Post war period in France

Beyond Machiavelli: the conspiratorial nature of the capitalist class

The capitalist ruling class, the bourgeoisie, is often called “Machiavellian” after the Florentine writer, philosopher and republican diplomat of that name who lived around the turn of the sixteenth century. The word is used as shorthand to describe elements, in this case a class, that knowingly plots and intrigues against its enemy or enemies. In fact, Machiavellianism, shorthand though it is, doesn’t even begin to describe the scheming, conspiratorial nature of the bourgeoisie, a class that has gone well beyond the works of Niccolo Machiavelli and whose actions leave his works looking quite insipid and dated.

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