To have Machiavellian tendencies means one is cunning, scheming, and unscrupulous, especially in politics or in advancing one's career.
Machiavelli won the title of "father of modern political theory." He also wrote several poems as well.
Machiavelli's basic premise was this
The success of the state or nation is paramount and Whoever governs the state or nation must strive to secure both his/her own glory and the success of the state.
In order to do this they cannot be bound by morality. Therefore the end justifies the means.
Little is known about the early life of Machiavelli, or the education that he received. We do know that he worked in a relatively high position in chancery's, under religious leaders. Part of "The Prince" came as a result from his time working in this position.
At one point he was falsely implicated in a plot against the Medici family (which was in power at the time) he was tortured, fined and imprisoned and lost the ability to find a new political position. He wrote this book to present as an aide to the prince (a popular thing to do at the time)
The book "The Prince" is witty and cynical, showing a great understanding of Italy in general and Florence in specific It was meant to give ruthlessly practical advice to a prince OR it was written as a satire so that the regular people would do all they could to avoid having a leader such as written in the book. It's hard to know for sure. :)
So what do you think? Does the end justify the means?