 8 Two notable examples are his description of Pope Leo X’s “countless virtues” (Prince, Ch. 11) and his refusal to call Agathocles’s many terrifying deeds “virtuous” (Prince, Ch. 8, to be discussed below). Benner (2009) argues most forcefully that Machiavelli is a moral thinker, and endorses most of the Greek values. I am in agreement with her general thesis, but her reading of Machiavelli as a kind of Socratic “self-critical” writer seems too extreme, and her failure to include Aristotle as one of Machiavelli’s main intellectual resources seems unfair. 9 Some scholars suggest that this quotation from Aristotle is “clearly secondhand”. See Machiavelli (2002): 336, n.4. But Walker (1975) suggests that Machiavelli knew the Politics based on this same passage. Walker also gives some support by referring to some Latin and French translations of Aristotle’s Ethics and Politics available to Machiavelli, and other resemblances between Aristotle and Machiavelli which he finds (vol. II, 273–277). Benner (2009) also thinks that Machiavelli is very familiar with the Greek sources. 10 The other two references to Aristotle are less interesting for our present purpose. One is in his letter to Vettori on August 26, 1513, in which he says, “I do not know what Aristotle says about confederated republics, but I certainly can say what might reasonably exist, what exists, and what has existed.” Machiavelli (1996b): 258. The other is in A Discourse on Remodeling the Government of Florence, a work dated 1520, and in it Machiavelli echoes the manifesto in Chapter 15 of The

40  Liu Wei Prince, and uses Aristotle as an example of someone who had no opportunity to form a republic in reality, so had to do so in writing. 11 For this revival and continuous influence, see Skinner (1988): 395–408 for a good general discussion. 12 In Machiavelli, authors such as Herodotus, Thucydides, Plutarch, Polybius, Aquinas, are never or rarely mentioned, but scholars generally agree that these ancient authors are in Machiavelli’s background and sometimes even before him when he composed his political treatises (for an excellent account of Machiavelli’s sources in general and those named in particular, see Walker (1975): vol. II, 271–304. 13 These two notions about the history of philosophy are indebted to Professor Kwan Tze-wan. 14 I borrowed the labels “tragedy-realism,” “prudence-realism,” “enlightened prudence,” and “unenlightened prudence” from Clinton (2007). 15 For some other examples of the contrast between Fortune/chance and prudence, see Prince, Ch. 3, Discourses, I.6, and I.19. 16 The only notable exception that I am aware of is Discourses, I.58, where Machiavelli says “a people that exercises power and is well organized will be stable, prudent, and grateful, not differently from a prince, or better than a prince, and will even be considered wise; and, on the other hand, a prince freed from the restraint of the law will be even more ungrateful, variable, and imprudent than a people,” but the general thesis of this chapter is that the people are more constant than a prince, as is also clear from this quotation. So this praise of the people being more prudent is more or less the same as his regular thesis that the people are better preserver of freedom. Furthermore, what Machiavelli says about the people’s collective wisdom sounds somewhat like what Aristotle says about the people’s collective judgment in Politics, III.11. 17 It is true that Machiavelli usually recommend extreme devices, such as the horrifying crime of killing the pope (Discourses, I.27), and objects to a middle course (Discourses, II.23), so some may think that he rejects the Aristotelian doctrine of the mean (such as Strauss [1958]: 237–238). But the Aristotelian doctrine, if correctly understood, is not simply lukewarm between two extremes, but in the sense of “correct,” that is, hitting the bull’s eye, so it is also an extreme (NE, II.6.1107a6–8). 18 Machiavelli often juxtaposes virtue and prudence, such as in Prince, Chapters 3, 7, 26; Discourses, I.45, II.19, and II.24. 19 I am in general agreement with Garver (1987) in his associating, instead of opposing, Machiavelli and Aristotle. But there are also some points that I do not agree with, and here are a few examples: I do not agree with his relativist tone that the relationship between politics and morality simply changed from Aristotle to Machiavelli (I am arguing that Machiavelli also has a noble goal in mind, and he shares the general structure of Aristotelian prudence); I do not agree that Machiavelli makes what is implicit in Aristotle explicit (for the way prudence works is hardly explicable, except its goal-directed structure); and I do not share his view that prudence means to apply general rules to particular cases (it is simply the intellectual ability to find the correct course of action through deliberation, and there may not be general rules available at all). 20 Plato puts the words that admire the life or power of tyrant into the mouths of Polus (Gorgias), Thrasymachus, Glaucon, and Adeimantus (Republic), and puts the words that criticize such a view or condemn the tyrant into the mouth of Socrates. Xenophon puts the words that praise (or seemingly praise) tyrannical life into the mouth of the poet Simonides, and the words that complain about the

Aristotle, Machiavelli, and Prudential Political Realism  41 miserable life of a tyrant into the mouth of, ironically, an actual tyrant, Hiero (See Xenophon’s Hiero in Strauss [2000]). Cicero does not in any way express any admiration for tyranny or the means of tyrannical rule, not even through the characters of his dialogues. 21 For a brief discussion of the common reliance on classical virtue in these figures’ works, see Skinner (1988): 412–426. 22 “Machiavelli is the first philosopher who believes that the coincidence of philosophy and political power can be brought about by propaganda which wins over ever larger multitudes to the new modes and orders and thus transforms the thought of one or a few into the opinion of the public and therewith into public power. Machiavelli breaks with the Great Tradition and initiates the Enlightenment” (Strauss 1958: 173). 23 Thus I am more sympathetic to Pocock (1975) than to Rahe (2008). 24 Thus I cannot agree with De Grazia (1989) or Viroli (2010), who argue that Machiavelli was actually a good Christian or wishing to use Christianity to redeem politics, but this is certainly not the appropriate place to unfold my counter-arguments. The most important thing to be noted is that the very doctrine of Christianity and the very model of Christ lacks the ferocity, impetuosity, and flexibility of pagan religion, which is very much in need in politics. Besides, the “pious cruelty” Machiavelli praises and we mentioned above does not belong to the essential doctrine of Christianity. 25 I would like to thank Kinch Hoekstra, Owen Flanagan, and Tongdong Bai for their helpful comments on earlier draft of this paper. I would like to thank JunHyeok Kwak for organizing the Symposium “Machiavelli in the East Asian Context” and thank all the exciting discussions during the symposium and afterwards. Finally, I thank the financial support provided by China National Social Science Foundation (17BZX098).

Bibliography Aristotle. (1894) Ethica Nicomachea, ed. by I. Bywater. Oxford: Oxford University Press. ———. (1957) Politica, ed. by W. D. Ross. Oxford: Oxford University Press. ———. (1998) Politics, trans. by C. D. C. Reeve. Indianapolis, IN: Hackett. ———. (1999) Nicomachean Ethics, trans. by Terence Irwin, 2nd ed. Indianapolis, IN: Hackett. Benner, E. (2009) Machiavelli’s Ethics. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press. Cicero. (1990) On the Commonwealth and On the Laws, trans. by James E. G. Zetzel. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. ———. (1991) On Duties, ed. and trans. by M. T. Griffin and E. M. Atkins. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Clinton, D. (2007) “Conclusion: The Relevance of Realism in the Post-Cold War World”. In David Clinton (ed.) The Realist Tradition and Contemporary International Relations. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press. De Grazia, S. (1989) Machiavelli in Hell. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press. Garver, E. (1987) Machiavelli and the History of Prudence. Madison: University of Wisconsin Press. Hörnqvist, M. (2004) Machiavelli and Empire. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Keyt, D. (1999) Aristotle’s Politics, Books V and VI, translation and commentary. Oxford: Clarendon Press.

42  Liu Wei Kohl, B. G. and Witt, R. G. (eds. and trans.) (1978) The Earthly Republic: Italian Humanists on Government and Society. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press. Kraye, J. (ed.) (1997) The Cambridge Translation of Renaissance Philosophy, 2 vols, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Machiavelli, N. (1984) Discorsi sopra la prima deca di Tito Livio, ed. by Giorgio Inglese. Milan: Rizzoli. ———. (1995) Il Principe, ed. by Giorgio Inglese and Federico Chabod. Torino: Einaudi. ———. (1996a) Discourses on Livy, trans. by Harvey C. Mansfield and Nathan Tarcov. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press. ———. (1996b) Machiavelli and His Friends: Their Personal Correspondence, ed. and trans. by James B. Atkinson and David Sices. Dekalb: Northern Illinois University Press. ———. (1997) Discourses on Livy, trans. by Julia Conaway Bondanella and Peter Bondanella. Oxford: Oxford University Press. ———. (1998) The Prince, trans. by Harvey C. Mansfield, 2nd ed. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press. ——— (2002) Sweetness of Power: Machiavelli’s Discourses and Guicciardini’s Considerations, trans. by James B. Atkinson and David Sices. Dekalb: Northern Illinois University Press. ———. (2005) The Prince, trans. by Peter Bondanella. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Pocock, J. P. A. (1975) The Machiavellian Moment: Florentine Political Thought and the Atlantic Republican Tradition. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press. Rahe, P. A. (2008) Against Throne and Altar: Machiavelli and Political Theory under the English Republic. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Skinner, Q. (1988) “Political Philosophy”. In Charles B. Schmitt, Quentin Skinner, and Eckhard Kessler (eds.) The Cambridge History of Renaissance Philosophy. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Strauss, L. (1958) Thoughts on Machiavelli. Glencoe: The Free Press. ———. (2000) On Tyranny, revised and expanded edition, ed. by Victor Gourevitch and Michael S. Roth. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press. Viroli, M. (2010) Machiavelli’s God. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press. Walker, L. J. (1975) The Discourses of Niccolò Machiavelli, 2 vols, with new Introduction and Appendices by Cecil H. Clough. London: Routledge & Kagan Paul.

4 The Book of Lord Shang Compared with Machiavelli and Hobbes Markus Fischer

Introduction The Book of Lord Shang (Shangjun shu, 商君書) or Shangzi (商子)1 belongs to the so-called Legalist tradition of Chinese political thought,2 which responded to the violent disorders of the sixth through third centuries BCE with a call for the centralization of authority by means of highly invasive laws, strict bureaucratic control, and cruel punishments. The text is named after Gongsun Yang (公孫陽), who served as chief minister in the state of Qin from 359 to 338 BCE, became generally known as Shang Yang (商鞅), and is considered the main initiator of the Legalist school of thought. The text was probably put together by various followers of Shang Yang because its chapters differ in style and five of its 24 extant chapters were clearly composed after his death.3 Nonetheless, the Shangzi was clearly inspired by Shang Yang, probably contains many of his authentic sayings or, indeed, writings, and, with the exception of the last chapter,4 possesses enough intellectual coherence to be interpreted as a unit. There are striking parallels between the Shangzi and the ideas of Niccolò Machiavelli (1469–1527) and Thomas Hobbes (1588–1679), the principal exponents of political realism in modern times. Political realism claims to know what is adequate for a reality made up of human beings that are by nature self-seeking and lapse into conflict; in particular, to create order, rulers must be ready to use force and fraud in violation of the common morality. A number of scholars have remarked upon the parallels between Legalism on the one hand and political realism, Machiavelli, and Hobbes on the other, but generally in a brief and passing manner. Arthur Waley, for instance, speaks of the Legalists as realists, but without comparing them to particular Western thinkers (Waley 1982: 150–96). The same can be said of Ben-Ami Scharfstein’s chapter titled the “The Machiavellian Legalism of Ancient China” (Scharfstein 1995: 21–53). Léon Vandermeersch, in his important study of Legalism titled La Formation du Légisme, mentions Machiavelli only once (Vandermeersch 1965: 178). So does Vitaly Rubin in his chapter on Shang Yang and Legalism (Rubin 1976: 62). Fu Zhengyuan’s book China’s Legalists makes a few comparative points without developing them (Fu 1996: 7, 49, 151, 156–59). A significant number of comparative DOI: 10.4324/9781003284598-6

44  Markus Fischer points can be found in L’Art de la Politique chez les Légistes Chinois by Xu Zhen Zhou: the Legalists and Machiavelli, contrary to the popular ascription of thoroughgoing cynicism, have value codes of their own; they differ insofar as Machiavelli does not believe in historical progress, whereas the Legalists assume a historical fluidity that allows for the return of virtue; their view of the original condition resembles that of Hobbes rather than Locke; Machiavelli is closest among Western thinkers when it comes to integrating the art of war into politics; Machiavelli and the Legalists share the assumption that human nature makes people selfish and fearful of punishment; and they both justify necessary cruelties (Xu 1995: 216, 217, 219, 221, 223, 226, 239, 260). In his conclusion, Xu even engages in a summary comparison over the course of two and a half pages: Living both in periods of upheaval, both the Legalists and Machiavelli embrace an ethical relativism that leads them to the separation of politics from morality and to consider themselves technicians of politics who, based on logical analysis of the facts, provide the ruler with the means of success, that is, force and fraud (Xu: 307–10). But even Xu’s comparisons, which, as we just saw, are not inconsiderable in number and heft, still lack sustained development – especially with regard to the Western authors. One reason for this cursoriness may be the assumption that the similarities are too obvious to require detailed investigation. At least this is what Peter Moody states in his article on the affinities between the Legalism of Hanfeizi (韓非子) and modern political thought: I have given this concept [of modern thought] something of an ostensive definition by describing Han Fei’s thought and at least alluding to the systems of Machiavelli and Hobbes. I do not think there is much need to belabor the similarities between the ideas of Han Fei and those of early modern western thinkers, as these are obvious. (Moody 1979: 326) This cursoriness does not hold true for A.P. Martinich’s recent study “The Sovereign in the Political Thought of Hanfeizi and Thomas Hobbes” (Martinich 2011) and Lee Gong-Way’s article “A Comparative Study Between Shang Yang and Niccolo Machiavelli” (Lee 1996. But Martinich’s piece explores only one aspect that, in addition, applies much more to the Hanfeizi than to the Shangzi, and Lee’s article, despite its promising title, is rather short and its few assertions brief: both Machiavelli and Shang Yang have a negative view of human nature, based on their tendency to take human beings as what they are rather than what they ought to be; both thinkers favor political reform, with the difference that Shang Yang gives no heed to the opinions of the people, whereas Machiavelli takes them enough into account to deceive them; Shang Yang (somewhat contradictorily) seeks to suborn the untrustworthy and unstable multitude by means of education and suppression, whereas Machiavelli has a “reverential view of the masses,” seeking “an equilibrium between the multitude and the princes” (Lee 1996: 47); and

The Book of Lord Shang Compared with Machiavelli and Hobbes  45 Shang Yang has an evolutionary view of history that allows for no fixed rules, whereas Machiavelli looks back to the Roman republic as the model to follow. Finally, there are scholars who briefly mention Machiavelli to deny the affinities with Legalism. Benjamin Schwartz, for instance, devotes a paragraph to the argument that the Legalists “seem closer in spirit to certain nineteenth- and twentieth-century social scientific ‘model builders’” than to Machiavelli, who “concerns himself not with universal abstract models and systems for controlling human behavior but with strategies of power applied to the infinitely varied circumstances of political history” (Schwartz 1985: 347–48).5 In sum, although most students of Legalism are aware of the comparative possibilities with regard to Machiavelli and Hobbes, they tend not to follow through with a sustained analysis. To generate such a comparative analysis with regard to the Shangzi is the purpose of this essay. I concentrate on the Shangzi because I consider its ideas as the fountainhead of Legalism, just as Machiavelli’s ideas were the founding inspiration for the modern tradition of political realism. Also, most scholars tend to prefer the Hanfeizi as the more developed statement of Legalism, with the result that the Shangzi is given rather a short shrift in the literature. Given the confined space of an article, I limit my comparison of the Shangzi with Machiavelli and Hobbes to what I consider the most salient points. What decides their saliency and what ties them together into an argument is my claim that political realism is an effective heuristic in understanding the Shangzi. Thus, I first lay out the premises of political realism as they emerge from my comparison of the Shangzi with Machiavelli and Hobbes: (1) the real as the guiding heuristic of political realism; (2) historical change as the fundamental condition; and (3) human characteristics, both constant and variable. Based on these premises, I then move on to major propositions, again as they emerge from my comparison: (4) the purpose of central authority, namely to provide the multitude with the benefits of order and to reward the ruler; (5) the benefits of order as a warrant for the commission of cruel deeds, also called the reason of state in the West; (6) legal and extra-legal action as the means by which the central authority imposes order and counters contingency; (7) punishment as the means to make the laws prevail; and (8) the question of whether a fully implemented realist political order could put an end to historical change.

The Real Political realism holds that a true theory of politics should limit itself to what political actors really do rather than what they ought to do. Concretely, this heuristic has led political realists to assume that people and states rely on power, chiefly enacted by force and fraud, to attain their self-interest. Political realists reject traditions that seek to attain the good by moral conduct as “idealism” on the grounds that they rely on ideas about what politics ought to be rather than the facts of what politics really is. This fundamental position was given its clearest expression by Machiavelli:

46  Markus Fischer It has appeared to me more fitting to go directly to the effectual truth of the thing than to the imagination of it. And many have imagined republics and principalities that have never been seen or known to exist in truth; for it is so far from how one lives to how one should live that he who lets go of what is done for what should be done learns his ruin rather than his preservation. (Machiavelli 1998: 61) The Shangzi comes close to expressing Machiavelli’s contrast between imagination and the effectual truth when it opposes Confucian discourse with the notion of the “essential” (yao, 要), which originally referred to the center of the body and can in this context be understood as what is fundamental to making something work: But now, those who run a state, for the most part, overlook what is essential [agriculture and war], and the discussions at court, on government, are confused …; thus the prince is dazed by talk, officials confused by words, and … all the people … become fond of sophistry, take pleasure in study, pursue trade, practice arts and crafts, and shun agriculture and war and so in this manner (the ruin of the country) will not be far off. (Shangzi 3.190–91; see Shangzi 3.192, 3.194, 6.218, 13.259) In other words, comparison with Machiavelli enables us to see Shangzi’s notion of the essential in a new light: not just as what makes the state work, but as what is adequate to the reality of political life as opposed to the virtue ethics of the Confucians. Hobbes expressed his commitment to the effectual or essential truth in a more implicit way by basing his entire theory on a materialistic description of human beings as bodies – from the striking claim that “there is no conception in a man’s mind which hath not first … been begotten upon the organs of sense” (Hobbes 1994: I.2) by the physical pressure of external bodies to his amoral account of the natural condition of human beings, wherein “the notions of right and wrong … have no place” (Hobbes 1994: XIII.13). In sum, what is effectual, essential, material, and natural – in other words, what is real – serves as the guiding premise of the realist theory of politics.

Historical Change The Shangzi begins with a programmatic exchange between Shang Yang and the Duke of Qin, which actually took place in 359 BCE. The Duke professes his intent “to alter the laws, so as to obtain orderly government” but fears the blame of Confucian traditionalists (Shangzi 1.168).6 Shang Yang dismisses his concern on the grounds that morals have changed too much since the days of the ancients to cling to their traditions and that the Confucian belief in a single-best human order, decreed by Heaven and realized in the distant past, is mistaken: “There is more than one way to govern the world and there is no

The Book of Lord Shang Compared with Machiavelli and Hobbes  47 necessity to imitate antiquity, in order to take appropriate measures for the state” (Shangzi 1.173). Rulers have to create their own laws and institutions in accordance with the circumstances, such as the current customs of the subjects. Or, as the Shangzi puts it in a later chapter, “as the conditions in the world change, different principles are practiced” (Shangzi 7.227). The Shangzi instantiates this claim to historical change with an evolutionary account of Chinese history (see Pines and Shelach 2005: 134–36), which includes several cycles of order and disorder. First was a matrilineal kinbased order, wherein people were accustomed “to love their relatives and to be fond of what was their own, which led to discrimination and insecurity” (Shangzi 7.225). When population growth made resources scarce, ties of kinship frayed to the point where people “subjected each other by means of force” (Shangzi 7.225). This violent disorder was overcome when “men of talent established equity and justice and instituted unselfishness, so that people began to talk of moral virtue. At that time, the idea of loving one’s relatives began to disappear and that of honouring talent arose” (Shangzi 7.226). In other words, the decayed kin-based order was replaced by the “incipient stratification of society” (Pines and Shelach 2005: 134), a kind of aristocracy based on the elevation of the more virtuous and talented. But this virtuous order had an inherent flaw, namely the tendency of “talented men … to outvie one another” (Shangzi 7.226). As the population increased further, this competition among the aristocrats led again to disorder. To restore order, it then became necessary to divide land and property, to issue interdicts, and to establish officials headed by a prince – in short, to establish a state. In the contemporary or modern epoch, disorder holds sway again: “nowadays the world is full of cleverness and people are dissolute” (Shangzi 6.221). For order to be restored, the state needs to stress punishments: “if you wish to imitate modern times, you will have laws by emphasizing punishments” (Shangzi 7.229). It is a general principle that “when the people are stupid, as they were in the past, there are plenty of strong men but not enough wise,” so that it is “by knowledge [that] one may rise to supremacy”; in contrast, “when the world is wise, there are plenty of clever men, but not enough strong,” so that it is “by force [that] one may rise to supremacy” (Shangzi 7.227; see Shangzi 6.221).7 The fact that the Shangzi makes its emphasis on laws and punishment contingent upon the world being full of clever people implies that its policy prescriptions are limited in their applicability to the contemporary epoch, which extends into the future as long as people remain clever. Indeed, since historical conditions keep changing, it is even conceivable that the need for laws and punishments could recede if people became stupid again. Machiavelli privileges historical change by stressing the rule of Fortune, which he conceives in astrological fashion as an occult agent that resides in heaven and whimsically disturbs human affairs.8 She turns states and kingdoms upside down as she pleases; she deprives the just of the good that she freely gives to the unjust. This inconstant

48  Markus Fischer goddess and fickle deity often sets the undeserving on a throne … She disposes of time in her mode; she raises us up, she puts us down, without pity, without law or reason. (Machiavelli 1992c: 976–77, my trans.) In particular, the rise and fall of ancient empires – Egypt, Assyria, Persia, Rome, etc. – can be ascribed to the power of Fortune who “with its furious impetus, many times, now here now there, transforms the things of the world” (Machiavelli 1992c: 979, my trans). In a significant parallel to the Shangzi, Machiavelli sees this historical change to run through cycles of order and disorder: “Usually provinces go most of the time, in the changes they make, from order to disorder and then pass again from disorder to order, for worldly things are not allowed by nature to stand still” (Machiavelli 1998: V.1, 185). In the Shangzi, order arises from the efforts of sage-kings, disorder from selfishness, outvying, and clever dissoluteness. According to Machiavelli, order arises from the prowess of founders, disorder from the ambition that order-induced leisure allows to grow (Machiavelli 1988: V.1, 185; Machiavelli 1992b: V, 967). Further, Machiavelli also parallels the Shangzi in advising rulers to adapt to changing circumstances, as in “he is prosperous who adapts his mode of proceeding to the quality of the times” (Machiavelli 1998: XXV, 99). Similar in function to what the Shangzi calls the “needs of the times” (Shangzi 1.175; see Shangzi 8.237, 8.238), Machiavelli’s “quality of the times” is either “quiet” and orderly or “adverse” and disorderly, favoring either those who proceed with “caution” or those who proceed with “impetuosity” (Machiavelli 1998: XXIV, 97; XXV, 99). Hobbes is also struck by historical change, especially the fact that political entities arise and decline – from the first states of the ancient Near East to the republics of ancient Greece and Italy and the monarchies of medieval and early modern Europe. He finds the cause of this recurrent decline in the fact that peaceful order allows people to become civilized and hence moved by ideas, so that authority comes to rest not only on the force used by the ruler but also on the opinions propagated by priests, lawyers, and other men of letters, who hanker for glory by means of competing doctrines: “Man is the most troublesome, when he is most at ease; for then it is that he loves to shew his wisdom, and control [i.e., find fault with] the actions of them that govern the commonwealth” (Hobbes 1994: XVII.11; see Kraynak 1990: 7–31). This “poison of seditious doctrines” (Hobbes 1994: XXIX.6), in turn, divided the opinions by which rulers and ruled are led in their actions, eventually giving rise to civil war, such as the one that befell England in Hobbes’s lifetime. Political realists are impressed with historical change because they aim to face the real on its own terms. Rather than holding on to idealized entities persisting in time, such as the Holy Roman Empire or the Western Zhou dynasty, they accept that states exist only as long as they have the power to exert actual control over their subjects. Their commitment to constructing stable orders notwithstanding, they are not afraid to view our fundamental condition as beset by change, conflict, and chance.

The Book of Lord Shang Compared with Machiavelli and Hobbes  49

Human Nature and Custom Human beings are the bearers of historical change. Thus, they change with the circumstances; or, put the other way, circumstances change because people do. These changes are grasped by the Shangzi and Machiavelli through the concept of customs forming a second nature. However, they, as well as Hobbes, also agree that human beings have certain innate properties that remain the same even as circumstances change. They characterize this first nature as one that makes people pursue their own advantage, which they find in the satisfaction of their appetites for riches, power, glory, pleasure, and comfort – most of which presuppose self-preservation. According to the Shangzi, for instance, it is “people’s nature [xing 性], when measuring, to take the longest part, when weighing, to take the heaviest, when adjusting the scales, to seek profit” (Shangzi 6.221); “now the nature of man [qing 情] is to like titles and emoluments and to dislike punishments and penalties” (Shangzi 9.241; see Shangzi 5.209, 6.216, 6.217 (2x), 7.227, 15.267).9 Machiavelli considers ambition a “natural instinct” that “no man has power to drive … out of himself ” (Machiavelli 1992a: 985–86, my trans.), and that leads to the unceasing pursuit of three principal goods: glory, as when the “ambition of the [Roman] consuls” made them wish to “finish the war so as to have a triumph” (Machiavelli 1996: II.6.2); domination, as when “certain persuasions inflamed the ambitious spirit of the duke to a greater desire to rule” (Machiavelli 1988: II.33, 90); and wealth, as when “ambition results in two kinds of action: one party robs and the other weeps for its wealth ravaged and scattered” (Machiavelli 1992a: 986, my trans.). Hobbes also assumes a nature driven by “a continual progress of the desire,” which issues in a “competition of riches, honour, command,” as well as the “desire of ease and sensual delight” (Hobbes 1994: XI.1, 3, 4). Not surprisingly, the assumption of a selfish human nature is fundamental to political realism; for, pursuing the real, political realists take human beings as they are rather than as they could be if they realized their alleged capacity for something higher. As far as the changeable aspect of human beings is concerned, the Shangzi refers to people’s customs (su 俗). The graph su refers to the practices that the common people derive from their immediate social environment (see Lewis 2003: 308). For instance, “the people of old were simple and honest, while the people of to-day are clever and artificial” (Shangzi 7.229). Differences in customs over time and space require rulers to adapt their policies accordingly, that is, to “govern in accordance with the needs of the time, and make laws which take into account customs” (Shangzi 8.238; cf. Shangzi 6.223). On the other hand, customs can and need to be changed by rulers for order to prevail. “When standards and measures are regulated in accordance with the times, the customs of the country may be changed and the people will follow the standard regulations” (Shangzi 8.234). The means by which the ruler changes the customs of the common people are laws backed up by rewards and punishment. For instance, when a “sage, in establishing laws, alters the customs and causes the people to be engaged in agriculture, night and day,”

50  Markus Fischer they “will take pleasure in farming and enjoy warfare, because they see that the ruler honours farmers and soldiers” (Shangzi 8.234–35; cf. Shangzi 11.247–48). Thus, proper indoctrination can give people customs that channel their self-seeking nature into pursuits that promote order. Machiavelli takes customs to be a mainstay of political order: “Laws have need of good customs so as to be observed” (Machiavelli 1996: I.18.1). Thus, the most stable forms of political order are “hereditary states accustomed to the blood line of their prince” (Machiavelli 1998: II, 6) and republics whose citizens are “accustomed to living by their own laws and in liberty” (Machiavelli 1998: V, 20). To maintain the good customs of republican citizens, they need to be reinforced with frequent displays of “excessive and notable” punishments in accordance with the laws; for, otherwise, “men begin to vary their customs and to transgress the laws” (Machiavelli 1996: III.1.3). Custom matters to realist political theory because it enables people with a selfish nature to act for the political good as determined by the ruler. They create, so to speak, a second nature that is more pliable than the first. Hobbes, however, has little use for custom due to his emphasis on reason as the source of action. It is only “ignorance of the causes and original constitution of right, equity, law, and justice [that] disposeth a man to make custom and example the rule of his actions” (Hobbes 1994: XI.21). Hobbes seeks to base political order not only on the subjects’ fear of punishment but also on their rational comprehension of the fact that obedience to any sovereign who maintains peace is preferable to disobedience that risks a return to the war of all: “the grounds of [sovereign authority] need to be diligently and truly taught, because they cannot be maintained by any civil law or terror of legal punishment” (Hobbes 1994: XXX.4). Thus, even where Hobbes likens the “common people’s minds” to “clean paper, fit to receive whatsoever by public authority shall be imprinted in them,” he makes it clear that this imprinting is not a matter of habituation but of instructing people in doctrines “so consonant to reason that any unprejudicated man needs no more to learn it than to hear it” (Hobbes 1994: XXX.6). This belief in far-sighted rationality that can overcome individuals’ state-of-nature response (to secure themselves by violence and fraud) marks Hobbes as less a political realist than the authors of the Shangzi and Machiavelli; indeed, it brings him close to the liberal notion of enlightened self-interest as the basis of the social contract.

The Purpose of Government The first aspect of this beneficial order that needs to be considered is its purpose or end. Machiavelli promises princes dominion and glory if they follow his advice but also explains to them that the best way to win these prizes is to benefit the subjects as much as possible (limited, of course, by the necessity to injure them in order to impose and maintain order). Take, for instance, the greatest of the princes who newly acquire territory: they have to use injurious force to “found their state and their security” with the result that “their [new] fatherlands were ennobled … and became very prosperous” (Machiavelli

The Book of Lord Shang Compared with Machiavelli and Hobbes  51 1998: VI, 23); put differently, a founder “bring[s] honor to him and good to the community of men” (Machiavelli 1998: XXVI, 102). Hobbes makes it clear that the sovereign has a duty to procure the “safety of the people” as well as “all other contentments of life, which every man by lawful industry … shall acquire to himself ”; indeed, the sovereign owes the subjects a “general providence, contained in public instruction … and in the making and executing of good laws” (Hobbes 1994: XXX.1–2). The explicit reward of the sovereign is the security obtained by his ability to use the subjects to defend him against the vicissitudes of the state of nature (wherein the sovereign remains). What a sovereign otherwise does with his absolute power is limited only by his conscience, which, in turn, rests on his fear of God. Now the sovereign suffers from the “passions that most frequently are the cause of crime” – such as vainglory, hate, lust, ambition, and covetousness – as much any other human being. Moreover, he is not subject to any earthly punishment, and “whensoever the hope of impunity appears, [the passions’] effects proceed” (Hobbes 1994: XXVII.18). Hence, the sovereign can be expected to indulge in his passions in ways that would count as crimes among the subjects, as when David had Uriah killed in order to appropriate the sexual favors of Bathsheba (Hobbes 1994: XXI.7). Thus, when Hobbes speaks of the “inconveniences” that subjects suffer at the hands of their sovereigns (Hobbes 1994: XX.18), he probably has in mind the latter’s unpunishable transgressions and, by extension, the corresponding enjoyments. The examples of Machiavelli and Hobbes suggest that a two-fold purpose of government – satisfying the ruler, satisfying the subjects – belongs to political realism. Indeed, this two-fold purpose may be inherent to the realist enterprise: satisfying the ruler comes about because a self-seeking individual needs to be given an incentive to assume the dangerous role of ruler and because a human being with a self-seeking nature is given unlimited power. Satisfying the subjects is woven into the very core of the paradigm – the reason of the state which excuses immoral deeds against a few by the beneficial consequences for the many. Can this two-fold purpose also be found in the Shangzi? Most of its interpreters have argued that it and other Legalist texts aimed at nothing but the self-interest of the ruler or, perhaps, the power of the state as an end in itself (see Ames 1994: 50; Cheng 1981: 276–77; Fung 1952: 312; Graham: 290; Hsiao 1979: 418–19; Kroker 1951: 230; Lévi: 49; Rubin: 62; Schwartz: 328). They usually cite the harshness and cynicism with which the Shangzi considers the common people as well as the maxim that the government ought to weaken the people to reduce them to mere means: “A weak people means a strong state and a strong people means a weak state. Therefore, a country, which has the right way, is concerned with weakening the people…. being weak, they are serviceable” (Shangzi 20.303; cf. Shangzi 5.207). In other words, in the relationship between the state and the people, one side’s gain is the other’s loss; the interest of one excludes the interest of the other. Further, the ruler who follows the Shangzi’s policy prescriptions is promised the personal reward of “repos[ing] on a rest-couch and listen[ing] to the sound of

52  Markus Fischer stringed and bamboo instruments” (Shangzi 18.291). Nonetheless, I would like to argue that the Shangzi considers a well-ordered state also in light of the benefits it confers upon its subjects10 and thus held to a two-fold purpose of government similar to Machiavelli and Hobbes. When arguing for the precedence of the public interest (gong, 公) over the private interest (si, 私), the text claims that “when [the sage kings] Yao and Shun established their rule over the empire, they did not keep the benefits of the empire for themselves, but it was for the sake of the empire that they established their rule” (Shangzi 14.263). While this statement could still be taken to mean that the Shangzi equates the public interest with the strength or glory of the empire itself, the following passages clearly suggest that the public interest includes not only the power of the state but also the well-being of the subjects: A sage, if he is able to strengthen the state thereby, does not model himself on antiquity, and if he is able to benefit the people thereby, does not adhere to the established rites. (Shangzi I.170) There is no greater benefit for the people of the empire than order and there is no firmer order to be obtained than by establishing a prince; for establishing a prince, there is no more embracing method than making law supreme; for making law supreme; there is no more urgent task than banishing villainy, and for banishing villainy, there is no deeper basis than severe punishments. (Shangzi 7.232–33) The fact that the Shangzi acknowledges the satisfaction of the people’s desires to be part of the public interest is perhaps most evident in the passages where it declares central authority as the solution to the problem whereby people who freely pursue their desires end up suffering from the disorder generated by their selfish pursuits: if you establish what people delight in [freedom to pursue desires], then they will suffer from what they dislike [disorder], but if you establish what they dislike [laws and punishments], they will be happy in what they enjoy [the benefits of order]. (Shangzi 7.229; cf. Shangzi 7.230) This argument clearly goes beyond the notion of public order as a means to the power of the state or ruler: it makes the people’s enjoyment of their desires an end as well. The same can be said of the following passage in which the punitive hand of central authority makes it possible for the common people to satisfy their desires in ways allowed by the laws: Unless the people be made one [through laws], there is no way to make them attain their desire; therefore, a country that knows how to produce

The Book of Lord Shang Compared with Machiavelli and Hobbes  53 strength … bars all private roads for gratifying their ambition and opens only one gate through which they can attain their desire. (Shangzi 5.211) In sum, while it is not entirely clear to what extent the Shangzi elevates the benefits of the ruler to a purpose of government, the satisfaction of the people’s desires – insofar as they accord with the necessities of public order – does belong to the public good.

Killing to Abolish Killing and the Reason of State While considering punishment, the Shangzi explains that the ancient sage kings resorted to cruel measures because of their beneficial consequences: The former kings, in making their interdicts, did not put to death, or cut off people’s feet, or brand people’s faces, because they sought to harm those people, but with the object of prohibiting wickedness and stopping crime, for there is no better means of prohibiting wickedness and stopping crime than by making punishments heavy. (Shangzi 17.279–80) The fact that the Shangzi seeks to warrant cruel punishments by their beneficial consequences suggests that it considers them problematic in some sense. Perhaps, cruel punishments could arouse resistance among subjects that had only recently been subdued. More likely, the author sought to justify what his audience would have found morally repugnant. This sense of justification is even more present in the Shangzi’s assessment of the policies of the legendary ruler, the Yellow Emperor (Huangdi, 黃帝); interestingly, the justification in terms of consequences ultimately becomes one of conforming to the needs of the times: After Shennong had died, the weak were conquered by force and the few oppressed by the many. Therefore Huang-ti … applied the sword and saw …; this was because the times had changed…. [T]he reason that his name was honoured was because he suited his time. Therefore, if by war one wishes to abolish war, even war is permissible; if by killing one wants to abolish killing, even killing is permissible; if by punishments one wishes to abolish punishments, even heavy punishments are permissible. (Shangzi 18.285) By centering the warrant to kill and cruelly punish on following the times, the moral problem in using these measures seems to be eliminated. The ruler simply follows the changing needs of the times using violence in times of disorder and abstaining from it in times of peace. Indeed, what he does is as natural as water running toward the lowest place: “A sage knows the right principles which must be followed, and the right time and circumstances for

54  Markus Fischer action … therefore, his way of directing the people is like directing water from a high to a low place” (Shangzi 18.292–93). These passages from the Shangzi call to mind the Western doctrine of the reason of state, which holds that the state is permitted to violate the rules of common morality when necessary to provide its subjects with secure and comfortable living. Rooted in Roman and medieval jurisprudence, this core doctrine of political realism was enunciated in its modern form by none other than Machiavelli. Comparable to what the Shangzi says about Huangdi, Machiavelli argues for instance that “Cesare Borgia was held to be cruel; nonetheless his cruelty restored the Romagna, united it, and reduced it to peace and faith” (Machiavelli 1998: XVII, 65). Machiavelli’s most abstract rendering of this idea occurs when he discusses the fact that Romulus murdered two innocents in order to found Rome: “it is very suitable that when the deed accuses him, the effect excuses him; and when the effect is good, as was that of Romulus, it will always excuse the deed” (Machiavelli 1996: I.9.2). Note, however, that Machiavelli finds the good consequence merely to excuse the deed rather than to justify it. Thus, the moral problem remains because an excuse admits fault and thus retains the wrongness of the deed in contrast to the goodness of the end, whereas a justification would have made the deed good and thus morally unproblematic (Walzer 1973: 175). Hobbes seeks to circumvent the moral problem of doing evil in order to do good by arguing that “whatsoever [the sovereign] does, it can be no injury to any of his subjects” because by the “institution of a commonwealth every particular man is author of all the sovereign doth” and “to do injury to one’s self is impossible” (Hobbes 1994: XVIII.6). In other words, a sovereign who finds it necessary to injure innocents for the sake of preserving himself and the public order – for instance, by ordering the indiscriminate execution of suspected rebels and their supporters – would be formally free of injustice. However, whether this construct eliminates the moral problem is doubtful, for such a sovereign, according to Hobbes, would still be guilty of “iniquity” in his conscience and before God because the laws of nature forbid the punishment of innocents (Hobbes 1994: XVIII.6, XXI.7, XXVIII.22).

