Monday, May 26, 2008

The Machiavellian Moment

Pocock presents the Florentine civic humanist as the heirs to Aristotle's conception of the nature of the political human being. The core of the problem was to reconcile this view within a Christian context where "secular fulfillment" was impossible. By virtue of Christian doctrine, there were not many ways to define the secular in a morally Christian way. The Machiavellian moment describes that basic tension between the pagan and Christian worldviews as well as the viability of the republic itself. The moment is longer than the moment. Its legacy is long because it plays a part in the development of modern political thought from Medieval modes of thought. Secular political self-consciousness poses problems in historical awareness. These thinkers legacy include "balanced government, dynamic virtue and the role of arms and property in shaping the civic personality."

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