Machiavelli Quotes on Power

machiavelli intelligence quote

“The first method for estimating the intelligence of a ruler is to look at the men he has around him.”

-Nicollo Machiavelli, The Prince

machiavelli politics

“Politics have no relation to morals”

-Nicollo Machiavelli

“There is no avoiding war, it can only be postponed to the advantage of others.”

-Nicollo Machiavelli

machiavelli time quote

“The more sand has escaped through the hourglass of our life, the more clearly we should see through it.”

-Nicollo Machiavelli

machiavelli fortress quote

“It is far better to earn the confidence of the people than to rely on fortresses.”

-Nicollo Machiavelli, The Prince

machiavelli reality quote

“Men will not look at things as they really are, but as they wish them to be – and are ruined”

-Nicollo Machiavelli

machiavelli command quote

“He who wishes to be obeyed must know how to command.”

-Nicollo Machiavelli

“The vulgar crowd always is taken by appearances, and the world consists chiefly of the vulgar.”

-Nicollo Machiavelli

“Never attempt to win by force what can be won by deception.”

-Nicollo Machiavelli

“Never was anything great achieved without danger.”

-Nicollo Machiavelli

“Everyone sees what you appear to be, few experience what you really are.”

-Nicollo Machiavelli

“The vulgar crowd always is taken by appearances, and the world consists chiefly of the vulgar.”

-Nicollo Machiavelli

Machiavelli Quotes on Leadership

“There is no other way to guard yourself against flattery than by making men understand that telling you the truth will not offend you.”

-Nicollo Machiavelli

“For Time, driving all things before it, may bring with it evil as well as good.”

-Nicollo Machiavelli

“I’m not interested in preserving the status quo; I want to overthrow it.”

-Nicollo Machiavelli

“The vulgar crowd always is taken by appearances, and the world consists chiefly of the vulgar.”

-Nicollo Machiavelli

Machiavelli Quotes on Life

“It is a common fault not to anticipate storms when the sea is calm.”

-Nicollo Machiavelli

“Where the willingness is great, the difficulties cannot be great. ”

-Nicollo Machiavelli

“People should either be caressed or crushed. If you do them minor damage they will get their revenge; but if you cripple them there is nothing they can do. If you need to injure someone, do it in such a way that you do not have to fear their vengeance.”

-Nicollo Machiavelli

“It is double pleasure to deceive the deceiver.”

-Nicollo Machiavelli

“There is nothing more perilous to conduct, or more uncertain in its success, than to take the lead in the introduction of a new order of things.”

-Nicollo Machiavelli

“It is much safer to be feared than loved because love is preserved by the link of obligation which, owing to the baseness of men, is broken at every opportunity for their advantage; but fear preserves you by a dread of punishment which never fails.”

-Nicollo Machiavelli

“It is not titles that honor men, but men that honor titles.”

-Nicollo Machiavelli


“Men are driven by two principal impulses, either by love or by fear.”

-Nicollo Machiavelli

Miscellaneous Machiavelli Quotes

“If you wish to please me, and to bring success and honour to yourself, do right and study, because others will help you if you help yourself.”

-Nicollo Machiavelli

“Men in general judge more by the sense of sight than by the sense of touch, because everyone can see but few can test by feeling. Everyone sees what you seem to be, few know what you really are; and those few do not dare take a stand against the general opinion.”

-Nicollo Machiavelli

“That defense alone is effectual, sure and durable which depends upon yourself and your own valour.”

-Nicollo Machiavelli

“Yet the way men live is so far removed from the way they ought to live that anyone who abandons what is, for what should be, pursues his downfall rather than his preservation.”

-Nicollo Machiavelli

“Though fraud in all other actions be odious, yet in matters of war it is laudable and glorious, and he who overcomes his enemies by stratagem is as much to be praised as he who overcomes them by force.”

-Nicollo Machiavelli

“To defeat Fortune, men must anticipate such evils before they arise, and take prudent steps to avoid them. When the waters have already risen, it is too late to build dikes and embankments.”

-Nicollo Machiavelli

“For, although one may be very strong in armed forces, yet in entering a province one has always need of the goodwill of the natives.”

-Nicollo Machiavelli

One who deceives will always find those who allow themselves to be deceived.

-Nicollo Machiavelli

“Since love and fear can hardly exist together, if we must choose between them, it is far safer to be feared than loved.”

-Nicollo Machiavelli

“If an injury has to be done to a man it should be so severe that his vengeance need not be feared.”

-Nicollo Machiavelli

“A man who is used to acting in one way never changes; he must come to ruin when the times, in changing, no longer are in harmony with his ways.”

-Nicollo Machiavelli

“Men are so simple of mind, and so much dominated by their immediate needs, that a deceitful man will always find plenty who are ready to be deceived.”

-Nicollo Machiavelli

“An unavoidable war is called justice. When brutality is the only option left, it is holy.”

-Nicollo Machiavelli

“Necessity is what impels men to take action, and once necessity is gone, only rot and decay are left.”

-Nicollo Machiavelli

“I say that every prince ought to desire to be considered clement and not cruel. Nevertheless he ought to take care not to misuse this clemency.”

-Nicollo Machiavelli

“A Prince should esteem the great, but must not make himself odious to the people.”

-Nicollo Machiavelli, The Prince

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