Law The Shangzi’s propositions on how political order should be organized squarely center on law (fa 法): “a sage, in ordering a country, looking to popular custom, fixes their laws, with the result that there is order” (Shangzi 6.223).11 The principal reason for this exaltation of the law rests with its capacity to force both people and public officials to act according to general and fixed rules that, if intelligently designed, generate public order and increase the power of the state. “If law is established, rights and duties are made clear, and self-interest does not harm the law, then there is orderly government” (Shangzi 14.260). In other words, the law serves the public interest (gong). To this end, the nobility’s traditional exemption from the law had to end:

The Book of Lord Shang Compared with Machiavelli and Hobbes  55 from ministers of state and generals down to great officers and ordinary folk, whosoever does not obey the king’s command, violates the interdicts of the state, or rebels against the statutes fixed by the ruler, should be guilty of death and should not be pardoned.12 (Shangzi 17.278–79) The Shangzi seemingly includes the ruler among those who ought to act according to laws when it states that “if prince and ministers neglect the law and act according to their own self-interest, disorder is the inevitable result” (Shangzi 14.260) and that “an intelligent rulers … does not perform deeds, which are not in accordance with the law” (Shangzi 23.317). However, as these statements already suggest, the Shangzi considers the ruler’s respect for the law a matter of political expediency rather than an overarching or ethical principle. First, the ruler should observe the laws he imposes so that the subjects will learn to trust the promised rewards and punishments and act accordingly: “The way in which an intelligent prince administers the empire is to do so according to the law, and to reward according to merit,” for “it is the hankering for rank and emoluments that prompts people to fight energetically and not to shun death” (Shangzi 23.315). Second, the ruler should keep to the laws in order to prevent his officials from manipulating him according to the personal preferences he reveals by ruling arbitrarily: “If there is an intelligent ruler or a loyal minister … he should not for one moment be forgetful of the law, but he should conquer and destroy cabals, control and abolish eloquence;” for “if a condition is brought about, where, for government servants, there is no other standard maintained than the law, then, however tricky they may be, they will be unable to commit wickedness” (Shangzi 25.324; Cf. Shangzi 3.189). In short, particularity originating with the ruler undermines political order no less than particularity arising from the subjects. “If prince and ministers neglect the law and act according to their own self-interest, disorder is the inevitable result” (Shangzi 14.260). But following the laws as a matter of expediency is not the same as submitting to the rule of law. After all, the ruler can always repeal an old law or issue a new one as demanded by his purposes or the exigencies of the moment. In short, the Shangzi did not subscribe to the rule of law in the Western sense. Machiavelli and Hobbes exempted the ruler from the rule of law by according him the prerogative of acting outside the laws on the basis of his coercive power alone. Machiavelli, for instance, reproved Piero Soderini, ruler of the Florentine republic, for not “tak[ing] up extraordinary authority and break[ing] up civil equality together with the laws” in order to defend the republic against those who wanted to turn Florence into a principality (Machiavelli 1996: III.4.1). According to Hobbes, the sovereign can always “demand or take anything by pretence of his power” wherein “lieth … no action of law” (Hobbes 1994: XXI.19). In contrast, there is no mention of the ruler’s extra-legal use of violence in the Shangzi. This omission could be a mere oversight. More interestingly, it could be the result of the book’s programmatic stress on the law as the

56  Markus Fischer universal remedy of disorder, based on the assumption that laws could be made to cover most contingencies. Should an unforeseen contingency arise, the ruler would deal with it by laying down a new law and acting accordingly. Further, this issue of contingency and extra-legal power can be seen as part of the wider contrast between the Shangzi’s quasi-mechanistic vision of order based on impersonal rules and the Confucian belief that order ought to rest on the personal agency of an educated elite of nobles and public officials, whose judgment of the particulars of the situation would be based not only on their experience but, more importantly, on their practice of such virtues as benevolence, justice, and faithfulness (as well as their observance of the related maxims of li (禮), the ritualized ways of harmonious conduct).13 The Shangzi rejects this prudential and personalized vision of government on several counts. First, human selfishness makes it likely that officials will use their decisional latitude to advance their personal interests. Second, even if officials were honest, too few would have the ability to judge case by case what needs to be done for the public interest: “Only a [sage like] Yao would be able to judge knowledge and ability, worth or unworth without a model. But the world does not exist exclusively of Yaos!” (Shangzi 14.262). Third, what the Confucians consider to be virtues actually undermines order: “kindness and benevolence are the foster-mother of transgressions” insofar as they lead officials to consider extenuating circumstances rather than punishing crimes: “if the virtuous are placed in positions of evidence, transgressions will remain hidden; but if the wicked [those lacking kindness and benevolence] are employed, crimes will be punished” (Shangzi 5.206–07). In short, government by personal agency engenders disorder whereas government by objective rules creates order. Machiavelli would agree with the Chinese text that laws are useful to the organization of political order, especially in republics where they coordinate the selfish and multifarious impulses of the citizens in the absence of princely authority. In the Roman republic, for instance, “laws that checked the citizens” consisted of the “law on adulteries, the sumptuary [law], that on ambition and many others” (Machiavelli 1996: I.18.2). However, Machiavelli would not go as far as the Shangzi in replacing personal judgment with the general rules that make up law, for his assumption of contingency entails not only changes occurring between historical epochs but also accidents disrupting daily affairs – which he ascribed to the occult agency of Fortune, the pagan goddess of chance. To some extent, this daily contingency can be contained by well-designed laws and orders; but rulers need to rely at least as much on their virtù, the prudential ability to pursue the most effective course of action under changing circumstances, since “fortune … shows her power where virtù has not been put in order to resist her” (Machiavelli 1998: XXV, 98). In other words, Machiavelli is keenly aware of the irreducible distance between the generality of any set of rules meant to organize human affairs and the particularity of the cases needing to be covered, as in “one cannot give certain rules because the modes vary according to circumstances” (Machiavelli 1998: IX, 40). The authors of the Shangzi, it appears, are too

The Book of Lord Shang Compared with Machiavelli and Hobbes  57 intent on repudiating the prudential doctrine of the Confucians to pay heed to this distance. They seemingly believe that laws could be found that fully determine human affairs in a quasi-mechanistic way.14 Indeed, they liken the laws to weights and measures that allowed for orderly transactions in the marketplace, playing on the fact that fa, the character that Legalists take to mean law and administrative methods, has also retained its original meaning of quantitative models, such as the carpenter’s compass and square: Those who are engaged in governing in the world, chiefly dismiss the law and place reliance on private appraisal, and this is what brings disorder in a state. The early kings hung up scales with standard weights, and fixed the length of feet and inches, and to the present day these are followed as models; But today’s rulers, influenced by Confucianism, believe they ought to judge human beings “without a model,” that is, without laws prescribing a precise schedule of rewards and punishments. (Shangzi 14.262; cf. Shangzi 26.334). Hobbes stands somewhere between the Shangzi and Machiavelli in this matter for he gives significant scope to “civil law” as “those rules which the commonwealth hath commanded” (Hobbes 1994: XXVI.3), but he also, as we saw above, allows the sovereign to act on the mere basis of his coercive power. Regarding the question of agency, Hobbes rejects experiential knowledge gained by prudence in favor of deductive reasoning according to the scientific method; in particular, he seeks to narrow judges’ latitude in interpreting the laws, as, for instance, when he declares that “there is only one sense of the law,” namely “the literal sense” as “that which the legislator intended” (Hobbes 1994: XXVI.6), and when he requires a judge to “divest himself ” not only from “fear, anger, hatred” but also “love, and compassion” (Hobbes 1994: XXVI.28), that is, emotions that may lead prudential judgment to deviate from the letter of the law. In general, political realists appreciate laws as means to a stable political order. They make it clear, however, that such laws are not grounded in ethics but merely in what is expedient for the maintenance of order. Our realists differ, however, with regard to the scope of the law. Hobbes and, especially, Machiavelli realize that rulers need to act outside the laws to deal with unforeseen contingencies. In contrast, the Shangzi seems to assume that well-designed laws can cover all circumstances. But such an assumption smacks of rationalism or, indeed, idealism insofar as it implies that the multifarious events of political life can be foreseen by the human mind and captured by a finite number of ideas. It seems, then, that Machiavelli’s and Hobbes’s allowances for extra-legal action are more adequate to reality.

Punishment Among selfish beings, laws have to be enforced by punishments. The Shangzi goes to a fivefold extreme in this regard. First, it argues that punishments

58  Markus Fischer ought to prevail over rewards by far: “In a country that has supremacy, there are nine penalties as against one reward; in a strong country, there will be seven penalties to three rewards, and in a dismembered country, there will be five penalties to five rewards” (Shangzi 4.201–02; cf. Shangzi 5.211, 7.230).15 Second, it denies that extenuating circumstances, such as past merit, ought to be used when judging offenses: “Merit acquired in the past should not cause a decrease in the punishment for demerit later, nor should good behavior in the past cause any derogation of the law for wrong done later” (Shangzi 17.279); in particular, the loyalty of sons to their fathers and of servants to their masters must not be taken into account. Third, the text abandons the traditional notion that punishment ought to be proportionate to the crime: “If in the application of punishments, serious offences are regarded as serious, and light offences as light, light offences will not cease and in consequence, there will be no means of stopping the serious ones” (Shangzi 5.209); instead, the maxim “punish heavily the light offences” should be followed (Shangzi 4.204).16 In other words, the Shangzi assumed that serious offenses were mostly committed by criminals who previously had committed lesser ones. By punishing even lesser offenses by such severe measures as mutilation and branding, people and police would have the means of recognizing these criminals and taking action to prevent them from committing serious offenses; moreover, if the punitive measure consists of death, no further means are needed at all. Fourth, the Shangzi advocates collective punishment where it recommends that “relations are involved in punishment,” whereby the punishment of the perpetrator would be extended to the other members of his group, regardless of whether they knew of or, indeed, abetted his deed (Shangzi 2.179–80; cf. Shangzi 17.279).17 In particular, “in battle five men are organized into a squad; if one of them is killed, the other four are beheaded” (Shangzi 19.295–96), families ought to tell their men marching off to war that “if you incur death by failing in obedience to the law or by transgressing orders, we too shall die” (Shangzi 18.286), and the punishment of magistrates who fail in their duty should “be extended to their family for three generations” (Shangzi 17.279). Fifth, the Shangzi advises that people be punished for the mere intention to transgress the laws: “in the case of one, who attains supremacy, punishments are applied at the intent to sin, so that great depravity cannot be bred” (Shangzi 7.231). To this end, there should be a system of mutual surveillance whereby “rewards are bestowed on the denouncement of villainy, so that minor sins do not escape unnoticed” (Shangzi 7.231). As a result, the laws will in effect be adjudicated and enforced by families: If they make it their habit to denounce all crimes then the people make the judgments in their own minds, and if, when the ruler gives his orders, the people know how to respond, so that the means for enforcing the law are really manifested in the families and merely applied by the officials, then the judgment over affairs rest with the family.18 (Shangzi 5.212–13; cf. Shangzi 24.321)

The Book of Lord Shang Compared with Machiavelli and Hobbes  59 Machiavelli agrees with Shang Yang that punishments ought to exceed rewards when he instructs princes that “it is much safer to be feared than loved” because “fear is held by a dread of punishment that never forsakes you” (Machiavelli 1998: XVII, 66–67). Machiavelli also agrees with the idea that punishment ought to be disproportionate to the crime when he argues that the law-abiding customs of republican citizens need to be maintained by “excessive and notable” punishments (Machiavelli 1996: III.1.3).19 Further, Machiavelli endorses collective punishment when he praises the Romans for “punish[ing] multitudes of the erring,” as in the summary execution of thousands suspected of participating in the sexual and subversive rites of Bacchus, the “kill[ing] by way of justice [of] an entire legion at once, and a city” and the decimation of armies, that is, the execution of every tenth man. (Machiavelli 1996: III.49.1–2). However, the common factor in these cases seems to be that the state was threatened by the behavior of a collective and that individual guilt was difficult to determine. The Shangzi’s collective measures, in contrast, extend punishment to people merely on account of kinship. Finally, Machiavelli nowhere considers punishing intentions by forcing family members to denounce each other. These agreements between the Shangzi and Machiavelli suggest that political realism calls for punishments that from a moral perspective would be considered unjust. More precisely, unjust punishments are an instantiation of the reason of the state, according to which wrongs may be committed for the sake of procuring the beneficial consequences of order. Hobbes accepts of course that transgressions of the laws have to be punished, but his proto-liberal assertion of the natural rights of individuals and of laws of nature that are dictates of right reason leads him to argue against the various forms of unjust punishment that the Shangzi and Machiavelli embrace. For instance, he advocates proportional punishment when stating that “the severest punishments are to be inflicted for those crimes that are of most danger to the public” and when asserting that “leniency … is required by the law of nature” for “crimes of infirmity” that “proceed from great provocation, from great fear, great need” (Hobbes 1994: XXX.23). Indeed, to “be severe to the people is to punish that ignorance which may in great part be imputed to the sovereign, whose fault it was they were not better instructed” (Hobbes 1994: XXX.23), a statement that presumes by rationalist manner that subjects obey not only from fear but also from their far-sighted understanding of the benefits of central authority. Further, Hobbes would answer Shang Yang’s call for preemptive punishment with the assertion that “of intentions which never appear by any outward act there is no place for human accusation” (Hobbes 1994: XXVII.2). And rather than requiring people to denounce their next of kin, Hobbes declares it a law of nature that a man is not obliged to accuse “those by whose condemnation [he] falls into misery (as, of a father, wife, or benefactor)” (Hobbes: XIV.30). In short, Hobbes’s views on punishment seem to go beyond the ken of political realism.

60  Markus Fischer

The Condition of Complete Good Government Despite its denial of a single best regime, the Shangzi predicts in a quasi-utopian fashion that a ruler who faithfully applied its maxims would generate a self-administering order wherein seemingly virtuous customs would prevail. In particular, the order will become self-administering when the subjects “make it their habit to denounce all crimes” and “judgments with regard to punishments and rewards rest with the people’s own minds, and those with regard to the application of the means for enforcing the law, rest with the family” (Shangzi 5.212–13; cf. Shangzi 18.291). In other words, as subjects routinely denounce each other for actual and would-be transgressions of the laws, the officials are freed from the need to judge offenders and merely have to apply the prescribed penalties by rote. This self-administration is described in the Shangzi as the “condition of complete good government” (Shangzi 24.321)20 because it completes its quest to eliminate judgment from the legal machinery of government. Put differently, “in a country that has the true way, order does not depend on the prince, and the people do not merely follow the officials” (Shangzi 5.214; cf. Shangzi 7.213). In turn, this fully objective order, once it extended to all under Heaven [tianxia, 天下], would generate certain virtues among the subjects. “If the whole world [tianxia] applies this method [of forcing family members and neighbors to denounce each other], the highest state of virtue will be re-established”; in particular, “the very crafty would become faithful and trustworthy, and the people would become honest and guileless, each one restraining himself ” (Shangzi 26.333). In a sense, the change in customs from the simple honesty of ancient times to the clever artifice of the contemporary period would be reversed. Of course, given the Shangzi’s prior assumption of an inherently self-seeking human nature, this virtue cannot be truly understood as the kind of deep-seated transformation of character envisioned by the Confucians. Rather, it remains on the level of customs derived from one’s social circumstances (su). Could such an order – realizing the essential and thus being fully adequate to reality – overcome historical change and become everlasting? The Shangzi answers this question in the negative: A country where uniformity of purpose [on farming and war] has been established for one year, will be strong for ten years; where uniformity of purpose has been established for ten years, it will be strong for a hundred years; where uniformity of purpose has been established for a hundred years, it will be strong for a thousand years.21 (Shangzi 3.193–94; cf. Shangzi 4.202) A period of 1000 years is probably not a metaphor for eternity in the Chinese context because it remains comparable to the roughly four, six, and three centuries that the prior dynasties of the Xia, Shang, and Zhou were believed to have lasted.22 More explicitly, “there is no ruler of men who can give order to his people for all time”; for “raising virtuous [i.e., honest] and capable men

The Book of Lord Shang Compared with Machiavelli and Hobbes  61 is the cause of bringing order into the world, but it is also the cause of order becoming disorder” (Shangzi 25.322), on the apparent ground that virtue and capability will eventually be judged by reputation, a fact that gives openings for deceptive praise and harmful slander. Machiavelli also considers whether political order could be made to last forever. Referring to the Roman republic, he speculates that “if the executions [of transgressors to renew law-abiding habits] … had continued at least every ten years in that city, it follows of necessity that it would never have been corrupt” (Machiavelli 1996: III.1.3)23 and thus “perpetual” (Machiavelli 1996: III.22.3). This speculation, however, fails to take into account the power of Fortune, which disrupts human schemes with accidents (unforeseeable events) that need to be dealt with by the prudential quality of virtù. However, prudential knowledge is only approximate. Hence “one cannot give a certain remedy for [the] disorders that arise in republics,” whence “it follows that it is impossible to order a perpetual republic, because its ruin is caused through a thousand unexpected ways” (Machiavelli 1996: III.17). Trusting in his revolutionary application of the scientific method to human affairs, Hobbes is more optimistic than the Shangzi or Machiavelli: Long time after men have begun to constitute commonwealths, imperfect and apt to relapse into disorder, there may principles of reason be found out by industrious meditation to make their constitution (excepting by external violence) everlasting. And such are those which I have in this discourse set forth. (Hobbes 1994: XXX.5) Just as Galileo found certain laws of nature that regulated the motions of bodies with unchanging necessity, so Hobbes claims to have found law-like regularities in the nature and actions of human beings that could be used to construct a commonwealth that would be immune to change from within. Although allowing in general that “nothing can be immortal which mortals make,” Hobbes asserts in particular that “if men had the use of reason they pretend to, their commonwealths might be secured at least from perishing by internal diseases” (Hobbes 1994: XXIX.1). But with these propositions, Hobbes once more leaves behind the sober ground of political realism and embraces the kind of rationalism that realists are bound to reject as idealistic, for their guiding heuristic is what human beings actually do – their practices – rather than what they could do or ought to do if their rational capacity were fully developed. In other words, it is precisely the imperfection of human beings that brings about historical change and the eventual dissolution of every political order.

Acknowledgment My thanks go to Jean Lévi, the anonymous reviewers for Dao, and, especially, Eirik Lang Harris, who reviewed several versions of the manuscript and whose help regarding the Chinese language was indispensable.

62  Markus Fischer

Notes 1 While referring to the more common The Book of Lord Shang in the title of this essay, I follow A.C. Graham in using the space-saving term Shangzi in the essay itself. All quotations in this essay are from Duyvendak’s translation, with references consisting of paragraphs followed by page numbers. 2 The term “Legalism” as a translation of fajia 法家 has been recognized by a number of scholars as highly problematic. See Goldin (2011), “Persistent Misconceptions about Chinese ‘Legalism’” for the most recent criticism. However, since no one has come up with a better term, I’ll stick with “Legalism.” 3 The chapters in question are 1, 9, 13, 20, and 26. See Duyvendak (1963): 141–50; Lévi (1981): 31, fn. 1. 4 Chapter 26 was probably composed during or even after the Qin 秦dynasty, that is, after the Chinese empire had been established. More substantively, it appears to fall outside of what can be taken as the coherent thought of the Shangzi because it empowers ordinary subjects to challenge public officials about the legality of their actions, which contradicts the Shangzi’s more fundamental proposition to exclude the people from any knowledge of and participation in the political process. 5 A.C. Graham’s sole mention of Machiavelli follows and quotes Schwartz’s point. See Graham (1989): 269. 6 The Confucians responded to the disorders of the sixth through third centuries with a doctrine of self-cultivation based on the teachings of Confucius (Kongzi, 孔子, 551–479 BCE). Confucius had elevated the traditional way of life to a moral and political philosophy by postulating a number of virtues – for example, benevolence, familial loyalty, faithfulness, wisdom, and courage – as character traits that ought to animate the observance of li, the customs and rituals that stressed self-restraint, moderation, and subordination of the individual to the group as the heavenly willed way to maintain harmony. 7 There is an even more fundamental principle at work here, namely that those with the rare quality dominate the ones with the common quality. See Vandermeersch (1965): 254–55. 8 On Machiavelli’s astrological beliefs, see Parel (1992). 9 For support of my position that the Shangzi assumes an unchanging nature (xing, 性) or unchanging dispositions (qing, 情), see Vandermeersch: “In psychology, the Mohists discovered that the bottom of human nature was interest; and this essential thesis, was taken up and pushed to the extreme by Shang Yang and his successors” (Vandermeersch 1965: 211; my trans.). See also Xu: The politics [of the Legalists and Machiavelli] are founded on a realistic analysis of human nature, and above all of the most characteristic and immutable nature of man: he is only attracted by the search for his own interest and only fears only punishment. (Xu 1995: 260; cf. 308; my trans.) Also, according to Cheng, one of “the theoretical presuppositions” of Legalism is that “there is the … belief that the human person is always self-interested, and has greed and selfishness as his nature” (Cheng 2011: 1). 10 Pines recently argued that the Shangzi, like the political thought of the Warring States era in general, held that “the people are the only true end of political action” (Pines 2009: 201–03). 11 Traditionally, formalized rules of conduct had been limited to codes of punishment (xing, 刑) that applied to commoners only because the nobles, in line with Confucian thought, were expected to follow li 禮, the ritualized customs befitting superior men. The Chinese graph fa, which had originally referred to standard,

The Book of Lord Shang Compared with Machiavelli and Hobbes  63 exemplar, or model, came to mean law as well when Shang Yang used it to describe the new kinds of rules he introduced in the state of Qin. These rules added a schedule of rewards to the punishments prescribed by xing and applied to both commoners and nobles. Note that fa in Legalist usage also referred to the administrative methods by which rulers controlled their officials, otherwise known as shu 術. Hence, “Legalism” is something of a misnomer for fajia, the “school of fa.” On the etymology and meaning of fa, see Ames: 108–41; Cheng 1981: 274–76; Creel 1961; Graham: 273–75; Hsieh 1985: 81–82; Schneider 2011: 49, 51; Schwartz: 166, 321–23; Vandermeersch: 186–200. 12 Famously, Shang Yang punished Prince Qian, the tutor of the Crown Prince of Qin, for an infraction committed by his pupil. Later, when Prince Qian committed an offense himself, Shang Yang had his nose sliced off. See Duyvendak (1963): 16, 19. 13 On the contrast between Confucian agency and Legalist mechanisms, see Schwartz (1985): 328. 14 The fragments of Qin law unearthed in 1975 suggest a highly bureaucratized system with detailed rules for everyday activities, such as when courier horses should be fed grain, that clever bond-servants should be made artisans rather than servants or cooks, or how much glue and grease is to be used when lubricating carts. See Hulsewé (1985): 30, 62, 75. 15 This is not to say that rewards were unimportant. Shang Yang instituted a twenty-rank reward system, with special legal and economic privileges granted to each rank holder. 16 In contrast, even the tough-minded Confucian thinker Xunzi (298–38 BCE) maintained that “in antiquity, penal sanctions did not exceed what was fitting to the crime” (Xunzi 1988: 24.3, 166). 17 The laws of Qin, the state reformed by Shang Yang, had a mutual implication feature by which punishment for certain crimes was extended to family, neighbors, superior, and subordinate. In attenuated form, this feature became a permanent aspect of the Chinese legal system. According to the ancient Chinese historian SIMA Qian 司馬遷, Shang Yang ordered the people to be organized into groups of five and ten mutually to control one another and to share one another’s punishments. Whoever did not denounce a culprit would be cut in two; whoever denounced a culprit would receive the same reward as he, who decapitated an enemy; whoever concealed a culprit would receive the same punishment as he, who surrendered to an enemy. (Duyvendak 1963: 14–15) 18 It goes without saying that nothing could have been more antithetical to the family-centered thinking of the Confucians than to force close relatives to denounce each other to the state. For when Confucius was told that of a man who was nicknamed “Straight Body” because he had given evidence against his father accused of stealing a sheep, he declared that “in our village those who are straight are quite different. Fathers cover up for their sons, sons cover up for their fathers. Straightness is to be found in such behavior” (Analects 1979: XIII.18). 19 However, the punishments he cited as examples lacked the bodily cruelties endorsed by the Shangzi and were not all that out of proportion to the crime: putting men to death for conspiring to overthrow the republic; executing soldiers for engaging the enemy contrary to orders; fining famous generals for the mere fact that their greatness caused fear to the magistrate; and putting to death matrons for conspiring to poison their husbands. See Machiavelli (1996): III.1.3, III.49.1. 20 Such a condition was purportedly achieved by the laws that Shang Yang introduced in the state of Qin:

64  Markus Fischer When [the law] had been in force for ten years, the people of Ch’in [Qin] greatly rejoiced: things dropped on the road were not picked up; in the mountains there were no robbers; families were self-supporting, and people had plenty; they were brave in public warfare and timid in private quarrels, and great order prevailed throughout the countryside and in the towns. (Duyvendak 1963: 16–17) 21 These numbers bear a certain resemblance to Qin history. It reportedly was after ten years of Shang Yang’s reforms being in effect (356–46 BCE) that Qin become a well-ordered state, in which people showed bravery and laws were observed even in remote villages. It then took 125 years for Qin to unify China under its rule. Finally, the new emperor proclaimed that the empire he had created would last for 10,000 generations. 22 Depending on the chronicle, the Xia dynasty lasted 439 or 431 years (2205–1766 or 1989–1558 BCE), the Shang dynasty 644 or 510 years (1766–1122 or 1556–1046 BCE), and the (Western) Zhou dynasty 351 or 275 years (1122–771 or 1046–771 BCE). 23 Close reading of Discourses III.49 together with Discourses III.1 suggests that the executions of transgressors ought to happen every day rather than every ten years in order to keep a republic from becoming corrupt.

References Ames, Roger T. 1994. The Art of Rulership: A Study of Ancient Chinese Political Thought. Albany: State of New York University Press. Analects. 1979. Confucius: The Analects. Trans. by D.C. Lau. London: Penguin Books. Cheng, Chung-Ying. 1981. “Legalism versus Confucianism: A Philosophical Appraisal.” Journal of Chinese Philosophy 8.3: 271–302. ———. 2011. “Preface: Understanding Legalism in Chinese Philosophy.” Journal of Chinese Philosophy 38.1: 1–3. Creel, Herrlee. 1961. “The Fa-chia—Legalists or Admininistrators?” In Studies to Tung Tso Pin on His Sixty-Fifth Birthday. The Bulletin of the Institute of History and Philology. Academia Sinica 4: 607–36. Duyvendak, J.J.L. 1963. “Introduction.” In The Book of Lord Shang: A Classic of the Chinese School of Law. Trans. by J. J. L. Duyvendak, 141–59. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press. Fu, Zhengyuan. 1996. China’s Legalists: The Earliest Totalitarians and Their Art of Ruling. Armonk, NY: M.E. Sharpe. Fung, Yu-Lan. 1952. “Han Fei Tzu and the Other Legalists.” In A History of Chinese Philosophy, Vol. I: The Period of the Philosophers (from the Beginnings to circa 100 B.C.). Trans. by Derk Bodde, 312–336, 2nd ed. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press. Goldin, Paul R. 2011. “Persistent Misconceptions about Chinese ‘Legalism’.” Journal of Chinese Philosophy 38.1: 88–104. Graham, A.C. 1989. Disputers of the Tao: Philosophical Argument in Ancient China. La Salle, IL: Open Court. Hanfeizi. 1939/1959. The Complete Works of Han Fei Tzu: A Classic of Chinese Legalism. Trans. by W.K. Liao, 2 vols. London: Probsthain. Hobbes, Thomas. 1994. Leviathan. Ed. by Edwin Curley. Indianapolis, IN: Hackett. Hsiao, Kung-chuan. 1979. A History of Chinese Political Thought, Vol. I: From the Beginnings to the Sixth Century A.D. Trans. by F.W. Mote. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.

The Book of Lord Shang Compared with Machiavelli and Hobbes  65 Hsieh, S.Y. 1985. “The Legalist Philosophers.” In Chinese Thought: An Introduction. Ed. by Donald H. Bishop, 81–109. Columbia, MO: South Asia Books. Hulsewé, A.F.P. 1985. Remnants of Ch’in Law: An Annotated Translation of the Ch’in Legal and Administrative Rules of the 3rd Century B.C. Discovered in Yün-meng Prefecture, Hu-pei Province, in 1975. Leiden: E.J. Brill. Kraynak, Robert P. 1990. History and Modernity in the Thought of Thomas Hobbes. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press. Kroker, Eduard Josef. 1951. Der Gedanke der Macht im Shang-kün-shu: Betrachtungen eines alten chinesischen Philosophen. Wien-Mödling: St.-Gabriel-Verlag. Lee, Gong-Way. 1996. “A Comparative Study between Shang Yang and Niccolo Machiavelli: Their Views on Human Nature and History.” Chinese Culture 37.1: 39–54. Lévi, Jean. 1981. “Introduction.” In Le Livre du Prince Shang. Trans. by Jean Lévi. Paris: Flammarion. Lewis, Mark Edward. 2003. “Custom and Human Nature in Early China.” Philosophy East & West 53.3: 308–22. Machiavelli, Niccolò. 1988. Florentine Histories. Trans. by Laura F. Banfield and Harvey C. Mansfield, Jr. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press. ———. 1992a. “Dell’ Ambizione.” In Niccolò Machiavelli: Tutte le Opere. Ed. by Mario Martelli, 983–87. Florence: Sansoni. ———. 1992b. “L’Asino.” In Niccolò Machiavelli: Tutte le Opere. Ed. by Mario Martelli, 954–76. Florence: Sansoni. ———. 1992c. “Di Fortuna.” In Niccolò Machiavelli: Tutte le Opere. Ed. by Mario Martelli, 976–79. Florence: Sansoni. ———. 1996. Discourses on Livy. Trans. by Harvey C. Mansfield and Nathan Tarcov. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press. ———. 1998. The Prince. Trans. by Harvey C. Mansfield. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press. Martinich, A.P. 2011. “The Sovereign in the Political Thought of Hanfeizi and Thomas Hobbes.” Journal of Chinese Philosophy 38.1: 64–72. Moody, Peter R., Jr. 1979. “The Legalism of Han Fei-tzu and Its Affinities with Modern Political Thought.” International Philosophical Quarterly 19.3: 317–31. Parel, Anthony J. 1992. The Machiavellian Cosmos. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press. Pines, Yuri. 2009. Envisioning Eternal Empire: Chinese Political Thought of the Warring States Era. Honolulu: University of Hawai’i Press. Pines, Yuri and Gideon Shelach. 2005. “‘Using the Past to Serve the Present’: Comparative Perspectives on Chinese and Western Theories of the Origin of the State.” In Genesis and Regeneration: Essays on Conceptions of Origins. Ed. by Shaul Shaked, 127–63. Jerusalem: Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities. Rubin, Vitaly A. 1976. Individual and State in Ancient China: Essays on Four Chinese Philosophers. Trans. by Steven I. Levine. New York: Columbia University Press. Scharfstein, Ben-Ami. 1995. Amoral Politics: The Persistent Truth of Machiavellism. Albany: State University of New York Press. Schneider, Henrique. 2011. “Legalism: Chinese-Style Constitutionalism?” Journal of Chinese Philosophy 38.1: 46–63. Schwartz, Benjamin I. 1985. The World of Thought in Ancient China. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press. Vandermeersch, Léon. 1965. La Formation du Légisme: Recherche sur la Constitution d’une Philosophie Politique Caractéristique de la Chine Ancienne. Paris: École Française D’Extrême Orient.

66  Markus Fischer Waley, Arthur. 1982. Three Ways of Thought in Ancient China. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press. Walzer, Michael. 1973. “Political Action: The Problem of Dirty Hands.” Philosophy and Public Affairs 2.2: 160–80. Xu, Zhen Zhou. 1995. L’Art de la Politique chez les Légistes Chinois. Bordeaux: Economica. Xunzi. 1988–1994. Xunzi: A Translation and Study of the Complete Works. Trans. by John Knoblock, 3 vols. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press. Yang, Shang. 2011. The Book of Lord Shang: A Classic of the Chinese School of Law. Trans. by J.J.L. Duyvendak. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press.

Part III

Receptions of Machiavelli West and East

5 Machiavelli’s Fortune Lines of reception of his works in Europe Giovanni Giorgini

It is doubtful that Machiavelli considered himself a lucky man. Post res perditas, after his dismissal from office by the Medici upon their return to power in Florence in 1512, Machiavelli frequently lamented that he was experiencing an “extraordinary malignity of fortune.” His works, on the contrary, enjoyed conspicuous success during his lifetime and immense fortune after his death. During his lifetime Machiavelli was mostly known as a poet and playwright and as an expert on military matters. His plays, and especially La Mandragola [The Mandrake] (1524), were staged many times and his Arte della guerra [Art of War] (1521) had a wide circulation in the European courts, although it was considered too theoretical and old-fashioned by other military experts. The publication of the Istorie Fiorentine [Florentine Histories] (1532) made Machiavelli known also as a historian. The two works on which Machiavelli’s fame is based were published after his death: the Discorsi in 1531 and the Principe in 1532. In the following pages, I will explore the reception of Machiavelli’s works in Europe, arguing that Machiavelli’s reception was split right from the start into two lines of interpretation, which we may call a “republican” and a “tyrannical/reason-of-State” interpretation. The former maintained the existence of a “secret doctrine” in Machiavelli, suggesting a double entendre reading: While pretending to teach rulers, Machiavelli intended to disclose to the people the tyrannical methods employed by ruler; the latter took Machiavelli’s recommendation literally and argued that “reason of State” forces rulers to act against religion and morality. It focused mostly on the Prince, considered a textbook for tyrants, and downplayed the importance of the Discourses, considered a mainly historical work. I will also argue that Machiavelli’s ideas circulated in Europe in complex and tortuous ways, due to the uneven availability of his works and of translations, and problems of censorship. Very soon Machiavelli became the emblem of a certain style of politics and, for this reason, he was praised or, more often, attacked independently of an appreciation of his actual writings. I will, finally, examine some regional peculiarities of Machiavelli’s reception in Europe as well as identify some particularly interesting moments and authors involved in this reception. Appropriation of Machiavelli’s ideas and confrontation with them arguably shape the genealogy of modern Western political thought. DOI: 10.4324/9781003284598-8

70  Giovanni Giorgini

Some introductory remarks An interesting first question about Machiavelli’s reception concerns his decision to write in the vernacular, Florentine Italian, instead of Latin, which was still the language of the learned. Machiavelli knew Latin very well (he used it not only in public documents but also in his private letters, showing a remarkable mastery of the language), so his choice, not being determined by language problems, was deliberate. Evidently, Machiavelli did not only want to reach scholars but a larger audience, such as existing rulers, prospective statesmen, and ordinary citizens animated by the love of their country. Another interesting aspect of this choice consists in the fact that, in Machiavelli’s age, a vigorous controversy in Italy about the use of the Italian language instead of Latin reached a peak.1 Machiavelli’s choice gave impetus to the defenders of the Florentine vernacular. The Prince was probably written between June and December 1513. The composition of the Discourses was longer and took from 1513 to 1518, with interruptions. Machiavelli’s two main political works were printed almost simultaneously in Rome and Florence, in 1531 and 1532, by the printers Blado and Giunta, respectively. But in just a few years more editions came out in Venice, a sign that there was a strong interest in his ideas in the Venetian Republic. Before publication, manuscript copies of the Prince circulated in Florence amongst Machiavelli’s circle of friends and we know that Guicciardini had already read and commented on the Discourses in 1528.2 There were in circulation approximately 15 editions in Italian of the Prince and 19 of the Discourses, and three French translations of each before they were placed on the Index Librorum Prohibitorum of Paul IV in 1559.3 After this date, printers had to have recourse to subterfuges such as altering or omitting the name of the author, putting an earlier date of publication, inventing false publishing houses, and using fictitious locations. Basel, London, and Geneva were very active centers of surreptitious editions of Machiavelli’s works. A sign of this early manuscript circulation is the blatant plagiarism by the philosopher Agostino Nifo, who evidently read the Prince in manuscript and turned it into Latin, transformed it into an educational work for Christian princes, and added an Aristotelian conclusion, completely overturning the original purpose of the author (De regnandi peritia, Naples, 1523). The readings of Agostino Nifo and, subsequently, Girolamo Cardano in his De sapientia (Nurnberg, 1544) and Proxeneta (posthumous, Leiden, 1627), show that Machiavelli was also considered a serious philosopher whose ideas were worth engaging with.4 We should recall that Machiavelli’s writings appear at the same time as the turn toward naturalism and materialism in philosophy which takes place in the Aristotelian School of Pietro Pomponazzi at Padua. As Tommaso Campanella put it in his De gentilismo non retinendo (Paris, 1636): “Ex aristotelismo postea ortus est machiavellismus” [from Aristotelianism was then born Machiavellianism]. Machiavelli’s ideas can thus be seen as belonging to a specific intellectual Stimmung which conflicted with several fundamental doctrines of the Roman Church.

Machiavelli’s Fortune  71 Before exploring in more detail the history of Machiavelli’s reception in Europe we have to bear in mind that sometimes his ideas circulated and influenced other authors in a very complex and tortuous way. The fact that his works were plagiarized, appropriated, and quoted without attribution should not surprise us: The modern practice of scholarly quotation was unknown then, and certain practices were not only permissible but normal.5 The constraints of censorship after 1559 obviously made things more complicated. An additional layer of complexity in the reception is represented by direct or indirect knowledge, with some authors reading the original, others read translations (in many languages, including Latin), yet others knew Machiavelli through other authors who praised or, more often attacked him; some critics never read him in the first place and attacked what, in their opinion, he stood for. Finally, there are authors who, although knowing his works, used Machiavelli for their own political purposes, well beyond what Machiavelli actually maintained in his writings. The history of Machiavelli’s reception in Europe and the history of Machiavellianism only partially overlap.6 In fact, the early reception of Machiavelli’s works can be characterized as a time of passionate war rather than of considered criticism. Both critics and defenders of Machiavelli largely bypassed thorough and even-minded consideration of his works. As the Romantic poet and literary critic Ugo Foscolo put it, Machiavelli was more loved or hated than known. A sign of the great interest in Machiavelli’s ideas by contemporary readers is the high number and remarkable pace of new editions of his works. Just as an example, the Latin translation of the Prince was published in 1560 in Basel, the work of the Protestant Italian expatriate Silvestro Tegli. It was followed by many editions at an impressive pace (1566, 1581, 1589, 1594, and 1599, just to mention those before the new century). Scholars typically read this Latin translation. The first Latin translation of the Discourses appeared in Muempelgardt in 1588. In the original Italian or in various translations, Machiavelli’s ideas were spread and discussed throughout the entirety of Europe 50 years after his death.

