Whose Modernity Is It? The Missing Legacy of Machiavelli’s Civil-Military Policy

“There cannot be good laws where there are not good arms, and where there are good arms there must be good laws.”

— The Prince, XII

The name Machiavelli, note many modern interpreters of his political thought, has become larger than life, and remains, at least among political theorists, uniquely prevalent in modern vernacular. At a more substantive level as well, the observations and prescriptions of his Prince and Discourses are recognized as similarly pervasive and influential: The effect of Machiavelli’s writing, and the uptake thereof over the ensuing five hundred years, is supposed to have laid no less than the foundation of modernity.[1] The ‘modern’ nature of Machiavelli’s thought has been examined with regard to his prescriptions for civil religion, the cultivation of civic virtú, and, of course, the subversion of moral action to the higher good: mantenere lo stato. The durable force of these ideas has been traced forward through time. Pocock, for example, identifies the lineage of Machiavelli’s republican ideas in the political thought of the English Civil War and the American Revolution.[2]

Few, if any, of these intellectual histories however, provide an account of the durability and influence of Machiavelli’s notion of the civic militia as a fighting force and a social institution. The core of Machiavelli’s prescriptive thought about how to organize politics for stability centered around the institution of citizen soldiers/citizen militias, yet, they are comparatively missing from accounts of ‘modernity’ and Machiavelli’s enduring influence. This paper advances two arguments aimed at closing and explaining this gap in interpretation, respectively. First, I argue that the citizen soldier/civic militia is a central element in Machiavelli’s social policy and that the remainder of his ‘governing project’—however that may be defined—is heavily reliant on the benefits that Machiavelli associates with his civil-military policy. Second, I argue that the lack of attention paid by interpreters to Machiavelli’s civil-military policy is connected to the absence of Machiavelli’s military thought in ‘modern’ military science and social policy.

The following will proceed in three sections. The first section will provide a brief textual account of Machiavelli’s theory of civil-military interaction and military social policy, drawing on the political works and Art of War. Subsequently, the paper will evaluate the degree to which this facet of Machiavelli’s thought has endured by influencing subsequent military theorists and theoretically inclined practitioners by examining a selection of theoretical contributions and historical cases most likely to be influenced by Machiavelli’s military thought. The paper will conclude by returning to the canon of Machiavelli scholarship, considering implications of the missing armed populace—a crucial and central feature of Machiavelli’s well-ordered society—on the notion of Machiavellian modernity posited by interpreters of vastly different schools, like Mansfield, Strauss, and Pocock. Given that the civil militia is a central feature of Machiavelli’s social policy, it seems that the ‘modernity’ of Machiavelli’s creation is substantially different from the ‘modernity’ that has manifested in the centuries after his writing.

The civic army—which goes by a number of names including “armed plebs”[3], “armed with its own arms”[4], “his partisans”[5]—has two functions central to Machiavelli’s political philosophy: First, the civic army is a massively more effective and dependable military instrument than mercenaries or auxiliaries; Second, the civic army is an incubator of civic virtue, and guard against corruption, crucial for regulating the vivere libero. Machiavelli sees good arms—and he only considers an armed populace or civic army to be good arms—to be inextricably related to good laws and durable orders in society.[6] The army is absolutely central to his governing project, not simply because the army is necessary to protect the state, but even more so because it is concordant with good orders and ancient virtue. Further, I contend that centrality of the army to his political and social policy project is a separate issue from his writing on military science. Machiavelli’s extensive considerations of the virtue of fortification, the role of artillery, and the three-rank organization of the Roman infantry have relatively little to do with vivere civile and vivere libero. Military historians have already established the enduring influence of his military science, but they too have largely ignored the importance to Machiavelli of the military as a social institution.[7]

