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Machiavelli advises rulers to cultivate favourable public opinion, secure the support of the people, and achieve specific goals. His ultimate goal was remarkable--unification of the Italian city states. While it is commonly believed that Machiavelli said, “The end justifies the means,” this is, in fact, an over-simplification and misstatement of his thesis. Machiavelli does not counsel rulers to be arbitrary and cruel for the purpose of personal gain. He was highly critical of foreign rulers, such as King Ferdinand of Spain, who were needlessly brutal to their subjects. Such conduct may lead to power, but not glory. Machiavelli argues that loyalty, trust, and obedience cannot be fostered if rulers mistreat their subjects over a long period of time. It is only justifiable to use extensive means if there are clear benefits in sight.
Hence it is necessary for a prince wishing to hold his own to know how to do wrong, and to make use of it or not according to necessity" proving that he believes it vital for a prince to know wrong in order to thrive and flourish
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