Machiavelli has long been called a teacher of evil.
Niccolò Machiavelli - Wikiquote
, the American political philosopher, declared himself more inclined toward the traditional view that Machiavelli was a "teacher of evil," since he counsels the princes to avoid the values of justice, mercy, temperance, wisdom, and love of their people in preference to the use of cruelty, violence, fear, and deception. Italian anti-fascist philosopher Benedetto Croce (1925) concludes Machiavelli is simply a "realist" or "pragmatist" who accurately states that moral values in reality do not greatly affect the decisions that political leaders make. German philosopher Ernst Cassirer (1946) held that Machiavelli simply adopts the stance of a political scientist—a Galileo of politics—in distinguishing between the "facts" of political life and the "values" of moral judgment.
Machiavelli on the Use and Abuse of “Property” | …
For four centuries scholars have debated whether Machiavelli was the theorist of evil or just being realistic. The Prince made the word "Machiavellian" a byword for deceit, despotism, and political manipulation. Some historians argue Machiavelli had a secret (or very subtle) message that explains away the ugly implications of the plain text, saying that Machiavelli really favored virtue after all and was just trying to trick princes into policies that would lead to their overthrow, not their triumph.