Machiavelli Is Everywhere


24 Responses to “Machiavelli Is Everywhere”

  1. Anonymous says:

    Yes Machiavellianism is all around us now but it’s not any more so than in the past. What is new is the imminent destruction of our planet because those with “intelligence” and/or access to the tools of power are unable and/or unwilling to control themselves.

  2. Dreamboat Skanky says:

    “If you want to read the original, there are a zillion translations;”

    Best. Advice. Ever.

  3. Wardish says:

    All human interaction can be framed as manipulation.

    I’m guessing Machiavelli was quite aware of that.

  4. agnot says:

    There was a rumor that Richard Nixon kept a copy of “The Prince” on his bedside table. Never checked it out.

    • sapere_aude says:

      Nixon was a Realist. Realists tend to be fans of The Prince. So, Nixon probably read The Prince on more than one occasion.

      People often read in or near their bed. They often keep the book they are currently reading on their bedside table for this purpose. So, Nixon certainly could have kept a copy of The Prince on his bedside table at least for some period of time.

      Therefore, I’ll call this myth “Plausible”.

  5. jfrancis says:

    That’s because he’s a badass.

    I made him the “M” in my Renaissance-era ‘James Bond’ screenplay.

  6. Phrosty says:

    Incidentally, Cracked mentioned Machiavelli and ‘The Prince’ in a humorous exposé yesterday.

  7. Zac says:

    The Prince was satire. Machiavelli was staunchly for free republics. Nice to see someone trying to communicate that frequently overlooked reality.

    • Anonymous says:

      Are you sure? Machiavelli seems to be one of those books everyone assumes is satire, but the main evidence is just how far over the top it is.

  8. turn_self_off says:

    Interesting, i have had a ebook copy (thanks to the gutenberg project) sitting on a pda for some time now.

  9. JohnnyOC says:

    Is it me or is the Machiavelli portrait on the wikipedia entry a little…out of proportion?

    It looks like the painter plopped his head on the body of Henry VIII in his later years.

  10. Manko says:

    One of Machiavelli’s most timely points was on distribution of wealth; he made the argument that when the gap between the Rich and the Rest got too vast in a city/community/state, the Rich had more in common with the Rich of other places than they had with their own neighbors, and so they effectively left the community altogether and could no longer be counted on to act in the community’s best interest. It’s a crucial principle not only in terms of wealth distribution but in globalization, where our wealthiest capitalists aren’t truly citizens of the nations where they live any more, since so much of their business is done abroad.

  11. turn_self_off says:

    crap, wrong “reply to” selection. sorry!

  12. senorglory says:

    “Machiavelli Everywhere” = worst improve group, ever.

  13. SporkWielder says:

    Even the Neocons have co-opted poor Niccolo:

    “We should not be outraged by Machiavelli’s call for a temporary dictatorship as an effective means to either revivify or restore freedom.”

  14. agnot says:

    Maybe Machiavelli contributed to Nixon’s resolve to end Vietnam. (An invaded state is the hardest type of monarchy to establish and hold.) Yes, I know he tried to end it by winning it first. So did Kennedy and Johnson.

    Maybe Machiavelli contributed to Nixon’s consent to sign a nationalized health care bill, which the “wacky kids” of today would have grown up with had he not been impeached. (Institutions serving the public solidify the state.)

  15. 3lbFlax says:

    See also the recent book from Tony Blair’s chief of staff Jonathan Powell, “The New Machiavelli”:

    The Guardian ran a fair few extracts, including a Machiavallian perspective on how Blair should have ‘handled’ Gordon Brown.

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