Italy, a history of love and hate Machiavelli’s close friend Biagio Buonaccorsi, the scribe of multiple manuscript copies of the Prince, sent one of these to Pandolfo Bellacci in 1514, accompanying it with a dedicatory letter at the beginning. In this, while praising the clarity and content of the work for those interested in political matters, he invited this mutual friend to forcefully defend the author against those who wished to attack him out of malignity or envy. This statement shows that both the ideas in the Prince and Machiavelli’s own standing in Florence were already the object of intense partisan judgment during his lifetime. In particular, we should remember that Machiavelli had a conspicuous role in the Florentine republic; his letters, however, testify that after the return of the Medici, Machiavelli was begging them (directly or through his friends) for a job. He was involved enough in the Medici regime after 1513 to be considered

72  Giovanni Giorgini with suspicion when the republic was restored in 1527. Under a commission from the Medici, he wrote the Florentine Histories; also, he was often in Rome under the two Medici Popes, Leo X (Giovanni de’ Medici, 1513–1521) and, especially, Clement VII (Giulio de’ Medici, 1523–1534), to whom he personally presented his historical work in 1525. His activity in Rome in the last two years of his life is the subject of intriguing speculations.7 The erudite Benedetto Varchi, a younger contemporary of Machiavelli and the author of a Storia fiorentina also commissioned by Clement VII (published only in 1721), passed a very negative judgment on The Prince, which echoes a letter Giambattista Busini sent to Varchi on January 23, 1549: They both argued that the ideas in the Prince, and the fact that the dedicatee was a Medici, were the reasons for the general mistrust and hatred Machiavelli experienced in Florence.8 Interestingly enough, Varchi shows much more appreciation for Machiavelli the man, whom he describes as a pleasant converser, affectionate to his friends, and befriended by virtuous people. These mixed feelings explain Bernardo Giunta’s decision to offer an interpretative key of the Prince in his preface to the first edition: He argued that Machiavelli was like those physicians who, teaching the use of herbs and medicines, deal with poisons as well, so that people would stay away from them. As Victoria Kahn correctly remarked, the Giunta edition shows that very different interpretations of Machiavelli’s ideas and intentions already existed by that time: Some read him as a teacher of tyrants, others as a secret enemy of tyranny and a supporter of republican government; some interpreted him as providing a neutral art which could be used for good or evil purposes, yet others thought he was merely describing the world of politics (Kahn, 2010). We know of the existence and diffusion of a “republican” interpretation of Machiavelli from Cardinal Reginald Pole: He reports that on a trip to Florence he was told by Florentine citizens that Machiavelli himself claimed that he had written the Prince only in order to hasten the downfall of the Medici. This interpretation contributed to the establishment of Machiavelli’s reputation as the purveyor of a secret doctrine. This is the view we find in the poet Giovanni Matteo Toscano’s Peplus Italiae (Paris, 1578, p. 52), an anthology of epigrams followed by brief prose summaries praising Italian men and women: Toscano maintains that Machiavelli was a hater of tyranny. Likewise, the satirist Traiano Boccalini in his Ragguagli di Parnaso (Venice, 1612) and in the Pietra di paragone politico (Venice, 1615) argued that Machiavelli, under a veil of irony, wanted to reveal the evil means used by rulers in order to enlighten the people. In this work, we find a laudation of Tacitus, considered a master of the secrets of the art of ruling, compared to Machiavelli. The habit of attributing to the illustrious and respectable Tacitus ideas which were actually Machiavelli’s gave rise to the intellectual current called “Tacitism,”9 pioneered by the Flemish philosopher Justus Lipsius: his Politicorum sive civilis doctrinae libri sex (Leiden, 1589) recognized the extraordinary genius of Machiavelli while condemning his errors. Parallel to this early “republican” interpretation of Machiavelli, which continues up to Ugo Foscolo’s epoch-defining poem Dei sepolcri (Brescia,

Machiavelli’s Fortune  73 1807), we find very negative readings in Italy, mostly motivated by religious zeal, often produced without proper knowledge of Machiavelli’s texts. This is the case of one of the first and most vehement critics, the archbishop Ambrogio Catarino Politi, famous for his unusual theological ideas. In the section on “De libris a Christiano detestandis” of his Assertiones, interestingly published by Blado (Rome, 1552), he attacked both the Prince and the Discourses for teaching the heretics how to dissimulate their doctrine. On the other hand, the church historian Tommaso Bozio read Machiavelli very carefully before launching a series of attacks in his works that targeted specific Machiavellian views, such as the idea that the teaching of the Roman church made people less virtuous; or his notion of “reason of State,” which Bozio argued, importing Aquinas, should be submitted to natural right and divine law.10 Some of these ideas had already been voiced in Portugal, in bishop Jeronimo Osorio’s De nobilitate civili et christiana (Lisbon, 1542). In the third book, Osorio vehemently attacked Machiavelli for maintaining that the Christian religion destroyed the classical notion of magnanimity together with civil and military virtue. In Italy, bishop Paolo Giovio proclaimed Machiavelli an illiterate atheist (Elogia virorum bellica virtute illustrium, Florence, 1551, chapter 87). Other authors read and used Machiavelli but preferred to omit mentioning him. For instance, Lucio Paolo Rosello, in his Ritratto del vero governo del prencipe dall’esempio vivo del gran Cosimo de’ Medici (Venice, 1552), borrowed conspicuously from Nifo and Machiavelli without mentioning the latter. The Jesuits burnt Machiavelli in effigy in Ingolstadt in 1559, and the Jesuit Giovanni Botero, in his Della ragion di Stato (Turin, 1589), acknowledged the success of Machiavelli’s ideas both among scholars and in the European courts and deemed it necessary to reimport Aquinas’ ideas into politics. He advocated the view that justice is the fundamental virtue in politics and that the virtuous prince is more easily obeyed by his subjects. The philosopher Tommaso Campanella, who authored the Utopian work Civitas Solis (Frankfurt, 1623; the first edition in Italian dated from 1602), was so influenced by Machiavelli that an early reader did not hesitate to define him as a “harsh critic and at the same time a disguised master of Machiavelli’s precepts”: these are the words of Hermann Conring in his introduction to the Latin translation of Machiavelli’s Prince (in his Opera, 5 vols, Braunschweig, 1730, II, p. 979). Conring also maintained that Campanella had revived in a concealed manner the same principles that Machiavelli had the courage to express without disguise (Conring, De civili prudentia, in Opera, III, p. 41). After a brief eclipse in the 17th century, Enlightenment and Romantic authors showed a renewed interest in Machiavelli. In this epoch, both his life and his writings seemed to reveal a patriot, with republican ideas, who placed love for his country above everything else. This is the reading we find in the Neapolitan economist Giuseppe Maria Galanti, the author of an Elogio di Niccolò Machiavelli cittadino e segretario fiorentino (Naples, 1779), who refers readers to the Discourses for support for his views on Machiavelli. The poet

74  Giovanni Giorgini Vittorio Alfieri, in the second book of his Del Principe e delle lettere (Kehl, 1789), praised those literary people who disdain protection by princes and thus maintain their integrity and freedom: Machiavelli is in the company of such authors as Locke, Bayle, and Rousseau. Alfieri lamented that Machiavelli was not esteemed nor known in his own country and argued that the purpose of the Prince was to reveal to the people the methods used by tyrants who, for their part, need no instruction in such matters because they have used cruelty since time immemorial. The real face of Machiavelli is revealed in the Discourses, which exude liberty and justice from every page. In the next generation, another poet and patriot, Ugo Foscolo, will revive the view that Machiavelli was actually disclosing to the people what was hidden “under the veil” of princely power. An expatriate in England, Foscolo wrote extensively on Machiavelli and summarized his interpretation in one sentence of his poem Dei sepolcri (Brescia, 1807), a review of great Italians of the past written with the stated intent to spur new generations to fight for the liberty of Italy. Machiavelli is described as “the great man” who, while teaching the art of ruling to the princes, strips the throne of its glorious appearance and reveals to the people the blood and tears which lie behind it (vv. 154–158). The next generation of poets and literary critics will take up this picture of Machiavelli as an ardent republican thinker and will emphasize his patriotic side. This is the time of Italy’s struggle for independence and reunification, and Machiavelli, together with Petrarca and Alfieri, becomes a hero of the “Risorgimento.” Arguably, the most interesting and penetrating interpretations of Machiavelli of this age come from literary people who were also politicians. This is the case with Francesco de Sanctis, Pasquale Villari, and Pasquale Stanislao Mancini. De Sanctis, a literary critic, then a Member of Parliament and four-time Minister for public education, celebrated Machiavelli as the man who foresaw three centuries in advance the reunification of Italy as well as the emergence of nation-States: He was thus both a realist and a utopian thinker; with him, the Middle Ages come to an end and Modernity begins. Mancini, a lawyer, Member of Parliament, and many times Minister saw the modernity of Machiavelli in his effort to keep moral and legal considerations out of the sphere of politics, as well as in his elevation of politics to the level of an experimental doctrine (Della dottrina politica del Machiavelli, Turin, 1852). The Senator and Minister for public education, Pasquale Villari, wrote a monumental work in three volumes, Niccolò Machiavelli e i suoi tempi (Florence, 1877–1882), which enjoyed great success both for its literary qualities and the enormous amount of information it contains. It circulated widely thanks to the refined English translation made by his wife (The Life and Times of Niccolò Machiavelli, London, 1883). Villari saw Machiavelli as the man who lived through one of the most splendid but corrupt times of Italian history, the Renaissance: He saw Italy’s present decadence but also foresaw its future deliverance; he was the prophet of Italian unification. The 20th century saw very interesting and diverse interpretations of Machiavelli in Italy. The inventors of the “theory of the elite,” Gaetano Mosca, Vilfredo Pareto, and Roberto Michels, all considered Machiavelli a

Machiavelli’s Fortune  75 fundamental political thinker (incidentally, in Discourses I, 16 Machiavelli shows he had already grasped the essence of this doctrine). Whereas Pareto and Michels praised his realism, the modernity of his treatment of religion, and his political psychology, Mosca, ironically often considered a Machiavellian, believed Machiavelli’s approach to politics to be old-fashioned and unscientific. Between the two wars, the communist thinker Antonio Gramsci elaborated a very influential interpretation of Machiavelli: He saw him as the teacher of politics par excellence for the Italian ruling class. Laying much emphasis on the concluding chapter of the Prince, Gramsci read it as a political manifesto. From the Prince emerges the image, or rather “the myth” of a leader who embodies the “collective will,” and the communist party should be the historic realization of this myth in the 20th century (Gramsci, 1975). Another famous interpretation was given by the philosopher Benedetto Croce, who found Machiavelli’s greatness in declaring the autonomy of politics from ethics; the two realms have distinct goods and duties, and neither is superior to the other (Croce, 1949). It will surprise no one to learn that Benito Mussolini was a reader of the Prince; it is noteworthy that he even published a small essay on it, Preludio al Machiavelli (1924).11 Mussolini praised Machiavelli’s psychological sagacity and his ability to understand the passions that move human beings, regardless of place and time. Machiavelli was the opposite of a populist because he knew that individuals have selfish motives; he, therefore, asserted the necessity of a strong State: Machiavelli’s prince actually personifies the State. After the war, Italy witnessed the appearance of a new generation of Machiavelli scholars. Federico Chabod both produced an interesting interpretation of Machiavelli, which emphasized his love for country and his stature as a European thinker, and taught younger scholars such as Gennaro Sasso and Nicola Matteucci. Sasso’s ponderous works provided scholars with a mine of information and explored in detail topics such as the influence of ancient authors on Machiavelli. Matteucci put forth the image of Machiavelli as the discoverer of “the seriousness of politics,” namely that politics has its distinct dimension of duty because it is the sphere of human life in which the ruler’s decisions affect the lives of all citizens.12

France and Machiavelli, a difficult relationship The first manuscript translation into French of the Prince, by Jacques de Vintemille, appeared in France in 1546, followed in 1553 by the two earliest printed translations, by Guillaume Cappel and Gaspard d’Auvergne (who praised the author for uncovering the “malice and deceit of men”). In this respect, the Prince had been preceded by the Discourses, first translated by Jacques Gohory in 1544 (who described Machiavelli as “the noblest mind to have appeared on earth in the past few centuries”).13 The turning point in Machiavelli’s early reception in France is 1572, the year of the St. Bartholomew’s Day massacre. After this date, Machiavelli’s name and nationality were used independently of appreciation of his works: During the wars of religion, he

76  Giovanni Giorgini became a tool in the controversy about French monarchy in the hands of Huguenot political theorists such as François Hotman (Franco-Gallia, 1573 and French edition Cologne, 1574) and Théodore de Bèze (De iure magistratuum, Geneva, 1573), often referred to as the “Monarchomacs.” However, the most important of them is surely Innocent Gentillet, and this is for two reasons. First, his Anti-Machiavel (Geneva, 1576) was immensely influential not only in France and contributed to propagating a very distorted image of Machiavelli’s ideas all around Europe. Translated almost immediately into English by Simon Patericke in 1577, Gentillet’s misrepresentation of Machiavelli was among the sources of the initial unfavorable reception of Machiavelli in England and of his representation as the prototypical rogue in many Elizabethan plays. Second, Gentillet was not interested in a careful confrontation with Machiavelli’s ideas as much as in using him as a polemical tool in contemporary political controversies in France; he can thus be said to be among the originators not only of the current of anti-Machiavellianism, but also of a “tradition” of modernizing and using Machiavelli for political and polemical purposes, regardless of the actual content of his works: What is important is Machiavelli as a symbol (“the end justifies the means”) not as a theorist. Gentillet accused Caterina de’ Medici of importing Machiavelli’s ideas and methods into France and ascribed to his teaching the massacre of St. Bartholomew’s Day and the entire French policy from Henry II onward. He accused Machiavelli of being illiterate in political science and of being an atheist, a despiser of God and piety, whose only purpose was to teach the art of tyranny. In fact, Gentillet epitomized in Machiavelli an “Italian,” and Catholic (!), way of conducting political affairs which flew in the face of the traditional “French” way, based on the role of jurists and the French legal tradition. By the end of the century, the new verb “machiaveliser” had appeared with a clear derogatory tone. This is evident in the historian and magistrate Etienne Pasquier’s statement: “Pour obtenir quelque honneur au siècle present il faut machiaveliser” [in order to get some honor in our century it is necessary to machiavelize: Recherches de la France, Paris, 1581, VI, 5]. Writing in February 1588, Pasquier informs us that in the heated debates of the time the Parisian preachers referred to the moderate group of the “Politiques” calling them the “machiavelistes,” for their alleged lack of religion. In his Catechisme des Jesuites (Villefranche, 1602), Pasquier maintains that there existed Machiavellian politicians before Machiavelli appeared in the world, a sign that the name already stood for a style of immoral politics. A similar statement may be found in Théodore Agrippa d’Aubigné: “Nos rois ont appris a machiaveliser” [our kings have learned to machiavelize] (Les tragiques, s.l., 1616). There were, however, voices of dissent. Interestingly, the legal and political thinker Jean Bodin, a member of the group of the “Politiques,” praised Machiavelli in his Methodus ad facilem historiarum cognitionem (Paris, 1566). He stated that Machiavelli resumed the Aristotelean and Tacitean tradition: Machiavelli was the first to write on the government after 1200 years of barbarism. Louis Machon, the only French apologist of Machiavelli in the 17th century, in his Apologie pour Machiavel (two manuscripts, written in 1643

Machiavelli’s Fortune  77 and 1668) maintained that Cardinal Richelieu instructed him to defend Machiavelli. Machon thought that Machiavelli “spoke like a saint” and his line of defense was that Machiavelli’s doctrines were in line with classical political tradition, Church teaching, and even Holy Scripture. He argued that this tradition defended sacred kingship, the idea that kings had a special prerogative because they were divinely appointed. A peculiar interpretation was that of Gabriel Naudé who, in his famous Considerations politiques sur les coups d’état (Rome, 1639), placed Machiavelli (and himself) in a long tradition of “political magic,” where secrets of state, magic, and occult science coexist. Among Machiavelli’s defenders was also the historian Abraham Nicolas Amelot de la Houssaye who, in his influential translation of the Prince (Amsterdam, 1683), tried to defend Machiavelli by circumscribing his infamous recommendations to new princes. Pierre Bayle in his Dictionnaire historique et critique (Paris, 1697) sapped the foundations of the naïve “republican” interpretation but concluded that Machiavelli showed “his republican spirit through his conduct.” An interesting and little-known chapter in this French reception is represented by the exchange of letters between the famous philosopher René Descartes and Elizabeth, princess of Bohemia, a very intellectually curious philosopher herself. In a letter of September 1646, Elizabeth asked Descartes for an opinion about Machiavelli’s Prince and this became the occasion for the French philosopher to rethink the role of politics in his system.14 Descartes wrote her that in Machiavelli there are “numerous precepts which I find excellent”; but he sharply criticized Machiavelli’s absence of distinction between good and evil ways to acquire a princedom. This fact generates confusion in morality and in politics, he argued; a prompt rebuttal of many of Machiavelli’s suggestions follows and Descartes concludes that Machiavelli’s ideas are not useful for reigning well and preserving the State. Among Enlightenment philosophers, Montesquieu appears to be influenced by Machiavelli and develops his own original thought in opposition to certain Machiavellian ideas. This is clear, for instance, in his view of civic dissent: He initially follows Machiavelli in considering conflicts and factions useful to the liberty of a State; however, in developing his own constitutional theory of the separation of powers, Montesquieu comes to believe that they should be contained by means of institutions (L’esprit des lois, Geneva, 1748). Machiavelli’s full rehabilitation came with Rousseau, who declared the Prince “the book of republicans,” although he totally disagreed with Machiavelli’s conflictual view of politics (Contrat Social, Amsterdam, 1762, III, 6). Likewise, Robespierre took Machiavelli’s books to describe the ways of tyrants, and famously wrote that “the French revolution was written out in full in the books of Tacitus and Machiavelli” (Report on the Principles of Political Morality, February 5, 1794). After the French Revolution, Alexis de Tocqueville wrote that Machiavelli conceived the world as a great arena from which God was absent, conscience has no role, and everyone does what he can. Tocqueville finds that Machiavelli people’s actions are indifferent in themselves and are judged according to their success.15

78  Giovanni Giorgini In the 20th century, three important philosophers and political theorists gave interesting interpretations of Machiavelli. Raymond Aron viewed him as “a fanatic of abstract logic, always opposed to middle-ground measures” and described Machiavellianism as “a kind of radical pragmatism, essentially amoral if not immoral.”16 Louis Althusser ascribed to Machiavelli the development of a new form of materialism: The new prince is the person who enables the people to become a nation, by giving form to existing matter (Althusser, 1999). Claude Lefort found in Machiavelli a thoroughly modern concept of the political which enabled him to overcome his own original Marxist outlook on politics: Machiavelli’s theory of the “two humors” shows that social conflict is inevitable in society whereas Marx’s theory thought it could be overcome. Society is unified by power in a symbolic representation (Lefort, 1972).

England, or Machiavelli on stage In England, Machiavelli became known as “Old Nick,” the embodiment of the devil, through an interesting interpretative path. Famously, cardinal Reginald Pole stated that Machiavelli’s works were written by the hand of the devil and their publication signaled the temporary ascension of the AntiChrist.17 This is the first example of the link between the interpretation of Machiavelli and Biblical prophecy. He also thought that Thomas Cromwell was familiar with the Prince and transmitted his knowledge to Henry VIII, the Prince thus representing the secret ideology behind the king’s policies. However, this work remained unpublished for over a century, so Pole exercised his influence through his Pro ecclesiasticae unitatis defensione (Rome, 1536), where his anti-Machiavellian stance is repeated, as well as through his political and pastoral activity. Perhaps the most interesting fact about the early English reception of Machiavelli is that it disregards Machiavelli’s actual moral and political ideas: “Machiavelli” the name was far more known than Machiavelli’s writings. Almost one century ago Eduard Meyer argued that the early reception of Machiavelli was actually molded by the portrait drawn by Innocent Gentillet in his Anti-Machiavel: The unscrupulous, amoral rogue who instructs tyrants on how to preserve their power against morality and religion. More recent works have shown that Gentillet’s influence should be toned down. We know that an English translation of Machiavelli’s works was printed by Edward Dacres, the Discourses appearing in 1636 and the Prince in 1640. Previously, some manuscript translations into English had circulated in the British Isles,18 but many English writers, and especially Elizabethan dramatists such as Marlowe, had relied on Gentillet’s portrait or deliberately neglected the actual content of Machiavelli’s works. For them, Machiavelli was the epitome of hypocrisy if not the very devil incarnated. In fact, as Felix Raab observed, the theatre was the medium through which the majority of Englishmen first heard Machiavelli’s name (Raab, 1964, p. 57). The poet Gabriel Harvey, in a letter to Spencer dated 1579, informs him

Machiavelli’s Fortune  79 that Machiavelli is studied and in high repute at Cambridge. It is probably in the Ballads of Robert Sempill (Edinburgh, 1568–1572) that we find for the first time Machiavelli associated with cunning, immoral politics. In his Mamillia (London, 1583), Robert Greene turns Machiavelli into an abstract noun, “Machiavilian,” and characterizes him as a “mortall foe to vertue” (p. 205). Christopher Marlowe, in The Jew of Malta (London, 1588), introduced Machiavelli onto the stage as the incarnation of villainy. Subsequently, in Thomas Rogers’ poem Leicester’s Ghost (London, 1641) we read of “Damn’d Machevillians given to lust and pleasure”: Machiavelli is the emblem of cunning politics and sexual license. Shakespeare’s Richard III (London, 1597) considers himself not the pupil but rather the schoolmaster of Machiavelli: “I’ll set the murderous Machiavel to school,” he proclaims. In Henry VI (London, 1592), Alencon is called “a Machiavelli” (V, 4). Authors versed in Italian, read the original text, and often had different, more positive reactions. Some of them extracted recommendations about the practical policy which could be applied in contemporary times. This is the case, for instance, with William Thomas, advisor to the young King Edward, who drew heavily from Machiavelli’s work in his recommendations to the king. However, “the Machiavelli we find in Thomas is toned down, qualified, sometimes so tamed as to make one wonder why Thomas had recourse to him at all” (Donaldson, 1988, p. 44). Stephen Gardiner, bishop of Winchester, may have been the author of a work for Philip II (Ragionamento dell’advenimento delli Inglesi, et Normanni in Britannia, 1556) which draws heavily on Machiavelli, although often through a mediating source, Lucio Paolo Rosello. In it, the author warns about the perils for England arising from Mary’s marriage to Philip of Spain, showing that at this stage the Prince is still interpreted simply as a manual of practical politics. Alberico Gentili, an Italian expatriate and law professor at Oxford, described Machiavelli as a champion of democracy (laudator democratiae) and stated: “Sui propositi non est tyrannum instruere, sed arcanis ejus palam factis, ipsum miseris populis nudum et conspicuum exhibere,” namely that his purpose was not to instruct the tyrant, but by revealing his secret methods to strip him bare and expose him to the suffering nations: De legationibus libri tres (London, 1585, I, 3, chapter 9). Francis Bacon, a champion of the inductive method in philosophy and politics, praised Machiavelli as a realist and a forerunner of this method: “Gratias agamus Machiavello, et huiusmodi scriptoribus, qui aperte et indissimulanter proferunt quid homines facere soleant, non quid debeant” [we are thankful to Machiavelli and other writers of that kind, who openly and without dissimulation declare what men do, and not what they ought to do], he writes in his De augmentis scientiarum (London, 1623, VII, chapter 2). The printing history is interesting in itself. In the 1580s, the London printer John Wolfe published surreptitious editions of Machiavelli’s works arguing that Machiavelli’s aim was to unmask the way tyrants act. Interestingly, and ironically, Wolfe was attacked and labeled a “Machiavellian” for his dubious business practices by another printer.19 Another important edition was the Complete Works edited by Henry Neville (London, 1675), a Member of

80  Giovanni Giorgini Parliament and republican author. In 1681, Neville published Plato Redivivus, where he followed “the divine Machiavelli” in arguing for a republican government: He asked King Charles II to reduce his own powers and transfer the government to the House of Lords. Algernon Sydney, in his Discourses concerning Government (London, 1698), drew on Machiavelli both for his literary style and for the substance of his thought, clearly influenced by Machiavelli’s agonistic republicanism. James Harrington, Neville’s close friend and the most important English republican author, commended Machiavelli for his use of history and classical examples in politics. Against Hobbes, Harrington revived some ideas of Machiavelli and blended them with an Aristotelian approach to human nature and the State. In the end, however, Harrington downplayed the importance of conflict in Machiavelli substantially, and designed a State of harmony between classes in his The Commonwealth of Oceana (London, 1656). In the 19th century, L.A. Burd’s edition of Il Principe (Oxford, 1891) deserves a special mention for its incredibly erudite introduction, ransacked by generations of later scholars. The essayist, historian, and Whig politician Thomas Babington Macaulay argued that Machiavelli could be understood only in relation to his times: He was a patriot who wanted to expel the barbarians to save Italian civilization. In Macaulay’s liberal interpretation, Machiavelli’s only serious mistake, his “mischievous defect,” was to emphasize too much the well-being of the whole, the State, and downplay that of the individual citizen.20 Novelist Mary Shelley included Machiavelli in a series of biographies written for Dionysius Lardner’s Cabinet Cyclopedia and published as Lives of the Most Eminent Literary and Scientific Men (London, 1835): She showed a clear appreciation of the intricacies of Machiavelli’s works, the difficult times he lived in, and maintained that Machiavelli had a twofold purpose, advising the princes in times of trouble as well as teaching the people how to resist. Among the most interesting English interpreters of Machiavelli in the 20th century, we may mention the historians of ideas Isaiah Berlin and Quentin Skinner. Berlin found Machiavelli’s originality in his advocating the morality of the pagan world against Christianity and discovering that ultimate values may not be compatible with one another. Skinner has been responsible for a powerful revival of the republican tradition in politics, which he traced back chiefly to Roman political thought and Machiavelli. Besides giving an interpretation of a Machiavelli who showed his connections with Roman and medieval political thought, Skinner depicted Machiavelli as a thoroughly republican author and showed his influence on the English republican tradition (Skinner, 1997).

Machiavelli in Germany: from religious wars to reason of state In Germany, as elsewhere in Europe, Machiavelli’s works were initially read in the context of the religious wars and the developing theory of the right to resist tyrannical rulers. Many interpreters read him as a republican author

Machiavelli’s Fortune  81 whose purpose was to reveal to the people the tyrannical methods used by rulers. Caspar Schoppe, often quoted as the Latinized Scioppius, wrote the Paedia politices (Milan, 1624), which is a defense of Machiavellian politics, although Machiavelli is not mentioned by name in the book. In his Machiavellica (1619) he stated that Machiavelli wanted to disclose to the people the “arcana tyrannorum” in order to make bad rulers hated by them: When people know about the methods of tyrants, they refuse to subject themselves. Arnold Clapmar, the author of De arcanis rerum publicarum (Bremen, 1648), was influenced by Machiavelli in his distinction between arcana imperii (the expedients used by rulers) and arcana dominationis (which he identified with the notion of “reason of State”). Clapmar connected the notion of reason of State with the classical vocabulary of Aristotle and Tacitus, arguing that Machiavelli’s description of the methods used by tyrants was not novel since Aristotle had already treated this subject in book 5 of his Politics and Tacitus in his Annales. Hermann Conring, a professor of politics and medicine, and historian of German law, published a revised edition of Tegli’s translation of the Prince (Helmstedt, 1660) followed by his Animadversiones Politicae In Nicolai Machiavelli Librum De Principe (Helmstedt, 1661). A committed Aristotelian, Conring, defended Machiavelli as a true political thinker. He maintained that Machiavelli’s opposition between popular liberty and tyranny was important, but his treatment was somewhat outdated; he, therefore, emphasized the importance of a constitutional defense of liberty in Germany, since the tyrant was a public figure and defense against him required the constitution and the law. Interestingly enough, in the same years in the Netherlands, Baruch Spinoza praised and made his own Machiavelli’s realism concerning human nature. Spinoza agreed with Machiavelli that conflicts are not fatal to republics but, rather, are the way through which people preserve their freedom. He also followed Machiavelli in praising the civic militia for a stable and healthy republic (Tractatus Politicus in Opera Posthuma, s.l., 1677). Friedrich II, who was the king of Prussia but also a poet and philosopher, wrote a booklet to refute Machiavelli with the help of Voltaire: Anti-Machiavel, ou Essai de critique sur le Prince de Machiavel, publié par Mr. de Voltaire (Amsterdam, 1741). He described Machiavelli’s doctrine as an epidemic to which an antidote is necessary and argued that the best treatment would probably be a curtain of silence. Although this is not a very profound treatise, Frederick II interprets Machiavelli’s notion of conflict as a suggestion that classes in the republic should check and neutralize each other’s preponderance, a view which will develop into the notion of “checks and balances.” The Enlightenment philosopher Immanuel Kant developed his ideas on perpetual peace based on cosmopolitism in clear opposition to “Machiavellian” politics: Peace should be based upon trust among nations whereas “Machiavellian” rulers only use deception and sophistry (Zum ewigen Frieden, Frankfurt and Leipzig, 1795). On the other hand, it was Hegel’s interest in nationalism that drew him to Machiavelli’s works, which he thought revolved around the notion of the unity of Italy. Furthermore,

82  Giovanni Giorgini Hegel interpreted Machiavelli as saying that morality must accept the necessities of politics, for he saw the concrete realization of morality as happening through politics. The other great Idealist philosopher, Fichte, also interpreted Machiavelli as a patriotic nationalist. Fichte thought that some of Machiavelli’s ideas, such as the civic militia, which presupposed the liberation of German peasants from servitude, and expansionist politics, could be useful in Germany’s fight against Napoleonic France. Fichte also praised Machiavelli’s realism about the wickedness of human nature, something that statesmen should always bear in mind.21 In the 20th century, the historian Friedrich Meinecke, in his Die Idee der Staatsräson in der neueren Geschichte (Munich, 1924) ascribed to Machiavelli the doctrine of the reason of State and depicted modernity as a fight for and against Machiavellianism. The legal theorist Carl Schmitt, who elaborated the notions of political decisionism and of the “state of exception,” showed very little appreciation for Machiavelli: In his view, he “was neither a great statesman nor a great theoretician.” Schmitt did not critically engage with Machiavelli’s ideas, an author evidently foreign to his view of political philosophy and the State (Schmitt, 1927).

Spain: Jesuits, inquisitors, and philosophers The second Spanish Index of forbidden books (1583) renewed the prohibition of Machiavelli’s works and mentioned Guillermo de Millis’ translation of the Discourses (Medina del Campo, 1555). One interesting piece of information about Machiavelli’s early reception in Spain is the proposal for an expurgated edition of his works, translated into Spanish and with the name of the author altered, made to the Inquisition in 1584 by the secretary of the Duke of Sessa.22 Previously, Charles V in 1550 had licensed the Spanish translation of the Discourses writing that he considered the book “very useful and profitable.” The Spanish Jesuits forcefully attacked Machiavelli. Pedro de Ribadeneira wrote his Tratado de la religion y Virtudes que debe tener el Principe Cristiano para gobernar y conservar sus estados contra lo que Nicolas Maquiavelo y los politicos de este tiempo ensenan (Madrid, 1595) having as its main target the Prince; better known simply as De principe christiano, this work was written to spur the king of Spain’s hatred against heretics. Against Machiavelli’s identification of virtue with political expediency, Ribadeneira argued that the Christian prince correctly interprets virtue as an array of Christian virtues such as justice, generosity, self-restraint, and prudence. The true reason of State respects religion and enables the Christian ruler to better preserve his State. Also, Fernando Alvia de Castro insisted that the “verdadera razon de Estado” can be approached in a “Christian, just and profitable manner” and must include moral virtues (Verdadera razon de Estado. Discurso politico, Lisbon, 1616). The title of the Jesuit Claudio Clemente’s work is programmatic: Machiavellismus iugulatus (Alcalà, 1637): Machiavellianism is strangled by Christian wisdom, in its Spanish and Austrian versions. Diego Saavedra Fajardo in his Empresas Politicas (Madrid, 1640) attacked the

Machiavelli’s Fortune  83 Prince, while displaying a pacifist view based on the rejection of Machiavellian politics and reviving the virtues of a Christian prince. Afterward, Machiavelli entered Spain in a softer and more balanced way. For instance, the 20th-century philosopher Miguel de Unamuno had an ambivalent attitude toward Machiavelli, whom he sometimes exalted and sometimes rejected. He drew inspiration from Machiavelli’s psychological observations of human beings to write some of his aphorisms.

Machiavelli in the new world The framers of the American constitution, especially Thomas Jefferson and Alexander Hamilton, knew Machiavelli’s thought very well. Jefferson mentions Machiavelli only once but his view of human nature and his commitment to the limited government are remarkably influenced by the notion of republican politics articulated in the Discourses (Rahe, 1995). Hamilton followed Machiavelli in believing in the importance of a strong national government with energetic executive power; however, he considered the regimes of his days to be Machiavellian and tried to establish a republican alternative to them (Walling, 1995). In the 20th century, James Burnham, in his The Machiavellians (1943), predicted the advent of a “managerial society” and drew on Machiavelli and the theorists of the elite to find the weapons to fight it. Leo Strauss, in his Thoughts on Machiavelli (1958), proposed an extremely refined reading of Machiavelli as a true philosopher and, as such, a “teacher of evil,” for he challenged the beliefs of his society. According to this interpretation of Machiavelli, Strauss argued that the contemporary totalitarian regimes are the heirs of Machiavellian politics whereas the United States is the only modern political regime deliberately founded on non-Machiavellian premises.

Notes 1 The controversy started with Dante’s De vulgari eloquentia (ca. 1305), who supported the elaborate and artificial Italian language used in the chancelleries (although Dante himself wrote the Commedia in Florentine Italian). Machiavelli, in his Discorso intorno alla nostra lingua (1524) supported instead the Florentine vernacular spoken in Florence, a live, not artificial, language. 2 Giorgio Inglese calculates that 19 manuscripts of the Prince are extant, six written by the same person, Biagio Buonaccorsi, Inglese (2006), p. 51. In his Considerations on the Discourses of Machiavelli, Guicciardini criticized his friend’s philosophical premises as well as his historical and political judgments, such as his pessimistic view of human nature, his reliance on popular government and his notion of imitation of the past. More specifically, Guicciardini reproached Machiavelli for being too abstract, for transforming singular cases into maxims and rules. Guicciardini was persuaded that there are recurrent patterns in history, but names and appearances change, and therefore, it is important to have the capacity of discernment; also, he did not believe that all human beings are evil but rather prone to the good. He thought that popular government is wrong and ineffective in preserving liberty and supported the “honest liberty” provided by aristocratic government (Proem to Del reggimento di Firenze).

84  Giovanni Giorgini 3 See Kahn (2010); Richardson (1985); Anglo (2005); Bireley (1990). 4 See Bianchi (2008). 5 See Grafton (1990). 6 The word “Machiavellian,” spelled “mache villion” appears in 1566; in Robert Sempill’s Ballads (1568–1573) “Machivilian” is synonymous with immoral politics. Robert Cotgrave, in his Dictionarie of the French and English tongues (London, 1611) translates the French word “Machiauelisme” as “subtle policie, cunning roguerie.” 7 See the very interesting Lettieri (2017), who argues that Machiavelli in the last two years of his life was a courtier of Pope Clement VII, one of his front men in his war against Charles V and even an occasional theologian. 8 See Giorgini (2013). 9 See Soll (2005). 10 Bozio’s accurate knowledge of Machiavelli can be inferred from his works, see De robore bellico (Rome, 1593), whose subtitle is Adversus Machiavellum; De imperio virtutis (Rome, 1593) and De antiquo et novo Italiae statu libri quatuor: Adversus Macchiavellum (Rome, 1595). 11 This was originally intended as an academic lecture for a honoris causa degree and was subsequently published on the journal Gerarchia. 12 See Chabod (1958); Sasso (1993); Matteucci (1984). 13 See Beame (1982), pp. 36–37. 14 Shapiro (2007). 15 A. de Tocqueville, Correspondance, Lettre à Louis de Kergorlay, 5 August 1831. 16 See Aron (1993), pp. 75 and 89. 17 R. Pole, Apologia ad Carolum Quintum, written in 1539 but published only in Quirini’s edition of Pole’s letters (1744–1757). On Pole’s tendency to see persons and events of his own times as fulfillments of Biblical models see Donaldson (1988). 18 See Petrina (2009). 19 Donaldson (1988), p. 98. 20 T.B. Macaulay, “Machiavelli.” In Critical and Historical Essays, vol. 1. London: Longman, Brown, Green, and Longmans, 1850.[no editor, Macauley published the Essays himself] 21 See J.G. Fichte, “Ueber Machiavell, als Schriftsteller.” In Werke 1806–1807. H. Gliwitzky and R. Lauth (eds.), Stuttgart: Friedrich Frommann Verlag, 1995, pp. 215–275. 22 See Bertini (1947).

References Althusser, Louis. 1999. Machiavelli and Us, ed. F. Matheron. London: Verso. Anglo, Sydney. 2005. Machiavelli: The First Century. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Aron, Raymond. 1993. Machiavel et les tyrannies modernes, ed. R. Freymond. Paris: Fallois. Bassani, Luigi Marco and Vivanti, Corrado (eds.). 2006. Machiavelli nella storiografia e nel pensiero politico del XX secolo. Milan: Giuffrè. Beame, Edmond M. 1982. “The Use and Abuse of Machiavelli: The SixteenthCentury French Adaptation”. Journal of the History of Ideas 43, pp. 33–54. Berlin, Isaiah. 1979. “The Originality of Machiavelli”. In Against the Current, ed. I. Berlin. Oxford: Clarendon, pp. 25–79. Bertelli, Sergio and Innocenti, Piero. 1979. Bibliografia Machiavelliana. Verona: Edizioni Valdonega.

Machiavelli’s Fortune  85 Bertini, G.M. 1947. “La fortuna di Machiavelli in Spagna”. Quaderni ibero-americani 2, pp. 21–26. Bianchi, Lorenzo. 2008. “Machiavelli e Cardano. Note su naturalismo e fortuna”. In Dopo Machiavelli, ed. Lorenzo Bianchi and Alberto Postigliola. Naples: Liguori, pp. 53–73. Bireley, Robert. 1990. The Counter-Reformation Prince: Anti-Machiavellianism or Catholic Statecraft in Early Modern Europe. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press. Burnham, James. 1943. The Machiavellians. Defenders of Freedom. New York: John Day & Co. Carta, Paolo and Tabet, Xavier (eds.). 2007. Machiavelli nel XIX e XX secolo/ Machiavel au XIXe et XXe siècles. Milan: Cedam. Chabod, Federico. 1958, Machiavelli and the Renaissance. London: Bowes & Bowes. Croce, Benedetto. 1949. “Una questione che forse non si chiuderà mai. La questione del Machiavelli”. Quaderni della Critica 14, pp. 1–9. Del Lucchese, Filippo. 2015. The Political Philosophy of Niccolò Machiavelli. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press. Donaldson, Peter S. 1988. Machiavelli and Mystery of State. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Giorgini, Giovanni. 2013. “Five Hundred Years of Italian Scholarship on Machiavelli’s Prince”. The Review of Politics 75, pp. 625–640. Grafton, Anthony. 1990. Forgers and Critics: Creativity and Duplicity in Western Scholarship. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press. Gramsci, Antonio. 1975. Quaderni del carcere. Turin: Einaudi. Inglese, Giorgio. 2006. Per Machiavelli: L’arte dello Stato, la cognizione delle storie. Rome: Carocci. Kahn, Victoria. 2010. “Machiavelli’s Afterlife and Reputation to the Eighteenth Century”. In The Cambridge Companion to Machiavelli, ed. J. M. Najemy. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pp. 239–255. Lefort, Claude. 1972. Le travail de l’oeuvre Machiavel. Paris: Gallimard. Lettieri, Gaetano. 2017. “Nove tesi sull’ultimo Machiavelli”. Humanitas 72, pp. 1034–1089. Matteucci, Nicola. 1984. Alla ricerca dell’ordine politico. Bologna: Il Mulino. Petrina, Alessandra. 2009. Machiavelli in the British Isles. Farnham: Ashgate. Pocock, John G. A. 1975. The Machiavellian Moment. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press. Procacci, Giuliano. 1965. Studi sulla fortuna del Machiavelli. Rome: Istituto Storico Italiano per l’Età Moderna e Contemporanea. ———. 1995. Machiavelli nella cultura europea dell’età moderna. Rome: Laterza. Raab, Felix. 1964. The English Face of Machiavelli. London: Routledge & Kegan Paul. Rahe, Paul A. 1995. “Thomas Jefferson’s Machiavellian Political Science”. The Review of Politics 57, pp. 449–481. Rahe, Paul A. (ed.). 2006. Machiavelli’s Liberal Republican Legacy. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Richardson, Brian. 1985. “The Prince and Its Early Italian Readers”. In Niccolò Machiavelli’s “The Prince”: New Interdisciplinary Essays, ed. M. Coyle. Manchester: Manchester University Press, 18–39. Sasso, Gennaro. 1993. Niccolò Machiavelli Niccolò. Bologna: Il Mulino. Schmitt, Carl. 1927. “Der Begriff des Politischen”. Archiv fuer Sozialwissenschaften und Sozialpolitik 58, pp. 1–33.

86  Giovanni Giorgini Shapiro, Lisa. 2007. The Correspondence between Princess Elisabeth of Bohemia and Rene Descartes. Chicago, IL: The University of Chicago Press. Skinner, Quentin. 1997. Liberty before Liberalism. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Soll, Jacob. 2005. Publishing the Prince. Ann Arbor: The University of Michigan Press. Strauss, Leo. 1958. Thoughts on Machiavelli. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press. Walling, Karl. 1995. “Was Alexander Hamilton a Machiavellian Statesman?”. The Review of Politics 57, pp. 419–447.

6 The Introduction of Machiavelli’s Works and Thoughts into China Liu Xunlian, Liu Xuehao, and Cao Qin

Introduction When China was forced to start the process of modernization, both the legitimacy and the effectiveness of the old monarchial, despotic regime became problematic. It was neither able to resist the external invasion of the Western powers, nor able to respond to the new requirements brought by the transformation in the social and economic spheres. Apparently, the traditional political system and political thought of China could not fulfill the task of state-building. Therefore, under the influence of foreign ideas, some people tried to borrow from the theory and experiences of Western countries. However, Western political culture, which is very different from its Chinese counterpart, is pluralistic rather than homogenous. It contains many themes and approaches. This paper attempts to use the example of Machiavelli to investigate how modern Chinese chose among Western ideas and transformed them, and how and to what extent they influenced China’s modernization. We know that the earlier phase of China’s state-building project ended with the victory of the Communist Party. Nevertheless, during the process of that project, a variety of Western theorists and doctrines were introduced. The aim of this essay is to examine the introduction of Machiavelli’s works and thoughts into China (before 1949). The patriotic sentiment and insight of modern politics displayed by Machiavelli were both something modern Chinese people were concerned with, and this fact made him a potential theoretical resource for China.

