Soft power, civic virtue and world politics (section overview)

Authored by: Naren Chitty

The Routledge Handbook of Soft Power

Print publication date:  November  2016
Online publication date:  November  2016

Print ISBN: 9781138945814
eBook ISBN: 9781315671185
Adobe ISBN: 9781317369370

10.4324/9781315671185.ch1

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Abstract

Machiavelli emphasizes the antagonistic element in man’s natural endowment. Men are prone to violence and combat; they are antisocial by nature. However, necessity (chiefly the demands of survival) impels men to associate with each other, to constitute themselves into a series of rival groups. Within these groups, which evolve into complex and interdependent societies, men learn to cooperate, to restrain their demands, to solve by speech and law issues that have formally been solved by brute strength, and the sword. In a word, they become civilized – that is, accustomed to living with their fellow men in a civitas. They are taught the meaning of justice and to distinguish between their particular good and the common good.

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