The Prince 2.0 is like no other book on politics. What others criticize Machiavelli may praise if it gives political power, as he did in his book The Prince 500 years ago. It became world famous through its groundbreaking advice on what gave political success, which was not always moral and righteousness;-). With all due respect for the democratic system it is still true today. Good politics, good intentions, good faith is not enough. If politicians are confronting opponents, representing the opposite of these qualities, or with greater insight into the political game, they will be falling short.
If you are at all interested in politics, the Prince 2.0 is a book for you. Machiavelli explains the inner workings of politics often supported by scientific findings drawn from various academic disciplines. He describes factually and without passion dubious political practices, handing out his very special advice on how politicians should act to gain power, and win elections.
If you have read Machiavelli before The Prince 2.0 is a welcome return. Machiavelli shares his experiences and observations interspersed with memories of the 1500s Florence. You will recognize many chapter headings, quotes, and philosophies of Machiavelli from The Prince, for example when he speaks about the truth.
500 years ago, Machiavelli wrote about ancient Rome and Florence. In The Prince 2.0, the focus is on Sweden because of the very nature of its society, which could possibly be the very nature of other western societies - including the USA - in a few decades.
What then, is so special about Sweden? To begin with the strong bond of union of a spiritual nature between the rulers and the people. Strong enough to make the country an absolute state trying hard to take care of its citizens as parents would, freeing people from responsibility for their lives and deciding on their behalf on matters large and small. Here, the secular and spiritual powers have merged to become constantly present in people's lives. Here the individual is independent of communities such as family or charities, but dependent of the State instead. A phenomenon labeled by prominent social scientists as "the Swedish theory of love." By studying this book, your country could reach this Machiavellian ideal state, or choose other avenues.
Nowadays, Machiavelli is highly respected as a pioneering political philosopher and democratic forerunner among those familiar with his work. Those who think otherwise mix-up Machiavelli with "Machiavellism," which is the political acts of cunning and deceit he described in The Prince.
Politics may seem like demagogic duplicity when described by Machiavelli, but his purpose might well have been to expose the political logic and dubious tricks so that everyone, can participate in the political game on equal terms and assert their interests, without being outwitted. The Prince 2.0 is true to that idea, presenting Machiavellís up to date views on the importance of gaining political power, about telling the truth or lying, keeping or breaking promises, attacking opponents, and optimize the level of taxes and benefits.
The premise of the book is that it is based on revelations from Machiavelli mediated by Staffan A. Persson a political analyst and commentator.
- Rest assured, I have been talking to many Swedish politicians and pundits to ascertain that Mr. Machiavelli have fully understood the logic of successful politics, Mr. Persson says. I have mixed feeling about the theses of the book, and so will probably you, but the purpose is not to tell what politics should be, but what it is.