• So, is Machiavelli “machiavellian” or not?

    If you look at the book, it is a handbook for non-democratic head-of-states on how to govern their people to stay in power. And staying in power of course means not to incite the wish or urge in his people or other nations to overthrow/remove the prince.

    That is the “end” and he gives a handful of “means” to get there.
    4 chapters deal with the military, 6 with civil matters (that’s how to treat hies people) … of 26 chapters all in all.
    In that, some of the things he accepts for autocratic leaders is that they
    (a) don’t have to keep their word necessarily.
    (b) pretension of good character traits is more important than actually possessing them.
    That is about all where i can see something like “the end justifies the means”.

    For democratic leaders, he wrote parts of his discourses, called 'the republic" or something. So, one might even argue that his Principe was not meant to be applied on democratic leaders.

  • (a) don’t have to keep their word necessarily.

    That is exactly my point for using “the end justifies the means”

  • But the “end” is not covered by Machiavelli.

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