What is Machiavellian in Bacon’s advice to attain high place ?
In the seventeenth century, it was in England that Machiavelli’s ideas were most substantially developed and adapted. Bacon argued the case for what would become modern science which would be based more upon real experience and experimentation, free from assumptions about metaphysics, and aimed at increasing control of nature. He named Machiavelli as a predecessor. According to Bacon, attaining a great place is laborious and painful. Sometimes the process is full of humiliation. The idea of sacrificing dignity for the sake of attaining a high place is Machiavellian in nature. Bacon clearly mentions that the rising to a great place is by a ‘ winding stair ‘. The phrase ‘ winding stair ‘ refers to crooked methods or roundabout ways of attaining a great place. Since it needs to employ cunning and duplicity to achieve a high position, it is a clear sign of Machiavellian tactics. The most practical and somewhat shocking advice is the way Bacon suggests manipulating factions to gain a high place. A man desiring high place practically can side with one to dominate over others and thus gain control over his position. But this prescription does not abide by our conventional moral ideals rather with practical advice. Machiavellian one. Thus, Bacon blends Machiavellianism with his practical advice.