An Outline of the Introduction of Machiavelli into China The defeat of China in the Sino-Japanese War (1894–1895) marked a transition in the trend of introducing Western ideas. Before 1895, most of the effort was spent on introducing the achievements of the natural sciences. After the war, the introduction of the social sciences (primarily political and legal theories) became more and more popular. Apparently, the national crisis forced the Chinese people to pay more attention to Western political ideas. It was against this background that Machiavelli was introduced. DOI: 10.4324/9781003284598-9

88  Liu Xunlian et al. The Introduction in the Late Qing Dynasty and Early Republican China As far as we know, Machiavelli’s name was probably first mentioned in Yen Fuh’s (严复) translation of Montesquieu’s The Spirit of Laws. Yen wrote a biography of Montesquieu and put it at the beginning of this translation. In the biography, he wrote: “Among the writers on political theory, there were Hobbes and Locke in Britain, Machiavelli in Italy, and Montesquieu in France, who did the path-breaking work before Voltaire and Rousseau” (Yen 1905, 1). In Book 6 Chapter 5, where Montesquieu gives a comment on Machiavelli’s opinion, Yen introduced the latter in a footnote as “an important political thinker from Florence, who wrote on the politics of his state. The author of the book The Prince, he was indeed a great figure in this discipline” (Yen 1905, 150). In other writings, Yen compared Machiavelli’s ideas with some ideas in ancient Chinese political thought in two instances (Yen Fuh 1916a, 20; Yen 1986a, 1195–1196) and mentioned Machiavelli’s name in a letter to his student Xiong Chunru (熊纯如). Later, in January 1906, Liang Qichao (梁启超) also mentioned Machiavelli in his famous essay “On Enlightened Despotism” (开明专制论) and saw him as a defender of such despotism. Liang briefly talked about Machiavelli’s historical background, methodology, and theory of human nature, and even quoted from the latter’s writings.1 In this essay, Liang introduced a long-lasting theme in the study of Machiavelli by Chinese scholars: the comparison between him and the Legalist School (法家) in ancient Chinese political thought.2 According to Liang, there were three similarities between Machiavelli and the theorists of the Legalist School. First, they were both arguing against aristocratic polities. Second, both endorsed the priority of the interests of the state, and supported the concentration of power in the hands of a central government. Third, their writing styles were both direct, sharp, and radical (Liang 1906, 18–19). Liang’s opponent Zhu Zhixin (朱执 信), a revolutionary staying in Japan at that time, also mentioned Machiavelli in one of his writings, and saw him as a typical theorist of the doctrine that “there shall be no limit on the Monarch’s power.” However, in that article, Zhu made an anachronistic mistake by saying that the doctrine was defended by “people like Hobbes and Machiavelli in the 17th and 18th centuries.”3 In 1908, the journal Henan (河南, which circulated in Japan) published two articles mentioning Machiavelli. In one of them, Lu Xun (鲁迅) wrote about a poem by Polish poet and patriot Adam Mickiewicz, which was based on an ancient story. There was a hero who attempted revenge for his fallen country. He pretended to surrender and then seized the opportunity to revive the country. This was in accordance with the spirit of the Italian writer Machiavelli.4 (Ling 1908, 63) In the other article written by Lu Xun’s friend Xu Shoushang (许寿裳), the author mentioned that “with the coming of the 19th century, the Italian

The Introduction of Machiavelli’s Works and Thoughts into China  89 people desired the unification of their country […] It was the dream of Petrarch, Dante, and Machiavelli” (Liu 1908, 36–37). Liang, Lu, and Xu were all in Japan when they wrote the works quoted above so they probably gained their knowledge of Machiavelli through Japanese secondary literature. In 1910, Gu Hongming (辜鸿铭) published his book, entitled The Story of a Chinese Oxford Movement. In this study, he praised people like Zhang Zhidong (张之洞), but also criticized the latter’s effort to combine Chinese morality with modern Western ideas: Facing these two contradictory ideals – the ideal of Confucianism and the ideal of modern West, Zhang Zhidong tried to combine both in a naïve way. He drew the conclusion that everyone should hold a double moral standard – one in personal life, the other in the national life. As individuals, the Chinese must be bound by the Confucian principles, while as a nation, they must abandon Confucianism and embrace the modern Western principles. (Gu 1996, 321) He argued that this kind of mixture “leads to […] what has been called Machiavellianism in politics”5 (Gu 1996, 322). Gu Hongming was probably the first Chinese to use the term “Machiavellianism.” However, since his book was written in English, its Chinese audience must have been very limited. Since the establishment of the Republic of China (1912), there had been more literature about Machiavelli and three further Chinese versions of The Prince. After the Japanese invasion in 1931, the national crisis drove more and more Chinese to pay attention to Machiavelli. Therefore, we can distinguish two time periods in Republican China. The first translation of The Prince appeared in 1925 with the title Ba Shu (霸术, The Skills of the Hegemonic Power). It was translated by Wu Guangjian (伍光建), a renowned translator and a student of Yen Fuh. The book was only 64 pages long, and we have no idea of which original version it was based on. The translator deliberately refrained from translating Chapters 1 and 10, because the former was “unclear in categorisation,” and the latter was “irrelevant to the current situation” (Machiavelli 1925, 1, 24). Among the Chinese scholars who mentioned Machiavelli, Wu was especially sensitive in his patriotism. In his introduction to the Ba Shu, Wu pointed out that: In Italy, the cities were ruined and the people were suffering. The foreign powers did whatever they want, and the Italian people could do nothing about it. Italy could not be saved and unified unless some fundamental changes were initiated. When we look at the book, we can see that sad and patriotic emotions are apparent in the lines, and every word is accompanied by a tear drop. (Machiavelli 1925, preface, 3)

90  Liu Xunlian et al. From Chapter 18 onward, the translator introduced some footnotes of his own. Some of those footnotes were a defense of Machiavelli’s argument for the art of manipulation, some were a comparison of Machiavelli’s ideas with the Chinese political tradition. The contents of these footnotes may not be plausible or reasonable, but they do give us some clues about how Chinese scholars saw Machiavelli. In the same period, Machiavelli’s name was mentioned in all of the writings on the general history of political thought. Yen Heling’s (严鹤龄) “The Changes in Eastern and Western Political Thought” (东西政治思想之变迁) was probably the first essay on the general history of political thought written in Chinese. The author compared Machiavelli with Aristotle. He said: In the 14th century, people got tired of discussing hollow theories, and they wanted to return to concrete practical affairs. Therefore, the ancient Greek and Roman classics became popular, and the discipline of politics was revived. There was a great political thinker called Machiavelli, who followed Aristotle in basing his arguments on empirical studies. However, there was a difference. Aristotle started with a comprehensive survey of the polities of all countries, and then tried to figure out the similarities and differences between them by categorizing them. In contrast, Machiavelli had no ambition to do such comprehensive work. He just wanted to concentrate on each single event, and to find some solutions for it […] Therefore, Aristotle was a political theorist, while Machiavelli (who was born in Florence, Italy) was an expert in political skills […] Machiavelli’s theory was a reflection of the politics of his era – the European Renaissance period. (Yen Heling 1916b, 167) Yen received a PhD from Columbia University in 1911, so his ideas about Machiavelli were probably derived from English secondary literature. His analysis was repeated in most subsequent reviews of Machiavelli. On the one hand, the reviewers associated Machiavelli’s method with that of Aristotle. On the other hand, when they talked about his ideas (such as the exclusion of morality, the primacy of the state, the praise of the manipulative arts, etc.), they usually emphasized the historical background.6 Translations and Studies since the 1930s Before the war between China and Japan broke out in 1937, a relatively peaceful and prosperous period lasted for about a decade. During this period, more Chinese were attracted by Machiavelli, mainly due to their academic interests and their concern for the political situation. Two complete translated versions of The Prince were published. The first was translated by Zeng Jiwei (曾纪蔚) in 1930 (Machiavelli, 1930), and it was titled Hengba Zhengzhi Lun (横霸政治论, On the Politics of the Arbitrary Hegemonic Power). Based on the evidence of one of Zeng’s writings, we may assume that his version of

The Introduction of Machiavelli’s Works and Thoughts into China  91 The Prince was translated from a 1913 English version (Machiavelli 1913). The second complete version was translated by Zhang Zuoqi (张左企) and Chen Ruheng (陈汝衡), and published by the Association of Chinese Culture (中国文化学会). It is not clear which original version of The Prince this translation was based on. The title of the book was a single Chinese character: Jun (君, the “Prince” or “Monarch”). Apart from these versions, there were also two versions of a translation of excerpts from The Prince. In 1933, Wang Mingfu (王明甫) published “Machiavelli and the Way of Hegemony” (马基维尼与制霸论) in the second issue of Political Quarterly (政治季刊). The article consisted of two parts. While the first part was devoted to Machiavelli’s life and his theories, the second part contains a translation of excerpts from Chapters 15, 16–19, and 21 of The Prince. From the references listed at the end, this version looks like being a translation from a selection of readings in political philosophy published in 1914 (Coker 1914).7 The other translation was the one edited into the Chinese version of Sir J.A. Hamilton’s Outline of Great Books (Hamilton, 1936). Chapter 7 of it selected four excerpts from The Prince: (1) On those who gain the state by his capability; (2) On those who gain the state not by his capability; (3) How to keep the state; and (4) The arts of fraud. As we saw above, there had already been three translations of The Prince. Yet, the translator claimed that “as far as I know, there have been no translations yet.”8 In the 1930s, the Commercial Press published a selection from The Prince in English (trans. by Luigi Ricci, 1903). The book was edited and introduced by Qian Duansheng (钱端升). The title of the book was translated as Ba Shu, the same as Wu Guangjian’s translation. In the introduction, Qian reviewed Machiavelli’s life and works, the methodology he used, and his reputation in history. He also pointed out that though Machiavelli was often associated with the historical method, he actually lacked “the historical spirit”: though he referred to historical facts frequently, “he already had his own ideas, which were not constrained by historical materials” (Qian 1931, 8). There were also many commentaries on Machiavelli during this period. In 1937, Chen Duxiu (陈独秀), an influential founder of the Chinese Communist Party, published an essay called “Confucius and China” (孔子与中国), in which he argued that “Confucius was the Machiavelli of China.” Like Liang Qichao, Chen compared Confucius’s time with the Medieval era of Europe and found that the problems in both periods were similar. According to him, Confucius foresaw the collapse of the feudal system, but the society he lived in had no chance to evolve into a democratic one, so he had to design a system of hierarchical powers – one which prioritized the oppressive powers of “the monarchs, the fathers, and the husbands.” He inherited the idea of the hierarchy of seniority and nobility from traditional feudalism, and found a theory to justify the monarchical and patriarchal powers. In that sense, Confucianism was a new political science for a new society. The same thing happened after the collapse of the European feudal system. Before the rise of democracy, there was a period in which despotism prevailed, “and Machiavelli’s doctrine of monarchical sovereignty was just the product of

92  Liu Xunlian et al. that era” (Chen 1937, 10–11). Both Confucius and Machiavelli intended to reshuffle the society and rebuild a viable social order. In this sense, even the Legalist School was the direct heir of Confucius: Therefore, Confucius was the Machiavelli of China and the forerunner of Han Fei (韩非) and Li Si (李斯). In the last 2,000 years, people used to admire Confucius and condemn Han and Li. What a great mistake! (Chen 1937, 10–11) Hsiao Kungchuan (萧公权) also compared Machiavelli with Han Fei, but his conclusion was different. He believed that Han Fei separated the monarchical status from the personal merit of the monarch himself: The monarch gives orders, and the people obey those orders, not because they are from a saint or sage, but because they are from the monarch. (Hsiao 1947, 174–175) That is, when the people obey the monarch, they do not obey the natural person who happens to be the sovereign. Instead, they obey the abstract status that the monarch possesses. Therefore, the monarch himself became the ultimate end and sole standard of politics […] The Confucian theory was ancient, for it mixed politics with ethics. In contrast, Han Fei cut ethics off from the political arena, and therefore established a political philosophy which had implications of the modern pure politics. (Hsiao 1947, 176) Hsiao then added a footnote here, saying that: Those who study the history of European political thought often referred to Machiavelli as a pioneer of modern thought. One of the reasons is that his Prince…distinguished ethics from politics. (Hsiao 1947, 191) For him, it was Han Fei, not Confucius, who developed the new political science, and it seemed that Han was already aware of the idea of the state. In another footnote, he also noticed the similarity between Han Fei’s and Machiavelli’s methodologies: The theorists of the Legalist School, such as Han Fei, placed much importance on historical facts. When they wanted to make an argument, they usually referred to some ancient and contemporary examples as proof. This is close to the way of Machiavelli.9 (Hsiao 1947, 193)

The Introduction of Machiavelli’s Works and Thoughts into China  93 However, he didn’t elaborate on this point. In the 1930s, the most comprehensive study of Machiavelli was made by Pu Xuefeng (浦薛凤). In his serial essays “From Plato to Montesquieu: The Origins of Modern Western Political Thought” (自柏拉图至孟德斯鸠 – 西洋 近代政治思潮之渊源, published in The National Magazine [民族杂志] in 1933), he referred to The Prince, the Discourses, and the History of Florence. He also mentioned Machiavelli’s ideas about human nature, the arts of the struggle for power, factional conflict, military affairs, and religion. However, Pu’s work was only an introduction to Machiavelli’s thoughts, not a research article. After World War II, the most important student of Machiavelli was Wu Enyu (吴恩裕), who received a Ph.D. from the LSE under the supervision of Harold Laski. The theme of his doctoral dissertation was the political thought of Karl Marx. After he returned to China in 1939, he began to teach and write about the history of Western political thought. Between 1944 and 1948, he wrote four essays on Machiavelli (Wu 1944, 1946a, 1946b, 1948a). In his The Essence of Historical Materialism (唯物史观精义, Observation Press [观察社], 1948a), he also compared Marx and Machiavelli’s theories about morality. Apparently, he was very interested in Machiavelli and considered him valuable. There are two notable points in Wu’s writings. The first is his opinion of morality. While some others claimed that Machiavelli “separated politics from morality,” Wu argued that Machiavelli saw morality as a tool or “social force,” and “moral means often harm those who are moral, while immoral means often benefit those who are not moral.” Therefore, the real question is not the abstract one of “Shall we be moral?” but “Under specific circumstances, at a specific time, in a specific place, shall we be moral or not?” (Wu 1948a, 27).10 The second noteworthy point of Wu’s study is his historical materialist methodology. He emphasized Machiavelli’s theory of “selfish” human nature, and its importance in clarifying the relationship between the state and private property. Wu believed that “with the institution of private property, human nature can only be selfish,” (Wu 1946b, 19) and such a selfish nature in turn urges people to accumulate more wealth and to demand that the state protects their property. According to him, this was precisely the reason why Machiavelli tried to persuade the princes not to rob the people of their property. Thus “Machiavelli indeed founded the main theme of modern political theory” (Wu 1948b, 14). However, Machiavelli was not able to “recognize the features of the social classes behind the economic significance,” and this task was not accomplished until Marx (Wu 1948b, 3). Generally speaking, since the 1930s, much more attention had been paid to Machiavelli, and the quality of relevant studies became significantly higher. Nevertheless, it seemed that people still concentrated on The Prince. Only a few noticed the Discourses and History of Florence, and nobody mentioned the Art of War. However, the novel Belfagor was referred to in an interesting instance. Hu Shih (胡适) started collecting stories, jokes, and comics from 1942 about intimidating wives and believed that he had discovered a pattern. According to him:

94  Liu Xunlian et al. […] there are only three countries in the world which have not produced any stories about how husbands are intimidated by their wives: Germany, Japan, and Russia. So we can draw the conclusion that such stories can only be found in liberal democratic countries. When we fail to find them in a country, we can be sure that it is a despotic or totalitarian one […] There are a lot of such stories in Italy. When I read a story about an intimidating wife by Machiavelli in 1943, I knew that Italy was going to quit the Axis Power, and it did so four months later. (Hu 1984, 1783)

Machiavelli as a Statist Facing the national crisis in the 1930s, the Chinese people had a particular affinity with statism. At that time, statism was not just one current among many, but the common basis of every current. With this background, it was very natural for Chinese scholars to focus on the statist aspect of Machiavelli’s theory. On the one hand, Machiavelli was seen by some as the teacher of the Western powers. On the other hand, some saw him as a possible teacher of China’s revival. Machiavelli as the Teacher of the Western Powers In the European context, Machiavelli gained the image of a “teacher of evil” because he attacked traditional and Christian ethics. However, in the context of modern China, Machiavelli’s bad reputation mainly arose from the assumption that his doctrine was the “handbook” of the Western powers’ foreign policies. In 1927, an unknown writer published an article called “The 400th anniversary of Machiavelli and the European Political Reality Today” (马吉亚佛利四百年纪念与今日欧洲的政治实际), which was probably the first essay on Machiavelli in Chinese. The author believed that all Western countries embraced Machiavelli’s doctrine: “Machiavelli’s politics is indeed realised by the political practice of today’s imperialist powers” (Wen 1927, 78). He further argued that The Prince was fundamentally consistent with the Discourses, and claimed that Machiavelli’s intention was to “solidify the monarchical or the concentrated democratic power on the one hand, and achieve diplomatic success by fraud on the other” (Wen 1927, 77). According to the author, Machiavelli thought that “there are virtues and vices of politics in the world, and their amount remains the same” (Wen 1927, 78–79); when the virtues gathered in Italy, republican politics (what the author called democracy) was born, and when those virtues disappeared, despotism became the only appropriate way of ruling Italy (Wen 1927, 78–79). Therefore, when we try to choose between different political systems, there should be no a priori standard. It all depends on the concrete situation faced by the nation. At the end of the essay, the author claimed that Machiavelli’s theory had lost its relevance because scientific progress and economic interdependence had already overwhelmed political factors and constituted the basis for peace.

The Introduction of Machiavelli’s Works and Thoughts into China  95 Apparently, neither his understanding of Machiavelli nor his prediction of world politics was wholly accurate. Nevertheless, this article was an accurate reflection of Chinese intellectuals’ attitude toward the Western Powers at that time. As we mentioned above, there were three translated versions of The Prince in the 1920s and 1930s. Among the translators, while Wu Guangjian held some positive opinions about Machiavelli, the other two were harsher. In the “Preface by the translator” of Hengba Zhengzhi Lun, Zeng Jiwei claimed that in the history of political thought, among those who have described human nature with the utmost frankness, the most prominent was Machiavelli the utilitarian…By the method of fact-observing, he drew many conclusions which became the basic principles of imperialism today and the blueprints for the invasion of weaker nations. (Machiavelli 1930, 1) Zeng’s belief was that as a “weaker nation” bullied by others, we the Chinese should study Machiavelli’s thoughts carefully. This was the motivation for his translation, and also the reason that the translation was called “On the Politics of the Arbitrary Hegemonic Power.” He even argued that Machiavelli’s thought “has influenced the imperialist expansion today, just as in the 18th century, Rousseau’s social contract theory influenced the French Revolution, and Montesquieu’s theory of the separation of powers influenced the American Constitution” (Zeng 1930, 2). However, he did not elaborate on this argument. Perhaps, in his opinion, since Machiavelli had certain ideas, he must be responsible for all future bad things remotely related to those ideas. Jun – the third Chinese version of The Prince – was published by the “Chinese Culture Society,” which was an affiliation of the quasi-Fascist organization the Lixing Society (力行社, aka “Blue Clothes Society [蓝衣 社]”).11 The preface to Jun was written by Deng Wenyi (邓文仪), who was at that time a secretary to Chiang Kai-Shek (蒋介石). Deng believed that Machiavelli “endorsed the arts which can help the hegemonic powers to triumph. This is something praised by Western people but despised by the Chinese people” (Machiavelli 1934, 1). Though he thought that Machiavelli’s theory was helpful for the understanding of Western politics, he denied that it was worth learning, and claimed that China should return to Confucianism. His ambiguous attitude was determined by his political background. Though the Lixing Society’s appreciation of fascism was supported by Chiang KaiShek, it remained a secret organization, because Chiang never endorsed fascism publicly. He did want to use fascist ideas to reform his party but still insisted that Confucianism must be the basis of China. Deng Wenyi’s preface was just a reflection of this complex mentality. Actually, for those who read The Prince carefully and understand its historical background, it is clear that the book was the reaction of someone from a weak country to the pressure of powerful foreign nations. In fact, it

96  Liu Xunlian et al. was in the republican text, the Discourses, that Machiavelli talked about expansion (Hulliung 1983; Hornqvist 2004). However, the perception of Chinese intellectuals (who were very sensitive to oppressions from outside) was that Machiavelli was arguing for imperialist expansion. This became evident in the prefaces of the three Chinese versions of The Prince. All the translators acknowledged that the book was extremely important in the history of political thought. However, they also felt that it praised naked power and fraud, and therefore saw it as the guidebook for imperialism and power politics (which were hated by the Chinese people). Though Machiavelli’s patriotic sentiment was occasionally noticed, they usually understood The Prince in the light of world politics. In the earlier stage of Chinese statism, Hegel and Fichte were, for instance, more popular than Machiavelli. Zhu Zhixin was the only one who referred to Machiavelli. He wrote that, according to Machiavelli, when the state was in crisis, we have to do whatever is necessary to preserve its life and independence…The survival of the state is of the utmost importance, and morality and religion are nothing more than the means used by the state. However, Zhu thought that Machiavelli’s claim was just the reflection of the political circumstance of his age. With his experience as a civil servant for 20 years, he expected to see irreligious and immoral politicians. When it came to history, he saw Rome as his ideal. Thus he went beyond mere statism and embraced imperialism. (Zhu 1919, 22–23) He also dismissed Machiavelli’s statism as ineffective, for it failed to mobilize the Italian people (Zhu 1919, 22–23). Therefore, before the 1930s, Machiavelli was hardly a theoretical resource for statists. Machiavelli as the Teacher of China’s Revival With the emergence of the national crisis, some intellectuals inclined to give Machiavelli’s doctrine a more positive evaluation, and began to compare his era with Chinese history in new ways. In his “Machiavelli and the Revival of China” (马克维尼与中国复兴), Chen Qigang (陈其刚) wrote: Let’s have a look at today’s China. To be honest, what is the difference between the current dangerous situation and medieval Rome? …The people are exploited by the rulers on the one hand, and oppressed by foreign invaders on the other…Isn’t this just the same as the Medieval dark ages? (Chen 1933, 3–4)

The Introduction of Machiavelli’s Works and Thoughts into China  97 Therefore, “the revival of China requires us to follow in the steps of Machiavelli” (Chen 1933, 4). In “Machiavelli and the Revolution in China” (马凯维尼与中国革命), “Yi Min” (翼民, probably a pen name) also argued that: The current state of our country is just like that of Medieval Italy. China has been torn apart by the warlords for decades, and the central government is too weak to unify it…At the same time, the invasion by imperialists has been more and more serious […] In this age of crisis, 15th century Italy is just the model for us, and Machiavelli is just the mentor of our revolution. (Yi 1935, 41) Given this kind of judgment, the best prospect for China was, of course, fascist Italy ruled by Mussolini – the “best inheritor” (Chen 1933, 3) of Machiavelli. For the Chinese statists, there were three things they could learn from Machiavelli. The first is the latter’s idea of raison d’etat – the reason of the State. Yen Fuh was the first to recognize this. In a letter to his student Xiong Chunru (1916, Sep. 10), he told Xiong that the problems of China were not the immoral politicians in power, but the absence of an effective social order. According to Yen, if Xiong had read Machiavelli and Treitschke, he would understand that “the only goals of today’s politics are to defend against external enemies and to keep internal order. The way to reach these goals is but a secondary issue” (Yen 1986b, 645–646). In his eyes, Yuan Shih-Kai (袁 世凯), the leader of the nation, “shows all the despicable features of Machiavellian rule, yet has no capacity to achieve Machiavellian goals” (Schwartz 2010, 151). Here Yen touched on the essence of raison d’etat, and it seems to us that Machiavelli served as an important inspiration for him. The philosopher Zhang Shenfu (张申府) also expressed similar ideas. As he said, I used to say that ‘to do whatever is necessary to achieve the ends’. This is, of course, the same as the claim ‘the ends justify the means’ made by Machiavelli, who was an Italian political philosopher in the Renaissance and the mentor of Mussolini. (Zhang 1986, 148) He did admit that it is very difficult to exercise the belief mentioned above. Nonetheless, this is the great statesman’s ideal way to do things, and China needed just such great politicians. “A great statesman must know both the ends and the possible means to achieve such ends, and to choose the less evil one between the means” (Zhang 1986, 149). Apparently, Zhang’s expectation was just the same as Yen Fuh’s: a statesman who can establish order and defend against foreign invasions.

98  Liu Xunlian et al. Zhang wrote those words in the 1930s, a time in which many Chinese already knew the idea of raison d’etat. Both “Yi Min” and Chen Qigang praised Machiavelli’s thought, and both were eager to apply it. “Yi Min” claimed that from Machiavelli’s point of view, there was no absolute standard for the measurement of the merit of an institution. It all depended on circumstances. Dictatorship and democracy were both acceptable as long as they could save and unify the country. Similarly, since the sole obligation of a prince was to save his country, it did not matter whether he was merciful or honest. So we can understand why some people call Machiavelli an extreme patriot. (Yi 1935, 44) Chen Qigang also agreed with Machiavelli that “We should not be bothered by morality and religion. For the sake of the state, we can do whatever is necessary. Only the ultimate ends count” (Chen 1933, 9). The essential law of nature is survival of the fittest, so it is impossible to stop the natural development by the illusory ideas of ethics…Unless we give up the wish to survive, we should be prepared for competition. We should struggle and sacrifice for the country, for the welfare of the whole. (Chen 1933, 15) They clearly adopted the idea of raison d’etat, even though that concept was not explicitly mentioned. In 1935, the term “raison d’etat” appeared in an essay by Wang Ganyu (王 赣愚), who received a PhD from Harvard University. He wrote that the theory of raison d’etat was used as a basis for political actions, and that: The relationship between politics and morality is just like the one between morality and the natural sciences: they are separate and different. Morality is the guide of personal behaviour, while public actions should be guided by the purpose of politics. Machiavelli did not resist morality and religion directly – he deliberately chose to ignore them. His point was that there was nothing moral or immoral in politics. What people called ‘political morality’ is a self-contradictory term. (Wang 1935, 698) Nonetheless, Wang did not embrace this idea wholeheartedly, for he also said that Machiavelli deserved the name ‘pioneer of modern nationalism’. We can certainly call him a patriot of Italy. I believe that his theory is indeed an inspiration for our country at this moment, but definitely not a medicine to cure all diseases in the future. (Wang 1937, 488)

The Introduction of Machiavelli’s Works and Thoughts into China  99 The second point the Chinese nationalists learned from Machiavelli was his pragmatic attitude concerning the choice of political institutions. Fu Suizhi (傅遂之) wrote that although Machiavelli preferred republics, he was also a pragmatist who based his decision on utilitarian considerations. A despicable institution should nevertheless be endorsed if it can make Italy stronger, while an admirable institution should nevertheless be abandoned if it cannot make Italy stronger.12 (Fu 1937, 60) In the 1930s, many people were convinced that the Italian and Soviet Russian modes of dictatorship were superior to democracy, and there were debates about whether China should adopt a dictatorial regime or not. Some had already noticed Machiavelli’s discussion on this point.13 In Chen Qigang’s opinion, dictatorship is not only compatible with the Republic, but also necessary for it: According to Machiavelli, in order to save a republic in danger, dictatorship was the most powerful and effective policy…He repeatedly claimed that the institution of dictatorship was the most important reason for Rome’s great achievement. In the republic, the daily administration had to balance different opinions. Therefore, its actions and decisions were inevitably slow and hesitant. Machiavelli argued that there should be a special clause in the constitution, so that in cases of emergency, things could be done efficiently. For that purpose, the best device is dictatorship. (Chen Qigang 1933, 12) The aim of this discussion was to go beyond an “either/or” choice between democracy and dictatorship. Now, a dictatorship was treated as a necessary mechanism within a democratic institution, so when a country (like China) implemented a dictatorship, it could still remain a Republic. The third point taught by Machiavelli was the admiration for violent force. As Chen Qigang wrote in his article on Machiavelli: If a country wants to survive, it has to expand, otherwise it will not be able to consolidate the status it already has, and it will not be able to prosper. In other words, if it does not develop, it will be eliminated; if it does not expand, it will be invaded. (Chen Qigang 1933, 11) “Yi Min” also pointed out that He (Machiavelli) believed that sufficient armed power was necessary for the abolition of old social institutions and the preservation of new ones. A country must possess a militia of high quality, so that it can expand its power or preserve itself. (Yi 1935, 43)

100  Liu Xunlian et al. He then made some even more aggressive remarks, as the following quote demonstrates: Our aim is to unify and save the country and the nation. This requires dictatorship. In order to accomplish the revolution, we must cultivate our military capability and the arts to use power. Meanwhile, we must arrest and kill those counter-revolutionaries without mercy […] We need to separate political morality from private morality, and must not sacrifice the country’s interest for our reputation. (Yi 1935, 44) This is pretty much the Fascist Manifesto of China. After the war with Japan broke out (1937), an academic community called the Zhanguoce School (战国策派) emerged. Its members were statists, and they emphasized the importance of war and force. They took their theoretical resources mainly from Germany, but some of them were also familiar with Machiavelli. He Yongji (何永佶), a prominent figure of this school, proposed a new pattern to explain the difference between the West and China. He argued that in contrast to Western countries, the Chinese people did not see “force” as a valuable thing. Unlike China (which had a long history as a united country), the Western world had witnessed long-lasting splits and confrontation, the essence of which was the conflict between forces. As a result, the Western tradition, according to He, regarded “force” itself as an end rather than the means to an end. Thus, people in the West praised force and developed a philosophy of force. Machiavelli’s thoughts were formed in just such a context. He Yongji claimed that Machiavelli did teach rulers to act with force (which was usually considered evil) to achieve the unity of a country. Morality is nothing, while force – and only force – matters. He then argued that the force mentioned above should be used only between states, not between persons. In He’s opinion, Machiavelli’s theory of power concerned the relationship between states, not the relationship between persons. “Machiavellianism should be outward, not inward…If it is applied inside a group, that group will become weaker and less capable of defending against external invasions” (He 1940, 7–8). Wang Ganyu pointed out the value of war by referring to Machiavelli. He claimed that people often […] ignore war’s effect of stimulating national consciousness…The 16th century Italian politician Machiavelli knew that war was a good medicine for weak countries. He praised the princes who obtained great military achievements, because he wanted them to do the job of unification […] According to Machiavelli, war was the sign of a country’s liveliness, and also the way to make it powerful. (Wang 1938, 19–20) When He and Wang interpreted Machiavelli in those ways, they clearly had the war with Japan in mind.

The Introduction of Machiavelli’s Works and Thoughts into China  101

Conclusion: Machiavelli in the Political Discourses of Modern China From 1905 to 1949, the name, works, and thoughts of Machiavelli were mentioned by many Chinese writers, and there were various translated versions of The Prince. However, such introductions were very superficial. Except for Wu Enyu, nobody made any detailed academic study of Machiavelli. In public discourses, he was also a minor figure. Besides, most of the people who talked about him did not agree with him entirely. Therefore, Machiavelli’s influence in modern China was rather limited. It was true that there were some ideas in Machiavelli which might seem attractive to the Chinese, such as his rejection of traditional ideas and his statism/patriotism. However, the impact these characteristics made was probably not as huge as we may imagine. On the one hand, whether – or to what extent – Machiavelli broke with the classical tradition is still controversial, and his betrayal of Christianity could hardly shock someone educated in the Confucian tradition. On the other hand, though the Chinese people may endorse Machiavelli’s patriotic sentiment, they were probably less impressed by his theory of power in The Prince and republicanism in the Discourses. His immoral theory of political power was unable to surprise those who knew the theory of the Legalist School, and his republicanism was far too complicated for those who did not know the western classical tradition. Among all the important political currents in modern China, only statism and Fascism can be associated with Machiavelli. However, he was only seen as a pioneer of the “Founding Three” of Italy (Mazzini, Garibaldi, and Cavour) and Mussolini. Moreover, his bad reputation and the alleged “imperialistic” elements in his thoughts made him unavailable to Chinese statists. For them, it was crucial to distinguish between statism and imperialism, and quoting too much from the “teacher of the evil” was surely not helpful. Later, when statism and fascism came to be viewed as “reactionary,” Machiavelli also disappeared from public discourses. Wu Enyu did pay attention to Machiavelli, but the complexity of the latter’s thought could not be integrated with his historical materialist approach. In such a Marxist paradigm, Machiavelli was merely a step in the whole process of reaching the ultimate truth and the perfect society. In the process of introducing Western political ideas to China, the most popular and influential ones were usually also the first ones to be imported. Though Machiavelli is often praised as the founder of modern politics, for those Chinese intellectuals who were eager to learn from the West, he seemed to be too conservative and old-fashioned. In the late Qing dynasty, when the most urgent task was fighting against despotism, his theory was not as exciting as those of Montesquieu, Rousseau, and J.S. Mill. In republican China, when national independence was at stake, his theory was also not as promising as those of Marx(-ists), Laski, or even Mussolini. Therefore, it is understandable that people knew his name better than the essence of his political thought.

102  Liu Xunlian et al.

Notes 1 However, it is doubtful whether Liang himself had ever read Machiavelli’s works. 2 Later in another book, Liang also said that Shen Buhai (申不害, a member of the Legalist School) “was just like Machiavelli in Medieval Europe, who argued for manipulating people by conspiracies.” See Liang (1923): 234. 3 Xian (1906), More than a decade later, Zhu mentioned Machiavelli again in his discussion of statism (see below). 4 In the work quoted by Lu, the Polish poet mentioned that “one must be a lion and fox at the same time,” a reference to Machiavelli. 5 He later used the concept of Machiavellianism again on pages 335, 337, 338, 340, and 341. 6 We can see these features in Chapter 3, Section 3 Farrell (1922), Chapter 2 Pollock (1928), and Book 4, Chapter 3 Gao (1925). Another interesting fact is that by that time, some people had already noticed the History of Florence. For example, Li (1928) quoted from the preface of History of Florence. 7 However, Chapter 15 was not included in this book. 8 Sir J.A. Hamilton, Outline of Great Books, trans. Ke Bonian (柯伯年), Nanqiang Press (南强书局), 1936: 93. 9 Here the Chinese translation of Machiavelli’s name is different from the one on p. 191. 10 However, although he correctly noticed that morality could be a social force in Machiavelli, it seemed that he did not fully understand Machiavelli’s teaching, for his discussion never involved the important concept of virtu. There has been a long and sophisticated tradition of using the idea virtu, and it was not surprising that Wu was not able to catch its meaning. 11 A journal published by another affiliation of Lixing Society had a special issue about Italy in 1934. Many of the articles in this issue involved Italian fascism. Zhang Zuoqi and Chen Ruheng, the translators of Jun, also published essays and translated articles in that journal. Obviously, Lixing Society had a particular interest in Italian fascism – and the relevant elements in Machiavelli. 12 Fu’s writing style was far less radical than “Yi Min’s” and Chen Qigang’s, but the spirit was the same. His discussion was much more comprehensive than the others, and he quoted the Discourses a lot. 13 For example, Zhang (1935): 42.

References Chen Qigang (陈其刚). (1933) ‘Machiavelli and the Revival of China’ (马克维尼与中 国复兴). In Revival Monthly (复兴月刊), Vol. 2, No. 1, pp. 150–165. Chen Duxiu (陈独秀). (1937) ‘Confucius and China’ (孔子与中国). In Dong Fang Za Zhi (东方杂志), Vol. 34, No. 18–19, pp. 9–15. Coker, F. W. (ed.) (1914) Readings in Political Philosophy. Toronto: Macmillan. Farrell, H. P. (1922) An Introduction to Political Philosophy (政治哲学导言), trans. by Fan Yongyu [范用馀]. Beijing: Commercial Press [商务印书馆]. Fu Suizhi (傅遂之). (1937) ‘A Study of Machiavelli’s Political Thought’ (马克维里政 治思想之研究). In National Basis (国本), Vol. 1, No. 10, pp. 55–63. Gao Yihan (高一涵). (1925) History of European Political Thought (欧洲政治思想 史), second volume, first edition. Beijing: Commercial Press. Gu Hongming (辜鸿铭). (1996) [1910] ‘A Story of a Chinese Oxford Movement’ (中 国牛津运动故事), trans. by Huang Xingtao (黄兴涛) et al. In Selected Works of Gu Hongming (辜鸿铭文集), Vol. 1. Haikou: Hainan Press (海南出版社), pp. 273–407.

The Introduction of Machiavelli’s Works and Thoughts into China  103 Hamilton, Sir J. A. (1936) Outline of Great Books, trans. by Ke Bonian (柯伯年). Shanghai: Nanqiang Press (南强书局). He Yongji (何永佶). (1940) ‘On the Politics of State Power’ (论国力政治). In Zhanguoce (战国策), Vol. 1, No. 13, pp. 1–8. Hsiao Kungchuan (萧公权). (1947) History of Chinese Political Thought (中国政治思 想史), Vol. 1. Nanjing: National Institute for Compilation and Translation (国立编 译馆). Hu Songping (胡颂平). (1984) A Chronology of Mr. Hu Shih’s Life (胡适之先生年谱 长编初稿). Taipei: Lianjing Publish Ltd. (联经事业出版公司). Hornqvist, M. (2004) Machiavelli and Empire. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Hulliung, M. (1983) Citizen Machiavelli. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press. Li Jinfa (李金髪). (1928) An Introduction to Italy and Its Art (意大利及其艺术概论). Beijing: Commercial Press. Liang Qichao (梁启超). (1923) Political Thought in Pre-Qin China (先秦政治思想史). Beijing: Commercial Press. Liang Qichao. (1906) ‘On Enlightened Despotism’ (开明专制论). In Xin Min Cong Bao (新民丛报), No. 73, pp. 1–24. Ling Fei. (1908) (令飞, Pen Name of Lu Xun [鲁迅]): ‘Mo Luo Shi Li Shuo’ (摩罗诗 力说). In Henan (河南), No. 3 pp. 45–73. Liu Qi. (1908) (旒其, Pen Name of Xu): ‘The History of the Nation-Reviving Spirit’ (兴国精神之史曜). In Henan, No. 4, pp. 51–64. Machiavelli, N. (1913) The Prince, trans. by N. H. Thomson. Oxford: Clarendon Press. ———. (1925) Ba Shu (霸术), trans. by Wu Guangjian (伍光建). Shanghai: Commercial Press. ———. (1930) Hengba Zhengzhi Lun (横霸政治论), trans. by Zeng Jiwei (曾纪蔚). Shanghai: Society of Politics in Guanghua University [光华大学政治学社]). ———. (1934), Jun (君), trans. by Zhang Zuoqi (张左企) and Chen Ruheng (陈汝衡). Nanjing: Association of Chinese Culture (中国文化学会). Pollock, F. (1928) An Introduction to the History of the Sciences of Politics (政治学史 概论), trans. by Zhang Jingkun [张景琨]. Beijing: Commercial Press. Qian Duansheng(钱端升), “Introduction by the Editor”, Ba Shu(霸术), Commercial Press, 1931. Schwartz, B. (史华慈). (2010) In Search of Wealth and Power (寻求富强), trans. by Ye Fengmei (叶凤美). Nanjing: Jiangsu People’s Press (江苏人民出版社). Wang Ganyu (王赣愚). (1935) ‘Machiavelli and Modern Political Thought’ (马克维尼 与近世政治思想). In National Magazine (民族杂志), Vol. 3, No. 4, pp. 693–705. Wang Ganyu (1937) ‘Politics and Ethics’ (政治与伦理). In Journal of Politics and Economics (政治经济学报), Vol. 5, No. 2, pp. 485–488. ———. (1938) ‘The War and Unification’ (抗战与统一). In Eastern Journal (东方杂 志), Vol. 35, No. 4, pp. 19–26. Wen Zhou (文宙). (1927) ‘The 400th Anniversary of Machiavelli and the European Political Reality Today’ (马吉亚佛利四百年纪念与今日欧洲的政治实际). In Eastern Journal, Vol. 24, No. 13, pp. 77–79. Wu Enyu (吴恩裕). (1944) ‘Machiavelli on Human Nature, Politics, Morality and Law’ (马开维里论人性、政治、道德及法律). In Eastern Journal, Vol. 40, No. 19, pp. 19–24. ———. (1946a) ‘Machiavelli’s Time, Works and Method’ (马开维里的时代著作及其 方法). In Reading Newsletter (读书通讯), Vol. 7, No. 108, pp. 1–3.

104  Liu Xunlian et al. ———. (1946b) ‘A Book Review of The Living Thoughts of Machiavelli’ (‘马开维里代 表思想选集’ 书评). In Observation (观察), Vol. 3, No. 22, p. 19. ———. (1948b) ‘Machiavelli’s Political ‘Theory’ and Its Significance’ (马开维里的政 治 ‘理论’ 及其意义, an Expanded Version of the 1944 Essay). In A Collection of Essays Celebrating the 50th Anniversary of Peking University (国立北京大学五十周 年纪念论文集). Beijing: Peking University Press (北京大学出版社), pp. 1–14. ———. (1948a) The Essence of Historical Materialism (唯物史观精). Shanghai: Observation Press (观察社). Xian Jie. (1906) (县解, Pen Name of Zhu): ‘On that Social Revolution Ought to Be Carried on Together with Political Revolution’ (论社会革命当与政治革命并行). In Min Bao (民报), No. 5, pp. 43–66. Yen Fuh. (1905) ‘The Life of Montesquieu’ (孟德斯鸠列传). In Montesquieu, The Spirit of Law (法意), trans. by Yen Fuh. Beijing: Commercial Press (商务印书馆), pp. 1–4. ———. (1986a) ‘Comment on Li Si’s On Vigilance’ (李斯 ‘督责书’ 批语, Written between 1911-1917). In Wang Shi (王栻) (ed.), Collected Works of Yen Fuh (严复 集), Vol. 4. Beijing: Zhonghua Press (中华书局), pp. 1195–1196. ———. (1986b) ‘Letter to Xiong Chunru’ (与熊纯如书). In Collected Works of Yen Fuh, Vol. 3, pp. 645–647. ———. (1916a) ‘A Historical Account of Ancient Political Societies in China’. In The Chinese Social and Political Review, Vol. 1, No. 4, pp. 19–23 (This was written in English). Yen Heling (严鹤龄). (1916b) ‘The Changes in Eastern and Western Political Thought’ (东西政治思想之变迁). In Yearbook of Political Science (政治学报年刊), No. 1, pp. 163–183. Yi Min (翼民). (1935) ‘Machiavelli and the Revolution in China’ (马凯维尼与中国革 命). In New Culture (新文化), Vol. 2, No. 1, pp. 41–44. Zhang Menghao (张孟浩). (1935) ‘An Examination of the History of Dictatorship’ (独裁政治史的考察). Volition (自觉), No. 32–33, pp. 32–49. Zhang Shenfu (张审府). (1986) Thinking (所思). Beijing: Sanlian Press (三联书店). Zhu Zhixin (朱执信). (1919) ‘The Emergence and Variance of Statism’ (国家主义之 发生及其变态). In Construction (建设), Vol. 1, No. 2, pp. 239–272.

