http://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/american-machiavelli/ The study of Machiavelli by his scholarly fans, what to say of real world neocons, has produced a distorted view of politics that has realized itself as pcyhopatheocracy, government by psychopaths, and the many who while not psycopaths are pressed into the tide of oligarchic madness.
I think Kant was nearly the only philosopher able to stand up to all this and he better represents the future of government, if there is one. But that future is not approaching via the efforts of current political animals: the last decade (and a half) since 9/11 has shown the full-blown reign of ‘intelligent devils’ (Kant again) come to fruition. Did someone once declare that politicians shouldn’t lie?
In any case, even if we are powerless, we can still deprive the discussion of any idea of Machiavelli’s modernity: it is strictly modernity manque. Let”s face reality here: the democratic revolution presupposed the action of honest men who don’t lie, deceive or cheat. It assumed the legacy of religion had led humanity to a new threshold of bureaucracy 101 where men were honest enough to run governments, in a democratic context. But the drift into oblivion was not long coming in the wake of the rise of American imperialism. I still fail to grasp the exact sequence of what happened, but we can see the drift into evil starting at the Truman period, the onset of the CIA, and the rapid emergence of a hidden government. We can no longer say how our government works: danger point. The endgame follows. The minor classic, Three Days of the Condor, shows that horrid truth had reached Hollywood by the seventies. But forty years later the whole game has only gotten worse.