Despite esteem for liberal and lawful government?

Despite the cynicism and bias of Machiavelli’s judgement in favour of the prince there is no mistaking the fact of his esteem for liberal and lawful government? He was inclined favourably for popular government where possible and monarchy where necessary. In both forms a well trained army of soldiers was needed because a government ultimately was based on force.

The ruler must fire the imagination of the subjects by grand schemes and enterprises and should patronise art and literature. An ideal prince thus, is an enlightened despot of a non-moral type while in republic the ruler or the ruling class have to observe the supremacy of law, because the preservation of the state depends upon the excellence of law which is the source of all civic virtues of the citizens and which determines the national character of its people.

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Machiavelli holds both monarchy arid republican form of government as ideal, but he had very low opinion of aristocracy and nobility, whom he perceived as antagonistic to both the monarchy and the middle class, and that an orderly government required their suppression or expatriation. Side by side with Machiavelli’s dislike of the nobility stands his hatred of mercenary soldiers as they may prove the main cause of lawlessness and disorder and ultimate destruction of the stability of the state.

As the art of war is the primary concern of a ruler and the condition of his success in all his ventures he must aim in possessing a strong, well equipped and well disciplined force of his own citizens, attached to his interests by ties of loyalty to the state.

Behind Machiavelli’s belief and his cynicism of his political opinion, was national patriotism and a desire for the unification of Italy and her preservation from internal disorder and foreign invaders. He frankly asserted that duty towards one’s own country overrides all other duties and scruples.