Machiavelli’s Advice For Nice Guys

Nice guys too often finish last; they need to read the advice of one of the wisest and most realistic thinkers in the history of philosophy: Niccolo Machiavelli. For gifts and more from The School of Life, visit our online shop:
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“Our assessment of politicians is torn between hope and disappointment. On the one hand, we have an idealistic idea that a politician should be an upright hero, a man or woman who can breathe new moral life into the corrupt workings of the state. However, we are also regularly catapulted into cynicism when we realise the number of backroom deals and the extent of the lying that politicians go in for. We seem torn between our idealistic hopes and our pessimistic fears about the evil underbelly of politics...”

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Produced in collaboration with:

Mike Booth

  • Cat Pig

    For the good people to be successful you need to be a little evil.

  • RJ MacReady

    We should take Nietzsche's advice, and be careful that when we fight monsters we don't become them.

  • Claude Machiha

    Nice guys finish the short run.

  • Matt Cannon

    Finally someone read the damn book before saying what it was about!

  • Brendan Golledge

    The reason there is evil in the world is that the great mass of people don't think and are more easily manipulated by vice than by virtue.

  • the only one Mr Z

    So., Kill Everything With Kindness. GOT it !

  • dsalvat1

    In order to fight and destroy Trump, you must become Trump.

  • Bob Plant

    Our impulses do be nice aren't founded in religion. It's an innate, inborn trait instilled in us from evolving in groups. It's where fairness comes from too. Sharing as well.I'm not nice bc God is watching. I'm nice bc I feel bad when I'm not. These feelings can be explained with evolutionary psychology.

  • The Adventures Of ButterBall The Opossum !

    The democratic party should start taking notes. This is why republicans win elections. Ruthlessness.

  • Intuit Now, Suzanne Bishop

    Also good to study . . . "The Art of War" . . . The finest among us, the Libran, knows how to get what we want, but with style and grace.Know your enemy, but it is also a natural law to serve others, and that serving others reflects back to the giver. So, it is an aware person of service to others that wins out and achieves their goals. NOT at any price but at the price that is most appropriate for you.

  • Jabba The Frog

    Imagine how powerful the world could be if this was imbraced

  • reanimated_b

    I understood " one is committed to good memes" ...

  • Archons

    A great man this Machiavelli, a great observer. Good or bad... That's debateable.

  • Ip Holmes

    Perhaps Machiavelli was right. That nice people often finish last. However, I was inspired not by the content of this video but by the phrase in the scriptures written more than 2000 years ago. "those who are last will come first, those who are first will come last". I would not give up being a nice guy just because it can help me in this world. I would rather succumb than become one less inspiration. One less angel of this world.

  • Factual- fan

    Sorry, Jesus is not a loser, I got saved in 2004...stay blessed all.

  • vicky sahdeo

    Thank you for breaking it down,...and thats exactly , why I am 30,and never had a woman..because I am too nice. And all I do is have good intentions and read books to be intellectual and Intelligent. the way...whats books it Prince.??.

  • jak daniles

    So many people get Machiavelli wrong. Machiavelli is all about situational action, not about keeping a constant rulers personality. You should be nice when the situation calls for it, and you should be ruthless when the situation calls for that too. Machiavelli would never advise you to be "machiavellian" as the word means today all the time, he would say that in some cases that would make sense, others you should be as nice as Sanata. He simply was trying to introduce "relativity" into politics that older classical philosophers who believed you should always be good or riteous didn't understand.

  • TheWinterShadow

    Actually Jesus was an upstart and in the eyes of the ruling class, a bad guy. He went against the status quo without fear and was brave enough to know the end result and even with that understanding he didn't brown-nose to save his own skin. A result which changed the course of human existence. That sounds pretty tough to me. Niccolo was a brown-noser, his book was a letter to kiss up to someone to get ahead. And in doing so, he fell back on the notion that it was normal. If it is normal, then it is just as normal for a person to be good and strong at the same time such as Jesus.

  • Besto2000

    Lol it sounds like he’s talking about the left

  • R S

    Firstly, Jesus' message has reached all over the globe, inspiring the greatest countries and values that we all enjoy the benfits of. Seccondly, Jesus was not just nice to everyone; He frequently criticised the religious leaders and even drove them out of the Temple and pushed over their stalls. But most importantly Jesus came to suffer and take the pain on our behalf so we didn't have to. His teachings weren't so that we could have a successful life, He said that we would face persecution and troubles for following Him. They were about being good, loving and living objectively moral lives; the benefits of which lie in the acts themselves.

  • RingofRae RoR

    stupid, you can be well intended, you can have principles, you can be kind and still be pragmatic and achieve big things. there are countless examples of that... sorry I call this Macachiavely stupid, I don't think he minds if I'm unkind to him, anyways, he wrote that stuff quite a while ago, it's totally useless, at least...

