I take exception to modern politicians and vulgar Marxists, including Gramsci, for any fixation on the figure of the Prince from Machiavelli. I admit, I have never understood this thinker, but he has no one to blame but himself for the way he mixed two modes and laid down the false justifications for modern failed systems of government. Look at our politicians: they are all machiaveillians but none of them is a ‘Prince’. To take Machiavelli’s confused thinking and apply it to Tecumseh is on the level of the US cavalry going into extinction mode.
Sentimental scholars find Machiavelli a republican charmer. But the modern covert agency is built on the other side of Machiavelli, as crime, murder, and plunder of the ‘democratic’ politician beside the more familiar dictator. Look at the famous debate of Kant and Constand over lying by politicians. Kant had his problems but his categorical imperative had real import for politicians.
Now from there look at Trump, the apotheosis of the parody of a parody of the ‘karmic’ destiny of political lies: Donald Trump. Some deeper level of history is laughing with demonic cackles at the modern fantasy Prince, or politician, a universal brotherhood of human shit.
Antonio Gramsci, one of the leading Marxist theorists of the twentieth century and a founder of the Communist Party of Italy, understood the importance of the story, or in his case, specifically, the allegory.1 In his Prison Notebooks, he utilized his grasp of Italian history to make a compelling case for the role of organization and strategy in the Italian Revolution that he wished to see unfold.2 The specific and key piece to this story is the now famous reference to “the Modern Prince,” the role that Gramsci saw for the Communist Party in the context of Italy.3