Arguing that hypocrisy can be constructive and that strictly principled behaviour can be destructive, this book explores the full range of ethical alternatives, distinguishing the various types of hypocrisy and integrity. Drawing on the work of Machiavelli and Rousseau, who both recognized that the irrationalities of human behaviour made totally honest and rational politics impossible, the book examines the ethical dilemmas experienced by politicians. It shows that the tasks of the politician - building coalitions among conflicting interests, uniting groups with a basic mistrust of one another - cannot be accomplished while remaining inflexibly attached to principle. Clarifying the differences between idealism and fanaticism, moderation and rationalization, this study seeks to uncover the moral limits of compromise and reveal new standards of ethical judgement.
Acknowledgments Abbreviations Ch. 1: Introduction Ch. 2: Machiavelli and the Case for Hypocrisy Ch. 3: Moliere, Rousseau, and the Ideal of Integrity Ch. 4: Rousseau's Political Ethics: Integrity, Prudence, and Deception Ch. 5: Rousseau's Political Ethics: Corruption, Dependence, and Vanity Ch. 6: Conclusion Works cited Index