One of the most overly hyped schools of thought currently floating in the Manosphere is Machiavellianism. This is not to say that we should be generous and nice, but rather the fact that Machiavellianism is ineffective.
The hype around Machiavelli is similar to the hype around Satan. For all the hype around Satan being evil and dark, his actual job is to imprison bad people and send good people to heaven. For all the hype surrounding Machiavelli, we must consider the fact that the nobility read his book and SNUBBED him. It is a strange thing for the common man to hold him in high regard whilst the very nobility that actually holds power found his "talent" insufficient.
The problem lies in the premise of The Prince. It is a book on the manipulation of the masses in order to hold power. The book outlines a PR campaign towards the common people for the nobility and yet... nobility do nothing of the sort in practice. In fact, SUCCESSFUL nobility tend to do the exact opposite. They are reclusive, secretive, and operate almost entirely on informal social networks.
In short, there was a reason why The Prince was universally snubbed by the people actually in power. Machiavelli imagined a ruler as a virtue signalling public figure instead of a networking dealmaker on an exclusive country club.
We also see this play out in practice. The very best virtue signallers tend to be VERY bad rulers, if for no other reason than the disconnect between what one does and how that translates to power. A far better political treatise is The Dictator's Handbook: Why Bad Behavior Is Almost Always Good Politics. It gives a much better approximation of the secretive lives of the nobility that actually holds power and includes a number of real world studies.
You are an aristocrat in the king's court. While joking around with the court jester, you make a joke about the King's mother. The jester points behind you and faints. Standing behind you is the king himself.
The next day, he summons you to an audience. You arrive to see nobody but you, the king himself, and an executioner. The doors close behind you. You stand there by the door, sweating buckets while the king ignores you and drinks tea with the executioner. After an hour, the executioner walked up to you and speaks. "Tell no one of what transpired here today."
You see, gratitude is a beta trait. The problem is that the masses are not beta. They are omega. In the natural hierarchy, there is the Alpha leader, the Betas providers, and the Omega scum. They are the lions who eat last because they did NOTHING to aid in the hunt.
When you do a favor for a beta, he recognizes that he is in your debt and displays gratitude. Omega scum are autistic fuckwads that are too stupid to even recognize when you are doing them a favor and will stab you in the back for it.
This is the point where we realize that we are not a beta-cucked society. We have become an omega society.