Machiavelli’s first contention, that the civic army is simply a superior and more dependable military instrument for the protection of the state from external and internal threats, is important in three major works: The Prince, the Discourses, and the Art of War. In The Prince, he offers two cautions, first that “no true victory is acquired with alien arms” because the use of auxiliaries means owing victory to some exterior power, and second that mercenaries are “disunited, ambitious, without discipline, unfaithful”.[8] He is adamant about the ‘emptiness’ of victory by mercenary or auxiliary arms to the extent that he considers it better, over a long time horizon, to suffer victory with one’s own arms than to win by incurring a debt to some other power.[9] In the Discourses, Machiavelli instructs that an army is good and faithful when it fights for its own glory, and that only by “arm[ing] one’s subjects for oneself” will the prince or republic have the dynamism required to effectively defend.[10] The Art of War notes that a would-be oppressor or tyrant in a republic faces a significantly less arduous task if he is able to corrupt the city’s mercenaries or auxiliaries to take control than if he must defeat an armed populace.[11] Machiavelli demonstrates a deep conviction that the citizen army is more effective as a military force than professional mercenaries. Part of this conviction stems from a belief, much more clearly articulated in Art of War than in the Prince or the Discourses, that it is infinitely possible to make a civilian into a capable soldier through appropriate training.[12]

The second contention, that the civic army cultivates virtue and helps cities “keep themselves uncorrupted”, is emphasized most in the Discourses and the Art of War.[13] Maintenance of virtue, in this case, assumes two practical forms: maintenance of liberty from potential oppressors foreign and domestic, and the cultivation of an active civic life including commitment to the public affairs of the city rather than to private affairs, public wealth and private necessity, and maintenance of the dynamic tension between humors within the republic. The citizen army is a central part of the “education” that Machiavelli credits with making the ancients more ‘lovers of freedom’ than modern men. This, combined with the concern for the common good (also embodied in the armed populace; see I.43 on winning glory), makes the civic army formidable against tyrants.[14] The civic army cultivates active civic life by training toward civic virtue,[15] the fact that war necessarily involves the people keeps the people from being politically passive in the way a disarmed populace, like France’s, can be.[16] The army is conducive to the creation of virtue because it is a tool for enriching the public through spoils of war, while keeping the individual people poor.[17] The army, and the necessity thereof for the protection of the city, provides recourse for the people to demand not to be oppressed (and of course to make good on that demand themselves); in short the importance of the civic army is one of the permissive conditions for the tumults between the nobility and people that Machiavelli considers absolutely crucial to the well-ordered republic.[18] Finally, the civic army, as a tool for expansion, is an important tool for maintaining virtue in Rome. As long as the army is engaged in fighting enemies on the Italian peninsula, says Machiavelli, it engages the citizens in guarding against external threats, and puts the republic in a condition of necessity that Machiavelli believes is conducive to virtue and good order.[19] To return to the equivalence between arms and laws: the civic army is a central institution in keeping society ‘well ordered’ and virtuous.

Distilling Machiavelli’s advocacy for the civic army to a handful of functional characteristics will be helpful for comparison between his political thought and modern military theory. The centrally important characteristics and effects of the civic army are: efficacy on the battlefield, direction of individual energy toward common rather than private good, animation of the popular humor, creation of an appetite for liberty, and maintenance of public prosperity at the expense of individual wealth. The following section will trace these characteristics, and some structural concerns.[20]

Rather than attempt a catalogue of all significant theoretical works of military science and civil-military relations since Machiavelli, the following section seeks evidence of Machiavelli’s influence in only a selection of works and anecdotes about modern militaries. These works and empirical examples are chosen on two criteria: First, those with the highest likelihood of reflecting Machiavellian social policy, and second, those with the widest influence among military practitioners and scholars.[21] To this end, I briefly consider two major theoretical works—Clausewitz’s On War, and Huntington’s Soldier and the State—and two empirical cases, the Napoleonic mass army and the contemporary United States Armed Forces.

The most famous Clausewitzian phrase, that war is always subservient to its political ends, makes the Prussian General a promising potential inheritor of Machiavelli’s civil-military policy. By the time of Clausewitz’s military service and writing in the 19th Century, the Prussian army was composed of a professional corps of Prussian subjects, and was a highly bureaucratized force. The Prussian military was, at least during the Napoleonic wars, a net-exporter of military power; Clausewitz himself staffed a Russian unit against the French mass army in the war of 1812.[22] One part of Machiavelli’s advice, avoidance of mercenaries, seems alive in Clausewitz’s Prussian Army, so long as the concept of military alliances is understood to be distinct from the phenomenon of auxiliaries.

