History, religion, power, and authority: the relevance of Machiavelli’s educational approach for contemporary political thought

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2008
Cristante, Nevio
Machiavelli’s uniqueness and originality renders his educational direction as pertinent for times and conditions that are similar to and prevalent in ours. On the grand scale, his thought process disrupts the classical sense of philosophy, metaphysics, and religion. This disruption of the classical Western consciousness is an aim in the contemporary realm of political thought, which, starting with the extensive criticism of modernity found in the works of Nietzsche, has been developed in the realm of political thought throughout the twentieth and onto the twenty-first century. Therefore, Machiavelli who lived 500 years ago is nevertheless the source for productive knowledge, analysis, and prognosis for the contemporary political crisis, a crisis due to the downfall of modernity. The presupposition of latter-day modernity, as being considered the best of all possible worlds, is no longer believable. Modernity, what was once considered as being utterly unique and superior in human history, is responded to today by critiques on class domination, Western imperialism, the dissolution of community and tradition, the rise of alienation, and the impersonality of bureaucratic power. Machiavelli supplants the dominant modern consciousness through being a source for a new artistic revolution, a revolution of consciousness through a humane call for strength in facing reality, in order to re-constitute a divergent set of epistemological and ontological discoveries, which are better aligned to the condition of the present-day than those formulated by the dominant Western modern consciousness.

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Citation Formats
N. Cristante, “History, religion, power, and authority: the relevance of Machiavelli’s educational approach for contemporary political thought,” Ph.D. - Doctoral Program, Middle East Technical University, 2008.