  • Hector Sanchez

    I have so much to read and learn.

  • William Rosa

    I disagree, if one were to adopt ruthless traits from bad people then niceness is destroyed and the person is no longer nice. Imo.

  • L2084

    The idea that you can imitate evil without becoming it is nonesensical. I'd rather " lose"

  • Silver Icetail

    How can we learn from ones enemies if we refuse to listen to them?

  • Andrei Ciurea

    Be NICE to yourself. This way you listen to YOUR needs and help yourself achieve them.

  • W TL

    First of all, Christ Jesus was not a loser, because the story did not end at the cross. Christ rose from the dead and His resurrection turned the world up side down. Jesus Christ as God knows what man is, and when He was on earth, Christ used His words of wisdom to change man’s heart from stone into flesh. He did not have to use force to fight His enemies, but used unique sayings like loving your enemies and pray for them. Christ changed the Roman Empire into a country where mercy ruled over brutality. Christ as God showed to those who came to arrest Him in the garden where Christ and His apostles did all their meetings, that by one saying from Him, He can wipe them all. We read that in the Gospel of John 18:4-6Then Jesus, knowing all that would happen to him, came forward and said to them, “Whom do you seek?” They answered him, “Jesus of Nazareth.” Jesus said to them, “I am he.” Judas, who betrayed him, was standing with them. When Jesus said to them, “I am he,” they drew back and fell to the ground. So all of them fell to the ground. That only one thing to tell you, that Christ can use His power to defend Himself, but chose not to, because He came to die on the Cross to save us from the slavery of sin and the wrath of God on all who choose to reject Christ's sacrifice on the cross. Christ will come again to judge this fallen world, but His coming will be without mercy.Without Christ this world is in a mess.

  • ponggolese

    It's okay, I don't mind losing as long as my conscience is at peace.

  • unlimitedpubes

    the first bit sounds like a description of trump

  • Samet Asl

    Ok but where is advices?

  • woolph58

    Letters to the Prince was written as a satire not as a self-help guide.

  • Musica Gustum

    Now that's a fucking realistic perception of things.

  • Alexandros Papaioanou

    I did not like the part jesus was kicked. There are so many other ways to make a visual point. Please change it.

  • Corey Davis

    Actually, Jesus wasn't the world's biggest loser. None of the things that befell had to happen. It happened bcos he allowed it.

  • John Posadas

    His observations might be right but to say that Christ had lose because He died in the end think again. He already knew what was going to happen and yet did not resist. He died not because His agenda is to be great or to be the first but He died knowing that you could live. To live in this world just for fame and fortune is like chasing the wind. Remember that.

  • Razor Blade

    Didn't understood a single word he just said¡😕🙃

  • m tigress

    jesus christ is the most powerful figure that walked the earth

  • xveiar //

    Jesus chose his life. for you to him call him a loser proves you don't know his purpose .

  • Just Smile

    That's why I kinda like Hitler. Yes, he was a crazy maniac that indirectly killed a ton of people, but he was also a brilliant politician and a charismatic man.

  • Stratocaster65

    Sounds to me like they are describing Progressives/Democrats...

  • Levi Brennan

    How lost you are if you agree with Machiavelli and this video! Calling the Gospel a "sentimental tale" displays such ignorance. Because of Jesus' life he is without doubt the most influential man in human history, with untold billions serving him from every race and culture...even being elevated to Diety. One cannot even compare his conquest of hearts and minds through millennia to a few measly political gains made by men who come and go. Besides, this life is so short. Life for this life, sow to your flesh and reap corruption. Chase wordly things and die with no hope. Be the "nice guy" the "loser", seek Truth, seek God and inherit eternal life. Of course nobody in this comment section believes that. It's the truth none the less.

  • Jay Garcia

    I'll keep being nice, honest and respectful. I won't let some bullshit lier tell me how to live my life.

  • Joan Clayton

    The Prince doesn’t disrespect the Bible like you do. Your atheist bent is showing. Now I’m questioning just how accurate your other videos are.

  • Cameron Grant

    First, yessssssss life validated.

  • Jason Gerig

    Doing this will not lead you where you think it will. It's very stupid advice...

  • fiestavee

    The most concise, clear description of a liberal I've ever heard. Brilliant.

  • Nuovo Cello

    Matthew 16:26 26 What good will it be for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul? Or what can anyone give in exchange for their soul?

  • Aaron Archual

    Not to get in an argument over Jesus, but in the belief of his Christian culture and world, didn’t Jesus overcome death? How is that defeat? That is victory in the highest form. And the fact that we are still intensely talking about Jesus and what He taught and stood for today, does that not make a statement on His “failure” or success?