Clausewitz also pushes for the incorporation of a civic military-like organization in On War, and in private letters.[23] He diagnoses Prussian society as inert and passive with regard to war, which, in the eyes of the public was best left to a professional army. In On War, he spells out the strategic benefit of using militias as a domestic defense working in tandem with the army, noting that militias have “a reservoir of strength much more extensive, much more flexible, and whose spirit and loyalty are much easier to arouse”.[24] Insofar as the spirit of the population is the power of the militia as a defensive force, Clausewitz’s observations bear resemblance to Machiavelli’s imperative of harnessing ancient virtue to keep a republic free. The ‘people’s war’, which in contemporary terms would be called a demonstrative effect of nationalism, has an important strategic effect in Clausewitz’s philosophy, but it fails to pass muster with regard to Machiavelli’s social policy prescriptions in two ways. First, the Clausewitzian militia is a supplementary force, not a replacement for the main body of the professional army. The domestic defense militia, contends Janeen Klinger, is a matter of exigency for any German theorist of Clausewitz’s time, because Prussia was geographically stuck between two materially more powerful foes.[25] Second, Clausewitz only envisions the purpose of the militia as harnessing nationalism and spirit of liberty to the end of battlefield efficacy. He muses that society at large may stand to gain from the expansion of warfare to incorporate militias, but, within a sentence, abandons such musing “to the philosophers”.[26] Clausewitz, in the end, incorporates perhaps one of the four characteristics of Machiavelli’s social policy in his theory of military strategy: civic army as a battlefield-effective force.

Over a century later, Sam Huntington’s theory of military doctrine bears significant resemblance to Clausewitz’s bureaucratized military. Huntington’s theoretical contribution, however, moves the military qua institution even farther away from the civilian population of a state by framing officership and the ‘management of violence’ as a profession akin to the legal or medical profession. The evolution to professionalism owed, at least in part, to the growth over time of a body of technical knowledge required to conduct military operations. To be clear, Huntington’s theory identifies the cultivation of what Machiavelli might identify as ancient virtue. When Huntington calls for personal concerns to be supplanted by the communal—“the weak, mediocre, and transient can only achieve fulfillment by participating in the power the greatness, the permanence and the splendor of a continuing organic body”—he is referring strictly to the professional military ethic and cultivation of tactical efficacy within a line unit of a modern military.[27]

In addressing the civilian population, specifically the 20th Century United States civilian population, Huntington identifies an interesting contradiction, where the liberal values of the United States are of two minds about the military’s relation to civilian politics and social policy. On one hand, it is indisputably the case by the time that Huntington writes in 1957, that the American liberal identifies the military as a threat to civil society, not a facilitator. The army threatens peace and therefore prosperity; its national security agenda threatens liberty and democratic rule.[28] Huntington, however, identifies this anti-military ideology as a response to professionalism and mechanization, not to the army as a necessary mechanism of defense. The common liberal counter-refrain, he says, calls for return to the ‘militia-style’ citizen army that the American founders envisioned, where every citizen held responsibility for national defense, where the military is responsible for other socially desirable objectives in addition to defense.[29]

The liberal ideal of the military that Huntington catalogues seems substantially Machiavellian in its consideration of the ‘feedback loop’ between the military and civil society, especially with regard to the military pursuing social good un-related to military defense and the notion that national defense is the responsibility of every citizen. Given the security threats faced by the United States in the 1950s, however, the liberal vision of the army’s social purpose was little more than a pipe dream. The transition the beginnings of which are visible in Clausewitz—subversion of social policy and elevation of military efficacy—is completed by the time of Huntington. Professionalism and cultivation of an esprit de corps within the army separate from civic virtue of civilians are oriented toward maximizing efficacy within an increasingly complex and mechanized system. To the extent that Machiavellian values seem desirable, they are discarded out of pragmatism.

The same progression, privileging military efficacy in a changing technological and technical landscape over the social mission of the civic military, is apparent when comparing two examples of theory in practice from different centuries: Napoleon’s levée en masse and the modern United States armed forces. Napoleon’s mass army or levée en masse, convened after the 1789 French Revolution, assembled over 1.3 million French conscripts between 1800 and 1812 for Napoleon’s campaigns across Europe.[30] The sheer size of the army combined with technological and logistical advancements vastly increased the range of Napoleon’s military power and made the army able to absorb casualties and replace troops at an unprecedented rate of speed.[31] The antecedent conditions for the mobilization of the mass army, as Barry Posen identifies them, are, in addition to population size and other material factors, the cultivation of ideological nationalism in civil society, especially in education systems.[32] More so than with Clausewitz, who was, in fact, fighting against Napoleon’s mass army as a young officer, the civic army is the central military organ prized for unique efficacy, in this case specifically because nationalist ideology made hundreds of thousands of conscripts willing to fight and die for France.[33] As with Clausewitz, the social policy of the mass army worked in one direction, not two: the civic army was solely about battlefield efficacy in pursuit of political goals, not about development of civic virtue to feed back into society.

