Niccolo Machiavelli

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In existographies, Niccolo Machiavelli (486-428 BE) (1469-1527 ACM) (IQ:180|#94) (Cattell 1000:83) (RGM:68|1,350+) (PR:73|65AE / philosopher:11) (Gottlieb 1000:40) (Becker 139:29|10L) (Stokes 100:25) (Listal 100:48) (GPhE:#) (CR:56) (LH:3) (TL:59) was an Italian realism philosopher, historian, politician, and diplomat, best known for his 1513 leadership advice book The Prince, political ethics discourse, advocating the "end justifies the means" philosophy; and for his fox and lions typology of human instincts.


In 1510s, Machiavelli, according to Pitirim Sorokin, was the first advance the idea of the cyclic development of societies.[1]

In 1513, Machiavelli, in his The Prince, outlined a political ethics discourse for princes and leaders, advocating the "end justifies the means" philosophy.

Machiavellian | Intelligence

In 1982, Frans Waals, in his Chimpanzee Politics, introduced the term “Machiavellian intelligence”.[2] In 2012, the term "Machiavellian IQ" was being employed.[3] The theme here, presumably, is that one's so-called "Mach IQ" represents one's social or political IQ or acumen.

Shot Caller

A picture of the first book stack, in the cell of "Money", in the 2017 film Shot Caller, showing Machiavelli's 1513 The Prince among the ten books.[4]

In 2017, Ric Waugh, in his film Shot Caller[5], themes a good portion of the philosophy of the film on that of Machiavelli. The following are books identified in the film:[6]

  1. Bible
  2. The Human Animal by Kieran Sequoia (name of film's assistant production coordinator)[7]; said to be based on Weston Barre’s The Human Animal (1954)[8][9] or Desmond Morris' The Human Animal (1994)[10]
  3. Aztec Revenge (2012) by Gary Jennings
  4. The Book of Five Rings (1643) by Miyamoto Muashi
  5. The Art of War (c.500BC) by Sun Tzu
  6. Nietzsche
  7. Of Mind and Matter [?]
  8. Stephen Coontz (recreational reading)
  9. Ernst Hemingway (recreational reading)
  10. The Prince (1513) Niccolo Machiavelli

The following, being the most-liked quote of the film, is a noted Machiavelli themed quote:

“The fact is, we all started out as someone’s little angel. And a place like this forces us to become warriors or victims. Nothing in between can exist here.”
— Ric Waugh (2017), Shot Caller (character: Bottles, PEN1 shot caller)[11]

The two key inmates, aka cellies, "Money" and the "Beast", have a Machiavelli book in their personal library.



Machiavelli was influenced by: Cicero, Ptolemy, Boethius, Justinian, Macrobius, Livy, and Flavio Biondo.[12]


Machiavelli influenced: Francis Bacon and Vilfredo Pareto.


Quotes | On

The following are quotes on Machiavelli:

“We are much beholden to Machiavelli and others, that write what men do, and not what they ought to do.”
Francis Bacon (1605), The Advancement of Learning [13]
Machiavelli’s chief contribution to political thought lies in his freeing political action from moral considerations.”
— Daniel Donno (1981), “Introduction” to The Prince[14]

Quotes | By

The following are quotes by Machiavelli:

“It must be considered that there is nothing more difficult to carry out nor more doubtful of success, nor more dangerous to handle, than to initiate a new order of things. For the reformer has enemies in all those who profit by the new order, and only lukewarm defenders in all those who would profit by the new order, this lukewarmness arising partly for fear of their adversaries, who have the laws in their favor; and partly from the incredulity of men, who do not truly believe in anything new until they have had actual experience of it.”
— Niccolo Machiavelli (1513), The Prince (§6)
“The way men live is so far removed from the way they ought to live that anyone who abandons what is for what should be pursues his downfall.”
— Niccolo Machiavelli (1532), The Prince (pg. 53)[14]
“The first method for estimating the intelligence of a ruler, is to look at the men he has around him.”
— Niccolo Machiavelli (1513), The Prince (§22, pg. 185)[15]; Camp (1989) translation[16] paraphrase of original[17]
“Christian principles seem to me to have made men feeble, and caused them to become an easy prey to evil-minded men, who can control them more securely, seeing that he great body of men, for the sake of gaining paradise, are more disposed to endure injuries than to avenge them.”
— Niccolo Machiavelli (1513), The Prince; cited by Jennifer Hecht (2004) in Doubt: a History (pg. 273)

End matter


  1. Raikhlin, Raddai. (2010). Military Sociology: Collapse of the Israel Defense Forces (translator: Tanya Chepkova). CreateSpace.
  2. Machiavellian intelligence – Wikipedia.
  3. Coffey, Rebecca. (2012). “Machiavellian IQ: How Manipulative People Get Exactly What They Want”, Psychology Today, Jun 12.
  4. Waugh, Ric. (2017). Shot Caller (book stack one, 1:21:09; reading book and book stack two, 1:52:18-23). NetFlix.
  5. Shot Caller (film) – Wikipedia.
  6. Books in Shot Caller – XcertShow, BlogSpot.
  7. Kieran Sequoia – IMDB.
  8. The Human Animal (book) – Wikipedia.
  9. Arabian, Alex. (2017). “Shot Caller: a Terrifyingly Accurate Castigation of White Supremacy”, Film Inquiry, Sep 11.
  10. Is the Human Animal book in Shot Caller a real book? – Quora.
  11. Shot Caller –
  12. Grazia, Sebastian. (1994). Machiavelli in Hell (education, pgs. 5-6). Vintage.
  13. (a) Machiavelli, Niccolo. (1517). Discourses (Ѻ). Publisher.
    (b) Bacon, Francis. (1605). The Advancement of Learning (bk. II, xxi, 9) (Ѻ). Publisher.
    (c) Henderson, Lawrence J. (1935). Pareto’s General Sociology: a Physiologists Interpretation (pg. 3). Harvard University Press.
  14. 14.0 14.1 (a) Machiavelli, Niccolo.(1513). The Prince (Introduction: Daniel Donno). Bantum, 1981.
    (b) Rigney, Daniel. (2001). The Metaphorical Society: an Invitation to Social Theory (ought, pg. 56; contribution, 67). Rowman & Littlefield.
  15. Machiavelli, Niccolo. (1513). The Prince (translator: W.K. Marriott) (§22, around him, pg. 185). Dent, 1916.
  16. Camp, Wesley. (1989). What a Piece of Work is Man: Camp’s Unfamiliar Quotations from 2000BC to Present (pg. 314). Hall.
  17. Jones, Dawn. (2020). “Quote of the Day: Niccolo Machiavelli”, Recline Your Mind, Jun 4.

Further reading

  • Machiavelli, Niccolo. (1513). The Prince (translator: Rufus Goodwin; Illustrator: Benjamin Martinez). Dante, 2003.

External links

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