It is fairly well known that Bernie Sanders receives a lot of support from people across the pond. Europe is, after all, a continent full of freedom-hating hippie socialists. But the tides of endorsement have turned. Hillary Clinton, the rival of the democratic socialist, has scored what might be her most significant endorsement thus far in the presidential race.
In February 2016, the Niccolò Machiavelli Foundation decided to endorse the Hillary Clinton as the Democratic nominee and grant her the annual ‘Cesare Borgia Prize of statecraft’. The Foundation is a private foundation set up by the Italian Renaissance statesman and political theorist Niccolò Machiavelli. Being a skilled diplomat with an observant eye in the Florentine Republic, Machiavelli is considered to be one of the founding fathers of modern political science. The endorsement is therefore a significant one.
In his magnum opus ‘The Prince’, Machiavelli asserted that, as opposed to traditional belief, goodness and virtue are not necessary traits for a ruler because politics cannot truly be defined as ‘good’ or ‘bad’. Nor are there any moral premises which can make a distinction between legitimate and illegitimate use of power. Hence, who is to say that some politics are better than others? What makes a good ruler, according to Machiavelli, is not truthfulness, goodness, integrity or any other abstract concepts. What makes a ruler good is that he or she manages to preserve the existing status quo of the state and that the ruler is willing employ any method, be it persuasion or coercion, to achieve this objective. In a world where men are fickle, false and covetous, the ruler should only have one pursuit: to acquire and maintain power.
In a press release, the Niccolò Machiavelli Foundation explains the reason for their choice:
‘The Niccolò Machiavelli Foundation identifies Hillary Clinton as the best living example of what Machiavelli defined as a good ruler. Throughout her career, she has shown a remarkable willingness to throw away her political positions, principles and values for the sole reason of acquiring more power. Clinton has shown a relentless dedication to not only preserve the status quo, but also become its master. This she has managed without heeding the petty desires of the populace. Through her support for the wealthy and as a proponent for military aggressions abroad, she has shown that politics does not need to be morally good to be applauded. Furthermore, she frequently shows contempt for politics and ideals which might upset the status quo. As a result, The Niccolò Machiavelli Foundation recognises Hillary Clinton as the most apt ruler and endorses her bid for presidency.’
The ‘Cesare Borgia Prize of statecraft’ is given out annually and Clinton will join a long list of renowned names such as Saddam Hussein, Francis Underwood, Maximilien Robespierre, Jafar, Emperor Nero, Lord Baelish (Little Finger), Attila the Hun and Walter White.
We reached out to the Clinton campaign for a comment, but her script writers were not present so she was not able to offer a response.