Il metodo Machiavelli

Anno XLIX, n. 209, gennaio-aprile 2014
Centro Einaudi
Articolo completo/Full text


Machiavelli was an eccentric figure, in the literal meaning of “far from the centre”, from the classical standards of political theory and thought. Overthrowing any Platonic ambition for order and conciliation, Machiavelli is the first author to describe the driving force of politics in terms of conflict and division. Conflict, for Machiavelli, is not a dangerous element which needs to be eliminated, it is the unchanging core of politics: conflict is not a residual element or an extreme risk which politics should, or could, remove, but the very “fact” of politics, its “matter”, which no “form” or order can relinquish without running the risk of drying up the political element. In this paper I have tried to understand – through a critical review of the focal points of Machiavelli’s theory – in what way division and conflict represent not only an intrinsic characteristic of human existence, but also a useful principle of action, enabling us to tackle and solve the dilemmas and tensions of the present. The challenge posed by Machiavelli, which makes him into such a topical author, is how to find some kind of “unity” even in conflict, through conflict, and especially thanks to conflict.