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Neoliberalism and Hegemony in the New Millennium

Telos press blog

Of Power and Princes

During the sixteenth century, in his famous work The Prince, Machiavelli was already writing about the possibility of a hegemonic and civic form of political power. He described it as a type of principality where consensus was more important than brute force : "we now come to the case where a citizen becomes a prince not through crime or intolerable violence, but by the favour of his fellow-citizens, which may be called a civic principality" [1]. This text was one source of inspiration for the twentieth-century communist thinker Antonio Gramsci, who wrote about the possibility of creating a "Modern Prince." This "Modern Prince" would take the form of a renewed and hegemonic communist party capable of waging a war of position against bourgeois hegemony.

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[1Niccolò Machiavelli, The Prince and The Discourses (New York : Random House, 1950), p. 35.

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