  • Europod 2014

    True psychopathic western advice.

  • Sixth Echelon

    What? Jesus was always talking back, people who say Jesus was all about being nice are just seeing one side of the coin. He wasn't nice to everyone, he was nice to the ignorant and poor and insulted the Pharisees. Someone please point out when Jesus got called out by the elites and didn't talk back. He was a rebel and yet the most obedient.

  • Master M

    This is so wrong... Now even Hitler could claim he had good intentions, or what he thought were good intentions and what he did was just the mean to an end. Nero burned Rome to make it better and so on and on. Stalin created a more productive and stronger country but before that a lot of people starved and he justified it with his ideology, or what he believed was good... USA today acts as the "good guy" while bombing cities and making chaos in the world but it is all for economical and political gain. The road to hell is paved with good intentions and that is the first mistake people make, thinking they are better than other people and they are the ones to impose on the others their view of what good should be like... Stop labeling things to good or bad, that only helps to good being misused for bad purposes. USA isn't a good guy it made a lot of chaos in the world misusing the "good intentions" for their wars that actually made things worse for people in Libya and other middle eastern countries... The worst kind of people are those who do bad things, allegedly in the name of the good or what they thought is good, and while doing those bad things they call for more bad things to be done in the name of good... So basically every evil can be rationalized, to an extent, by good intentions which is very bad for civilization... so this video is promoting misuse of good for more wars and chaos. laws should be the merit and USA broke a lot of international laws by attacking countries without un support and what's even worse it made a dangerous precedent so now other countries can also claim good intentions while attacking countries... USA isn't governed by good that's evident from its wars and also from it not doing anything when its allies are doing bad things or violate human rights... So far the promise of good has been used the most to make people do bad things. And people should know not to go to war on false merits of doing good, US people got played like sheep a lot of times like that... But I understand, mighty powers are at play...

  • Abe

    channel should be renamed to the school of niceness

  • Josh C.

    So, I gotta be like Hillary Clinton..

  • Songo

    The School of Life in the end your vid promotes the wrong idea. MACHIAVELLI was wrong , because you become what you are doing , if you do bad thing you become a bad person , and bad people can't enjoy life , they only hurt others , ect. Also bad people create wars , or pretend to be good and invite taliban emigrants to destroy their own countries. Doing bad things in order to make it all good in the end doesn't work , and all is worst in the end. And also insulting Christ for sacrificing Him self for our souls will destroy you. In the end what good is if you had the whole world , when you've damaged your soul ? Remember doing bad things bring more evil to the world , one creates the other, if you do good ,more good will come about. And the simplest example for all of you to understand what i'm saying is - if you train you will become stronger, you may not want it but you will, that is becoming what you are doing, even if you don't want it. In the end you don't do things that you don't like and only do those that you want and are famimliar with, and become those things. Saint Paul said don't do evil in order to acomplish good things. Just look at our world , what do you think , is it good , if you have money and power it is , but if you don't, what will happen , you will get eaten alive, who do you think made it like this - people like MACHIAVELLI , because of his example the lower classes are evil , because they can't read his mind to see his intentions , but they see his doings. Also MACHIAVELLI was a bad gorevnor , that reminds me that God predicted that there will be bad people on top in the final days, because the people in the bottom are evil , and what comes from the bottom and reaches the top will only be evil as well, you see how small evil builds up , and creates the bigger evil, it is a cycle of evil, and intentions doesn't matter , it is what you are doing that teaches the others (corrupts them). And DuoDynamo no this is not a catholic good , you simply lie , i'm a catholic and you are probably a muslim deciever, or some atheist troll.

  • Libertarian Immigrant

    To say that Jesus was a pushover just proves you are poorly educated. Jesus himself used violence when it was needed, and he also encouraged his disciples to buy swords in the future, because he was talking about the future persecution of Christians by the Romans. And later on in the days of persecution, there were instances where the Christians would resist Roman oppressors with violence. So to say Jesus was teaching people to be weak is actually retarded.

  • Ryan Wensel

    Good people.. like Dr King.. um

  • Samuel Kang

    So basically, what this guy is saying is that the ends justify the means???

  • Ray Conger

    Machiavelli couldn't have held a candle to Jesus.

  • Anthony Michael

    Even though during the life of Christ he might’ve been the nice guy he did not finish last. How many people in the world in the history of the world have worshiped and thought off and spoke of Christ Jesus the Lord??! No doubt the number of people who have followed Jesus Christ through the apostle Paul in this age is millions upon millions upon millions...On this point you’re wrong dude

  • leslie Petoski

    Is this a clip from Monty Python`s Flying Circus ? Expected the yellow submarine to cross the screen at any moment. . .

  • Gol D. Luffy

    Moral: Good is not always nice or soft

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