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Filippo Del Lucchese

Abstract

McCormick’s book engages with the theoretical and political positions discussed by the Italian philosopher Niccolò Machiavelli about five centuries ago, and, in particular, the creation of the tribunes of the plebs. In ancient Rome, plebeian power had been institutionalised through the creation of tribunes. According to McCormick, a similar institution would offer a legitimate forum for expression to the people in modern democracies. In fact, following Machiavelli’s suggestions, this would contribute to the implementation of a new form of democracy, more respectful of the people and more eager to defend values such as freedom and independence from the influence of the powerful and the rich. In this review, Filippo Del Lucchese comments on McCormick’s book from a Marxist point of view. One of the strongest points of the book is the discussion of the opposition between democracy and republicanism. Over the last decades, the latter has in fact been absorbed into the sphere of influence of the Cambridge School, and neutralised, or at least defused its most interesting and radical aspects. McCormick’s attempt to repoliticise the Machiavellian discourse is indeed praiseworthy, yet, by mainly focusing on the ‘institutionalisation’ of popular power, McCormick fails to discern the most radical elements of Machiavelli’s thought. From this angle, the review discusses McCormick’s use of the category of ‘class’ and offers a different perspective on the revolutionary dimension.

The Radical Machiavelli

Politics, Philosophy, and Language

Series:

Edited by Filippo Del Lucchese, Fabio Frosini and Vittorio Morfino

In The Radical Machiavelli: Politics, Philosophy and Language, some of the finest Machiavellian scholars explore the Florentine’s thought five hundred years after the composition of his masterpiece, The Prince. Their analysis, however, goes past The Prince, extending to Machiavelli’s entire corpus and shining new light on his political, historical, and military works, with a special focus on their heritage in modern Marxist thought, the arena in which they reverberate most profoundly and originally.

Rather than a neutral, comprehensive, and safe interpretation, this book offers a partial and even partisan reading of Machiavelli, the 16th-century thinker who continues to divide scholars and interpreters, forcing them to confront their responsibility as contemporary thinkers in a global society where Machiavelli's ideas and the issues they address still matter.

Contributors are: Etienne Balibar, Banu Bargu, Jérémie Barthas, Thomas Berns, Alison Brown, Filippo Del Lucchese, Romain Descendre, Jean-Louis Fournel, Fabio Frosini, Giorgio Inglese, Mikko Lahtinen, Jacques Lezra, John P. McCormick, Warren Montag, Vittorio Morfino, Mohamed Moulfi, Gabriele Pedullà, Tania Rispoli, Peter D. Thomas, Sebastian Torres, Miguel Vatter, Stefano Visentin, Yves Winter, and Jean-Claude Zancarini.

Series:

Filippo Del Lucchese, Fabio Frosini and Vittorio Morfino

Series:

Filippo Del Lucchese, Fabio Frosini and Vittorio Morfino

Series:

Edited by Filippo Del Lucchese, Fabio Frosini and Vittorio Morfino