The transition away from social impact toward pure battlefield efficacy seems complete in the contemporary American army. The first and most obvious departure from Machiavelli’s military vision is the end of military conscription and transition to the ‘all volunteer army’ in 1973. As a consequence, the military has become increasingly segregated from civilian society, maintaining unrivaled battlefield efficacy (at least among rival national militaries), and relying on neither mercenaries nor auxiliaries (depending on how one counts the ~150,000 military contractors in Iraq and Afghanistan as of 2011)[34], but reaping none of the extra-military social benefits of a civic army.[35] At best, the United States is avoiding what Machiavelli warns against in the Prince, at worst the cleft between military and civil society is actually speeding the attrition of civic life in the republic.

Recent research on militarism in democratic polities, motivated by the case of the United States, suggests that the worst case is being realized, at least in part. Jonathan Caverley’s Democratic Militarism suggests that due to a number of structural factors including income inequality and the end of mandatory military service through a draft, the median American voter pays substantially less than an equal share of the cost of military action and is, on balance, more supportive of military follies and unnecessary wars than previously. Modern, heavily mechanized militaries shift the burden of cost of war to the taxpayer, away from the would-be conscript.[36] Though political economy concepts like the median voter theorem would not be legible to Machiavelli, it seems clear that the incentive structure Caverley describes would be immediately recognizable to the Florentine as the sort of atrophy of civic virtue that the civic army was envisioned to avoid.

Machiavelli’s social policy of the civic army has not become an integral part of the modernity that interpreters like Strauss, Mansfield and especially Pocock see as the foundation of contemporary politics. To the degree that his dictates were practiced insofar as avoiding mercenaries, the current situation exemplified by the United States armed forces indicates that any fidelity to Machiavelli’s policy prescriptions is incidental, and likely un-recognized by practitioners.

To Strauss and Mansfield, the disjuncture on the issue of social policy is perhaps a minor concern, because they both identify other institutions, namely civil religion, to cultivate the virtue that the civic army would cultivate and because they are, among Machiavelli interpreters, likely the least concerned with issues of historical time and progress. Strauss, for example, addresses the way that Rome’s military imposed necessity and created virtue in citizens—men are “made good and kept good only by necessity”—but is primarily concerned with the connection between necessity and virtue because of its implications for moral philosophy, not as an actual prescription.[37] To the extent that Strauss is cognizant of the tension posed by non-adoption of Machiavelli’s military policy, however, he seems to believe it slips through a loophole. Though conservatives like Strauss typically endeavor to strictly supervise innovation such that the reach of society does not exceed its moral or philosophical bounds, all must admit the necessity of innovating vigorously in the arts of war. As the nature of ‘good arms’ evolves, we should expect to see tension with ‘good laws’ for which they are necessary and sufficient.[38] Strauss, then, is unconcerned.

Mansfield, in Machiavelli’s Virtue, largely avoids the question of the civic army because his reading of virtue, highly individualistic and bound up in personal glory, is at odds with my initial reading of Machiavelli’s virtue-oriented social policy.[39] Mansfield would likely dispute the premise of the military as a social institution meant to instill non-individualistic virtue. The modern militaries in fact do provide venues to earn individual glory, they can, if well directed by a virtuous captain, be effective protectors of the state.

Finally, Pocock’s Machiavellian Moment, in recognizing the centrality of the arte of war to Machiavelli’s well-ordered society,[40] is most vulnerable to the absence of Machiavelli’s theory in the practice of modern military institutions. Pocock does provide evidence of Machiavelli’s exhortation to arm the populace in Nedham’s writing during the English Civil War in the 1640s, and, of course in Harrington’s Oceana, but the underlying logic that he traces forward in English Machiavellianism is much thinner than the original Florentine construction.[41] Harrington, and his expositors in the 17th Century Parliament, focus on the armed populace as a necessary weight to establish an internal balance of power between the crown, nobility, and people. Indeed, as Pocock acknowledges, Harrington’s argument for the standing army has less to do with corruption and virtue than what might be termed proto-realist domestic politics.[42] In representing the philosophical heritage of ‘deed accuses, effect excuses’, it is quite ironic that Harrington and Pocock equate the act of arming the people with the purpose thereof. The appearance of Machiavelli’s military policy in the parliamentary debates that Pocock cites is a perversion of Machiavelli’s means in the service of a separate, and morally ‘thinner’ end.

