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What is Machiavelli's conception of fortune (la Fortuna)? To what degree, if at all, can one overcome it?

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Machiavelli's conception of fortune is expressed in the success that a leader gets when governing people. He argues that men who achieve dominion over states through skill and ability have a greater chance of successfully governing than do men who simply luck into their power or those who rely on fortune. It is hard to overcome fortune, but you can use it to find opportunities to come to power.

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