Hobbes was a champion of absolutism for the sovereign but he also developed some of the fundamentals of European liberal thought: the right of the individual; the natural equality of all men; the artificial character of the political order (which led to the later distinction between civil society and the state); the view that all legitimate political power must be "representative" and based on the consent of the people; and a liberal interpretation of law which leaves people free to do whatever the law does not explicitly forbid.
Machiavelli's best-known book, "Il Principe," contains a number of maxims concerning politics, but rather than the more traditional subject of a hereditary prince, it concentrates on the possibility of a "new prince." To retain power, the hereditary prince must carefully maintain the socio-political institutions to which the people are accustomed; whereas a new prince has the more difficult task in ruling, since he must first stabilize his new-found power in order to build an enduring political structure. He asserted that social benefits of stability and security could be achieved in the face of moral corruption. Aside from that, Machiavelli believed that public and private morality had to be understood as two different things in order to rule well. As a result, a ruler must be concerned not only with reputation, but also positively willing to act immorally at the right times. As a political scientist, Machiavelli emphasizes the occasional need for the methodical exercise of brute force, deceit, and so on.
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