Military policy and the armed populace are central to the safety of the state and the cultivation of civic virtue in the text of the Prince, Discourses, and Art of War. In three accounts of Machiavelli’s modernity, however, military policy and the armed populace are respectively, subject to loopholes about technology, more about the individual than the populace, and Machiavellian in appearance but not entirely in purpose. In none of these three seminal interpretations does the military as a social institution hold the same keystone place as it appears to in the original text.

So whose modernity is it? Looking narrowly at the single (albeit vital) institution of the military, it is unreasonable to suggest that the modernity reflected in the German Empire, Napoleonic France, or the Pax Americana belongs as much to Machiavelli as Strauss, Mansfield, and Pocock claim. Claude Lefort provides a nuanced, if not viscerally satisfying answer in his consideration of the ‘oeuvre’ in Machiavelli in the Making. “We cannot”, Lefort says, “spare ourselves the labor of [previous interpreter’s] scrutiny”.[43] The application of “thought to thought” in the process of reading and crafting an interpretation means that the author of modernity as performed a full five hundred years after the publication of the texts that are supposed to have launched it cannot be solely Machiavelli’s, even if his writing is read and applied in a strictly literal fashion.[44] Machiavelli’s modernity, especially in the sphere of military affairs, will necessarily be what its practitioners and theorists oriented toward narrower concerns, like Clausewitz, Jomini, Mahan, Huntington, and others make of it.

As little as orthodoxy may be possible in interpreting, never mind applying, Machiavelli’s institutional prescriptions about the military, the steady progression away from his ideal military order of the past five hundred years deserves more scrutiny. What lies at the end of the present trajectory is far from un-charted, Machiavelli illustrates the perilous consequences of the decaying civic virtue catalogued by Huntington, and even more so by Caverley. The untenable cost of civic decay is, in fact, one of the few things on which canonical interpreters can agree.

Works Cited

Bassford, Christopher, Daniel Moran, and Gregory W Pedlow. On Waterloo: Clausewitz, Wellington and the Campaign of 1815. Charleston, SC: Createspace, 2010.

Caverley, Jonathan D. Democratic Militarism: Voting, Wealth, and War. Cambridge Studies in International Relations. Cambridge ; New York: Cambridge University Press, 2014.

Eikenberry, Karl W., and David M. Kennedy. “Americans and Their Military, Drifting Apart.” The New York Times, May 26, 2013. http://www.nytimes.com/2013/05/27/opinion/americans-and-their-military-drifting-apart.html.

Eisenhower, Dwight. The Farewell Address. Washington DC: Dwight D. Eisenhower Presidential Library, 1961. http://www.eisenhower.archives.gov/all_about_ike/speeches/wav_files/farewell_address.mp3.

Gilbert, Felix. “Machiavelli: The Renaissance of the Art of War.” In Makers of Modern Strategy: From Machiavelli to the Nuclear Age, edited by Peter Paret. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1986.

Huntington, Samuel P. The Soldier and the State: The Theory and Poltiics of Civil-Military Relations. First Vintage Edition. New York: Vintage Books, 1964.

Klinger, Janeen. “The Social Science of Carl von Clausewitz.” Parameters 36, no. 1 (Spring 2006): 79–89.

Lefort, Claude. Machiavelli in the Making. Northwestern University Studies in Phenomenology and Existential Philosophy. Evanston, Ill: Northwestern University Press, 2012.

Machiavelli, Niccolò. Discourses on Livy. Translated by Harvey C Mansfield and Nathan Tarcov. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1996.

———. The Chief Works, And Others. Vol. 2. Translated by Allan H Gilbert. Durham, N.C.: Duke University Press, 1965.

———. The Prince. Translated by Harvey C. Mansfield. 2nd ed. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1998.

Mansfield, Harvey Claflin. Machiavelli’s Virtue. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1998.

