Kautilya’s Vision: Kautilya stated his vision as: “The kingdom shall be protected by fortifying the capital and the towns at the frontiers. The land should not only be capable of sustaining the [native] population but also outsiders [when they come into the kingdom] in times of calamities. It should be easy to defend from [attacks by] enemies and strong enough to control neighboring kingdoms. It should have productive land (free from swamps, rocky ground, saline land, uneven terrain and deserts as well as wild and [unruly] groups of people). It should be beautiful, being endowed with arable land, mines, timber forests, elephant forests, and good pastures rich in cattle. It should not depend [only on] rain for water. It should have good roads and waterways. It should have a productive economy, with a wide variety of commodities and the capacity to sustain a high level of taxation as well as a [large] army. The people shall be predominantly agriculturists [artisans and craftsman], devoted to work, honest, loyal and with intelligent masters and servants.”

Machiavelli on Irrelevance of a Vision: He (513, p 48) describes, “But my hope is to write a book that will be useful, at least to those who read it intelligently, and so I thought it sensible to go straight to a discussion of how things are in real life and not waste time with a discussion of an imaginary world. For many authors have constructed imaginary republics and principalities that have never existed in practice and never could; for the gap between how people actually behave and how they ought to behave is so great that anyone who ignores everyday reality in order to live up to an ideal will soon discover he has been taught how to destroy himself, not how to preserve himself.”

Scope: Kautilya explained the scope as: “By following [the principles set out in] this treatise one can not only create and preserve dharma [spiritual good], artha [material well-being] and kama [aesthetic pleasures] but also destroy [their opposites, i.e.,] unrighteousness, material loss and hatred. It is a guide not only for the acquisition of this world but also the next.”

Scope: Machiavelli (p 3) wrote in his letter to Francesco Vettori, “I discuss what a principality is, how many types of principality there are, how one acquires them, how one holds onto them, why one loses them.”