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Maurizio Viroli

Print publication date: 1998

Print ISBN-13: 9780198780885

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198780885.001.0001

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The Passion of Liberty

The Passion of Liberty

(p.148) 5 The Passion of Liberty

Maurizio Viroli

Oxford University Press

This chapter claims that Machiavelli was a republican patriot and offers an interpretation of Machiavellian patriotism. It points out that love of country is similar to civic virtue and it is the passion that characterizes Machiavelli, who emphasized that love of country is a moral force that makes the citizens capable of understanding what the common good is. It is a passion that makes them wise and virtuous because they can see past the boundaries of their social group. In a republican sense, love of country is an important political passion also in modern times. The chapter argues that Machiavelli saw politics as the perfection of human intelligence made possible by love of country. In the end, it contends that this is the only ideal of political action in our times in which each man behaves according to his own intellect and imagination.

Keywords:   republican, patriot, patriotism, love, country, common good, political action

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