Wednesday’s Maxim

Jun 15, 2005

Always deny what you don’t want to be known, and always affirm what you want to be believed. For, though there be much – even conclusive – evidence to the contrary, a fervent affirmation or denial will often create at least some doubt in the mind of your listener. (Series C, 37)

I guess early modern Europe wasn’t very different from the present after all…

For other maxims from Guicciardini, see here and here.

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Daniel H. Nexon is a Professor at Georgetown University, with a joint appointment in the Department of Government and the School of Foreign Service. His academic work focuses on international-relations theory, power politics, empires and hegemony, and international order. He has also written on the relationship between popular culture and world politics.