7 Machiavelli and the Intellectuals of Modern Japan Koichiro Matsuda

“Machiavellianism” from Scotland to Japan This chapter will examine how Machiavelli’s philosophy was introduced and interpreted by Japanese intellectuals from the late 19th to mid-20th centuries. During this period, the general understanding of Machiavelli was mainly influenced by what was called “Machiavellianism” and very limited attention was paid to the contents of his own works in detail. Though the first translation of The Prince into Japanese was published in 1887 and several other translations of Machiavelli’s works appeared thereafter, on the whole references to Machiavelli were only sporadic. No scholarly monograph on the political thought of Machiavelli appeared until the 1930s. Japanese intellectuals encountered Machiavelli mostly by way of Western books treating the history of European politics and philosophy. They set the framework for the understanding of Machiavelli. However, if we place those interpretations in the bigger picture of the contest between traditional moral values and the task of building “the modern state” in Japan, we will find an intriguing relevance of Machiavelli’s philosophy to political and intellectual issues in modern Japan. One of the earliest references to Machiavelli in Japan was in an abridged and annotated translation of an essay by Dugald Stewart, originally in the 1815 edition of the Encyclopaedia Britannica. The translation was made by Nakamura Masanao (1832–1891), based on the 1853 edition of the Encyclopaedia Britannica, and it was published in Meiroku zasshi in 1874. Meiroku zasshi was a journal run by an association of intellectuals called Meirokusha, most of the members of which learned Western languages and endeavored to introduce Western knowledge to Japan. The Encyclopaedia Britannica was a valuable source for them to obtain a comprehensive overview of the social, political, and scientific development in Western countries. Dugald Stewart wrote the extensive and insightful introductory essay for the first volume of the Encyclopaedia Britannica, in which he presented a broad picture of “the progress of Metaphysical, Ethical, and Political Philosophy, since the Revival of Letters in Europe” (Stewart 1853). Stewart remarked that the “Machiavellian school” was “a powerful obstacle to the progress of practical morality and of sound policy.” While Stewart DOI: 10.4324/9781003284598-10

106  Koichiro Matsuda admitted that Machiavelli was extremely talented, on the other hand, he rejected counting Machiavelli “among the benefactors of mankind.” According to Stewart, Machiavelli’s defect was his blindness to “the mighty changes in human affairs” and in “retaining mankind in perpetual bondage by the old policy of the double doctrine; or, in other words, by enlightening the few, and hoodwinking the many; a policy less or more practiced by statesmen in all ages and countries”1 (Stewart 1853, 22). Overall in his essay, Stewart upholds the principle that the progress of humankind should be accomplished by the developing process of the diffusion of knowledge, to which, as Stewart judged the matter, Machiavelli did not give even the least concern. Stewart’s judgment obviously contained an anachronism in terms of the historical conditions in which Machiavelli lived. However, Stewart’s characterization of Machiavelli as the enemy of the diffusion of knowledge inspired Nakamura. Nakamura believed that Western civilization was the fruition of the enduring effort in enlightening the multitudes. Nakamura learned how the enemy of civilization was viewed within the West by Stewart’s criticism of Machiavelli. Nakamura inserted his own short commentary in the translation stating that “According to Machiavelli, despots should pursue and favor a population in which the ignorant are numerous and the learned few.” In Nakamura’s translation and commentary, Machiavelli was characterized as the enemy of “the diffusion of knowledge.”2 Nakamura was a professor of Confucian learning at the Tokugawa government’s official school until the downfall of Tokugawa rule. He started to learn English in about 1862 by mostly teaching himself. The Tokugawa government recognized his capacity as an educator and appointed him as supervisor of young samurai students that were dispatched by the Tokugawa government. He spent about a year and a half in England from 1866 to 1868. He never abandoned his belief in Confucian values even after he saw with his eyes the remarkable “progress” of the Western countries (Kinmonth 1980, 543–544). What impressed Nakamura most was the development of education and printing media in England, which he saw represented the achievement of the Enlightenment in Western societies. Enlightening the people to ethical perfection was at the center of the teaching of Zhu Xi, the leading figure of neo-Confucianism in the Song dynasty era. Nakamura discovered the realization of the Confucian ideal in the West. In this sense, Nakamura believed that the idea of the Enlightenment of Western civilization should not necessarily be in conflict with Confucian values. Stewart’s criticism of Machiavelli fitted well with Nakamura’s conviction in the universal path of civilization, underpinned by Zhu Xi’s teaching in his heart.

Machiavelli via Whig Historiography At the early stage of the introduction of Western political philosophy into Japan, not the original works by Machiavelli but secondary sources about Machiavelli had considerable influence in forming the general image of

Machiavelli and the Intellectuals of Modern Japan  107 Machiavelli and Machiavellianism. One of them was Thomas Macaulay’s essay “Machiavelli” (1827). Macaulay attained a high reputation among the young intellectuals who learned English after the Meiji Restoration. Tokutomi Soho (1863–1957) represents a good example of “the new generation” of intellectuals in the early Meiji period. Tokutomi was an aspiring would-be-journalist but spent several years in obscurity teaching English and Western knowledge at the small private school he was running and teaching in the local town of Kumamoto. Tokutomi was an ardent reader of Macaulay and, moreover, he used Macaulay’s essays as the texts for the private school (Pyle 1969, 31–32; Pierson 1980, 142). During his discontented days in Kumamoto, Tokutomi published at his own expense two political treatises in 1884. One of them was titled Discussing the desirable quality of statesmen after 1890 (meaning the year of the launch of the national assembly). Tokutomi quoted a passage from The Prince in the paragraph concerning corruption: A more serious problem which I find in the political world is corruption. The political world of the Orient or specifically Japan, I see on ism. It’s definitely neither liberalism nor despotism. It is an ism that one cannot help but epouse whether he stands as a despot or even as so-called a modern liberalist. It is cunning-ism. According to the words of Machiavelli, “A prince, therefore, being compelled knowingly to adopt a beast, ought to choose the fox and the lion”, and “A wise ruler, therefore, cannot and should not keep his word when such an observance would be to his disadvantage, and when the reasons that caused him to make a promise are removed” [from Il Principe, Chap 18]. These are the words that coincide with the watchwords that have been embraced by oriental politicians. (Tokutomi 1884, 1974, 29) Tokutomi was presumably inspired by Macaulay’s essay on Machiavelli and read an English translation of The Prince himself because there was no quotation of the exact passage in Macaulay’s essay. We have to note that Tokutomi characterized Machiavelli’s The Prince as a book advocating “cunning-ism” which corrupt rulers would find useful. Tokutomi emphasized that “cunning-ism” could spread in the world of politics when the political situation became destabilized. The quotation from The Prince above was followed by the quotation from Macaulay’s History of England from the accession of James II. Beginning with “As Mr. Macaulay remarked about politicians in the times of the Restoration of English monarchy,” he then translated a passage from Macaulay’s History of England. The original was: Fidelity to opinions and to friends seems to him mere dullness and wrong headedness. Politics he [a politician in the Restoration period] regards, not as a science of which the object is the happiness of mankind, but as

108  Koichiro Matsuda an exciting game of mixed chance and skill, at which a dexterous and lucky player may win an estate, a coronet, perhaps a crown, and at which one rash move may lead to the loss of fortune and of life. (Macaulay 1953, 137–138) Tokutomi’s translation was almost precise without contortion or omission. He placed this passage from Macaulay right after the quotation from The Prince because he wanted to discern the “science” (Tokutomi used the term gakujutsu, literally meaning “academic learning and skill”) from the practical shrewdness in the “exciting game” of politics. The emphasis he made particularly was that “oriental” politicians had mastered only “cunning-ism” instead of the proper “science” of politics. The “desirable quality of statesmen after 1890” must abolish this indigenous aptitude for “oriental” vice. The characteristic point in Tokutomi’s argument was that he presented a parallelism between politicians in the Restoration period of England and the “oriental politicians” he was watching in the political situation in the first two decades (the 1870s and 1880s) after the Meiji Restoration in Japan.

The Translation of The Prince: Mirror for the Prince or Warning for the People? Two different Japanese translations of The Prince were published in the same year, 1886. It is not so obvious why Machiavelli came under the spotlight in the late 1880s when the confrontation between the government and the opposition political camp grew intense. One of the translations, Kunron (literally, a treatise on kingship), translated by Nagai Shuhei, was presumably published with the support of the government because the name of Inoue Kowashi, a high official and legal expert of the government who took a leading role in the drafting of the constitution, was written on the front cover as the supervisor of the translation.3 A possible reason why Inoue Kowashi was involved in the translation of The Prince at this time could be that he was grappling with the task of theorizing the legitimacy of the imperial power. The official ideology which justified the authority of the Meiji imperial government so far had been based on the religious or mystical legitimacy of the imperial bloodline. Once the government declared in 1881 that the constitution and the national assembly should be established in 1890, statesmen and officials, including Inoue, who were engaged in drafting the constitution, realized that they had to bring in a far more exquisite theory of the legitimacy of the sovereign. The question of the emperor’s status in a constitutional parliamentary system became a tricky issue to be handled with full attention. The translator made no mention of which text he had used as the original. Inferring from the introduction (Nagai 1886, 1–41), which was also a translation, the original would be Bohn’s Standard Library edition of The History of Florence and The Prince, published in London in 1847 (Machiavelli 1847, ix–xx). As this Japanese version contains no original comments, obvious

Machiavelli and the Intellectuals of Modern Japan  109 contortions, or omissions, we cannot find much to say about its contents. However, the Bohn edition had some particular influences on Nagai’s translation. For example, in the Bohn edition, the Italian term virtù was translated by several different terms, such as: “superior talent”; “virtue”; “the rare talents”; “the wisdom and the power”; “valour” (Machiavelli 1847, 424, 453, 484, 484, 485). In Nagai’s translation, the corresponding Japanese terms were: sairyaku (astute); kōtoku (accomplished and virtuous); zen (good), kentesu (wise); yu ̄ki (valour) (Nagai 1886, 46, 181, 114, 182, 185). One of the few cases where virtù was translated to “virtue” in the English edition was in the quotation of a poem by Francesco Petrarca at the end of The Prince (Machiavelli 1847, 487). It was translated as toku (virtuous) (Nagai 1886, 189). Presumably, Nagai could not discern the complexity and exquisiteness embedded in the concept of virtù by Machiavelli, and, as a result, it had to be impossible for the Japanese readers to realize that those different terms came from the one term “virtù” as much as it had to be the case for the English readers of the Bohn edition. The other translation was titled Keikokusaku (literally, how to govern a country) translated by Sugimoto Kiyotane. Presumably, this translation also used the Bohn edition. Very little information about the political background of Sugimori is obtainable at this point. However, as Sugimoto had a connection with the Jiyu ̄minken (People’s Rights) Movement of Tosa province and his translation contained a foreword by Gotō Shōzirō, one of the leading figures of the People’s Rights Movement against the autocratic government dominated by the Satsuma and Chōshū cliques, the publication of Keikokusaku seems to have been supported by the political opposition camp. According to the foreword contributed by Gotō Shōzirō, the “deep intention” of the author of The Prince must be to contribute to the public knowledge about the harm of despotic political power (Sugimoto 1886, Foreword). Interpreting The Prince as a book of warning against despotism might have been inspired by the introduction of the Bohn edition which quoted Macaulay’s questioning: “It seems inconceivable that the martyr of Freedom [Machiavelli] should have designedly acted as the apostle of tyranny” (Machiavelli 1847, xv; Macaulay 1880, 66). Macaulay inferred a possible intention of Machiavelli in writing The Prince as “a piece of grave irony, intended to warn nations against the arts of ambitious men” (Macaulay 1880, 67). The paradoxical link between Machiavelli’s republican creed and the ruthless arguments in The Prince may have provided a reason why The Prince had to be translated into Japanese. Sugimoto possibly thought The Prince would be useful in revealing the concealed intention beneath the official ideology of the benevolent ruler promoted by the government.

Free Will vs. Fortune The ostensible message that The Prince carried to Japanese readers was that the quality required of the rulers in Western countries was nothing but

110  Koichiro Matsuda craftiness in adopting expedient means to attain political goals. The pro-government camp used it as a mirror to uphold the distinctive benevolence of the Japanese emperor, unlike the Western monarchs, while on the other hand, the anti-government camp used it to reveal the hidden evil intention of the Meiji oligarchic government. A different point of view was brought in by a review article on these two Japanese translations of The Prince. The review article was written by a bureaucrat in the government, Kuga Katsunan (1857–1907), and published in a journal specialized in book reviews issued in 1888. Kuga had a position as an officer in the cabinet bureau and was in charge of the supervisor of the government gazette at the point of writing the review.4 Later he resigned from governmental office and became the chief directing editor of a newspaper titled Nippon. He established a reputation as a leading advocate of nationalism for his adamant criticism of the baffling diplomatic policy and bureaucratic authoritarianism of the Meiji government. In the review essay of the translations of The Prince, Kuga pointed to a parallelism between the despotism in “Asiatic” or “oriental” countries and Machiavelli’s characterization of competent rulers: The political arguments, or I should say political gimmicks, in Il Principe are scarcely more than a commonplace ploy in the Orient. The propositions by Strategists of the ancient Chinese warring period, such as Han Fei, or Su Xun in the time of the Song dynasty went further than Il Principe. What is the use of translating this book that came from the Far West? … “The end justifies the means” is the motto derived from Machiavelli’s principle and our Japanese world of letters embarrassingly estimates the Western literature as novel and original despite its banality. (Kuga 1888, 1975, 590) His review was predominantly critical of the affirmative view of artifice and duplicity in politics, which Kuga associated with “Machiavellianism.” However, apart from this, we can detect Kuga’s criticism of the political controversies over the prospective constitutional government in Japan. Kuga was seriously concerned about the legitimacy crisis intensified by the public arguments about the prospective constitutional monarchy. He was never a hardline conservative such as those who believed the Emperor should rule the country with absolute power and authority. Nevertheless, he could not accept the idea of the role of the Japanese Emperor in the constitutional monarchy as the “dignified part” in the way Walter Bagehot had formulated.5 Kuga maintained that the moral mission must be the source of the legitimacy of the imperial throne. It brought Kuga to focus on the concept of free will and fortune. If a ruler has to adhere to his moral mission, then should he make a political decision according to his free will? Or, should he obey the order of fortune? Regarding this point, Kuga picked up Chapter 25:

Machiavelli and the Intellectuals of Modern Japan  111 I know that several have thought, and many still are of opinion, that all sublunary events are governed either by Divine Providence or by chance, in such a manner that human wisdom has no share in their direction; and hence they infer that man should abstain from interfering with their course, and leave everything to its natural tendency. The revolutions which in our times are of such frequent recurrence, seem to support this doctrine, and I own, that I, myself, am almost inclined to favour such opinions, particularly when I consider how far those events surpass all human conjecture; yet, as we confessedly possess a free will, it must, I think, be allowed, that chance does not so far govern the world as to leave no province for the exercise of human prudence. (Machiavelli 1847, 481; Nagai 1886, 170) Then Kuga commented on this part and admitted that “this passage gives reasonable thought to the issue of fortune and destiny” (Kuga 1888, 1975, 591). While Nagai’s translation of the part left room for a positive evaluation of human will because free will was translated as fuki (literally, uncurbed) which carried a positive connotation such as extraordinariness, Kuga never admitted that free will should be placed at the heart of the virtue of rulers. Based on his and general Japanese conventional understanding, free will would be associated with self-indulgence rather than self-determination. Kuga took the meaning of this paragraph as the confrontation between selfish arbitrariness, rather than free will, and fortune. Kuga’s interpretation was based not only on the Japanese translations he was reviewing. Kuga mentioned in the review that he also referred to the 19th-century French translation by Louandre. This French edition used the term notre libre arbiter (Italian: nostro libero arbitrio) in this section and confronted it with la fortune (Louandre 1851, 105), but it omitted the corresponding word of the original Italian virtù in the same paragraph. Accordingly, Kuga interpreted it as the confrontation between arbitrariness versus fortune, rather than virtù versus fortuna. Based on this understanding, Kuga further examined the implication of the confrontation between free will and fortune in The Prince. The principle of Machiavelli reads that there is an unknowable power that is fortune or destiny which human beings may challenge to arbitrarily pursue their own aim with their inborn intellect. Machiavelli allows no place for the idea of liberty, equality, civilization, or nationality in his thought. Moreover, he entirely neglected even the concept of zoon politikon by Aristotle. It is not strange that he separated politics from moral and legal concerns. (Kuga 1888, 591) Kuga argued that the free will of a ruler, as Machiavelli positively recognized, would only pursue selfish benefit, and never concern public virtues. The “inborn intellect” would be used only for achieving the wealth and honor of

112  Koichiro Matsuda the ruler accordingly. Kuga could not accept free will in this sense as a necessary quality in rulers. Moreover, we should note that Kuga’s interpretation of fortune was also derived from a conventional cultural mindset. The pre-modern (or pre-westernized) historiography of Japan often described the change of ruling powers as the result of the change of tides in history. The term ikioi or sei (momentum) has usually been the keyword. The will of an individual ruler would be effective only if that ruler could read the momentum of the times correctly. It should not be perfectly free in the sense that a ruler could decide and implement whatever he wanted. To read the momentum had been regarded as an indispensable quality that every ruler should possess. Note that some Japanese intellectuals in the pre-modern period had stressed this point. For examples, Nakae Tōju (1608– 1648) stated that “it should be made clear that catching the right time in the move of fate is the foremost task in study and government” (Nakae Tōju [1650] 1974, 71), and Kumazawa Banzan (1619–1691) wrote that the reason why the imperial family lost its ruling power in the early times was that they didn’t recognize the change of momentum between the ancient and the medieval ages and they neglected to show proper respect [to regional lords]. (Kumazawa [1672, 1676], 1971, 145) It is not difficult to detect the resonance of the early modern idea of momentum in Kuga’s interpretation of fortune as the condition of time. Kuga adopted a similar expression as Nakae or Kumazawa such as “seiryoku (momentum force) in the world that we cannot predict” (Kuga 1888, 591). The ability to catch the momentum was an essential part of the quality of a ruler. In this sense, Kuga would not agree with Machiavelli in saying, “It is better to be bold than too circumspect, because fortune is of a sex which likes not a tardy wooer and repulses all who are not ardent” (Machiavelli 1847, 483).

Free Inquiry and Morality: Machiavelli via French Philosophy Philosophical approaches to The Prince were not common but not entirely strange. One case appeared in a translation of Alfred Jules Émile Fouillée, Histoire de la philosophie, 1875. The translator was Nakae Chōmin (1847– 1901), a political journalist and well known as the translator of Jean-Jacque Rousseau’s Du Contrat social into classical Chinese.6 Although Fouillée’s Histoire de la philosophie presented a clear intention to describe the development of democratic philosophy in Europe, ironically, Nakae’s translation of Histoire de la philosophie was commissioned by the Ministry of Education. It may be assumed that the Ministry of Education intended to use it as a textbook of Western philosophy at the University of Tokyo without knowing the contents.

Machiavelli and the Intellectuals of Modern Japan  113 Fouillée made a favorable comment on the role of Machiavelli as a pioneer of “free inquiry in political matters”: The work of Machiavelli showed the first result of free inquiry in political matters. Despite the odious doctrines expounded in the book The Prince, Machiavelli founded modern political science [la science politique moderne] by introducing freedom, history, criticism, the method of observation and of experience to it; [the Prince contained] no scholastic, no à priori theories, no principles borrowed from theology or ethics, but no other than the facts, analysis with penetration, finesse and firmness. A closer observation of the facts themselves and their natural laws would soon make it clear that, if politics is independent of religion and moral theology, it is not because it is independent of natural morality and natural law.7 (Fouillée 1875, 220) Nakae’s translation of this part was not a word-for-word translation but rather an explanatory note. Nakae’s Japanese translation of the corresponding part can be re-translated to English as follows: Machiavelli discussed politics from a liberal standpoint and never excused himself from examining religious and moral concerns. He took bold repression as the essence of the art of politics. It is the main topic of Du Prince. It is no wonder that the arguments in Machiavelli’s Du Prince should be considered anathema but he had a profound knowledge of history, judged clearly merits and demerits of government of old and new, observed facts and ignored futile abstract discussion. He swept out the conventional philosophy. He built his principle exclusively by his own free thinking instead of depending on any religious doctrine. This was the merit of Machiavelli and he formed the foundation of our contemporary political theory…. Had Machiavelli contemplated the state of things in this world more and thoroughly, and had he explored the reason of nature more deeply, he should have said, “Politics should not have anything to do with religion or moral codes claimed by religious authorities, and when natural morality of human being and inviolable human rights become at stake, we must pay the sincerest respect to them and never try to neglect them”. It is a pity that his thought could not reach that point. (Nakae 1886, 1984, 151–152) Nakae provided a longer explanation than the original for emphasizing the significance of Machiavelli’s achievement in founding the method of scientific inquiry into politics. The original text of Fouillée presented a balanced and partly critical view of both the positivism of Italian and the idealism of French political thought. Though Nakae did not step off from the formulation of the original, his paraphrase of this section showed his own interest in the foundation of la science politique moderne.

114  Koichiro Matsuda Usually, most of the other political essays by Nakae stressed the moral superiority of democracy based on inalienable people’s rights. The general image of Nakae’s political thought has been very idealistic (Watanabe 2012, Chap. 22). However, Nakae’s translation of this section treating Machiavelli hinted at a different face of Nakae, namely an interest in the positivistic method of the science of politics underpinned by the spirit of free inquiry detached from conventional moral concern.

Marxism and Machiavelli Most of the studies on Machiavelli from the 1880s until the 1930s were sporadic and did not delve deeper beyond a stereotyped view of political opportunism which was associated with the term “Machiavellianism.” We can count only a few translations of Machiavelli’s works during the period, including: the first translation of the Discourses on the First Decade of Titus Levius translated from the English edition by Hayashi Tadasu (1850– 1913) (Hayashi 1906); a new translation of The Prince, titled Kenboj̄ ussu ̄ ron (On Political Machinations), translated from the English and the German editions by Kanō Kizō (1887–1982) (Kanō 1914); another new translation of The Prince from Italian translated by Yoshida Yakuni and Matsumiya Shun’ichirō (Yoshida and Matsumiya 1918); the first translation of The Art of War translated from the English edition by Hirota Naosaburō (Hirota 1920). Hayashi was a career diplomat and he was in charge of the negotiations for the Alliance with Great Britain. He was the Japanese minister in London when he was translating The Discourses. Yoshida was a professor of Italian. Kanō was an English teacher at Shūyūkan middle school in Fukuoka, which had strong connections with diplomats and nationalistic activists, and later became a journalist and an expert on geopolitical theory. Hirota was an alumnus of Shūyūkan and a middle school teacher. Hayashi wrote in his introduction that Machiavelli’s true insights were presented in The Discourses more so than in The Prince (Hayashi 1906, 4). Hayashi presented The Discourses as a study of “government rather than of history” (Hayashi 1906, 3) and stressed that Machiavelli was a master of the art of governing the state, whether a republic or a monarchy. The Prince by Yoshida and Matsumiya, and The Art of War by Hirota were in the same series of The History of the Rise and Fall [of the Powers](Kōbo ̄shiron) which included various European and Chinese classics on political history. The tide of the popularization of academic knowledge was on the way, and the series aimed to catch emerging readers who wanted to read highbrow books in the Japanese language. The introduction by Kanō sounded sarcastic when saying that the book would be “the most useful manual for the greedy power seekers” (Kanō 1914, 4). Kanō’s book contained an epigraph by Fukumoto Nichinan, a famous journalist involved with a pan-Asian group. This may imply that Kanō’s translation intended to criticize the “Machiavellian” strategy in the domination of Asian countries by the Western powers.

Machiavelli and the Intellectuals of Modern Japan  115 Apart from the diffusion of the stereotyped characterization of “Machiavellianism,” the growing interest in Marxism among the new generation of intellectuals brought a different approach to Machiavelli. The most representative case was a study of The Prince by Hani Gorō (1901–1983) published in 1936 (Hani 1936). Hani spent two years at the University of Heidelberg studying philosophy. After returning to Japan, he became popular as an advocate of Marx’s historical materialism. He was arrested in 1933 on suspicion of violation of the Public Peace Reservation Act and forced to resign from the professorship at his university. As an independent writer, he remained very popular among intellectuals and students for his studies on Renaissance history, early modern Japanese history, and the methodology of historiography, all implicitly or explicitly based on historical materialism. His book on Machiavelli was part of his study of Renaissance history. He also published a book on Michelangelo only three years after his book on Machiavelli. The first 97 pages out of a total of 158 pages of Hani’s book on Machiavelli mostly treated the economic development and social condition of Florence and Renaissance Italy. Hani wrote that the free republic of Florence departed from the decrepit feudal system and showed signs of “the modern state” (kindaikokka) but the upper merchant class of Florence did not attempt to liberate the “working people” (kinrōtaishū). The liberation of the lower class in the city and the peasants surrounding the city was beyond the interest of the leading citizens of Florence. The upper and privileged citizens feared an uprising of the lower class and were not in full support of arming them to establish the militia of Florence as suggested by Machiavelli. The lukewarm class, conscious of the upper citizens, was the obstacle to the progress of the free cities and Italy as a whole (Hani 1936, 64–73). The analysis of the text of The Prince begins after this long introduction to the historical background. According to Hani, The Prince represented the dual elements in the background of Machiavelli’s thought, meaning “the glorious progress” and “the bitter setback” of the Renaissance (Hani 1936, 97). While Machiavelli’s challenge was to break the fetters of feudalism, it could not overcome the class consciousness of the upper-class citizens of Florence, which made him neglect the “autonomous political rights of the ordinary working people” (Hani 1936, 101). Obviously, Hani based his arguments on the Marxist theory of economic development and class consciousness. By referring to The Discourses, Hani maintained that Machiavelli recognized the most urgent problem of Florence correctly but was mistaken in the measures adopted to solve the problem. He quoted a passage from The Discourses, Book 1, Chapter 12: Thus, such corruption and so little aptitude for living in freedom arise from an inequality that exists in the city, and if one wishes to bring the city back to a state of equality, it is necessary to employ extraordinary measures, which few know how or wish to employ, as will be discussed in another place in greater detail. (Hani 1936, 129, 133–134; Machiavelli 1997, 67)

116  Koichiro Matsuda Hani modified the first sentence of this passage by saying, “this corruzione is never suitable for vita libera or free government” (Hani 1936, 133).8 Judging from his quotation containing Italian words such as corruzione and vita libera, Hani was referring to the Italian original (Machiavelli 1970, 180). Hani focused on inequalità as the indispensable condition for vita libera. According to Hani, though Machiavelli had already stressed the issue of inequality in The Discourses, he could not explore the deeper meaning of the idea in The Prince. Hani maintained that Machiavelli “failed to correctly analyze the nature of corruzione, what was the cause of it and what kind of social relation and ruling system built it” (Hani 1936, 136). According to Hani’s criticism, the essential problem embedded in The Prince was that Machiavelli “failed to formulate the theory of redeeming republican liberty from corruzione” and “simply embraced the illusion of the invincible savior” (Hani 1936, 145).

In Defense of “the Political” It was Maruyama Masao (1914–1996), one of the most influential intellectuals in the postwar period, who brought another, new viewpoint to the interpretation of Machiavelli. Analyzing the character of Japanese “ultra-nationalism,” Maruyama pointed out that the most profound problem embedded in Japanese political culture was the lack of distinguishing political judgment from ethical imperatives. According to Maruyama, Japanese totalitarian militarism was the system in which political judgment and moral evaluation interpenetrated each other. The emperor and the political leaders were considered moral leaders of the nation as one big family. Hardly any commitment to moral value beyond patriotism ever existed. Maruyama thought the merging of the political and ethical spheres represented the pathological dysfunction in Japanese political culture and the backwardness in the state-formation of Japan. The Japanese state never attained “a purely ‘formal’ legal structure, divorced from all questions of internal value,” which Carl Schmitt called ein neutraler Staat as the characteristic of the modern European state, while at the same time “Japanese morality never underwent the process of interiorization that we have seen in the case of the West, and accordingly it always had the impulse to transform itself into power” (Maruyama 1946, 1969, 3, 9). In this context, Maruyama presented an impressive view of Machiavelli in the essay titled “Power and Morals”: [T]hough the ideology of raison d’État is generally taken as similar to the unlimited and blind affirmation of the aggrandizement of power, it was not the case even in the claim of Machiavelli, the first bold advocate of it [raison d’État]. It was an antithesis against the Christian ethical doctrine which functioned as an arm of the Pope to exert authority over secular

Machiavelli and the Intellectuals of Modern Japan  117 government. He [Machiavelli] endeavored to formulate the specific norm of behavior of political power. In other words, his true intention was to establish the ethical norm of politics from inside the political sphere instead of placing restrictions from outside.9 (Maruyama 1950, 1995, 270) Maruyama maintained that Machiavelli’s political thought was the furthest from what was called “Machiavellian” because Machiavelli’s intention was to build an autonomous system of norms in the political sphere rather than to present a useful manual of the arts of political manipulation (Maruyama 1950, 1995, 270). To underpin his argument, Maruyama quoted Carl Schmitt’s words on Machiavelli: If Machiavelli had he been a Machiavellian, he would sooner have written a book that comprised touching sentences about the goodness of the people in general and of the princes in particular than his ill-reputed Prince.10 (Schmitt 1933, 47; Maruyama 1950, 1995, 270–271) At this point, Maruyama suggested that the most relevant issue in the interpretation of Machiavelli’s political thought should be the possibility of theorizing an autonomous sphere of “the political” independent from any other spheres of substantial value. The idea of a “sphere without substance” was obviously influenced by Schmitt’s interpretation of The Prince (Kennedy 2004, 19). Maruyama viewed the deepest cause of the failure in building democracy and the rise of militarism as the immaturity of the autonomous political sphere in modern Japan. Accordingly, for Maruyama, the quest for the sphere of “the political” should be the primary task of political theorists in postwar Japan. In a roundtable discussion on the theme of “the past and present of political science in Japan” organized by the Japanese Association of Political Science, Maruyama criticized the older generation by saying: If I have to say something about political value, it should be distinguished from any substantial values as clearly as possible, and it should be the instrumental value which cuts through other substantial values such as economic, moral or religious ones…in this sense, political science is the science of means. (Maruyama 1950, 61) We can hear the echo of Machiavelli (via Schmitt) in this argument. Maruyama’s quest for “the science of means” was obviously based on reflections on the cause of the totalitarianism and militarism of wartime Japan. However, we should also note that Maruyama, possibly unintentionally, revisited the issue appearing in the past interpretations of Machiavelli by modern Japanese intellectuals, such as Tokutomi and Nakae Chōmin: the possibility of the science of “the political.”

118  Koichiro Matsuda The direct impact of Machiavelli’s works on Japanese intellectuals may not seem to have been so critical or profound. However, studies of Machiavelli by later European historians and philosophers, such as Dugald Stewart, T. B. Macaulay, A. Fouillée, and Carl Schmitt, inspired Japanese intellectuals to a deeper understanding of the concept of the political sphere. In this sense, modern discourse on Machiavellianism, if not Machiavelli himself, paved the way for examining a fundamental question: “What is politics?”

Notes 1 Italics in original. 2 Nakamura (1874): verso of sheet 7; see also Reynolds, Adachi, and Kikuchi (1976): 160. 3 For a recent and insightful article focusing on Nagai’s translation of The Prince, see: Campagnola (2019). 4 Kuga was an officer in charge of the editor of the government gazette at the point of writing the review. Later he became the president and chief editor of the newspaper Nippon and established a reputation as a leading advocate of nationalism with harsh criticism against the baffling diplomatic policy and bureaucratic authoritarianism of the Meiji government. 5 Kuga once translated a part of Bagehot’s English Constitution when he was in the translation bureau of the government. 6 Nakae’s translations of Rousseau and Fouillée found an ardent reader outside Japan. Liáng Qı̆chāo (1873–1929), a political reformist in late Qing China, acquired a wide range of knowledge about Western democratic theories from Japanese translations of Western books on political and social thought, including Nakae’s. 7 Translation of the original in French to English by Matsuda. 8 Italian by Hani. 9 Italics by Maruyama. 10 We should note that the edition of Schmitt’s Der Begriff des Politischen that Maruyama quoted was the 1936 reprint of the 1933 edition, which was known as the “Nazis’ acceptable” version. This part of Schmitt’s note on Machiavelli quoted by Maruyama appeared only in the 1933 edition and was different from the 1932 edition, which is generally treated as the original version today. It is not clear whether Maruyama knew the difference between the editions. Also, we cannot deny the possibility of an influence by the 1933 edition of Der Begriff des Politischen on Maruyama’s interpretation of Schmitt but this is too far beyond of the scope of this chapter.

References Campagnola, F. (2019) ‘Meiji nihon ni okeru Machiavelli (Machiavelli, History and the State in Meiji Period Japan)’. Diaphanes: geijutsu to shiso ̄ 6: 5–21. Fouillée, A. J. É. (1875) Histoire de la philosophie. Paris: Librarie Ch. Delagrave. Hani, G. (1936) Makyaveri kunshu ron. Tokyo: Iwanami shoten. Hayashi, T. (1906) Rōma shi ron, translation of The Discourses on the First Decade of Titus Levius. Tokyo: Hakubunkan. Hirota, N. (1920) Heihōron, translation of Art of War. Tokyo: Kōbōshiron kankōkai. Kanō, K. (1914) Kenbōjussu ̄ ron, translation of The Prince. Tokyo: Sōengakusha. Kinmonth, Earl H. (1980) ‘Nakamura Keiu and Samuel Smiles: A Victorian Confucian and a Confucian Victorian’. The American Historical Review 85(3): 535–556.

Machiavelli and the Intellectuals of Modern Japan  119 Kennedy, E. (2004) Constitutional Failure: Carl Schmitt in Weimar. Durham: Duke University Press. Kuga, K. ([1888] 1975) ‘Kunron oyobi Keikokusaku’. Shuppan geppyo ̄. In Nishida, Nagatoshi and Uete, Michiari (eds.). Kuga Katsunan Zenshu ̄, Vol. 9. Tokyo: Misuzu Shobō. Kumazawa, B. ([1672 and 1676] 1971) ‘Shūgi washo’. In Gotō, Yōichi and Tomoeda, Ryūtarō (eds.). Nihon Shiso ̄ Taikei 30 Kumazawa Banzan. Tokyo: Iwanami Shoten: 7–356. Macaulay, T. B. (1880) Miscellaneous Works of Lord Macaulay in Five Volumes by Macaulay, Trevelyan, Hannah More Macaulay, Lady (ed.). New York: Harper & Brothers. ———. (1953) Macaulay’s History of England from the Accession of James II, Vol. 1. London and New York: Dent/Dutton. Machiavelli, N. (1847) The History of Florence, and of the Affairs of Italy, from the Earliest Times to the Death of Lorenzo the Magnificent; together with the Prince and Various Historical Tracts. London: H.G. Bohn. ———. (1851) Oeuvres politiques de Machiavel, traduction Périès, édition contenant le Prince et les Décades de Tite-Live, Louandre, M. Ch. (ed.). Paris: Charpentier. ———. (1970) Il principe e Discorsi sopra la prima deca di Tito Livio, Con introduzione di Carlo Cordié. Milano: Istituto editoriale italiano. ———. (1997) The Discourses on Livy, trans. Julia Conaway Bondanella and Peter Bondanella. Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press. Maruyama, M. ([1946] 1969) ‘Theory and Psychology of Ultra-Nationalism’. In (1950) ‘Nihonniokeru seijigaku no kako to shōrai’. Nihonseijigakkainenpō Seijigaku 1950: 35-82 Morris, Ivan (ed.). Thought and Behavior in Modern Japanese Politics, trans. Ivan Morris. London and New York: Oxford University Press: 1–24. ———. ([1950] 1995) ‘Kenryoku to dōtoku’. In Matsuzawa, Hiroaki and Uete, Michiari (eds.). Maruyama Masao shu ̄, Vol. 4. Tokyo: Iwanami shoten: 261–278. Nagai, S. (trans.) (1886) Kunron. Tokyo: Hakubunsha. Nakae, T. (Chōmin) (trans.) ([1886] 1984) Rigakuenkakushi, In Matsumoto Sannosuke and others (eds.). Nakae Chom̄ in Zenshu Vol. 5. Tokyo: Iwanami shoten. Nakae, T. (Tōju) ([1650] 1974) Okina mondo ̄. In Yamanoi, Yū (ed.). Nihon shisō taikei 29 Nakae Tōju. Tokyo: Iwanami shoten: 19–177. Nakamura, M. ([1874] 1976) ‘Seigaku ippan zengō no tsuzuki’. Meiroku zaashi 12: 7–10; translated in Nakamura Masanao ‘An Outline of Western Culture (continued)’. In Meiroku Zasshi: Journal of the Japanese Enlightenment, trans. William Reynolds Braisted, assisted by Yasushi Adachi and Yūji Kikuchi. Tokyo: University of Tokyo Press, 159–163. Pierson, J. D. (1980) Tokutomi Sohō, 1863-1957, a Journalist for Modern Japan. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press. Pyle, K. B. (1969) The New Generation in Meiji Japan; Problems of Cultural Identity, 1885–1895. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press. Schmitt, C. (1933) Der Begriff des Politischen, 3rd edition. Hamburg: Hanseatische Verlagsanstalt. Stewart, D. (1853) ‘Dissertation First – The Progress of Metaphysical, Ethical, and Political Philosophy since the Revival of Letters’. In The Encyclopaedia Britannica; or, Dictionary of Arts, Sciences and General Literature, 8th edition. Edinburgh: A. and C. Black: 13–289. Sugimoto, S. (trans.) (1886) Keikokusaku. Tokyo: Shuseisha.

120  Koichiro Matsuda Tokutomi, S. ([1884] 1974) ‘Meiji nijjūsannengono seijikano shikakuwo ronzu’. In Uete, Michiari (ed.). Meijibungakuzenshu ̄ 34: Tokutomi Soho.̄ Tokyo: Chikumas hobō: 19–31. Watanabe, H. (2012) A History of Japanese Political Thought, 1600-1901, trans. David Noble. Tokyo: International House of Japan. Yoshida, Y. and Matsumiya, S. (trans.) (1918) Kunshu keikoku saku, translation of Il Principe. Tokyo: Kōbōshiron kankōkai.

Part IV

Reinterpreting Machiavelli in the Northeast Asian Context

8 Machiavelli and Han Fei Zi – A Comparison Gabriella Stanchina and Tongdong Bai

Introduction The aim of this chapter is to explore the similarities and differences between the political theories of Han Fei and Niccolò Machiavelli. The main similarity between the Han Fei Zi and Machiavelli’s The Prince lies in their common recipients and goals. Both are addressed to a ruler, and their aim is to outline the principles, historical exempla, and pragmatic suggestions that may help a ruler to create a strong and well-ordered state. Han Fei Zi highlights in particular the role of the merciless application of the law, and the strategies to eliminate the possibility of political intrigues in Court. Machiavelli suggests to the ruler how to preserve dominance over, and how to gain the compliance of, his subjects. The paramount purpose of both books is the strengthening and expansion of the kingdom. Another similarity lies in the fact that neither is attempting to promote a universal way of life, or a philosophical view of the world, but only to provide the ruler with the practical and theoretical means to deal with the situational challenges of his politics of domination. One of the distinguishing features of the Han Fei Zi, for example, if compared with Daoist works like the Zhuang Zi, is that Han Fei Zi looks from the top to the bottom of the social hierarchy and attempts to establish the specific Dao of the ruler in conducting his administrative affairs. According to A. Vervoorn, its concern is a “politics of control” and not, as in the Zhuang Zi, a “politics of survival” (Vervoorn 1981, 305) for the sages in a conflicting and violent world. Likewise, The Prince is not concerned with the theoretical foundation of a system of values, but only with the practical delineation of situational ethics for rulers. This ethics applies specifically to the necessities of political action, and is neither derivable from nor subjugated to any universal moral philosophy.

