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1. Biography

Foucault 93 elaborates that here things are not in opposition to people, but rather in addition and in relation to them. He 93 adds that what is distinct here is not territory, i.

He 94 clarifies this in relation to running a household:. What counts essentially is this complex of men and things; property and territory are merely one of its variables.

So, in other words, government involves management of complexity unlike sovereignty, which revolves around remaining on the throne, holding on to certain property and territory. Foucault 95 states that:. Simply put government is all about management in high detail, as Foucault keeps repeating. Anyway, Foucault 95 reiterates:. Within the perspective of government, law is not what is important[.

If you look at the etymology of the word, it is indeed the case. The state is clearly there. In other words, there was a conflict of interest.

The Strategy of Machiavelli

So while the system was no longer feudal, it was still in the interest of the absolute monarchs to remain on the throne, which entails that all development remains tied to the objectives of the sovereign, as discussed by Foucault As already discussed in the essays dedicated to discipline and biopower, Foucault states that due to the increase in wealth and property, with emphasis on population here, developing the science of government became ever more relevant. Summarizing Foucault 99 , the sharp increase in population pushed things into a grand scale, which required administration of the state that went beyond the familial model.

Now, one could err to think that the familial model disappeared. That is, however, not the case.

Discourses on the First Ten Books of Livy

Foucault argues that it while it became apparent that it could no longer function as a model, it remained a highly important segment, shifting from a model to an instrument. In his own words:.


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This shift from the level of the model to that of an instrument is, I believe, absolutely fundamental, and it is from the middle of the eighteenth century that the family appears in this dimension of instrumentality relative to the population, with the institution of campaigns to reduce mortality, and to promote marriages, vaccinations, etc. The population is arguably the mass of biopower. Anyway, returning to the topic, Foucault states that the new model is no longer mere art of government, but political science.

Importantly, like in the case of the family, he argues that sovereignty was shaped into the characterization of the state. Similarly, he notes that while discipline could already be found in the monarchies, it became a highly important instrument in the management of population.

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Machiavelli's impact has been felt far beyond renaissance Florence. After the execution of the English king, Charles I, in , radical thinkers such as James Harrington and Algernon Sidney adapted Machiavelli's republicanism. In the s, 'Cato's Letters' reflected Machiavelli's republican thinking in their attacks on corruption and patronage, and made an impact in Britain's American colonies.

Later, Machiavelli's revival of republicanism influenced Americans in their fight for independence and inspired the 'founding fathers' when they framed the United States constitution.

Chapter 58

Producer, Rob Shepherd. This episode is related to Early Modern philosophers. Sign in to the BBC, or Register. Machiavelli: Devil or Democrat? Main content. Listen now. Show more.

Discourses of Niccolo Machiavelli.

Show less. Available now 28 minutes. Last on. Mon 18 Nov BBC Radio 4.