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... Similarly, the future is not dictated by these external forces; the direction of individual human life and collective societal well-being is dictated exclusively by humans. New crises, events, scares, or social movements are then all considered new developments on a political and historical timeline. His notion of political history then lends itself to his theory of what constitutes a good ruler, specifically with regards to what one such ruler would do when reacting to such unplanned developments: a good ruler must learn from the past in order to deal with present circumstances. Machiavelli considers this capacity of a ruler to anticipate and have foresight as part of a larger prerequisite to become a good ruler–virtue; “a ruler who cannot foresee evil consequences before they have time to develop is not truly wise; but few have such wisdom” (The Prince 45).
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