Machiavelli and Han Fei Zi against Utopian Political Philosophy In formulating their political philosophy, Han Fei and Machiavelli start “not from how society ought to be but how it is” (Graham 1989, 269). Both argue against a pre-existent philosophical background which says that human nature may be improved and guided to the good and that the preservation DOI: 10.4324/9781003284598-12

124  Gabriella Stanchina and Tongdong Bai and promotion of virtue are the ultimate tasks of a political order. This entails that the strength of a state flows from the virtuous behavior of its ruler which will spread as a unifying glue to any hierarchical level of society. In the case of Han Fei, his main polemical target is Confucian philosophy. From his point of view, the Confucian school depicts a utopian, unrealistic image of the state based on idealistic exhortations and a distorted view of human nature. If applied to the art of ruling and to the concrete governing of a state, this idealistic approach may divert the ruler from an objective apprehension of reality and threaten the stability and expansive potential of his kingdom. Among the three most important early Confucians, Confucius’s ideal ruler is one who embodies virtue and promotes the civilizing function of rites. He can govern the state only by facing south (the proper sitting direction of a ruler) and does nothing more than be a moral exemplar.1 Mencius advises rulers to spread goodness and humanity and conquer the hearts of the people by cultivating the sprouts of virtue common in every human being.2 Xun Zi emphasizes the power of cultural institutions that can mold human beings and elevate them from the narrow-minded and agonistic pursuit of self-interest to the plenitude of humanity.3 According to Han Fei, these are only different nuances of an essentially self-deceptive political theory. Han Fei directs the ruler to a detached, objective observation of worldly affairs, free from flattering biases regarding human nature, in order to control his subjects and effectively turn their weaknesses and tendencies to his own advantage. In The Prince, Machiavelli polemically notes that “many have imagined for themselves republics and principalities that no one has ever seen or known to be in reality.” Warning the ruler against utopian theories, he further affirms that “how one ought to live is so far removed from how one lives that he who lets go of what is done for that which one ought to do sooner learns ruin than his own preservation” (Machiavelli 1997a, 57). We can find here a double reference to Plato’s Republic and to the scholastic perspective on secular affairs promoted by the Church. The surface model in the Republic,4 a Republic led by philosophers and partitioned into a tripartite class structure, is patterned after the stratigraphy of the soul as delineated in several dialogues, such as the Phaedrus5 and the Republic itself. The philosopher, being the representative of the uppermost layer of the soul, the “logistikon,” is able to understand the Supreme Good and is thereby qualified to rule over the “spirited” and “appetitive” ranks of the pyramidal order. Politics cannot lay claim to an autonomous status. On the contrary, politics is only a subordinate ramification of an overarching ontology that finds in the Supreme Good its first principle and ethical pinnacle. Similarly, according to the scholastic philosophy, […] the ruler is the one who has the task to lead the society to its aim; the supreme ruler is hence the one who is able to lead it to its supreme aim. Since the secular sphere exists only as a function of the spiritual realm, the first order is dependent on and subordinated to the second order: the

Machiavelli and Han Fei Zi – A Comparison  125 prince has authority over the secular realm that he leads to its worldly aim, but is subordinated to the Pope that leads to the supreme spiritual aim both the Prince and the people. (Gilson 1990, 686: Our translation) In all these cases, the preeminence of ethics over the political realm mirrors the alleged superiority of the contemplative man over the city. Han Fei and Machiavelli both reject this idea and believe that politics manifests its own laws. Moreover, politics don’t derive from a higher ethical system, but from an interplay of descriptive (empirical observation of changeable historical situations) and normative aspects (the paramount goal of an ordered society). One underlying premise in their thought is that the social and political realms are unsteady and ever-changing, so the flexibility of thought and action is the condition of success. Han Fei claims that “the sage does not try to practice the ways of antiquity or to abide by a fixed standard but examines the affairs of the age and takes what precautions are necessary” (Han Fei 1964, 96–97). Machiavelli calls Fortuna the personification of variable circumstances and advises the ruler not to rely on past favorable fortune, but to adjust his policies as circumstances permit and establish firm preemptive rules: And I liken her [fortune] to one of those ruinous rivers which, when they get angry, flood the plains, ruin the trees and the buildings […]. And even though they are made thus, it does not follow that, when times are calm, men are unable to make provisions, with both dikes and levees, so that, when they rise, either they flow through a canal or their impetus is neither so unruly nor so harmful. […] I believe, moreover, that whoever adapts his mode of proceeding to the quality of the times is happy; and similarly, he whose procedure disagrees with the times is unhappy. (Machiavelli 1997a, 91–92) Both the Han Fei Zi and The Prince are studded with historical examples. They are consequently not moral models of sage rulers to be copied, but select examples of success or failure that act as a rhetorical device to evoke and stimulate the resoluteness and prudence of the ruler. However, it should be emphasized that Han Fei Zi, and perhaps Machiavelli as well, are no relativists. What they deny is an unchanging moral foundation of politics, but not the existence of unchanging amoral and “natural” laws of politics.6 For Han Fei, political laws are natural in the sense that they are not created and cannot be changed by human beings, but not in the sense that they arise from a “natural” moral ground. Perhaps we can extend these remarks to Machiavelli as well.

The Knowledge of Effectual Truth There was a literary genre flourishing in Europe in the Middle Ages and the Renaissance called the “mirrors of princes” (Latin: Specula principum) whose

126  Gabriella Stanchina and Tongdong Bai aim was to teach young princes how to become good monarchs and discard bad tyranny through a series of moral precepts interspersed with historical exemplars of virtuous rulers. Machiavelli’s The Prince challenges this tradition with a handbook that seems to dramatically defy and overturn this pursuit of excellence with an ostensible advocacy of cruelty and deception. Machiavelli’s text displays a mastery of rhetorical techniques such as irony, hyperbole, and coded language. We can even perceive discrepancies in the analysis of historical examples between Machiavelli’s opinion and his referential Greek-Roman historian’s judgment or between praised behaviors and their actual ruinous outcomes. V. Cox points out that The Prince “stages itself as a form of initiation rite” that, with a harsh and provocative surface, aims to emancipate the ruler from the “debilitating teachings of conventional wisdom” and “unlock his impeded political potential.”7 Machiavelli’s ambition is the foundation of an autonomous normativity of the political realm, the outline of a hitherto undiscovered dimension of human agency. What the attentive and sagacious readers of Machiavelli’s works are expected to extrapolate from the manifold hints scattered through the text and from an insightful comparison between the surface and the deeper layers of the discourse is the topography of the political realm as an independent field of research. The characters of amoral utilitarianism and instrumentalism represented by the oversimplified statement “the end justifies the means”8 are peculiar features of politics only when they are overshadowed by the sharp ethical dualism established by classical philosophy. In a world pervaded by this misleading philosophical and religious bias, and simultaneously filled with a ferocious clash and turmoil that these ideological premises are unable to restrain, the value hierarchy is blurred and constantly shifts from the domain of appearance and the effectual truth, so that, as Machiavelli points out […] one will find that something that appears a virtue, if followed, would be his ruin, and that some other thing that appears a vice, if followed, results in his security and well-being. (Machiavelli 1997a, 58) The central humanistic claim of Machiavelli is that a deeper knowledge is required, which culminates in the discovery of “new modes and orders” (Ibid., 22). In two passages of The Prince, Machiavelli uses the term cognizione, meaning a thorough knowledge acquired through personal engagement, to associate the theme of knowledge with landscape metaphors. Presenting his work, permeated by “the understanding of the actions of great men, learned by long experience with modern things and by continuous reading of ancient ones,” he remarks how […] those who draw countrysides place themselves low in the plains to consider the mountains and high places, and they place themselves high upon mountains to consider the low ones, similarly, to know well the

Machiavelli and Han Fei Zi – A Comparison  127 nature of peoples one needs to be a prince, and to know well that of princes one needs to be of the people. (Ibid., 3–4) In Chapter 14, Machiavelli highly recommends to the prince the constant practice of hunting, in order to learn the nature of sites and apply this cognizione through analogical reasoning to the discovery and foresight of new territories. Comparing these remarks with similar passages devoted to hunting in ancient texts, in particular, Xenophon, whose Cyropaedia is the only handbook for princes quoted by Machiavelli, E. Benner9 emphasizes that hunting always serves as a complex metaphor for the benefits of reasoning and cogitations in the exercise of power. The ruler does not uncritically emulate the exempla of the ancient historical texts, but methodically contrasts praise and blame with their deeds and lasting or ephemeral achievements, exercises his own judgment and sensitivity on the subtle historical variations, and establishes parallels with contemporary society. Furthermore, he must always consider the point of view of “the many” who stay below, because a ruler, in acquiring and maintaining his power, is always dependent on their desire to be free, and “virtue and vice must be understood in terms of how the people perceive them […]. Effective truth is the truth as it affects the people.” (Alvarez 2008, 80–81). A similar call to pursue knowledge can be found in the Han Fei Zi. The landscape metaphor is used in describing the way of the ancients: Those of ancient times who perfected everything looked out at heaven and earth, observed the rivers and the sea, and followed the mountains and valley […] They did not go against the pattern of heaven […].10 As Han Fei Zi further argues, the modern ruler is likewise invited to investigate and reflect: Follow the way of Heaven, reflect on the principle behind human affairs; investigate, examine, and compare these things, and when you come to the end, begin again. (Han Fei 1964, 36–37) This kind of inquiry is radically different from the wisdom of the Confucians and is aimed at obtaining an effective knowledge: “When the people use wisdom and wile, they bring grave danger to themselves; when the ruler uses them, his state faces peril and destruction” (Ibid., 36).11 E.L. Harris wonders if this knowing and abiding in the pattern of Heaven may signify that laws are prescribed by the innermost nature of things, according to a “natural law theory,” and therefore have an ethical connotation. He concludes: Han Fei has built up a legal system that is constrained by the pattern of the natural world only to the extent that understanding and abiding by

128  Gabriella Stanchina and Tongdong Bai these patterns is necessary for the smooth functioning of a state whose goals are strength and power. (Harris 2011, 83) Therefore, Han Fei is not interested in the moral dichotomy of right and wrong, unless right and wrong are expressions of greater or lesser functionality and effectiveness of the state. Knowledge, in Han Fei as in Machiavelli, must be directed toward a structure and normativity that is specifically political and subordinated to the reinforcement of the public sphere.12

The Features of Political Normativity What are the features of political normativity as contrasted with classical moral philosophy? First of all, Alison Brown notices how Machiavelli consciously avoids the use of the religious concept of “soul,” to the extent of eliminating the word from the draft preface to the Discourses.13 As we saw above, the tripartite structure of the soul in the Republic provided a hermeneutic criterion for subjugating politics to the philosophical realm of logos. On the other hand, the concern with the soul’s salvation enabled Christian thought to establish a hierarchy between the city of men and the City of God, interpreting the management of earthly affairs only as a means to the pursuit of a supra-political destiny. Machiavelli, discarding the Aristotelian systematization of virtues and vices derived from the analysis of the soul, at the same time, also neglects any psychological rendition of human nature and deeds. In Machiavelli’s thought, the soul may not provide the human world with an adequate, and efficient cause. Greed, envy, compulsion to acquire, lofty ambition, impetuosity, or prudence are the dispositions of the soul that we can see instanced with dramatic and vivid imagery by the damned and blessed souls in Dante’s Divine Comedy (Dante 2012). The dynamics of reward and punishment suggested to the ruler do not imply any soteriological purpose. Machiavelli considers human actions in the objective framework of necessity and traces back their alleged intention to the factual concreteness of their conditions and outcomes. A paradigmatic instance is the virtue of piety in Chapter 17 of The Prince. Piety and mercy are virtuous characteristics of rulers highly praised in Christian literature because of their religious connotation. Dante himself, remembering in the De Monarchia that the majesty of the Roman empire “is born of the fountainhead of piety” (de fonte nascitur pietatis) (Dante 1996, 40), places Roman Emperors like Trajan in Jupiter’s Heaven (Ibid., 415–416) because of their righteousness and compassion. On the other hand, a reputation for cruelty and violence is indissolubly associated with tyranny, with rulers like Alexander the Great or Dionysius of Syracuse, who “lent their hands to violent gain and blood,” (Ibid., 53) suffering their punishment in the seventh circle of hell. Machiavelli does not deny that “each prince must desire to be considered merciful and not cruel,” but warns the ruler that mercy may be used badly and ultimately transform into its opposite. Using the example

Machiavelli and Han Fei Zi – A Comparison  129 of Florence, which let Pistoia be destroyed, in order to escape the name of cruelty, Machiavelli warns that the effectual truth of mercy may be the tolerance of disorder, “from which spring killings or depredation.” For this reason, the reputation of cruelty is sometimes unavoidable for a prince to keep his subjects united and faithful and to promote a beneficial and pacific order. Nonetheless, Machiavelli claims that a ruler who uses fear as a scepter of dominance must be slow to believe and to move, neither making himself the object of fear, and to proceed in a moderate way, with prudence and humanness, so that too much confidence not make him careless and too much diffidence not render him intolerable. (Machiavelli 1997a, 61–62) The reference here is not to the psychological and ethical disposition of the ruler’s soul. Traditional virtues and vices are shifted to the dimension of appearance, reputation, “being held on,” which throughout Machiavelli’s main work displays itself as deceptively, constantly changing and paradoxically overturning. Warning the ruler against this psychological supposition, Machiavelli foregrounds harsh necessity, interpreted as the structure of historical reality that rapidly modifies itself through the dynamism of opposite forces. Virtue is no more anchoring to an immutable metaphysical good, but the ability to objectively and meticulously decipher the field of forces involved in events and put them back under our subjective control. If the refusal of the doctrine of divine providence left us with an amoral and inhuman reality, we could nonetheless mold this reality giving them human goals such as the building of a civilization and the foundation of stable orders. Han Fei too, as P. Moody points out, […] divides the shi (circumstances) into that subject to human control and that not subject to human control, and wishes to expand as widely as possible that part subject to human control, centralizing that control in the ruler. (Moody Jr 2008, 111) Han Fei suggests that the ruler should hold the objective viewpoint of the common good and avoid the tragic dichotomy produced by the promotion of Confucian virtues. We could define this as the irreparable bifurcation between the realm of word and speech, where traditional virtues are highly praised, and the concrete world of politics that, deprived of any inherent normativity, is dominated by unrestrained violence: To reward those who cut off the heads of the enemy and yet to admire acts of mercy and compassion; to hand out titles and stipends to those who capture the enemy’s cities and yet to give ear to doctrines of universal love; to strengthen one’s armor and sharpen one weapons in

130  Gabriella Stanchina and Tongdong Bai preparation for the time of trouble, and yet praise the elegant attire of the civil gentry; […] to indulge in contradictory acts like these is to insure that the state will never be ordered. (Han Fei 1964, 107) Both Han Fei and Machiavelli fear that the self-deceptive adherence to old precepts generated by an unrealistic idealization of past regimes or immemorial “state of nature” may deprive the ruler of any cognitive and practical tools for interpreting and adequately managing the challenges of the present age. Machiavelli articulates this in the antinomy between precepts and prudence, where precepts are the fixed ethical schemata inherited from the past and promoted by philosophers “with pompous and magnificent words,” (Machiavelli 1997a, 4) whereas prudence is the ability to deal with an ever-changing complex reality wisely. Both thinkers maintain that this lack of recognition of the laws latent in historical reality may ultimately lead to acts of unpunished inhumanity and the disintegration of any customary or political order, as also Wang Hsiao-Po and L.S. Chang point out: According to Han Fei, if the ruler understands that antiquity and the present age have different customs, that the old and the new have various measures, and yet insists on governing with leniency and benevolence, the present world would continue to be convulsed with violence, suffering, selfishness, and treachery, and the people would be precariously clinging to life in the midst of imminent danger. (Wang Hsiao-Po 1977, 38)

Human Nature in Machiavelli and Han Fei The definition of political normativity involves, as we have seen above, the acquisition of specific knowledge. The object of this knowledge is not an overarching and supramundane intuition of the ideal structure of reality, namely the world as it “ought to be,” but a form of knowledge – mediated by empirical observations and the critical inquiry of historical sources – of the human world as it actually “is.” A correct comprehension of the nature of humankind is a prerequisite for demarcating the boundaries of political action. Machiavelli and Han Fei share a pessimism about human nature as being inherently self-interested, so the world and international affairs, in a condition of scarcity of resources, are a zero-sum contest. Han Fei, however, in Chapter 49, presents an original state of nature in which, thanks to a scarcity of population and an abundance of food, human beings may not be good in themselves, but at least they are not antagonistic. Han Fei highlights that they may even be capable of social behaviors such as generosity to passing visitors (Han Fei 1964, 98). In contrast, Machiavelli has a more radical view of the wickedness of human nature in The Prince.14 The emphatic description of the greed and moral blindness of humankind distinguishes Machiavelli from other contemporary political theorists such as Guicciardini who believes that human

Machiavelli and Han Fei Zi – A Comparison  131 beings are naturally inclined to seek the good, albeit easily tempted to stray from righteousness.15 Machiavelli claims that human beings fall prey to insatiable desires and are therefore structurally competitive. This makes Machiavelli more similar to Xun Zi, who writes in the chapter on “Human nature is bad” that, “if people accord with human nature and follow their desires, they inevitably end up struggling, snatching, violating norms, and acting with violent abandon” (Xunzi 2003, 25). However, he still believes that there is affection among close kin that binds the family, whereas Machiavelli suggests that even family care can be distorted by avidity: [The ruler] should abstain from other people’s things; because men sooner forget the death of the father than they do the loss of patrimony. (Machiavelli 1997a, 72) This viewpoint is somewhat mitigated in other works by Machiavelli. In the Discourses, for example, it is specified that men “do not know how to be entirely good or entirely bad (Machiavelli (1997b, 81),” and that the law of inexhaustible variation, which characterizes the earthly realm, affects human modes and dispositions as well. This apparent contradiction may be explained by the rhetorical purpose of The Prince, addressed to a ruler who has to establish an efficient and ordered system of laws.16 Explaining in the Discourses the circumstances that led to the creation of the tribunes of the plebeian, Machiavelli admonishes any lawmaker in this way: […] it is necessary for anyone who organizes a republic and establishes laws in it to take for granted that all men are evil and that they will always act according to the wickedness of their nature whenever they have the opportunity […]. (Machiavelli 1997b, 28) The ruler cannot rely on the goodness and moral excellence of his subjects or citizens because the human being is prone to behave well only if subjugated through the coercive force of law. In fact, the “wickedness” or “goodness” of human nature is never an object of ethical judgment by Machiavelli. Although the fundamental human condition is one of selfishness and competition, these features are objectively considered to be the reality, and they can be channeled with a reasonable use of compulsion so that the social order may take advantage of them. Leo Strauss speaks in this context of an “emancipation of acquisitiveness,” advocating the understanding of “the essential connection […] between private vice and public benefit” (Strauss 1958, 292–293). A paradigmatic example of this assertion is Ancient Rome, afflicted by the conflict between the nobles’ desire to gain and dominate, and the plebeians’ desire not to permit others to acquire the wealth and power that they were incapable of appropriating for themselves. This conflict produced nonetheless, through the forced creation of institutions that enabled the people to share a role in democratic administration, a freer and more powerful Republic.

132  Gabriella Stanchina and Tongdong Bai The most important characteristic of human nature for Machiavelli is not its goodness or wickedness, but its unlimited malleability. In spite of his belief in the inherent greediness of humankind, Machiavelli thinks that a strong state and the coercive and directive function of law may be able to teach citizens to rise above selfishness, to nurture culture and positive habits, and to promote civic virtues, if only on the surface.17 This interpretation is reminiscent of Xun Zi, who argues for the civilizing and molding power of rites and institutions. This dialectical viewpoint may derive from two sources: A secularized reinterpretation of the redeeming power of St. Augustine’s City of God, where Roman civic virtues substitute religious faith, and the strong belief in the ability of political institutions to shape human behavior underlying Machiavelli’s discourse. The task of politics is, in fact, to manipulate the habits, passions, and humors wisely, to make them contribute to the common interest. Though, according to Leo Strauss, human nature is unchangeable in its structural selfishness. In other words: […] there is no need for a change of heart or of the intention. What is needed is the kind of institutions which make actions detrimental to the common good utterly unprofitable and which encourage in every way such actions as are conducive to the common good. The link between the private good and the public good is then punishment and rewards […]. (Strauss 1958, 281) The core of Han Fei’s thought is the role of the law and the “two handles” of the ruler, namely punishment and favor, in order to mold the social matter and regulate behavior. Han Fei’s conviction that virtue is an erratic, frail, and unreliable foundation for building and promoting social order leads him to rely on public and efficient laws that would make virtue politically unnecessary. O. Flanagan and Jing Hu argue that Han Fei does not aspire to transform the ruler, the ministers, or the subordinates to junzi, that is, benevolent, unselfish, and caring human beings, but to build “a political system that will hold behavioral equivalents of junzi.” Being good may be substituted by seeming good, or to quote Flanagan and Hu: […] behaving well where this involves always being disposed to do the right thing because the norms for right action are crystal clear and because […] the state institutions are reliable in catching knaves and punishing them swiftly and impartially. (Flanagan 2011, 297) For both Machiavelli and Han Fei, virtue is a very unlikely goal to pursue, but the “behavioral equivalent” may be as effective (and often more effective) at maintaining peace and order as virtue would be if it were realistically possible. A clarification is due here. In spite of this moderate embrace of the behavioral equivalent of virtue, a gap remains between Han Fei Zi and Xun Zi (and

Machiavelli and Han Fei Zi – A Comparison  133 perhaps to a lesser extent between Machiavelli and early classical and Christian thinkers).18 Let us address the case of Han Fei Zi. The “equivalents” he could accept were not Confucian virtues, for example, compassion. For him, people are malleable in the sense that they can be driven by rewards and punishments to do what is in the sovereign’s interest. However, this malleability does not mean that they can develop Confucian virtues, as Xun Zi believed. Moreover, in the case of Han Fei Zi, the means one can use to change or habituate people are only rewards and punishments, whereas for Xun Zi virtues themselves have the ability to attract and improve human beings through education, although rewards and punishments can be used, especially for those who have already taken a bad path. That is, human beings are more malleable for Xun Zi than for Han Fei Zi. Finally, Confucian virtues are distinct from the “virtues” Han Fei Zi could accept because, although the foundation of virtues for Xun Zi is the common good, this is different from the good of the sovereign or even the mere order and material prosperity of the state that Han Fei Zi would hold supreme.19

The Law as Self-Inflicted Necessity For both authors, necessity has a positive meaning, and self-inflicted necessity in the form of the law is an inescapable requirement to bring order and promote the common good. If for Machiavelli “Hunger and poverty make men industrious, and laws make them good (Machiavelli 1997b, 28),” for Han Fei rewards and punishments are the motive power of people’s behavior: […] the ruler should never delay in handing out rewards, nor be merciful in administering punishments. If praise accompanies the reward, and censure follows on the heels of punishment, then worthy and unworthy men alike will put forth their best effort. (Han Fei 1964, 104) In Machiavelli’s works, the situation that exemplifies in the most instructive manner that virtù is the foundation of a city is that in which human beings, who are not originally social animals, are compelled by exigence to safeguard their security to gather together and to elect a leader. From this embryonic form of civilization arises the knowledge of good and bad, the appreciation of the worthy, and the condemnation of the violent and unfaithful, as well as the sense of justice. To build a new city means for the wise founder an occasion in which the molding and ordering power of the spirit meets the raw material of human nature. In this situation, he may be able to fully employ virtù as the ability to not rely on the ever-changing and deceptive Fortune, but on one’s excellence, foresight, and discipline. Moreover, virtù, human values, and cultural institutions cannot survive outside of the constant dialectical struggle with necessity. Therefore, if the builder, considering the ordinary ambition of men to acquire and expand, selects a fertile and rich site, he must confront idleness and decadence, organizing things “in such a way that the

134  Gabriella Stanchina and Tongdong Bai laws force upon the city those necessities that the site does not impose” (Machiavelli 1997b, 21). In the dynamic worldview of Machiavelli, the highest values and humanness itself are produced by a permanent effort and mobilization in response to harsh compulsions. The use of force through the instillation of the fear of punishment and the aspiration for worldly rewards is, therefore, necessary to prevent corruption and the unavoidable slippage from the good forms of government theorized by Plato20 and Aristotle21 to their wicked counterparts of tyranny and anarchy. Analyzing the tragic parable of Girolamo Savonarola in The Prince, Machiavelli claims that unarmed prophets are doomed to ruin, while even the four greatest founders, “Moses, Cyrus, Theseus, and Romulus would not have been able to make [the people] observe their constitutions for long had they been unarmed […]” (Machiavelli 1997a, 22). If Machiavelli argues that necessity has to be imposed either by nature or by law, orders, and institutions, for Han Fei necessity is the character of the law itself and of the ruler who, restraining his self-interest and concealing his preferences, becomes akin to the cosmic Dao: The enlightened ruler in bestowing rewards is as benign as the seasonable rain; the dew of his bounty profits all men. But in doling out punishment he is as terrible as the thunder; even the holy sages cannot assuage him. (Han Fei 1964, 20) In this different understanding of the role of necessity and law, which for Machiavelli are imposed by the ruler and accepted as an obligation, whereas in Han Fei they are embodied by the ruler who acts like an automaton possessed by the law, lies a significant difference between these two thinkers and the mode of the government they prefigure. The Legalist Han Fei affirms that the sovereign must be void of any positive or negative features because any partiality or interference in the course of things would threaten the relentless necessity of the perfect machine of the law: “Do not let your power be seen; be blank and actionless” (Ibid., 35). The central position of the ruler in the structure of power supersedes his individuality. In contrast, Machiavelli encourages and exalts the prince’s resoluteness, courage, and intervention. The pivotal virtue for the ruler is grandezza d’animo (greatness of soul). The prince must recruit and lead his troops and pursue eternal glory through grand enterprises, displaying strength and firmness; above all, he has to be decisive and avoid neutrality. The glory of the prince is directly proportional to the well-being of the state, so his active engagement is how he rises above his inborn selfishness. Pessimism of the intellect and optimism of the will are intertwined in Machiavelli, and the partiality of the individual is paradoxically sublimated not through non-action, as in the Han Fei Zi, but through the desire to eternize one’s name in historical records. The proactive attitude of the prince as an individual is counterbalanced by the free agency of the people as a collective individual. Implicitly and latently in The Prince, and more explicitly in the Discourses, a two-way obligation between the

Machiavelli and Han Fei Zi – A Comparison  135 prince and the subjects reveals itself as the best way to ensure a prosperous and long-lasting order.22 In the case of a republican order, this connection between law and free agency is indicated.23 The definition of the law as an objective standard applicable without exceptions and not dependent on its implementation on the predilections of the ruler is in Han Fei a remarkable step toward the rule of law. Nonetheless, the value of individual pursuit and the mutually constraining and obligating role of all the free agents in the public sphere represent in Machiavelli a distinctive element of modernity. This difference may also be noticed in the absence or presence of the related problem of influencing public opinion. Perhaps the most frequently quoted chapter of The Prince is Chapter 18, where Machiavelli presents to us a disconcerting image of a ruler who is capable of deceiving and placing appearance above reality: For a prince, therefore, it is not necessary to have all the above-mentioned qualities, but it is judged necessary to appear to have them. Rather, I will be so daring as to say this, that, having them and observing them always, they are harmful, while appearing to have them is useful […]. Everyone sees what you appear, few feel what you are; and those few who do, dare not oppose themselves to the opinion of the many, who have the majesty of the state to defend them […]. (Machiavelli 1997a, 66–67) These statements bring Machiavelli bewilderingly close to our contemporary media-centered society but seem to have no counterpart in the work of Han Fei. The legalistic ruler, as Han Fei warns in Chapter 6, must conceal his own preferences and idiosyncrasies in order to avoid his ministers being more inclined to satisfy his desires than to submit to the law: Hide your tracks, conceal your sources, so that your subordinates cannot trace the springs of your action. Discard wisdom, forswear ability, so that your subordinates cannot guess what you are about.24 This precautionary behavior makes the sovereign impersonal and faceless like the Dao, and it is very different from the fictitious exhibition of virtue required for Machiavelli’s prince. Han Fei, in general, seems to be more concerned (as in the chapter on “The eight villainies”) with strategies for revealing the tricks and deceits of disloyal ministers. In our opinion, we have found here an aspect that is peculiar to Machiavelli’s view, namely, the attempt to capture the favor and the endorsement of public opinion, which is irrelevant (and perhaps anachronistic) in Han Fei’s theory.

Republican Values in Han Fei and Machiavelli The most relevant difference between Machiavelli and Han Fei Zi lies, however, in the ideal forms of government outlined in their works. Machiavelli claims that the Republic is the best model that fulfills the requirements of

136  Gabriella Stanchina and Tongdong Bai flexibility, preservation of freedom, and safeguarding the common good. One of the qualifying features of political virtù is the ability to adapt one’s pattern of conduct to the changeable realm of fortune. Machiavelli’s ideal ruler must avoid the notion that a successful mode of dealing with historical contingency is solidified in a fixed formula or doctrine of action. Sensitivity to different nuances of any historical framework and consonance with the times are the premises of a long-lasting conservation of power and of the ability to seize the opportunities offered by fortune. Harmonization with the moment is the foundation of the virtue of prudence, which expresses the capability to decipher the meaning of new situations and to at least partially foresee the development of events so as to be able to mold them and produce a perfect marriage between free agency and contextual necessity. However, each person displays a dominant propensity, impetuosity or caution, mildness or cruelty, and a preferred mode of dealing with circumstances, either relying on fortune, which enables the rapid and easy acquisition of power or relying on virtù and being able to maintain it steadily. In The Prince (Chapter 25) and the Discourses (Book 3, Chapter 9), Machiavelli claims that this lack of elasticity can ruin a ruler when the times change, and a different method is required: Pope Julius II conducted himself during the entire period of his pontificate with impetuosity and fury, and because the times fitted him perfectly, all his undertakings were successful. But if other times had arrived requiring different qualities, he would of necessity have come to ruin, because he would never have changed either his methods or his system of managing his affairs. (Machiavelli 1997b, 282) Given this structural tendency of the human mind to persist in a way of proceeding that has proved itself successful, a republican government with a multitude of leaders with different worldviews, ways of proceeding, and behavioral dispositions is less likely to fail when fortune varies than a single autocrat (Ibid., 282). The participation of the people in the government of a city further guarantees political freedom because, as Machiavelli points out: […] if we consider the goal of the nobles and that of the common people, we shall see in the former a strong desire to dominate and in the latter only the desire not to be dominated, and, as a consequence, a stronger will to live in liberty […]; just so, since the common people are set up as guardians of this liberty, it is reasonable to think that they will take better care of it, and, being incapable of appropriating it for themselves, they will not permit others to do so. (Ibid., 31–32) A formidable glue for the civilized order of a Republic is the civic sense and the awareness of belonging to a collective whole, which, for Machiavelli, is

Machiavelli and Han Fei Zi – A Comparison  137 primarily instilled through religion, in particular, a religion and a ritual system like that once introduced by Numa in Rome. This ritual system “beatified only men fully possessed of worldly glory, such as the leaders of armies and the rulers of republics,” whereas “our religion has more often glorified humble and contemplative men rather than active ones” (Ibid., 159). Interestingly, Machiavelli, praising the magnificence of the religious ceremonies in Rome, seems to be close to the Confucian “rule by rites” and their capacity for moral persuasion. Anyone who examines the countless deeds of the Roman people as a whole of many individual Roman citizens will see that they feared breaking an oath more than breaking the laws, like people who respected the power of God more than that of men […] Furthermore, it will be evident to anyone who carefully examines Roman history how useful religion was in controlling the armies, in giving courage to the plebeians, in keeping men good, and in shaming the wicked. (Ibid., 51) Han Fei’s view of a centralized autocratic power that relies on an equal application of the law and the fear of punishment rather than on civic virtue, perceived as too frail and uncertain because of the selfish nature of men, seems to be very far from the Machiavellian ideal of the Republic (Ibid., 26–28). However, as we emphasized above, this impartial and implacable recourse to the law establishes the cornerstone of the rule of law that is a requirement of any republican system, making the people equal before the public, and having accessible norms. It should not be confused with the tyrannical model of the rule by law, which transforms the law into an arbitrary tool for the affirmation of the self-interest of the ruler. D. Elstein stresses that Han Fei, confining the ruler to selecting officials and controlling the objective correspondence between their declared duties and their effective performance, tries to “take the ruler’s volition out of the equation as much as possible.” This suggests that “he was aware that the unchecked power of the ruler could prove to be a danger as well,” though “he did not employ classic republican methods to prevent rulers from dominating the people, notably the mixed constitution” (Elstein 2011, 176). Another common concern for Machiavelli and Han Fei is the threat of domination that comes from the private interests of the nobles, officials, or ministers. Their solutions, however, are not the same. Machiavelli argues that the most efficient deterrence is the participation of the people in the power and establishment of representative institutions such as tribunes, a solution that would be rejected by Han Fei. Both thinkers, however, ascribe a relevant role to the neutrality of the law. Machiavelli delegates the impartial application of the law to magistrates or councils: Those who are set up in a city as the guardians of its liberty cannot receive a more useful and necessary authority than the power to indict

138  Gabriella Stanchina and Tongdong Bai citizens before the people or some magistrate or council when they commit any kind of offence against free government. This institution has two extremely useful effects upon a republic. The first is that, for fear of being accused, the citizens do not engage in attempts upon the government, and if they do make such attempts, they are immediately suppressed without respect for who they are. (Machiavelli 1997b, 39) The second is that “there is nothing that makes a republic so stable and steady as organizing it in such a way that the variability of those humors that agitate the republic has a means of release that is instituted by the laws” (Ibid., 38). This mentioning of the subjective “humors” of the people allows us to better appreciate the different approach of Han Fei. The framework into which his concept of law is inserted is that of an objective, faceless power instantiated by the ruler: The law no more makes exceptions for men of high station than the plumb line bends to accommodate a crooked place in the wood. What the law has decreed the wise man cannot dispute nor the brave man venture to contest. When faults are to be punished, the highest ministers cannot escape; when good is to be rewarded, the lowest peasant must not be passed over. Hence, for correcting the faults of superiors, chastising the misdeeds of subordinates, restoring order, exposing error, checking excess, remedying evil, and unifying the standards of the people, nothing can compare to law. (Han Fei 1964, 28)

Conclusion To summarize the pivotal points of our comparative research, we may appreciate a meaningful convergence of Machiavelli and Han Fei on two capital issues that are widely debated in contemporary political science: The autonomy of the political realm and the rule of law. As seen above, both authors distance themselves from previous hegemonic theoretical backgrounds that establish the ethics of virtue as the necessary foundation of political action, the idea of the Platonic Republic mediated by Middle Ages theological speculation for Machiavelli, and the Confucian moral and ritual order for Han Fei. In contrast with the subordination of politics to ethics, both authors argue that politics exhibits a specific independent normativity. Warning against utopian models hinging on the preeminence of an ethical paradigm over a subsidiary political realm, both Machiavelli and Han Fei demarcate the autonomous dimension of political agency. The successful deployment of political actions and institutions requires from the ruler the exercise of a new kind of cognition, which is at the same time descriptive and prescriptive. It involves a careful and subtle investigation of the structural conditions of reality, where the exempla of the past have to be

Machiavelli and Han Fei Zi – A Comparison  139 critically paralleled and contrasted with the ever-changing patterns of human action, and the appraisal of human behavior has to be rooted in the concreteness of its condition. This context-sensitive judgment of the field of forces operating, in reality, does not lead to relativism because it is aimed at the functionality and the normative effectiveness of a political order. Both Machiavelli and Han Fei locate the origin of violence and disorder to the idealization of past regimes or the “state of nature” and to the unrealistic exaltation of ethical virtues, which deprives the ruler of the ability to recognize the laws latent in historical reality and the inherent normativity of political institutions. The rule of law through the imposition of a system of reward and punishment guarantees that laws and institutions are not subjective, arbitrary tools for the affirmation of the self-interest of the ruler. On the contrary, the rule of law is a self-imposed necessity that channels the plurality of selfish desires toward the common good. Han Fei, in particular, stresses the impartiality and inescapability of the law as an objective standard instantiated by a ruler who conceals his preferences, embodying the faceless neutrality of the law. The deceptiveness and unreliability of a state based on ethical virtue are undergirded in both authors by a pessimistic appraisal of human nature that, in a condition of scarcity of resources, is characterized by blind selfishness and disruptive antagonism. The difference between Machiavelli and Han Fei is visible in their definitions of the ideal form of government. Whereas the Han Fei Zi depicts an autocratic system in which the ruler acts as the personification of the inescapable impartiality of law, Machiavelli claims that impartiality is better guaranteed by a plural republican system in which single actors are mutually limited and constrained by the establishment of representative institutions. Due to the different historical context, Machiavelli is concerned with methods of gaining the endorsement of public opinion. With respect to the Discourses, Machiavelli theorizes a “civic religion” modeled after Ancient Rome as a possible glue of the republican order. Though this aspect seems to bring Machiavelli close to the Confucian system of rites, the works of Machiavelli and Han Fei, under the veil of an apparent surface of cruelty and amorality, ultimately share the same revolutionary concern with the autonomous foundation of politics on the basis of effectual truth and of the value of the unbiased impartiality of law.


1 2 3 4 5 6

See for example Confucius (2003): 2, 8, 33. See for example Mencius (2009): 1, 33–36, 121–124. See for example Xunzi (2003): 159–168. See Plato (2003): 125–143. See Plato (2002): 28–31. Harris (2011), writes about Han Fei: The fact that he believes that there is a normativity of the law precludes him from being a legal positivist. However, he is not a natural law theorist either, for he rejects the association of the normativity of the law with moral normativity.

140  Gabriella Stanchina and Tongdong Bai Rather, he looks to a political normativity, the conditions that would lead to a strong and stable state. (80) 7 Virginia Cox, “Rhetoric and ethics in Machiavelli,” in Najemi (2010): 184–185. 8 This saying, often erroneously attributed to Machiavelli, has a possible source in the statement “Exitus acta probat” (the result justifies the deeds), contained in Ovid’s Heroides (ca. 16 B.C.). 9 See Benner (2013): 170–172. 10 Hanfeizi, quoted in Harris (2011): 76. It should be noted that, for Han Fei, “heaven” does not carry a moral undertone as it does for the Confucians, but represents the fundamental and amoral norms of politics, or political science. See our following discussion. 11 To be clear, Han Fei is not against the kind of wile which Machiavelli is so fond of, but human hubris, which is represented by the Confucians’ emphasis on the centrality of morality to politics or by any other attempt to run politics on one’s wit that violates its autonomous norm. 12 We may likewise notice that, in Machiavelli, the instrumental-practical political virtù often overlaps with the precepts of moral virtue, such as when the ruler, to ensure his security, must be concerned with the desires and the good of the many or respect his obligations. In any case, this happy coincidence is not the supreme criterion, which always remains the establishment of a powerful, well-ordered, and long-lasting state. 13 Alison Brown, “Philosophy and Religion in Machiavelli,” in Najemi (2010). 14 See, for example Machiavelli (1997a): 62: [Men] are ungrateful, fickle, dissimulators, apt to flee peril, covetous of gain; and while you do them good, they are all yours, they offer you their blood, their things, their life, their children […], but when it draws near to you, they revolt. 15 See Guicciardini (1965): 75. 16 Benner (2009), strongly emphasizes the rhetorical-argumentative logic of Machiavelli’s discourse: I suggest that Machiavelli’s statements about human badness are best understood as cautionary and regulative judgments that apply to agents seeking to exercise their virtù, not as part of his empirical anthropology. They identify tendencies to corruption that should be presupposed by prudent orderers if they want to use their free will for virtuoso work and not for bad. (193) 17 In the Florentine Histories, Machiavelli presents an “ideal” city, the commune of San Giorgio, where all aspects of public life were founded on the law. The ambivalent nature of human beings was not eliminated, but the citizens, prone to wickedness though they were, were able to found a stable and ordered city by trusting in their customary laws: San Giorgio has arms, money, and government, and one cannot alter the laws without danger of a certain and dangerous rebellion. An example truly rare, never found by the philosophers in all the republics they have imagined and seen; to see within the same circle, among the same citizens, liberty and tyranny, civil life and corrupt life, justice and license, because that order alone keeps the city full of its ancient and venerable customs. (Machiavelli 1996, 352) 18 The items of virtue embraced by Machiavelli may be more numerous than those embraced by Han Fei and closer to those adopted by the Confucians. Machiavelli

Machiavelli and Han Fei Zi – A Comparison  141

19 20 21 22 23

may also have been more open to the significance of the habituation of civic virtues than Han Fei. We address this difference later in this chapter. See for example Han Fei (1964): 128–129. See Plato (2003): 252–284. See Aristotle (1992): 357–379. In the Discourses, Machiavelli expresses this two-way obligation as a mutual restraint and peaceful coexistence of a principality, an aristocracy, and a democracy (Machiavelli 1997b, 26–27). To quote E. Benner: The ethical value of free agency is fundamental for Machiavelli’s argument. He treats it as an innate capacity that explains the possibility of human virtù, and thus deserves respect […]. At the same time, he argues that ordered civil life is impossible unless free agents impose constraints on their own movements, consistent with respect for the freedom of others. (Benner 2009, 6)

24 “Thus, it happens that a Republic has a longer life and much greater fortune than a principality, because it can more easily adapt itself to the diversity of circumstances than can a prince, through the diversity of the citizens who inhabit it” (Han Fei Tzu 1964, 18).

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9 The Prince between Confucianism and Machiavellianism Inoue Kowashi on Statecraft and Political Morality Takashi Kibe Introduction It has often been claimed that a Machiavellian mindset is observable among the radical samurai who sought to overturn the Edo shogunate. For example, Fujita Shozo (1997, 20–21) points out that the situation surrounding the Meiji Restoration gave rise to two things: “statesmen” who realistically pursued the interests of the state in order to secure national independence and “Machiavellianism” that treated the emperor’s authority as a political instrument (cf. Yasumaru 2001, 144–153; Tsushiro 2005, 133–134). Yet, these studies, though providing significant insights into Japanese political modernity in its formative years, do not inform us about how Japan encountered Machiavelli.1 To address this question, this chapter explores three questions: (1) How was it possible for Japanese political thinkers and politicians to combine Machiavellian teaching with their moral convictions? (2) To what extent was Machiavelli accepted? (3) What is the difference between Machiavelli’s philosophy and the political thought of those who embraced it? To pursue these questions, this chapter considers the relationship between the political thought of Inoue Kowashi (1844–1895) and Machiavelli’s philosophy. Inoue was a prominent intellectual statesman of late 19th-century Japan, who contributed to establishing the Meiji regime by engaging in the making of the Meiji Constitution (1889) and the Imperial Rescript on Education (1890).2 One might suspect that there is something forced in suggesting a link between Inoue and Machiavelli.3 A closer look, however, reveals that such a claim is wrong. Indeed, Inoue was so much interested in Machiavelli’s philosophy that he edited and published a Japanese translation of Machiavelli’s The Prince in 1886. In the following pages, I will advance three arguments. First, I will argue that Inoue’s intention to publish the Japanese translation of The Prince is closely connected with his concern for consolidating the Meiji regime. Second, I will show that the Confucian virtue of benevolence plays a bridging role in helping him understand and approve some important aspects of Machiavelli’s thought. Finally, I will argue that Inoue is not a disciple of Machiavelli; he Confucianized Machiavellian teachings to conform to his political morality. DOI: 10.4324/9781003284598-13

144  Takashi Kibe This chapter is structured as follows. In the first section, I will consider a question about Inoue’s interest in publishing a Japanese translation of The Prince. In the second section, I will show that at the heart of Inoue’s political morality stands the Confucian virtue of benevolence. In the third section, I will argue that it is the virtue of benevolence that plays a crucial role in mediating between Inoue and Machiavelli, while preventing the former from being a mere disciple of the latter. Finally, I will conclude with further questions deriving from my considerations.

