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the view that politics is amoral and that any means, however unscrupulous, can justifiably be used in achieving political power
About the word:
In 1513, Niccolò Machiavelli wrote Il Principe ("The Prince") to advise and impress the new Florentine ruler, Prince Lorenzo de' Medici. The book's instructions on obtaining and wielding power e.g., "It is better to be feared than loved" suggest the cynicism that gave its author a place in the language.