On Friday, May 15, the Financial Times published a Letter to the Editor by Scowcroft Center Deputy Director Matthew Kroenig, in which he reminds readers that Machiavelli offered a convincing defense of republics as a superior system of government.

With the US-China rivalry intensifying, many are wondering whether autocracy or democracy is a better form of government. Kroenig cites Machiavelli’s Discourses on Livy, in which the Italian political theorist observed that free cities were better able to increase their land and wealth. Furthermore, Machiavelli contended it is the “common good that makes cities great,” and this common good is most assuredly upheld in republics.

In these challenging times, Machiavelli offers a much-needed dose of optimism for readers in the free world.

Matthew Kroenig

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