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“If an injury has to be done to a man it should be so severe that his vengeance need not be feared.”
While Machiavelli himself was a more timid, compromising man, he prescribed in his book, The Prince, a method of rule that is largely looked down on today as being far too cutthroat. It was from this book that we learned that it’s better to be feared than loved (even if there was far more context than just that phrase). We learned that a savvy ruler would do whatever it took to succeed even if that meant bending or outright breaking rules of morality and that the savviest ruler would do so without allowing those actions to link back to themselves.