McCormick, John P. Machiavellian Democracy. Cambridge, [England] ; New York: Cambridge University Press, 2011.

McNeill, William Hardy. The Pursuit of Power: Technology, Armed Force, and Society since A.D. 1000. Chicago [IL]: University of Chicago Press, 1984.

Mearsheimer, John. “Kissing Cousins: Nationalism and Realism.” New Haven, 2011. http://irworkshop.sites.yale.edu/sites/default/files/Mearsheimer_IRW.PDF.

Paret, Peter. “Clausewitz.” In The Making of Modern Strategy: From Machiavelli to the Nuclear Age, edited by Peter Paret. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1986.

Pocock, J. G. A. The Machiavellian Moment: Florentine Political Thought and the Atlantic Republican Tradition. 2nd ed. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2003.

Posen, Barry. “Nationalism, the Mass Army, and Military Power.” International Security 18, no. 2 (Fall 1993): 80–124.

Ricks, Thomas E. “The Widening Gap Between Military and Society.” The Atlantic, July 1997. http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/1997/07/the-widening-gap-between-military-and-society/306158/.

Schwartz, Moshe, and Joyprada Swain. Department of Defense Contractors in Afghanistan and Iraq: Background and Analysis. CRS Report for Congress. Washington DC: Congressional Research Service, May 13, 2011. http://fas.org/sgp/crs/natsec/R40764.pdf.

Strauss, Leo. Thoughts on Machiavelli. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1978.

Tufte, Edward R. The Visual Display of Quantitative Information. 2nd ed. Cheshire, Conn: Graphics Press, 2001.

Von Clausewitz, Carl. On War. Edited by Michael Howard and Peter Paret. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2011.


[1] Leo Strauss, Thoughts on Machiavelli (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1978).

[2] J. G. A. Pocock, The Machiavellian Moment: Florentine Political Thought and the Atlantic Republican Tradition, 2nd ed (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2003).

[3] Niccolò Machiavelli, The Prince, trans. Harvey C. Mansfield, 2nd ed (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1998). XII

[4] Ibid. XII

[5] Niccolò Machiavelli, Discourses on Livy, trans. Harvey C Mansfield and Nathan Tarcov (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1996). I.43

[6] Machiavelli, The Prince. XII

[7] Felix Gilbert, “Machiavelli: The Renaissance of the Art of War,” in Makers of Modern Strategy: From Machiavelli to the Nuclear Age, ed. Peter Paret (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1986). Pg. 27.

[8] Machiavelli, The Prince. XII

[9] Ibid. XII

[10] Machiavelli, Discourses on Livy. I.43. Translator Nathan Tarcov notes the translation of “neither this love nor this rivalry” in his errata for the first printing. ‘Rivalry’ should instead be translated as ‘dynamism’.

[11] Niccolò Machiavelli, The Chief Works, And Others. Vol. 2, trans. Allan H Gilbert (Durham, N.C.: Duke University Press, 1965). Pg. 585

[12] Ibid.

[13] Ibid.

[14] Machiavelli, Discourses on Livy. II.1.

[15] Machiavelli, The Chief Works, And Others. Vol. 2. Pg. 587.

[16] Ibid. Pg. 584.

[17] Machiavelli, Discourses on Livy. II.6

[18] John P. McCormick, Machiavellian Democracy (Cambridge, [England] ; New York: Cambridge University Press, 2011).

[19] Machiavelli, Discourses on Livy. I.2.

[20] I am not particularly concerned with the durability Machiavelli’s military science and tactics except insofar as they relate to general efficacy and the civic army. It is unreasonable to expect that his tactical prescriptions, for example about the use of artillery and fortification, would survive dramatic technological progress and still be useful in the age of airpower and nuclear weapons. This means, for example, the fact that Thomas Jefferson read the tactics of Art of War is unimportant, while the fact that Thomas Jefferson made it a priority to found a national military academy in 1802 is highly important.

[21] I assume that Machiavellian dictates are more likely to be found in works that provide a careful account of politics rather than field manuals, or treatises on naval tactics. I also assume that if Machiavellian influence is not present in the majorly influential works of military theory, then its practical impact on social policy and military doctrine is minimal.

[22] Peter Paret, “Clausewitz,” in The Making of Modern Strategy: From Machiavelli to the Nuclear Age, ed. Peter Paret (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1986). Pg. 195.

