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Machiavelli when writing to the Prince of Florence once said that the purpose of politics is acquisition and maintenance A perfect example of this comes in the Speech of the Corinthians 169 When speaking of the growing Athenian aggression the Corinthians accuse the Spartans of allowing the Athenians to gain the power that theyve come to gain For all this you are responsible You it was who first allowed them to fortify their city you Spartans of all the Hellenes are alone inactive and defend yourselves by not doing anything but acting as though you would do something you alone wait until the power of an enemy is becoming twice its original size instead of crushing it in its infancy Thucydides p 39 With these remarks the Corinthians are becoming aware of the fact that the Athenians are capable of both acquisition and maintenance It comes to look as though other armies in the alliance have come to recognize the Athenian power as a threat but its left to wonder if the Spartans are either in denial of this fact or if their just oblivious to it Thucydides is endorsing the fact that under the assumption that Machiavelli is correct in saying that the purpose of politics is acquisition and maintenance that Athenian government is successful as well as a well run government The Corinthians seeing that the Spartans need some motivation to try and contain the Athenians in their expansion To try and spark this inspiration the Corinthians begin to compare steps that the Athenians have taken expanding and becoming more productive while Sparta has done just the opposite of the Athenians thus yielding the opposite results Speich 2 The Athenians are addicted to innovation and their designs are characterized by swiftness alike in conception and execution you have a genius for keeping
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