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View Diary: What does Eco's "The Prague Cemetery" have to tell us about our current political situation? (9 comments)

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  •  I'll have to check it out . . . (1+ / 0-)
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    don mikulecky

    big fan of Name of the Rose and Islands of the Day Before as well as some of Eco's collected non-fiction writings -- although it's been years since I read Eco.

    Does Eco talk about Machiavelli's Discourse on Livy?  

    A number of people talk about Machievlli's Prince in isolation of the Discourses, but my sense was that the Prince was always focused on a kind of inferior ambition for Machiavelli (e.g. just the idea of bringing order to a chaotic situation and centralizing authority).  

    However, Machiavelli's great ambition wasn't a dictatorship, or a monarchy -- it was the restoration of something along the lines of the Roman Republic.  His own understanding focused on the idea that a republic could only be established by a kind of enlightened dictator in the first generation, who later laid a foundation for a stronger central state with some representative order.  Of course, it's questionable whether his own analysis was correct regarding the formation of the Roman Republic.  The history of the U.S. certainly points towards a different kind of genesis (e.g. not through dictatorship, or monarchy, but rather through experience first with a degree of self-rule under the colonial governments and a distant monarchical rule, followed by the larger project of experimentation post-Revolution under the Articles of Confederation and later through the Constitution itself).  Of course this is another topic entirely.

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