Inoue and The Prince The Japanese translation of The Prince, which was commissioned and supervised by Inoue, was published in 1886. It was entitled Kunron (君論), which means On the Prince.4 Inoue is known to have published Japanese translations of what he deemed appropriate to influence the public.5 If Jacob Soll (2010, 9) is right to claim that translating The Prince is by itself “a major statement and act,” it seems to be an interesting question to ask what was Inoue’s “major statement and act” involved in the translating and publishing of The Prince. But Inoue’s involvement in the Kunron has not been fully explored. A major reason for this would be that Inoue discusses Machiavelli in none of his writings. Yet, it is sure that Inoue was familiar with the name of Machiavelli through a variety of writers. One source is Johann Kasper Bluntschli (1808–1881), a Swiss jurist who was influential on the Japanese political elites and Inoue in particular. In his Allgemeines Staatsrecht, Bluntschli refers to Machiavelli in a positive light: Machiavelli belongs to a few individual philosophers – such as Aristotle, Cicero, Bodin, Vico, Burke, and Montesquieu – who could combine both philosophical and historical-empirical methods; Machiavelli’s work is based on “the rich and difficult experience of life” made by “a profound and clever connoisseur of human nature” (Bluntschli 1863, 29–30; 1872, 49).6 Another source is Rousseau. Early on, Inoue showed his interest in Rousseau’s work The Social Contract (Kino 1995, 49), partly because he was an antagonist of republicanism and popular sovereignty. Throughout The Social Contract, Rousseau favorably refers to Machiavelli. In the two Japanese translations of The Social Contract, which were available to Inoue,7 Rousseau’s famous praise of The Prince as “le livre des républicains” or “the book of republicans” was translated (Rousseau 1877, III, 36; 2011 [1883], 200), which might have sounded odious to Inoue as a monarchist.8 Undoubtedly, Inoue was exposed not only to positive views but also to negative ones of Machiavelli. One source is Lorenz von Stein (1815–1890), a German scholar who exerted influence on the Meiji government. In his lecture on Japanese political history and institutions, the notes of which were found in Inoue’s library, Stein (1997, 105) claims that the Edo shogunate was a tyranny, “as though it were based on the teaching of Machiavelli.” Another negative view was voiced by Inoue’s contemporary intellectual Nakamura Masanao (1832–1891). In his essay on Western intellectual and political

The Prince between Confucianism and Machiavellianism  145 history in 1874, Nakamura (1999, 398–399) states that Machiavelli propagated an immoral political teaching, which eventually destroyed politics and morals to enhance the arbitrary power of political rulers. In this way, it is safe to assume that Inoue was fully aware of the controversial nature of The Prince. This assumption is, indeed, corroborated by a book review on his Kunron. The review was written by Kuga Katsunan (1857–1907), a political commentator who previously worked with Inoue for the Japanese government (Matsuda 2008, 40). In his book review on the two Japanese translations of The Prince (Kunron and Keikokusaku), published in a book review magazine Shuppan Geppo in 1888, Katsunan explicitly asserts that The Prince presents an immoral teaching that justifies whatever means for achieving political purposes (Kuga 1975, 590; cf. Mitsuhashi 1976, 741; Saito 2006, 80, no. 32).9 Seeing the controversial nature of The Prince, one cannot help asking, Why did Inoue want to publish the work? One might argue that it is some affinity with Machiavelli on a personal level that led him to the publishing of The Prince. First of all, both are able bureaucrats. More importantly, they belong to a literate type of bureaucrat. The preface in the Kunron includes the famous passage from Machiavelli’s letter to Francesco Vettori, which depicts his conversation with “ancient men” every evening in his forced retirement from political life (Machiavelli 1955 [1886], 322; 1979, 69). Inoue must have felt sympathy with Machiavelli’s love for the classics, because he is another scholar-type official, whose house, a plain one for a high-ranking official, reportedly looked like a scholar’s study, full of Japanese and Chinese books (Yamamuro 1985, 71). Such similarities regarding life course and intellectual prominence, however, do not give us any decisive clue to Inoue’s interest in publishing The Prince. There is another answer that is circumstantial in character. It pays attention to the fact that the Meiji government, still in the process of state-building, felt threatened by potential dangers – domestic and foreign. With this in mind, Inoue probably had good reason to be interested in Machiavelli’s work focusing on the need for a “nuovo principe” or “new prince” to establish his rule against every possible enemy and risk. Moreover, Inoue’s interest in unifying and strengthening Japan as a modern state would be well served by Machiavelli’s passionate plea to save Italy from foreign forces in Chapter 26 of The Prince. Seen this way, Machiavelli’s work seems an appropriate guide for Inoue in pursuing the project of a modern state. However, this circumstantial explanation is not free from difficulty. If Machiavelli’s work is useful as arcana imperii or as an esoteric teaching about statecraft, why did Inoue not limit its circulation to the elite? Was Inoue, a very cautious person and often a political schemer behind the scenes (see Tsuji 1988), not the last to lay his cards on the table? Why should such a cautious policymaker run a risk of receiving moral accusations triggered by the publication of an immoral work?10 Moreover, one may wonder why there was a need to publish The Prince if “Machiavellian” politics in practice was nothing new to Japan. Indeed, this kind of critique was already voiced by Kuga Katsunan in his

146  Takashi Kibe above-mentioned book review. Kuga claims that Machiavelli’s immoral political teaching is anything but new and even surpassed by the “Machiavellian” teachings of Chinese thinkers, such as Han Feizi (c. 280–233 BC)11 and Su Xun (1009–1066) (Kuga 1975, 590–591; cf. Mitsuhashi 1976, 741). In my view, we can gain a better insight into Inoue’s real intention, by turning our attention to another puzzle. This puzzle is a question about why Inoue, being a harsh antagonist of republicanism, was motivated to publish The Prince, although he was familiar with the view of Machiavelli as an ardent though disguised proponent of republicanism. As mentioned above, Rousseau states in The Social Contract that Machiavelli’s Prince is the book of republicans; more decisively, the preface of the Kunron refers to Machiavelli’s another major work, Discourses on Livy, to claim that “Machiavelli never fails to embrace republicanism” (Machiavelli 1955 [1886], 324). The fact that this passage is emphasized with dots suggests Inoue’s interest in it. This raises a question: What motivated Inoue to publish The Prince, despite his anti-republican stance? This puzzle is solved, when we turn to the preface’s answer to another puzzle – How can we square Machiavelli’s republicanism with his dedication of The Prince to the Medici? The preface quotes a long passage from Thomas Macaulay’s famous essay on Machiavelli in 1827.12 In this passage, Macaulay explains that this question led “several eminent writers” to endeavor to discover “some concealed meaning, more consistent with the character and conduct of the author than that which appears at the first glance” (Machiavelli 1955 [1886], 321; Macaulay 1880, 29). The quotation of Macaulay’s passage ends here, but the preface inserts a phrase, as if it were part of his original essay: “None of them has been successful in clarifying it” (Machiavelli 1955 [1886], 321). The preface then proceeds to present its own view. It flatly rejects a conspiratorial view that The Prince’s true intention was to give the Medici some self-destructive advice in order to finally restore republicanism. According to the preface, Machiavelli attempted neither to secretly propagate republicanism nor to seduce the Medici into ruin to restore a republican polity; but he simply put the political independence of Florence before republican liberty. Machiavelli, though loving the government of liberty, particularly attached importance to maintaining the independence of Florence. He seriously feared that partisan conflicts would open the way to foreign interventions and hence lead Florence to follow in the footsteps of Lombardy and Naples. It was absurd for him to willingly explain how to instigate conflicts.13 (Machiavelli 1955 [1886], 321) The preface thus claims that Machiavelli did not discard his republican conviction but subordinated it to the priority of the Florentine independence from foreign powers. Put differently, it is a self-defeating act to subvert the Medici rule in order to restore republicanism, since it would undermine the independence of Florence, that is, a necessary condition for republican liberty.

The Prince between Confucianism and Machiavellianism  147 The fact that the above-quoted passage is dotted suggests Inoue’s emphasis or, at least, interest. His interest is understandable in the light of his political situation. Placed in this political context, the passage in question takes on a specific connotation. As Stephen Vlastos (1989, 367) puts it, “[l]ike the great revolutions of the modern era, the Meiji Restoration generated intense opposition from groups and classes displaced and disadvantaged by revolutionary change.” Representative of such opposition was the democratic movement for constitution-making and representative government called “the People’s Rights Movement.” The Meiji government feared that this movement might endanger the ongoing task of state-building and national independence (ibid., 402–425). Being an astute bureaucrat with foresight, Inoue sharply felt the need to influence public opinion and to “win the hearts of people” in favor of the government (Yamamuro 1985, 48–49; Ito 1999). Furthermore, Inoue took national independence so seriously that he argued that “all of the social activities center around the survival of the state” (Inoue 1969, 630). Viewed against this background, the above quotation from the preface implies a strong message: any sensible republican protagonists should subordinate their cause to the priority of national independence, as the ardent Florentine republican set a good example. In the eyes of Inoue, the claim that Machiavelli is both a firm republican and the author of the book for the “new prince” is, far from being a puzzle, a salutary fact: it supports his case for national independence. This is to say that Machiavelli’s work is a book of national independence, which even an ardent republican should embrace. Seen this way, the preface offers a clue to Inoue’s intention embedded in the Japanese translation of The Prince. The translation was meant to make a strong case for the priority of national independence over people’s liberty and rights. Inoue intended to publish it, not in spite of, but rather because of its author being allegedly republican.

Confucian Statecraft and Benevolence In the previous section, we observed that the publication of The Prince was meant to serve Inoue’s cause of national independence. But here arise questions. How did Inoue understand the arguments of The Prince? Did his understanding of political morality square with the teaching of The Prince? To answer these questions, we need to turn our attention to more substantive aspects of the relationship between Inoue and Machiavelli. To this end, this section will consider the basic features of Inoue’s view concerning political morality. The next section will examine the Japanese translation of The Prince, the Kunron, to explore the affinities and differences between Inoue and Machiavelli. These considerations will make clear that the notion of benevolence plays a twofold role: it bridges Inoue and Machiavelli while distinguishing the former from the latter. Inoue’s view of political morality was formed under the influence of Confucianism and particularly the Neo-Confucian philosophy of Zhu Xi (1130–1200) (Fujiwara 1981, 129–130; Sakai 1983, ch. 1). Although his

148  Takashi Kibe knowledge of Western societies is considerably broad,14 Inoue explicitly claims that Confucianism excels Greek philosophy, because it is more comprehensive in grasping the relationships between the mind and everything else, as well as in clarifying the whole of the heavenly principles and human norms (Inoue 1969, 657–658). Despite such alleged comprehensive nature of Confucianism, however, at the heart of his philosophical interests lies neither metaphysics nor natural philosophy but moral and political philosophy. In Inoue’s view, Confucianism has a unique status due to its moral teaching; this teaching is universally valid because it is based not on convention but on human nature (ibid., 497). For example, Inoue maintains that the famous Confucian view of the five basic moral relations between persons – husband and wife, father and children, ruler and the ruled, elderly and young, friends – is not peculiarly a Confucian but a universally valid view based on essential insights into human nature (ibid., 639–642). At the center of the Confucian “noble and immortal” teaching lies, as Inoue argues (ibid., 676), the moral virtue of “benevolence” (仁, ren in Chinese and jin in Japanese).15 Politics should be thus based on the Confucian ideal of benevolence. Benevolence-based politics seeks not merely to guarantee people’s rights in the sense of classical liberalism but to “guide people to promote their happiness and civilization” (Inoue 1975, 380–381). In more concrete terms, its task is “to guide people to help them obtain happiness and benefits, thereby seeing to it that they do not live in poverty” (ibid., 381). Therefore, Inoue welcomes the new trend of the late 19th-century European politics toward social policies aimed at alleviating poverty, because it is in tune with the Confucian political virtue of benevolence (Inoue 1969, 502; 1975, 380–383). These remarks on benevolence may seem to suggest that Inoue sees politics exclusively through a moral, idealistic lens. This impression might be strengthened if we consider his following remarks: “A human being is not a legal being but a moral being. The state consists of morality, but not of law” (Inoue 1975, 409). On closer inspection, however, Inoue’s notion of benevolence presents not so much moral idealism as political realism. A case in point is Inoue’s critique of Mencius. In his opinion, Mencius aims too high, due to his lofty idealism.16 For example, Mencius’s teaching on human nature as fundamentally good underestimates the strength of convention, which may have evil impacts without being susceptible to enlightenment (Inoue 1969, 680). According to Inoue, Mencius’s impracticality reveals itself in the fact that he disapproves of “exerting force and simulating benevolence” (以力 假仁),17 even if such an act is necessary to subjugate revolts and suppress atrocities (ibid., 680). Inoue here appears to suggest that moral appearance suffices to effect desirable outcomes in politics, thereby in reality abandoning the virtue of benevolence. Yet this is not the case. Throughout his life, he embraced benevolence as the master virtue of humanity and politics. In his posthumously published work Collected Essays, he claims that Confucian moral teaching is universally valid, being “the imperishable teaching” that boils down to a

The Prince between Confucianism and Machiavellianism  149 dictum: “benevolence is the way of humanity” (仁也者人之道也) (ibid., 676).18 How, then, should we interpret the contradiction between benevolence as a political instrument and benevolence as the master virtue of politics? In Inoue’s view, benevolence as personal morality is subordinated to benevolence as political morality. Illustrative of this is his reference to the so-called “benevolence of Guan Zhong” (管仲之仁). The ancient Chinese statesman Guan Zhong (c. 720–645 BC) helped Duke Han subjugate his enemies, thereby restoring peace to the country and people – a laudable political act of benevolence. But from the perspective of Confucian morality, there was a serious problem of disloyalty: Guan decided to serve as Han’s chancellor after Han killed Guan’s former lord in their succession struggle over the duchy of Qi. When his disciple problematized Guan’s disloyal behavior, Confucius stated in Book 14 of the Analects that it was through Guan’s contribution that Duke Han successfully united rulers; he then concluded by stating the phrase twice: “Whose benevolence was like his?” (如其仁) (Confucius 2009, 282). The interpretation of this phrase has been a controversial topic in the Confucian tradition. One is to interpret it as acknowledging the virtuous deed of Guan; the another is to interpret the phrase as a rhetorical question – “Who dares to call it benevolence?” – to reject such acknowledgment (Kano 1973; Yoshikawa 1978, 166–168). For example, according to the Neo-Confucian philosopher Zhu Xi (2011, 144), although Guan is not “a benevolent person” (仁人), his political achievement deserves to be called “a deed of benevolence” (仁之功). In contrast, Yokoi Shonan (1809–1869), a Japanese Confucian scholar, presents a negative evaluation of Guan in his dialogue with the young Inoue, then a 22-year-old student. In this dialogue, Shonan claims that in the final analysis, the so-called benevolence of Guan Zhong gave way to “power politics” (覇術), because he lacked the moral basis of “absolute sincerity” (至誠) and “compassion” (惻怛) (Inoue 1969, 7–8). Inoue does not particularly respond to Yokoi’s argument on Guan in the dialogue. But he shows his clear answer in Collected Essays. Here Inoue agrees with Zhu Xi’s view that Confucius praised Guan’s deed as embodying the virtue of benevolence, without sharing his negative view of Guan’s personal moral quality; Inoue understands Guan’s achievement in terms of defending the country against foreign threats (ibid., 682). Unlike Yokoi, who must have appeared to be an excessively lofty idealist in his eyes, Inoue does not question Guan’s moral dispositions to derogate his deed. Considering that Mencius dismissively belittles the achievements of Guan (e.g., Mencius 1970, 181), Inoue’s positive evaluation shows his distance toward the idealist position of Mencius as well as of Yokoi. In this way, Inoue’s positive reference to Guan illustrates Inoue’s political realism, where the political virtue of benevolence overrides personal virtues. Inoue’s realist view of benevolence is related to his view of what is the authentic teaching of Confucianism. In his view, it is decisively important that Confucius taught the “six arts” to his disciples. In the Confucian

150  Takashi Kibe tradition, the “six arts” have been understood in two ways (Takeuchi 1979, 310–319): it denotes either the six classics (Classic of Poetry, Book of Documents, Book of Rites, Book of Changes, and Spring and Autumn Annals, and Classic of Music) or six skills (rites, music, archery, charioteering, calligraphy, and mathematics). To be sure, we cannot definitively decide which understanding Inoue has in mind here. But his point of emphasis is clear because he boils the six arts down to “politics, military, language, and literature” (政事兵賦言語文学) (Inoue 1969, 682–683). Engaging with practical matters, such as politics and military, is thus understood to be essential for the integrity of Confucianism. Illustrative of this is Inoue’s view on the development of Confucianism. In his view, Confucian integrity was lost, mainly due to the decline of practical arts and concerns, replaced by an academic focus on interpreting and philosophizing. During the Han and Tang dynasties, Inoue argues, Confucianism tended to indulge in “empty words” to move away from practice (ibid., 683). This tendency culminated with NeoConfucianism or, in his terminology, “Song Confucianism” (宋学): scholar-officials, being eager to engage rather philosophical issues than practical issues, avoided pressing practical problems. Inoue calls this the “malady of Song Confucianism” (宋学之弊), which he considers led to the demise of the Song dynasty (682; cf. Koga 2014, 194–196). In Inoue’s view, the practice-oriented nature is thus integral to Confucianism. The foregoing considerations point to a twofold affinity between Inoue and Machiavelli. First, Inoue’s realist emphasis on the practical nature of Confucianism and the primacy of political effects reminds us of Machiavelli’s emphasis on the “effectual truth.” Indeed, Inoue’s political morality of benevolence does not in principle exclude an act of “exerting force and simulating benevolence.” It reminds us of Machiavelli’s prince who must appear to have virtuous qualities and “be prepared to act in the opposite way,” if politically necessary and expedient (Machiavelli 1988a, 62). Second, Inoue’s emphasis on practical and military matters to restore the once lost integrity of Confucian political morality is congenial to the centrality of military issues in Machiavelli. He claims in his Discourses on Livy that he is recovering a teaching of classical antiquity, occluded by the effeminating influence of otherworldly oriented Christianity (Machiavelli 1984, 56; 1996, 6; 1997, 16).19 Classical antiquity unspoiled by Christian effeminacy is thus to Machiavelli what the original practical nature of Confucianism is to Inoue.

Benevolence at the Crossroads between Inoue and Machiavelli One might wonder how Inoue understood The Prince. Isn’t it difficult to square his view of benevolence as the sovereign political virtue with Machiavellian politics that has no such unconditionally fixed moral virtue? In my view, it is the very idea of benevolence that helped Inoue find much resonance in The Prince. To see this, we need to turn to the Kunron. First of all, we should consider Machiavelli’s argument on cruelty (crudeltà) and mercifulness (pietà) in Chapter 17 of The Prince. Here Machiavelli

The Prince between Confucianism and Machiavellianism  151 (1988a, 58) insists that a truly “merciful” (pietoso) act is not to give rise to chaos with “excessive mercifulness” (troppa pietà) but to prevent it with severe punishments to restore order.20 Thus Machiavelli subverts the conventional dichotomy between cruelty and mercifulness: a prima facie merciful act is not always truly merciful, whereas a prima facie cruel act is not always blameworthy. Viewed as a type of behavior, cruelty is opposed to mercifulness; viewed from the perspective of political morality, it is compatible with, and even serviceable to, mercifulness, as long as the former contributes to establishing a stable political order. Machiavelli’s view on cruelty and mercifulness, thus understood, resonates with Inoue’s view of benevolence: both of them require seemingly less benevolent measures according to circumstances. Importantly, the Kunron reinforces this resonance between Machiavelli and Inoue by deploying the term “benevolence.” Machiavelli’s phrase (“he will really be more merciful than those who over-indulgently permit disorders to develop”) is rendered into a succinct phrase: “such a cruel man in reality does benevolence (仁)” (Machiavelli 1955 [1886], 352). This rendering thus directly emphasizes the link between a cruel political act and the political morality of benevolence. In Chapter 17, we observe another instance where benevolence plays a key role. This instance is interesting all the more because benevolence is deployed in the Kunron, whereas Machiavelli himself does not use it explicitly. Machiavelli (1988a, 59) argues that the prince “should act with due prudence (prudenzia) and humanity (umanità) so that being over-confident will not make him incautious, and being too suspicious will not render him insupportable.” Machiavelli here does not refer to benevolence but to humanity or humaneness. In contrast, benevolence appears in the Japanese translation: “the prince should make his best in working out a prudent strategy and thereby do benevolence” (Machiavelli 1955 [1886], 352). To be sure, considering that humanity generally refers to the quality of being humane and that the Chinese notion of “benevolence” (仁) is often translated into “humanity” or “humaneness,” humanity is by no means radically different from benevolence. However, the point is that the Japanese translation consistently deploys the term “benevolence” so that it brings home the link between cruel but prudently strategic measures and benevolence. Another deployment of benevolence appears in Chapter 26. In this final chapter of The Prince, Machiavelli emotionally expresses his hope for the salvation of Italy from foreign forces. He claims that a strong military power is a necessary condition for this cause. To stress this point, Machiavelli (1988a, 88) quotes from Livy in Latin: “necessary wars are just wars, and when there is no other hope except in arms, they too become holy” (iustum enim est bellum quibus necessarium et pia arma ubi nulla nisi in armis spes est). In contrast, the Kunron translates the Livy quotation as follows: “it is benevolence to resort to arms when having no other way to save people” (Machiavelli 1955 [1886], 366). Resort to arms is thus understood to be the act of a benevolent prince. Here again, we see that the Kunron is emphatic about the central importance of benevolence.

152  Takashi Kibe Compared to other translations, it turns out that the Kunron’s translation of Livy’s phrase does not convey the religious overtones of the original Latin text. The Latin passage in question, taken from Book 9 of Livy’s work on Roman history, concerns the scene in which the Samnite general Gaius Pontius refers to the gods to justify their opening a war with the Romans. For example, the Penguin Books edition of Livy’s work translates the Latin passage as follows: “War is just, Samnites, when it is necessary, and arms are righteous for those whose only hope remains in arms” (Livy 1982, 216; cf. Livy 1926, 165). Here we need to pay attention to the fact that the word “pia” is translated as “righteous.” The older translation by George Baker renders “pia” as “clear of impiety” (Livy 1823, 221). These renderings express a religiously proper attitude or a religiously justifiable action in relation to divinities. Similarly, Machiavelli’s translators convey religious connotations of the Livy phrase. As quoted above, the translation by Russell Price renders the word “pia” as “holy” (Machiavelli 1988a, 88); Peter Bondanella and Mark Musa translate the Latin word as “sacred” (Machiavelli 1979, 163) and Harvey Mansfield as “pious” (Machiavelli 1998b, 103); the German translation by Philip Rippel is in line with this, translating the word into “heilig” or “sacred” (Machiavelli 1986, 201). Machiavelli also refers to the Livy phrase in Book 3 of the Discourses on Livy. The word “pia” in this quotation is translated by Harvey Mansfield and Nathan Tarcov as “pious” (Machiavelli 1996, 248) and by Julia Conaway Bondanella and Peter Bondanella as “righteous” (Machiavelli 1997, 291). These translations express a divinely legitimate and hence sacralized character of the military action, thereby doing justice to the context of Livy’s original text, where at stake are both the religious justification and quasi-divine nature of military action. The Kunron does not convey those religious connotations.21 Here a question arises. Isn’t the term “benevolence” an inappropriate translation? Is that not a case of “traduttore, traditore” (translator, traitor) that distorts original meanings? Before answering this question, it is noteworthy that the Kunron is not an isolated example of the secular rendering. The Keikokusaku, another contemporary translation of The Prince, renders the word “pia” in the Livy quotation as “the highest benevolence” (至仁) (Machiavelli 1886, 170). Furthermore, a contemporary Japanese translation by Hideaki Kawashima also translates it as “awaremi” or “mercifulness” (Machiavelli 1998a, 193). It is premature to think that these renderings show a peculiarly Japanese tendency. Kawashima justifies his rendering by claiming that he follows Machiavelli’s Italian rendering of the phrase in Book 5 of his Florentine Histories (ibid., 349). Machiavelli here uses the term “pietose”: “quelle armi sono pietose dove non è alcuna speranza fuora di quelle” (Machiavelli 2013, 185). He puts this Italian quotation into the mouth of Rinaldo degli Albizzi, a major opponent of Cosimo de’ Medici, now in exile, who attempts to persuade the Duke of Milan to wage war against Florence. Considering Rinaldo’s need of appealing to the mercy of the Duke, the translation of “pietose” into “merciful” seems appropriate. This interpretation is supported, for example, by a translation of 16th-century Tudor England: “Those warres be only just,

The Prince between Confucianism and Machiavellianism  153 which be necessarie, and those armes most mercifull, where other hope cannot be had, then by them” (Machiavelli 1905 [1595], 231; emphasis added).22 If we recall Machiavelli’s argument on mercifulness in Chapter 17 of The Prince, a similar use of “pietoso” is clear. These considerations suggest that the Kunron’s secular rendering is not wholly arbitrary. But it is safe to say that it is one-sided if we consider that Machiavelli’s terminology of “pietà” and “pietoso” has two connotations. As Leo Paul de Alvarez puts it, “‘[p]iety’ has the meaning, now obsolete, of ‘pity’ or ‘mercy,’ but it also refers to a man’s godliness or religious devotion, and a ‘piteous’ man could then be pious or merciful or both” (Machiavelli 1989, 103, n. 1). Thus the term “pietoso” has both religious and moral connotations. Actually, Machiavelli’s usage varies depending on the context. For example, in Chapter 26 of The Prince, Machiavelli seems to connote both a religiously authorized as well as morally commendable act of liberating Italy from foreign forces.23 In Chapter 17 on cruelty and mercifulness, by contrast, he solely makes use of the second, moral meaning of the word. It is this meaning that the Kunron consistently deploys while suppressing the religious overtones of the work.24 Instead of conveying religious connotations, The Kunron highlights something different. First, it presents a secular political teaching that is congenial to Inoue’s understanding of political morality. Inoue thinks highly of Confucian morality because of its secular nature, claiming that any theistic moral teaching is not palatable to him (Inoue 1969, 479). By deploying the term benevolence, the Kunron strips The Prince of the religious overtones to highlight the prince’s moral duty not toward divinities but toward people. Second, the Kunron’s consistent use of benevolence enables The Prince to give a moral appearance: Machiavelli appears to be a thinker devoted to the true virtue of political benevolence – a necessary condition for Inoue to accept Machiavelli’s teaching. All of this suggests that the role of benevolence is not only to bridge between Inoue and Machiavelli but also, as it were, to Confucianize Machiavelli.

Conclusion We are now in a position to give answers to the three questions posed in the introduction. To the first question about how it was possible for Inoue to combine Machiavellian teaching with his moral convictions, the answer is that the idea of benevolence played the role to mediate between Inoue and Machiavelli. Inoue understood the Florentine thinker through the lens of benevolence, thereby Confucianizing him. One might argue that the Kunron with its overuse of benevolence transforms Machiavelli into a Confucian. This claim seems right to me. Inoue would not accept a purely Machiavellian position that instrumentalizes and hence undermines the sovereign political virtue of benevolence. Machiavelli’s teaching thus needs to be Confucianized to be acceptable to Inoue. Concerning the second question concerning to what extent Machiavelli was accepted, my reply is that Inoue accepted Machiavelli’s thought to the extent

154  Takashi Kibe that it conformed to his secular political morality of benevolence. Benevolence thus not only mediates between both thinkers but also distinguishes them. This point gives an answer to the third question about what is the difference between Machiavelli’s philosophy and the political thought of Inoue. Machiavelli cannot be a Confucian political thinker. This is because benevolence for him is neither the way of humanity nor a master principle of politics, being merely one of the moral qualities that a prince assumes or abandons according to circumstances. Nor can Inoue be a full-fledged Machiavellian. While probably agreeing with Machiavelli’s insight “that in real political life all rules of conduct must be adapted to specific circumstances” (Viroli 2008, 36), Inoue cannot be a disciple of Machiavelli who wholeheartedly embraces “Machiavellian” teaching that unconditionally justifies anything for a given political purpose and allows to abandon the sovereign political virtue of benevolence. For Inoue, a true political teaching should be firmly rooted in the virtue of benevolence. Harvey Mansfield (1996, 20) claims that Machiavelli’s virtues are “politicized” and hence understood primarily in terms of “political effects.” In contrast, Inoue’s benevolence is the highest principle of politics irreducible to a matter of effect and utility. Inoue is thus persuaded of the “effectual truth” as well as the moral truth of benevolence to be confirmed in politics. All of this suggests that there is an unbridgeable gap between Machiavelli and Inoue – a crucial difference between Machiavellianism and Confucian Machiavellianism. At this juncture, one may consider my terminology of “Confucian Machiavellianism” problematic, saying that it is an oxymoron that contradicts the Confucian emphasis on “sincerity” (誠), which rejects a politics of ruse and deception. To be sure, this critique is not wholly beside the mark, if we take seriously the fact that sincerity is given a considerable weight in the tradition of Confucianism (Angle 2009, 19, 70, 143). Indeed, a Mencius who claims that “sincerity is the way of Heaven” (Mencius 1970, 302) would immediately reject the term “Confucian Machiavellianism” as nonsense. But my point is not that Inoue’s Confucianism is Confucian in an unqualified sense but rather that according to his self-understanding, his realist view of political morality is still Confucian. I thus highlight the fact that a Machiavellian-like political thinking emerged from within Confucianism – a clear instance of multiple Confucian trajectories. The main goal of this chapter has been to consider Inoue’s involvement in the Japanese translation of The Prince and to examine certain affinities between Inoue and Machiavelli, thereby aiming at contributing to shed light on the East Asian encounter with Machiavelli. This encounter helps us pose significant questions about Japanese political modernity. My central argument has been that the political virtue of benevolence played a key role in this encounter, giving rise to Confucian Machiavellianism. But what would happen to Confucian Machiavellianism, if its sovereign political virtue of benevolence loses ground? Indeed, Inoue painfully observed, shortly before his death, that the political morality of benevolence was already in decline, saying that “I lament that the world’s treasure is uselessly buried in the mud”

The Prince between Confucianism and Machiavellianism  155 (Inoue 1969, 676). Is Machiavellianism without the sovereign virtue of benevolence not purely Machiavellian politics? What occupied the vacant seat left by Confucian political morality to keep Machiavellianism in check? Could nationalism assume such a role? Could one ever be sanguine about Confucian Machiavellianism? Could it have managed to keep imperialism, colonialism, and ultra-nationalism in check? A dialogue with Machiavelli, which raises these important questions, is a valuable vantage point for gaining a better understanding of Japanese political modernity.

Acknowledgments I would like to thank Haig Patapan, Susanne Beiweis, and Jun-Hyeok Kwak for their helpful comments on the previous versions of this chapter.

Notes 1 For a view on modern Japanese political history from the Machiavellian perspective, see Samuels (2003). 2 For a brief biographical sketch of Inoue, see Kibe (2020, 466, fn. 13). 3 This topic has not been sufficiently explored in the literature (see Saito 2006, 68). 4 Two Japanese translations of Machiavelli’s The Prince were published in 1886. One is Inoue’s Kunron, published in August (Machiavelli 1955 [1886]). The other, published in September, was entitled Keikokusaku (経国策) or Craft of Government (Machiavelli 1886). 5 Inoue commissioned not only translations of German political and legal works but also those of English and French books, such as Walter Bagehot’s The English Constitution and de Maistre’s Étude sur la souveraineté into Japanese (cf. Matsuda 2008, 26–34). 6 The Japanese translation by Kato Hiroyuki was published in 1874 through the Ministry of Education. Inoue reportedly perused this translation (Saito 2006, 179–180). 7 The first Japanese translation of The Social Contract (Rousseau 1877) was published in 1877, followed by another translation in 1883 (Rousseau 2011 [1883]); Nakae Chomin’s famous translation into Classical Chinese, published in 1882 and 1883, does not cover the chapters from Book 2, Chapter 7 through to the end (see Miyanaga 2013). 8 In a footnote to Chapter 6 of Book 3, Rousseau maintains that “Machiavelli was an honest and a good citizen” (Rousseau 1997, 95). This footnote was translated in neither of the Japanese translations. 9 Another point of Kuga’s critique is that both of the two translations of The Prince were translated not from the Italian original text but from English translations (Kuga 1975, 592). 10 Due to potential moral accusations, the first Arabic translation of The Prince was not circulated (El Ma’ani 2010, 300–301). 11 J. G. A. Pocock (1989, 66) calls Han Fei “the most arresting and ‘Machiavellian’ of ancient Chinese political theorists.” 12 It is yet to be established whether the preface to the Japanese translation is either entirely based on an unknown original English text or partially penned by a Japanese author. 13 The whole passage quoted here is emphasized with dots, thus suggesting that Inoue considered them important. By contrast, the Keikokusaku adds no emphasis.

156  Takashi Kibe 14 Inoue is one of those bureaucrats who were dispatched in 1872 by the Ministry of Justice to France to study European legal institutions (Kino 1995). 15 For this, see Kibe (2020). 16 For Inoue’s realist orientation, see Sakai (1983, 12). Mencius himself recognizes that virtue alone does not suffice for good government, while claiming that laws do not automatically translate into it (see Keith 2010, 204). 17 Inoue here attempts to subvert Mencius’s famous juxtaposition between the way of true kingship and the way of degraded one, as presented in Book 2 of Mencius: the former “exerts virtue and practices benevolence,” whereas the latter “exerts force and simulates benevolence” (Mencius 1970, 196). 18 Here Inoue slightly paraphrases Mencius’s dictum in Book 7 of Mencius: “‘Benevolence’ means ‘man.’ When these two are conjoined, the result is ‘the Way’” (仁也者人也, 合而言之道也). I here follow the translation by D. C. Lau (Mencius 2004, 160). 19 I owe this insight to Haig Patapan. 20 I quote from the English edition by Quentin Skinner and Russell Price, while referring to other editions (Machiavelli 1979, 1986, 1989, 1998a, 1998b, 2013). Some quotations are modified, when I deem it appropriate. 21 According to Leo Strauss (1958, 140), Livy’s intention to put the phrase into the mouth of the leader of pious Samnites is to lay bare the hypocrisy of Roman piety to “always put the appearance of justice on acts of fraud” – the device that Machiavelli uses against his opponents who have recourse to seemingly pious, but indeed fraudulent arguments. The word “pia” then has a twofold connotation, a religious mode of justification and a critique of it, neither of which the Kunron conveys. 22 The translation of Florentine Histories by Banfield and Mansfield renders “pietose” as pious, thus being loyal to the original meaning of the Livy quotation (Machiavelli 1988b, 194). 23 For the controversial issue of religion in Machiavelli’s thought, see Viroli (2010). 24 Religious expressions abound in Chapter 26 of The Prince. Here Machiavelli refers to God (Dio, Iddio) six times and compares a political liberator of Italy to a “redeemer” (redentore). The religious aspect is less conspicuous in the translation by Quentin Skinner and Russell Price that renders “redentore” as “liberator” (Machiavelli 1988a, 90).

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10 “Seek Harmony but not Uniformity” – Machiavelli’s Political Thought in the Chinese Context Demin Duan

During the revolutionary years in China, “struggle” and “conflict” became positive terms in political discourse. This was radically new after thousands of years of Chinese history in which values such as “harmony” (和谐; 和) and “amiability” (友) were accepted as core values in politics. A sudden change of tone in political discourse reflects the urgency of the moment. Ever since the late 19th century, China found itself trapped by a two-fold crisis: at the international level, foreign powers incessantly interfered in and invaded the country; at the domestic level, corrupt and backward ruling authorities held onto power by preventing the people from developing political virtue. All this sounds familiar when we read Niccolò Machiavelli. Indeed, the 16th-century Florentine thinker puts much emphasis on conflict and tumult in his political writings. He targets change, for a “new order” in politics, rather than preserving the old ones. He demands that the common people be included more in domestic politics. After the revolutionary zeal had cooled down, harmony once again became a core value in Chinese political discourse, in a way that echoed traditional Confucian teachings. But if we read Machiavelli closely, we notice that he also values harmony in a republic. He believes that harmony would better be achieved by conflicts in good faith. Perhaps Machiavelli is not so far from the Confucian teaching of “seek harmony but not uniformity” as one would normally think.

