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Revista Brasileira de Ciência Política

versão impressa ISSN 0103-3352

Resumo

SILVA, Ricardo. From honor to property: social conflict and political institutions in Machiavelli's Discorsi. Rev. Bras. Ciênc. Polít. [online]. 2013, n.12, pp.43-66. ISSN 0103-3352.  https://doi.org/10.1590/S0103-33522013000300003.

The thesis of the conflict between nobles and plebeians as the 'prime cause' of freedom of the ancient Roman republic is one of the most innovative changes made by Machiavelli in the tradition of republican political thought. However, according to Machiavelli, in the same way that social conflict can generate freedom, it can generate corruption and tyranny, exactly as it started to happen in Rome after a certain point in time. I will discuss relations between social conflict and political institutions in Machiavelli in order to show the conditions which explain the positive and negative effects of social conflicts. By means of an analysis of Machiavelli's discussion of the Gracchi brothers' Agrarian Law, the paper suggests that the end of the virtuous effects of social conflict coincides with the change in the nobility's attitude regarding the new plebeian's demands. The nobility gives up its institutional reaction and initiates an extraordinary and violent behavior after the dislocation of the subject of the conflicts from honors to property.

Palavras-chave : Machiavelli; social conflict; political institutions; freedom; recognition; redistribution.

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