n African Journal of Democracy and Governance - La question de l'imposture en politique : regards croisés de Machiavel et de Rousseau

Volume 1, Issue 4
  • ISSN : 2313-6529


Once in politics, people tend to behave differently to please the public. Machiavel aptly depicted and promoted the political arena as the world of governed by frauds, lies, coups, simulations and selfishness. Make-up is essential for people who do not appear as they really are. They "pretend to be" and want the people to believe what they are not. This is well captured by the concept of "imposture". Politicians tend to wear masks, but they are not alone.

This article deals with "imposture" in politics through a cross-reading of Machiavel and Rousseau. It concludes that the political game is dominated by "imposters", liars and manipulators. The "greatest" politicians are those who can best manipulate and exploit other people. And yet, good politicians should put the interests of their people first, not their own interests. It is only when it is done in the interests of the people that politics acquires its true sense. Politics should not be dissociated with morale and ethics. Rousseau was a proponent of such . Unfortunately, "imposture" cannot be totally excluded from politics. Some measure of "imposture" is necessary and politicians should find a middle ground between and .

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