The answer

The answer, I think, has to do with the fact that this book is what we call a classic. Its enduring value in my view lies not so much in its political theories as in the way it discloses or articulates a particular way of looking at the world. The Prince shows us what the world looks like when viewed from a strictly demoralized perspective. I think that’s what the fascination and also the scandal is all about.
And so we ask ourselves, for example, what does human nature look like when looked at from a demoralized or hard-nosed realist point of view? We get an unambivalent answer to that question in chapter 17 of The Prince. In this passage, Machiavelli is addressing the typically Machiavellian question of whether it is better for a prince to be feared or to be loved: