Anti-Machiavel was written by Frederick the Great, Frederick II of Prussia, in 1739, in response to Machiavelli’s The Prince. It was extensively revised by Voltaire, of whom Frederick was patron. It was published in September 1740, and its authorship, which was a very open secret, made the book an instant success.
Frederick’s argument is moral. He argues that the King is charged with maintaining the health and prosperity of his subjects, and must lead by example. If the King is evil, his evil actions will be taken up by his subjects. Frederick points out the bad ends met by some of those praised by Machiavelli.
Mencius Moldbug wrote of Anti-Machiavel, “It’s an obvious basis for the corporate culture of government for profit”, describing “cameralism, the governing philosophy of Frederick the Great, whose Anti-Machiavel is good reading for anyone wondering what went wrong in the 19th and 20th centuries.”
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