Machiavelli on Conflict One of the most original and influential contributions of Machiavelli to political theory is his insightful analyses and appreciation of conflict in politics. This is very extraordinary in the history of European political thought. It is safe to say that, before Machiavelli, no serious political thinker ever tended to link conflict with liberty, good governance, and the grandeur of a republic. Traditional thinkers and intellectuals tend to see conflict as one of the most serious diseases of the political body, something that has to be entirely rooted out. This animosity toward conflict in political thinking can be traced back to ancient Greece. Aristotle, for instance, distances his original political theory from his teacher Plato largely on the point that the different elements of a DOI: 10.4324/9781003284598-14

“Seek Harmony but not Uniformity”  161 republic – be it the poor, the rich, or the virtuous – should all participate in politics. These elements should hold their own places; their participation and mutual interaction would lead to better knowledge, which is necessary for the common good of the polis. This knowledge is not exactly the same as the kind of philosophical truth that Plato hoped a true philosopher would attain, but it is approximate to it. Perhaps more importantly, this approach is more pragmatic, as a philosopher-king is very rare, if even possible (Plato 1991; Boesche 1993). According to this theory, the relationships between the different elements must be cordial in nature. The two most obvious and almost everlasting elements in a city are the rich and the poor, which Aristotle recognizes as usually the source of unrest or factions. He explains, “inferiors start factions in order to be equal, and equals do so in order to be superior. So much for the condition of those who start faction” (Aristotle 1998, 137). But factional conflicts are not desirable in a city, according to Aristotle, because they lead to something bad, be it tyranny, oligarchy, or mob rule. But whatever it is, the end result of conflict is that one of the multiple elements in a city is strengthened out of due proportion, while other elements are vanquished. Henceforth, the city is out of balance, which is a sign of illness and weakness. He uses the metaphor of the human body, as he often does, to illustrate this point: Constitutions are just like parts of the body. A straight nose is the most beautiful, but one that deviates from being straight and tends toward being hooked or snub can nevertheless still be beautiful to look at. Yet if it is tightened still more toward the extreme, the part will first be thrown out of due proportion, and in the end it will cease to look like a nose at all, because it has too much of one and too little of the other of these opposites. The same holds for the other parts as well. This can also happen in the case of the constitutions. (Aristotle 1998, 157) It is natural that different parts of the city treat each other well, just as it is natural that the organs of the body cooperate with one another and contribute to the well-being of the entire body. Conflict is unnatural precisely because it arises out of inappropriate desires on the part of different particular elements. Therefore, the health of the political body requires that its members maintain friendly relations with each other. As Aristotle says, “we regard friendship as the greatest of goods for city-states, since in this condition people are least likely to factionalize” (Aristotle 1998, 30). Aristotle’s theory of friendship with regard to the health of the body politic was very influential in ancient and medieval times. Cicero of ancient Rome, for instance, compares relationships between different elements of a republic to tunes. There has to be a harmonious relationship among the tunes for the sound to be pleasing to the ear. He says, “[W]hat musicians call harmony with regard to song is concord in the state, the tightest and the best bond of safety in every republic; and that concord can never exist without

162  Demin Duan justice” (Cicero 1999, 57). St. Thomas Aquinas in the Middle Ages, who learned a lot from Aristotle, also thinks that friendship is essential for a political community, whether a kingdom or a republic. He says, “we indeed think that friendship is the greatest good for political communities, since citizens then cause the least civil disturbance,” (Aquinas 2007, 91), and that “all good lawmakers strive for friendship among all citizens” (Aquinas 2007, 94). During Machiavelli’s time, Italian Renaissance intellectuals were also influenced by this mode of thinking. This includes Francesco Guicciardini, Machiavelli’s friend and fellow “republican” political thinker, who shared many political opinions with him. After Machiavelli died, Guicciardini wrote a lengthy commentary on his friend’s book Discourses on Livy. In this commentary titled “Considerations of the Discourses of Niccolò Machiavelli,” he recognizes the extreme novelty of Machiavelli’s claim that conflict or discord was conducive to Rome’s liberty and greatness. But he vehemently refuses to accept this argument. He states that “praising discord is like praising a sick man’s illness, because the remedy that has been used on him is the right one” (Guicciardini 2002, 393). On this particular issue, Guicciardini reverts to traditional thinking: rebellion is not to be commended, nobles and elites ought to be respected, and harmony will lead the republic to a better place (Guicciardini 2002, 392–394). Against this background, Machiavelli is truly remarkable, in the sense that he does not think conflicts or even tumults are a disease of a republic. On the contrary, they could be very constructive for a republic, a point he deems so important that he lays it out right at the beginning of his major work Discourses on Livy. In Book 1 Chapter 2 of the book, after ostensibly agreeing with traditional thinking on the point of a mixed constitution, he suddenly reverts to a conclusion that is quite alien to traditional wisdom. While the theory of a mixed constitution is all about harmony between the aristocrats, the people, and so on, he says: “remaining mixed, it (Rome) made a perfect republic, to which perfection it came through the disunion of the plebs and the Senate” (emphasis added) (Machiavelli 1996, 14). In Chapter 4 of Book I, titled “That the Disunion of the Plebs and the Roman Senate Made That Republic Free and Powerful,” Machiavelli further makes his point clear on the issue: I say that to me it appears that those who damn the tumults between the nobles and the plebs blame those things that were the first cause of keeping Rome free, and that they consider the noises and the cries that would arise in such tumults more than the good effects that they engendered. They do not consider that in every republic are two diverse humors, that of the people and that of the great, and that all the laws that are made in favor of freedom arise from their disunion, as can easily be seen to have occurred in Rome. (Machiavelli 1996, 16) He appears to aim this criticism at his main source in writing this book, that is, Titus Livy. The event in discussion is the so-called “Secessio plebis,” or

“Seek Harmony but not Uniformity”  163 secession of the plebs, the first of which happened in 494 BC and led to the establishment of the Tribune of the Plebs. It was a major victory for the common people. Similar plebian secessions occurred in the following centuries and contributed to the establishment of freer and fairer institutions in Rome. But how to view these apparent conflicts is the question. Livy discusses this at length in his History of Rome. After the city descended into chaos following the secession, the senators finally realized that they had to do something in order to prevent total collapse, especially considering the threats from outside the republic. So, they decided to send an ambassador named Agrippa Menenius to the commons to resolve the crisis. In Livy’s account, what Menenius mainly did was tell them a story about the human body: there was a time when parts of the body did not agree with each other. Members such as the hands, the mouth, and the teeth were not satisfied with the fact that they do all the work, while the belly sits idly in the middle, enjoying all the food they provide. So, they revolted against the belly. But it turned out that the belly was not idle at all, as it provides nourishment and sends it to the other body parts. With the belly being kept from food, all the other parts of the body suffer greatly as well. After telling this story, as Livy says, “he prevailed upon the minds of his hearers.” Further, “Steps were then taken towards harmony, and a compromise was effected on these terms” (Livy 1967, 325). Obviously, Livy sees this event largely through the lens of harmony: first, there is a deviation from harmony, triggered by the revolt of the plebs; then there is a restoration of harmony, by educating the plebs. Machiavelli, on the other hand, strongly disagrees with Livy’s interpretation. First, he explains the pretext of this crisis: it is not that somehow the plebs just decided to revolt, or were so greedy that they wanted to acquire more than they deserved. It was actually the nobles who were in the wrong. According to Machiavelli, before the Tarquins were expelled, the nobles had to restrain themselves in their dealings with the plebs, out of the fear that they might align with the king. But as soon as the Tarquins were dead, “fear fled from the nobles, they began to spit out that poison against the plebs that they had held in their breasts, and they offended it in all the modes they could” (Machiavelli 1996, 15). To Machiavelli, this is the real reason the plebs revolted; in other words, they had every reason to do so. More than this, he thinks that precisely because the plebs revolted, Rome started on a path toward true greatness. That is to say, the city began to radically reform its laws, create new institutions, renovate its customs, and thus people become more virtuous and free (Machiavelli 1996, 16–19). Machiavelli says: “good examples arise from good education, good education from good laws, and good laws from those tumults that many inconsiderately damn” (Machiavelli 1996, 16). Machiavelli considers that the people, rather than the nobles, were the better guardians of liberty in the republic, which is also rather unconventional. He says the following: One should put on guard over a thing those who have less appetite for usurping it. Without doubt, if one considers the end of the nobles and of

164  Demin Duan the ignobles, one will see great desire to dominate in the former, and in the latter only desire not to be dominated; and, in consequence, a greater will to live free, being less able to hope to usurp it than are the great. So when those who are popular are posted as the guard of freedom, it is reasonable that they have more care for it, and since they are not able to seize it, they do not permit others to seize it. (Machiavelli 1996, 18) He assumes that, since people are generally vicious, conflict functions to restrain people. Men behave decently only because they know that if they do not, they are sure to be attacked by the other side. Therefore, for their own good, they have to treat other people well and obey rules or laws. Out of this checks and balances relationship, according to Machiavelli, it is the nobles who are more prone to attack others, because they have more resources to do so. In this regard, he advocates for a broader participation of citizens, especially the ordinary people. Many scholars have remarked on this theory of conflict in Machiavelli’s thought. Quentin Skinner, for instance, says that this theory “ran counter to the whole tradition of republican thought in Florence” (Skinner 1981, 66). Maurizio Viroli comments that Machiavelli’s “assessment of civil conflict in the Discorsi had broken with a tradition of political thought that had always condemned discord as both cause and effect of bad government and corruption” (Viroli 1990, 183). The “Cambridge School” scholars such as Skinner himself tend to put Machiavelli in the tradition of “republicanism,” which supposedly dates back to Aristotle. They tend to agree that Machiavelli, while largely belonging to this tradition, made some radical alterations to it, especially concerning harmony and conflict. However, more recent interpretations and positive utilization of Machiavelli’s thinking go beyond this and try to make him more of a champion of the common people, the poor, or even the proletariat. John P. McCormick’s Machiavellian Democracy is representative of this new line of interpretation, which also includes scholars such as Yves Winter, Amanda Maher, and so on. For them, the topic of conflict in Machiavelli is akin to class struggle, and therefore, there is much more to be learned here than Skinner and others have assumed (McCormick 2011; Winter 2018; Maher 2017).

Conflict in China’s Modern Political Discourse It should be noted that interest in Machiavelli by Leftist Marxist social and political movements is not something new. Antonio Gramsci, founding member and one-time leader of the Communist Party of Italy, was deeply impressed by Machiavelli and used one of his central political figures “the new Prince” to describe the nature of the role of the revolutionary communist party. In his mind, what a revolutionary party has to do is exactly what Machiavelli imagines a new Prince should do, namely to create “new orders and modes” (Machiavelli 1998, 23). Just as with the situation faced by a new

“Seek Harmony but not Uniformity”  165 prince, a revolutionary party enters into a completely uncharted area when it decides to create a new social order. It is both extremely dangerous and difficult to upset the old order because those who benefit from the old order will do everything they can to preserve what they already have. Even those ordinary people, those who are worse off, are not necessarily enthusiastic supporters of the “new prince,” because they do not know or cannot yet clearly see what the new order is like and how they would fit in (Gramsci 2000, 238–243). In this regard, it is extremely important that the party takes the leadership role. But taking this role means that it has to do extraordinary things, including things that may offend the people’s moral instincts. Machiavelli views this as a “necessity,” while Gramsci and other Marxists theorize this point into a historical view of social progress. That is to say, in a typical Marxist perspective, the moral sense is relative to the economic foundation of a society. When the party stages a revolution, it is not only futile, but also wrong to adhere to the moral ideology of the society that the revolution is supposed to attack and replace (Gramsci 2000, 243; Marx 2000, 175–208). However, this is not to say that the revolutionary party should disregard the moral sense or ethical values. At least to Gramsci, this is also what a modern new prince should pay special attention to. He has to provide a new “artistic imagination,” (Gramsci 2000, 239), one that includes a new set of ethical values for the people and elicits their consent. Failing to do this, according to him, the revolution is bound to be defeated. A typical example is the Soviet Union’s defeat in Poland during the Soviet–Polish War around 1920. Following Machiavelli’s footsteps, Gramsci opines that the revolutionary party has to build a new cultural hegemony in order to succeed. He says: The modern Prince must be and cannot but be the proclaimer and organizer of an intellectual and moral reformation, which also means creating the terrain for a subsequent development of the national-popular collective will towards the realization of a superior, total form of modern civilization. (Gramsci 2000, 242) This is what the Communist Party of China (CPC) has wished to achieve since its foundation in 1921. Since then, the CPC has turned from a revolutionary “opposition” party into the ruling party of China, effectuating fundamental changes over the entire society. The entire configuration of society, including the people’s moral and intellectual senses, economic and cultural habits, and political and legal systems, have been forged in the image of the party. One may indeed say that the party has brought into being a new “civilization.” But we need to take a brief look at how this happened. The Qing Dynasty sank into a deep crisis in the second half of the 19th century. At that time, China faced coercion and invasion from Western powers, and it was economically backward and extremely weak in defense capabilities, especially in comparison to Western countries that had already been

166  Demin Duan through the industrial revolution. Being pulled into the West’s “Age of Imperialism,” the Qing rulers found themselves attacked before its once obedient subjects. The crisis quickly became a domestic one: waves of unrest and rebellion occurred during the last decades of the 19th century. Finally, the Qing government was overthrown and a new Republic of China was established by Dr. Sun Yat-sen and his Nationalist Party. But this did not solve the problems on both the domestic and international fronts. China would soon have to fight against the cruelest and most relentless invasion in the country’s history, namely the invasion by Japan. The new national government seemed unable to rally all the Chinese people to meet this challenge, largely because of its corruption and incompetence. This meant civil unrest had to continue. It is largely against this background that the Communist Party of China was established by a few progressive young students and intellectuals in order to “save the country.” It soon attracted many who were very disappointed with the then government and worried about the country’s future. Indeed, the CPC represented hope for many people during that time. And the party was wise to use this emotion to expand its influence and solidify its power (Zarrow 2005; Mitter 2004). It is rather like what Machiavelli expected from a great new prince: when presented with a chance, the new prince grabs it and makes people obey his rule by offering a vision of a new way of life. During the revolution led by the CPC, it was the people or the downtrodden, that the party took the most care to mobilize and rely upon. It is obvious that the CPC’s ideology was developed from Karl Marx’s teachings, and influenced by the Soviet Union. Marxism is first and foremost about the liberation of the proletariat from capitalistic exploitation and oppression. In China, the CPC started with this mission. In the first Party Charter, passed by the first Party Congress in 1921, we can find these words at the beginning: “The revolutionary army should fight together with the proletariat in order to overthrow capitalist class regime. It should provide aid to the working class, until all social classes are abolished” (CCPS Editors 2013, 1). The problem was that at that time the economy in China was still very much agricultural, with the majority of the population living in the countryside as farmers. Industrial workers only existed very scantly in a few major cities such as Pekin and Shanghai. Should the CPC stay in these cities and lead the workers in staging a revolution? This is the question that divided the party in its nascent years. At the end of the internal strife, it was Mao Tse-Tung’s ideas and ways that triumphed. The party quickly maneuvered into deep mountains, built bases among the farmers, gathered strength, and waited for better moments to strike. Therefore, after the 1930s, the farmers became the biggest source of support for the CPC. However, in the party charters passed and revised over the years, it can be seen that officially it is still the (industrial) workers who were the main base of the party, while the farmers were the actual source of power (CCPS Editors 2013). The “new prince” needs a new story of China, about its past, present, and future. It has to provide a new image to the people, especially to the workers and farmers, as to what kind of new society they could live in should the

“Seek Harmony but not Uniformity”  167 revolution succeed. The first Party Congress of the CPC issued a “Proclamation of the Communist Party of China,” in which the aim and mission of the party were laid out. To a great extent imitating the Communist Manifesto, the proclamation expresses the party’s ideal to be the following: (1) tools of production – including land – will be collectivized in order to eliminate exploitation; (2) in the long term, the state will no longer exist; (3) private property will also be abolished, which means that there will be no classes (Database of Chinese People’s Congress 1921). The aim of the Chinese communists, the proclamation says, is to “create a new society” (Database of Chinese People’s Congress 1921). It is true that this is not the first time Chinese activists had tried to offer a new vision to the Chinese people. Dr. Sun Yat-sen, for instance, drew upon Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address, claiming that the government of the newly born Republic of China upholds the so-called “Three Principles of the People” (三民主义): “Government of the people, by the people, for the people” (Chang & Gordon 1991). This was already a radical break from thousands of years of political tradition in China, in which it was automatically assumed that all land belongs to the emperor. The CPC reached further, accusing the Nationalist Party of only siding with the rich and privileged minority. In the CPC’s story, the Nationalist Party is “progressive” only in a limited sense. After it overthrew the Qing Dynasty, the Nationalist Party soon became another hindrance to the true historical progress and liberation of the country. In this regard, the communist party was to play the final role of leading the Chinese people toward freedom. It could be said that the CPC’s revolution was very successful. The party has been the single ruling party in China for more than 70 years and it marked its centenary in 2021. The country has been made and remade in its image, not to mention that China has become the second-largest economy in the world. One way to measure this fundamental transformation is how political discourse has changed dramatically thanks to the CPC. During the revolutionary years, struggle, conflict, and revolt became the common language of ordinary Chinese people. This is the most “abnormal” part of the Chinese history, since it is arguably the first time in history that intellectuals, politicians, and ordinary people put so much positive value on them. Again, the party congress proclamation is representative of this sea change: Class struggle is the tool to overthrow capitalism. Class struggle always exists in human society, it only has changed its form many times, due to the development of tools of production. ……The increase of struggle is in accordance with the law of history. The communist party’s mission is to organize and centralize this momentum of class struggle, so as to attack capitalistic forces. (Database of Chinese People’s Congress 1921) One of Mao Tse-tung’s most distinctive contributions to the revolution was his positive evaluation and promotion of the peasant forces. In the 1920s, when most of the highly educated party intellectuals, many of whom graduated

168  Demin Duan from universities in the Soviet Union, focused on the workers, he was the one who noticed that the true foundation of the party was the countryside and the farmers. He made extensive investigations into peasant movements, of which the most famous was the “Report on an Investigation of the Peasant Movement in Hunan” (1927). In the report, Mao calls for recognition of the significance of the peasant movement by his party; he shows that the peasants are actually central to the party’s revolutionary mission, and it would be costly for the party to ignore them. In this narrative, Mao advocates for peasant unrest: Once the peasants have their organization, the first thing they do is to smash the political prestige and power of the landlord class, and especially of the local tyrants and evil gentry, that is, to pull down landlord authority and build up peasant authority in rural society. This is a most serious and vital struggle. (Mao 1975, 35) It is indeed true that the peasants were the most oppressed in the then-Chinese society, and they constituted the majority of the population. To appeal to them is a “prudent” thing to do if the party hopes to gain real power (Potter & Potter 1990). But it is worth noting how much the discourse changed, and how Mao as an intellectual member of the party was different from traditional Chinese intellectuals. Confucian intellectuals sometimes help people, including peasants, to express their grief before authority. But they very seldom, if ever, openly advocated for peasant revolt. Correspondingly, the peasants were never considered indicative of the future of society. They were more accepted as an integrated part of society, occupying a status lower than all others. They could ask for what they deserved, such as lenient treatment at the hands of authority, but not more than that. In Mao’s writings, however, we see a wholly different story and vision of the future. The downtrodden are actually the true leading class in society – they represent the future. Struggle and conflict are not only good, but necessary in the evolution of human society. As one famous saying of Mao goes, “revolution is not about inviting guests to dinner.”

“Harmony” in Confucianism and Today's China To highlight how this promulgation of conflict and struggle is so extraordinary, we need some understanding of how “harmony” (“和” in Chinese) dominates traditional political thinking in ancient China. Over the thousands of years before the late 19th century, Confucian scholars and many other intellectuals principally put “harmony” at a very high place in their vision of a good society. The first great saint of Confucianism, Confucius himself, talks about harmony. In Book 1 of the Analects, “harmony” is mentioned in the discussion of rituals: What ritual values most is harmony. The Way of the former kings was truly admirable in this respect. But if in matters great and small one

“Seek Harmony but not Uniformity”  169 proceeds in this manner, the results may not always be satisfactory. You may understand the ideal of harmony and work for it, but if you do not employ ritual to regulate the proceedings, things will not go well. (Confucius 2007, 17) To Confucius and his disciples, rituals concern the relationships between people. Rituals should be performed in the right way, so that everyone knows who he or she is in the community. On the face of it, rituals seem like a mere formality. But they have deep meanings, especially in defining who we are and what we should do. Therefore, Confucius highly appreciated the value of rituals, so much so that he dwells upon them extensively in his conversations with his students. He sees this as an opportunity to interfere in one of the major crises of his time, namely that wars and conflicts make people or society in general “lose rituals”(失礼). Feudal lords do not respect the king, friends no longer love one another, family members descend into mutual hatred, etc. Confucius sees these as the problem of “rituals being lost.” All that is left is individuals’ desires and social conflicts. Thus, he wants to highlight the essential importance of rituals, relating them to the fundamental questions of how to live our lives and how a society should be structured. In this sense, the members of a society should respect, love, and assist each other; or in other words, they should be in a harmonious relationship. Like Aristotle in ancient Greece, Confucius laid the foundation of political thinking in China. One of Confucius’s disciples, Mencius, interprets “harmony” in terms of musical arrangement. Somewhat like Cicero, he comments that, [T]he perfect ensemble begins with the sound of the bronze bell and ends with the sound of the jade chimes, the bronze bell anticipating the harmony at the beginning of the concert and the jade chimes bringing the harmony to a conclusion at its close. Relating this to human wisdom, he says, “[T]he harmony at the opening is the work of wisdom; the harmony at the close is the work of sageliness” (Mencius 2009, 111). Zhuang Zi (庄子), who disagrees with Confucius on many critical points, nevertheless also embraces the value of harmony. In a typical Daoist manner, he uses “harmony” to describe the “being” itself: Understanding the principles of heaven and earth, which recognize the foundation and origin, is to be harmonious with nature. Managing the affairs of the world is to be harmonious with people. Being in harmony with people is called the worldly joy. Being in harmony with nature is called the heavenly joy. (Zi 2008, 179) It is against this large background that Mao and his party comrades promoted struggle and conflict. The rationale was that, in Mao’s and others’

170  Demin Duan eyes, the political discourse revolving around harmony ultimately protects the interests of the lords and elites. In the body metaphor, the body parts are supposed to be in a harmonious relationship. But there are inevitably some body parts – such as the heart and head – that are more important than others. Therefore, accepting this metaphor means accepting this classification of the body parts. Mao and others did not accept this metaphor and its related ethics. Instead, they wanted to “liberate” the downtrodden, the oppressed classes, and create an entirely new society in which there are no classifications among people. But in order to realize this, even in the long run, you have to fight, and not shy away from violating traditional ethical norms. This is exactly what Machiavelli taught the new princes who want to create a “new order and mode.” Having said this, we need to further recognize that, in the contemporary post-revolutionary era, there has been a certain “reversion” to the emphasis on “harmony” in political discourse. Today, “harmony” is one of the 12 “Socialist Core Values” proclaimed by the CPC, together with prosperity, democracy, civility, freedom, equality, justice, rule of law, patriotism, dedication, integrity, and friendliness (China Daily 2017). But before these core values were officially announced at the 18th Party National Congress in 2006, the party had already passed a resolution to construct a “socialist harmonious society” (China Daily 2017). At this time, harmony and friendliness were definitely prioritized over struggle and conflicts. The background of this development is that the party had been acting as the ruling party, routinely overseeing economic and social development. As it always does, a society under regular governance inevitably breaks up into several groups, and some are richer than others (Duan 2019). What kind of relationship should these groups be in? If the aim is development, it cannot but be harmonious and friendly. It is also worth mentioning that in 21st-century China, Confucian culture is more accepted by the party than in the past. Many party documents and proclamations refer to Confucianism as the “Chinese” culture, of which the Chinese people are proud. It is also part of the discourse on the “Chinese way” or “China model,” signifying the Chinese political system’s uniqueness in comparison with the western liberal democratic model. (Bell 2015). On the other hand, the revival of Confucian culture also fits with the domestic need of maintaining stability and harmonious social relationships.

Convergence: “Seek Harmony but Not Uniformity” We have demonstrated how Machiavelli’s positive use of conflict in his political theory fits with the revolutionary narrative in modern China, especially with regard to the struggle of the downtrodden. We have also noted that the CPC’s glorification of conflict and struggle is in direct contradiction to the traditional Confucian virtue of harmony, while the latter appears to have reemerged in the “post-revolutionary” era. In this last section, we are going to show that there is another level to this alignment. Even in the Confucian

“Seek Harmony but not Uniformity”  171 emphasis on harmony, there is a specific but very important recognition of diversity, while Machiavelli’s appreciation of conflict in republican politics actually presupposes a certain condition of civility or good manners. Let’s first take a look at Machiavelli. A special feature of his “republican” theory is the positive acceptance of the role of conflict in realizing “liberty and greatness” for a republic. The prime example of this theory is the ancient Roman republic. He obviously wants his own governance – the Florentine republic – to follow the Roman example. In particular, he compares the Roman model with two other republics – Sparta in ancient times and Venice in his own time. Rome is the model of a plebian republic, in which the common people have the right to participate vigorously in domestic politics, usually through means of conflict and constant vigilance in regard to the aristocrats. Sparta and Venice represent the model of an “aristocratic republic,” in which the aristocrats or rich families play the most important role in politics while the common people are mostly excluded. How to choose between these two models? Machiavelli first says that it depends on what you want: if you want only to preserve the republic, then perhaps Venice and Sparta are a safe choice, as they value stability over extensive participation. The assumption is that extensive participation inevitably brings conflict and tumult with it. But if you choose this path, then it means that the republic does not trust the people enough, so it will not challenge foreign powers so daringly. For foreign wars most likely offer a chance for the common people to press for more power and benefits. This kind of aristocratic republic usually sues for peace in the face of foreign threats. In contrast with this, Rome is a wholly different model, in that it actively challenges any kind of foreign threat, in one way or another, while as a whole it does not flinch at the prospect of allowing the common people to play an active role in politics. In Machiavelli’s mind, the fact is that Rome viewed this extensive participation by the people as a source of strength rather than an inconvenience (Machiavelli 1996, 15–17). Machiavelli obviously admires the Roman example, as he believes that “a city that lives free has two ends—one to acquire, the other to maintain itself free” (Machiavelli 1996, 66). If a republic wishes to make an empire, “it is necessary for it to do everything as did Rome” (Machiavelli 1996, 18). But the reason for favoring the Roman model goes beyond the question of “liberty and empire.” It has to do with human nature as well. The aristocratic model assumes that human nature is generally good, and such a republic would navigate in a complex of international powers. Whereas in the Roman model, one assumes that humans are naturally self-interested and attracted to conquest. Given the opportunity, they are bound to impose their will on others. Hence, there is always the “necessity” to conquer and build an empire, even if the aim is merely to remain independent and free. Machiavelli says the following: Since all things of men are in motion and cannot stay steady, they must either rise or fall; and to many things that reason does not bring you, necessity brings you. ……I believe that it is necessary to follow the Roman order and not that of the other republics—for I do not believe

172  Demin Duan one can find a mode between the one and the other—and to tolerate the enmities that arise between the people and the Senate, taking them as an inconvenience necessary to arrive at Roman greatness. (Machiavelli 1996, 23) However, despite this remarkable theorization of conflict, extensive participation, and greatness, when applying it to his own governance, Florence, Machiavelli discovers another level of this theory that is not so conspicuous in The Discourses. In his much later book The Florentine Histories, he spends much time on the Florentine disease – too much conflict. He narrates that, in the 14th and 15th centuries, revolts by the common people and workers in the republic were incessant, but they hardly resulted in better laws as Rome did. As in the Ciompi Revolt (1378 to 1382), the participants are from the bottom of society – artisans, laborers, and craftsmen – and their targets are the rich class. But the latter used to be common people as well; most of them participated in their own cycles of revolt and struggle. Each cycle of conflict creates new elites and underprivileged people. The rampant use of violence guarantees that there is little room for discussion, consensus, and law-making. There is a largely unconstrained desire to dominate and exclude. This kind of conflict made Florence both weak in terms of external war and unfree in domestic politics, since division gives much opportunity to tyrant figures like Walter the Duke of Athens (Machiavelli 1988, 84–89). Machiavelli thus gives an analysis of Florentine history that is apparently opposite to Rome: “It [Florence] would have risen to any greatness if frequent and new divisions had not afflicted it” (Machiavelli 1988, 58). In the light of this contrast, Machiavelli explains why Florence and Rome are so different when it comes to division and conflict. It turns out, as he says, that they represent two kinds of conflict, one that is beneficial and the other that is destructive: The enmities between the people and the nobles at the beginning of Rome that were resolved by disputing were resolved in Florence by fighting. Those in Rome ended with a law, those in Florence with the exile and death of many citizens; those in Rome always increased military virtue, those in Florence eliminated it altogether; those in Rome brought the city from equality in the citizens to a very great inequality, those in Florence reduced it from inequality to a wonderful equality. (Machiavelli 1988, 105) We can see that Machiavelli’s “criticism” of conflict in the Florentine case is not necessarily in contradiction to his previous positive evaluation of its role in the Roman case (Winter 2012; Maher 2017; Holman 2020; McCormick 2017). Rather, it could be argued that here Machiavelli tries to complement his theorization of conflict in the Discourses, by highlighting the conditions of the positive effects of conflict in republican politics. The conditions are, as the above quotations show, inclusion, non-violence, and a tendency to reach an agreement.

“Seek Harmony but not Uniformity”  173 What Machiavelli aims at, it appears, is a situation in which all kinds of elements or players are included in politics, no matter who they are, while largely non-violent conflicts and struggles are tolerated rather than ruled out beforehand. A famous Confucian saying may be used to summarize this theory, that is, one ought to “seek harmony but not uniformity.” Of course, the Confucian emphasis on harmony, like its counterparts in ancient Greek and Roman political thought, is very different from Machiavelli’s thinking. But it is still important to point out that, in typical Confucian understanding, harmony does not exclude diversity. Actually, it is the opposite: true harmony presumes diversity – diversity in opinions, interests, or even men’s humors – in Machiavelli’s terms. Confucius recognizes that men are different, which is exactly why rituals are needed to regulate men’s relationships. If all men are the same, no ritual is needed. He says: “The gentleman acts in harmony with others but does not ape them. The petty man apes others but is not in harmony with them” (Confucius 2007, 93). In politics, trying to impose one’s view upon all others is not the right way to seek harmony, but to incite war. In this sense, Machiavelli’s idea of conflict is not so far from Confucian thinking on harmony after all.

Conclusion At the end of The Prince, Machiavelli makes the famous call for an Italian prince to unite people in fighting against foreign domination, seeking freedom, and “ennobling the fatherland” (Machiavelli 1988, 105). Scholars quarrel over the meaning of this statement, but it sounds all too familiar as the battle cry during the revolutionary era in China. A revolution needs to be led by someone, in Machiavelli’s case a new prince with virtù, in China’s case a new party. They all need to keep their distance from the “old” moral sense in creating a new order. Machiavelli’s “break” from European traditional political thinking is also reflected in the CPC’s break from traditional Confucian thinking. The most prominent part of this break was the positive acceptance of the role of struggle or conflict in politics. In both cases, they are no longer considered as something destructive, but rather a “necessity” in pushing society toward progress. However, as we have seen, Machiavelli complemented this theory of conflict with a distinction between “good conflict” and “bad conflict,” arguing that for conflicts to bear positive results they have to be largely non-violent. In parallel to this, in the Confucian idea of “harmony,” this is also a central requirement of diversity. Machiavelli’s theory of conflict may not be so different from the Confucian motto “seek harmony but not uniformity.”

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Index of Names

Agathocles 19, 36, 39 Alexander the Great 19, 128 Alfieri, Vittorio 74 Aquinas, Thomas 40, 73, 162, 173 Aristotle 10–1, 26–31, 33–41, 81, 90, 111, 141, 144, 160–2, 164, 169, 173 Augustine of Hippos/The City of God 128, 132 Bacon, Francis 79 Bellah, Robert 8, 13 Blado, Antonio 70, 73 Bluntschli, Johann Kasper 144, 156 Botero, Giovanni 73 Campanella, Tommaso 70, 73 Chen, Duxiu 91–2, 102 Chen, Qigang 96–9, 102 Chen, Ruheng 91, 102–3 Cicero 10, 37–9, 41, 144, 161–2, 169, 174 Confucius/Kongzi 13, 62–4, 91–2, 102, 139, 141, 149, 156, 168–9, 173–4 Conring, Hermann 73, 81 Croce, Benedetto 75, 85 Dante, Alighieri/Divine Comedy 8, 83, 89, 128, 141 de Ribadeneira, Pedro 82 de Sanctis, Francesco 74 Deng, Wenyi 95 Descartes, René 77, 86 Dionysius of Syracuse (The Elder) 128 Ferdinand of Aragon 31 Foscolo, Ugo 71, 74 Fouillée, A. J. É. 112–3, 118 Fu, Suizhi 99, 102 Fujita, Shozo 143, 158 Gentili, Alberico 79 Giunta, Bernardo 70, 72

Gramsci, Antonio 75, 85, 164–5, 174 Gu, Hongming 89, 102 Guan, Zhong 149 Guicciardini, Francesco 70, 83, 130, 140–1, 162, 174 Hamilton, Alexander 83, 86 Han Fei/Han Feizi 3–4, 44, 64–5, 92, 110, 123–5, 127–42, 155 Hani, Gorō 115–6, 118 Harrington, James 80 He, Yongji 100, 103 Hobbes, Thomas 43–6, 48–52, 54–55, 57, 59, 61, 65, 80, 88 Hsiao, Kungchuan 3, 13, 51, 64, 92, 103, 130, 142 Hu, Shih 93–4, 103, 132, 141 Inoue, Kowashi 108, 143–51, 153–58 Jefferson, Thomas 83 Kant, Immanuel 81 Kuga, Katsunan 110–2, 118–9, 145–6, 155, 157–8 Leo X (Pope)/Leone X/Giovanni di Lorenzo de’ Medici 72 Liang, Qichao (梁启超) 7, 88–9, 91, 102–3, 118 Livy/Titus Livius 23, 38, 151–2, 156–7, 162–3, 174 Lu, Xun (鲁迅) 88–9, 102–3 Macaulay, Thomas Babington 80, 84, 107–9, 118–9, 146, 157 Machiavelli, Niccolò passim 43, 74, 123 Mansfield, Harvey 25, 42, 65, 142, 152, 154, 156–7, 174 Mao, Tse-tung/Mao, Zedong 166–70, 174 Marlowe, Christopher 78–9

Index of Names  177 Maruyama, Masao 8, 13, 116–9 McCormick, John 164, 172, 174 Medici/The Medici 19, 37, 69, 71–3, 76, 146, 152 Mencius/Mengzi 13, 124, 139, 142, 148–9, 154, 156, 158, 169, 175 Mussolini, Benito 75, 97, 101

Stewart, Dugald 105–6, 118–9 Strauss, Leo 27, 37–8, 40–2, 83, 86, 131–2, 142, 156, 158 Su, Xun 110, 146

Nakae, Tokusuke/Nakae Chōmin 112–4, 117, 119 Nakamura, Masanao 105–6, 118–9, 145, 158 Nifo, Agostino 70, 73

Vettori, Francesco 39, 145 Villari, Pasquale 74 Viroli, Maurizo 12–3, 41–2, 154, 156, 158, 164, 175 von Stein, Lorenz 144, 158

Ogyu, Sorai 8

Wang, Ganyu 98, 100, 103–4 Wang, Mingfu 91 Wu, Enyu 89, 91, 101–2, 103 Wu, Guangjian 93, 95, 103

Pasquier, Etienne 76 Periander/the Second Tyrant of the Cypselid dynasty 27, 36 Plato/The Republic 13, 37, 40, 80, 93, 124, 128, 139, 141–2, 160–1, 175 Pocock, John G. 10, 13, 41–2, 85, 155, 158 Pu, Xuefeng 93

Tokutomi, Sohō 107–8, 117, 119–20 Trajan (Roman emperor) 128

Xenophon 37, 40, 127 Xiong, Chunru 88, 97, 104 Xu, Shoushang 88–9 Xunzi 13, 63, 66, 131, 139, 142

Rousseau, Jean-Jacques 17, 25, 74, 77, 88, 101, 118, 144, 146, 155, 158

Yen, Fuh 88–90, 97, 104 Yen, Heling 90 Yi, Min 97–100, 102, 104 Yokoi, Shonan 149

Savonarola, Girolamo 134 Schmitt, Carl 82, 85, 116–9 Schoppe, Caspar 81 Shang, Yang/Shangzi 43–6, 59–60, 62–6 Shelley, Mary 80 Skinner, Quentin 10, 13, 40–2, 80, 86, 156–7, 164, 175 Soseki, Natsume 8

Zeng, Jiwei 90, 95, 103 Zhang, Shenfu 97–8, 102, 104 Zhang, Zuoqi 91, 102–3 Zhu, Xi/Neo-Confucianism 106, 147, 149–50, 158 Zhu, Zhixin 88, 96, 102, 104 Zhuangzi/Zhuang Zhou 123, 169, 175

Qian, Duansheng 91, 103

Index of Terms

Amoral/amorality/anti-moral/dis-moral 7–11 Appearance 28–32, 35–6, 74–5, 126, 129, 135, 148, 153, 156 Asian values 3

Eastern collectivism 4 East-West dialogue(s) 4–6 Empire/expansion 6, 9, 12–3, 17, 20–1, 41, 48, 52, 55, 62, 64–5, 95–6, 103, 123, 128, 158, 171

Benevolence 56, 62, 110, 130, 143–4, 147–56

Florentine Histories/History of Florence/ Istorie fiorentine 65, 69, 72, 93, 102, 108, 119, 140, 142, 152, 156–7, 172, 174 Fortune/Fortuna 6, 22, 32, 33–5, 40, 47–8, 56, 61, 65, 69, 85, 108–112, 125, 133, 136, 141 Founder/fondatore/Foundering 21, 23, 33, 38, 51, 91, 101, 133 Free will 109–112, 140

Cambridge School (Intellectual History) 10, 13, 158, 164 China’s Machiavelli 3–4 Christianity 6, 24, 37–8, 41, 80, 101, 150 Ciompi Revolt/The Ciompi Revolt (1378–1382) 172 Civic humanism 10 Cognizione (Knowledge) 85, 126–7 Common good 3–4, 7, 10, 12–3, 21–2, 24, 129, 132–3, 136, 139, 161 Conflict 11, 19–21, 43, 48, 78, 80–1, 93, 100, 106, 131, 160–2, 164, 167–74 Confucianism/Confucian ideals/ Confucians 7, 11, 13, 46, 56–7, 60, 62–4, 89, 91, 95, 106, 124, 127, 140, 143, 147–50, 154, 168, 170 Corruption 23, 107, 115, 134, 140, 164, 166, 174 CPC (the Communist Party of China) 165–7, 170 Custom 49–50, 54, 65 Discourses on Livy /Discorsi/ 论李维/ ローマ史論考/ 政略論 9–10, 21, 25, 42, 65, 69, 119, 142, 146, 150, 152, 157, 162, 164, 174 Disunion/disunion of the Plebs and the Senate 162 Divinity/divine 8, 73, 80, 111, 128–9, 129, 141, 152 Domination 11, 18, 38, 49, 114, 123, 137, 173

Government/Governance 10, 20, 22–3, 39, 42, 46, 50–6, 60, 72, 76, 80, 83, 88, 97, 106, 108–110, 112–4, 116–8, 134–6, 138–40, 144–7, 155–6, 164, 166–7 Grandezza d’animo (Greatness of Mind) 134 Harmony 11, 35, 62, 80, 160–4, 168–71, 173 Honesty 60 Human Nature 10, 33, 39, 44, 49, 60, 62, 65, 80–3, 88, 93, 95, 103, 123–4, 128, 130–3, 139, 141, 144, 148, 171 Idealism 25, 45, 57, 113, 148 Ikioi/sei (momentum) 112 Legalism/Chinese legalism 3, 5, 13, 43–5, 62–5, 142 Liberalism 10, 24, 86, 107, 148 Liberty/Freedom 6–10, 12, 17–24, 32, 34, 38, 40, 50, 52, 74, 77, 81, 83, 85,

Index of Terms  179 86, 109, 111, 113, 115–6, 136–7, 140–1, 146–7, 160, 162–4, 167, 170–1, 173–4 Machiavellianism 5, 70–1, 76, 78, 82, 85, 89, 100, 102, 105, 107, 110, 114–5, 118, 143, 154–5 Marxism/Marxist 78, 101, 114–5, 164–6 Meiji reformation/Meiji state 8, 156, 158 Modernity 4–9, 11, 37–7, 65, 74–5, 82, 135, 143, 154–5, 157; Cf. Modernization 5, 87 Morality 7–8, 11, 26, 33, 37–8, 40, 43–4, 54, 69, 77–8, 80, 82, 89–90, 93, 96, 98, 100, 102–3, 105, 112–3, 116, 140, 143–4, 147–51, 153–5 Nationalism 6, 12–3, 81, 98, 110, 116, 118–9, 155 Nature/Mother Nature 6, 10, 29, 31, 33, 35, 39, 43–4, 48–51, 54, 59–62, 65, 80–3, 88, 93, 95, 98, 103, 113, 116, 123–4, 127–8, 130–4, 137, 139–41, 144–5, 148, 150, 152–3, 161, 164, 169, 171; Cf. Natural Law 113, 127, 139 Nicomachean Ethics 39, 41 On the Politics of the Arbitrary Hegemonic Power (横霸政治论) 90, 95 Paganism 24 Patriotism/patriotic loyalty/love of the fatherland 6, 10, 12–3, 89, 101, 116, 170 Piety 32, 76, 128, 156 Plagiarism 70 Political realism 4–6, 9–12, 26, 33, 36–8, 43, 45, 49, 51, 54, 59, 61, 148–9; Realists 43, 45, 48–9, 57, 61 Power politics 6, 96, 149 Prince 17–22, 24, 26, 29–37, 40, 46–7, 50, 52, 55, 60, 63, 65, 75, 78, 81–3, 85, 91, 98, 107–8, 113, 125, 127–9, 134–5, 141, 147, 150–1, 154–5, 164–6, 173; Cf. Jun (君) 91, 95, 102–3 The Prince/Il Principe/君主論(论) 5–6, 8–10, 17–21, 25–6, 29, 37, 39, 42, 65, 69–75, 77–9, 81–3, 85–6, 88–91, 93–6, 101, 103, 105, 107–119, 123–8, 130–1, 134–6, 141–2, 142–7, 150–8, 173 Principality/Principalities 18–22, 55, 141 Private good/Private goods 10, 21–2, 132 Prudence/prudenzia 7, 11, 33–6, 38, 40–1, 57, 81, 111, 125, 127, 129–30, 136, 151

Public interest 10, 52, 54, 56 Punishments 28, 43, 47, 49–50, 52–3, 55, 57–60, 63, 133, 151 Qing Dynasty 88, 101, 165, 167 Reason of State 6–7, 9, 11, 45, 53–4, 69, 73, 80–2 Religion/Religiosity 24–5, 30–2, 36, 38, 41, 69, 73, 75–6, 78, 82, 93, 96, 98, 113, 137, 139–40, 156, 158 Republic/Republics 6, 9, 12, 17–25, 40, 42, 45, 55–6, 61, 63–4, 70–2, 81, 89, 99, 114–5, 124, 131, 135–8, 141, 160–3, 166–7, 171–2 Republicanism 4–6, 10–2, 17, 21–2, 24–5, 37–8, 80, 101, 141, 144, 146, 164, 175; Cf. neo-Roman republicanism 10; civic republicanism 10, 21; classical republicanism 10 Rewards 49, 55, 57–60, 63, 132–4 Rome 19–20, 48, 54, 70, 72, 96, 131, 137, 139, 157, 161–3, 171–2, 174; Cf. Roman republic 18–9, 45, 56, 61, 171; Roman empire 20, 48, 128 Rule of Law 6, 10, 55, 135, 137–9, 170; Cf. Rule by Law 137; Rule by Rites 137 Scientific Realism 7 Soviet Union/the Soviet Union 166, 168 State of Nature 50–1, 130 Statist/State-centered 4, 6, 94 The Political 12–3, 34–5, 44, 50, 62, 65, 78, 85, 90, 92–4, 96, 101, 105, 107–9, 116–8, 123, 125–6, 138, 143, 146, 149, 151, 154, 160–1, 168, 170 The Skills of Hegemonic Power (霸术) 89, 103 Tokygawa/Tokugawa government/ Tokugawa bakufu 106 Truth 9, 26–7, 29–30, 33, 37–8, 46, 65, 101, 125–7, 129, 139, 150, 154, 161 Tyranny/Tyrant 10, 19, 21, 23, 27–9, 31, 33, 35–7, 39–42, 72, 76, 79, 81, 109, 126, 128, 134, 140, 144, 161, 172, 174 Uniformity 60, 160, 170, 173 Utilitarianism 126 Vice 27, 30, 32, 37, 108, 126–7, 131 Virtù 6, 34–5, 56, 61, 102, 109, 111, 133, 136, 140–1, 173

180  Index of Terms Virtue/Moral Virtue 4–6, 10, 12–3, 22, 24, 26, 28–30, 33–7, 39–41, 44, 46–7, 60–1, 73, 82, 109, 111, 124, 126–9, 132, 134–40, 143–4, 148–50, 153–7, 160, 170, 172

Western individualism 4 Westernization/Overcoming Westernization 5 Whig historiography 106