Niccolò Machiavelli has deeply influenced contemporary American political culture with his concept of “libero vivere,” the community’s right to live freely from outside interference. Filtered through centuries of politics, Machiavellian-style liberty today grips American right-wing political movements. Its raison d’etre consists of fear of those considered outsiders such as African Americans and communitarian liberty focused on perceived threats against the republic rather than protection of individual rights. One need look no further than present-day book and critical race theory bans to find fresh evidence of Machiavelli’s impact.
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