[23] Ibid. Pg. 192; Christopher Bassford, Daniel Moran, and Gregory W Pedlow, On Waterloo: Clausewitz, Wellington and the Campaign of 1815 (Charleston, SC: Createspace, 2010).

[24] Carl von Clausewitz, On War, ed. Michael Howard and Peter Paret (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2011). Pg. 372

[25] Janeen Klinger, “The Social Science of Carl von Clausewitz,” Parameters 36, no. 1 (Spring 2006): 79–89.

[26] von Clausewitz, On War. Pg. 479-480.

[27] Samuel P. Huntington, The Soldier and the State: The Theory and Poltiics of Civil-Military Relations, First Vintage Edition (New York: Vintage Books, 1964). Pg. 64.

[28] Ibid. Pg. 154-6. Think, for example of Dwight Eisenhower’s farewell address, warning of the dangers of the military industrial complex. In the wake of World War II, overreach by the military into civilian politics carried overtones of fascism, and was seen as a threat to liberal and democratic values. Dwight Eisenhower, The Farewell Address (Washington DC: Dwight D. Eisenhower Presidential Library, 1961), http://www.eisenhower.archives.gov/all_about_ike/speeches/wav_files/farewell_address.mp3.

[29] Huntington, The Soldier and the State: The Theory and Politics of Civil-Military Relations. Pg. 157. On this last point Huntington refers specifically to projects like the Army Corps of Engineers, clearly much more tangible than Machiavelli’s desired social impact.

[30] William Hardy McNeill, The Pursuit of Power: Technology, Armed Force, and Society since A.D. 1000 (Chicago [IL]: University of Chicago Press, 1984).

[31] This, of course, worked to a point, that point being the 1812 Russian campaign. The magnitude of the Mass Army’s failure in 1812 is strikingly captured in Charles Joseph Minard’s famous infographic. Edward R. Tufte, The Visual Display of Quantitative Information, 2nd ed (Cheshire, Conn: Graphics Press, 2001). Pg. 41.

[32] Barry Posen, “Nationalism, the Mass Army, and Military Power,” International Security 18, no. 2 (Fall 1993): 80–124. Pg. 85.

[33] John Mearsheimer, “Kissing Cousins: Nationalism and Realism” (Yale Workshop on International Relations, New Haven, 2011), http://irworkshop.sites.yale.edu/sites/default/files/Mearsheimer_IRW.PDF. Pg. 10

[34] Moshe Schwartz and Joyprada Swain, Department of Defense Contractors in Afghanistan and Iraq: Background and Analysis, CRS Report for Congress (Washington DC: Congressional Research Service, May 13, 2011), http://fas.org/sgp/crs/natsec/R40764.pdf.

[35] Thomas E. Ricks, “The Widening Gap Between Military and Society,” The Atlantic, July 1997, http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/1997/07/the-widening-gap-between-military-and-society/306158/; Karl W. Eikenberry and David M. Kennedy, “Americans and Their Military, Drifting Apart,” The New York Times, May 26, 2013, http://www.nytimes.com/2013/05/27/opinion/americans-and-their-military-drifting-apart.html.

[36] Jonathan D. Caverley, Democratic Militarism: Voting, Wealth, and War, Cambridge Studies in International Relations (Cambridge ; New York: Cambridge University Press, 2014).

[37] Strauss, Thoughts on Machiavelli. Pg. 249.

[38] Ibid. Pg. 299

[39] Harvey Claflin Mansfield, Machiavelli’s Virtue (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1998). Pg. 46, 52.

[40] Pocock, The Machiavellian Moment. Pg. 200. Pocock’s writing leaves unclear whether he recognizes the mutual reliance of the military on virtuous society and societal virtue on the military. The idea that “institutions are dependent on the moral climate” is fairly straightforward, but it is hard to interpret whether Pocock believes that the moral climate is, in turn, dependent on institutions that cultivate virtue, or whether his notion of historical time leads him to believe that the linkage between morality and institutions is causal in only one direction, and can only be reset by an individual of exceptional virtue.

[41] Ibid. Pg. 392.

[42] Ibid. Pg. 417, 421.

[43] Claude Lefort, Machiavelli in the Making, Northwestern University Studies in Phenomenology and Existential Philosophy (Evanston, Ill: Northwestern University Press, 2012). Pg. 16.

[44] Ibid. Pg. 17.

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