Mid term Blog #2
Plato and Platypus Walk into a Bar...
Continuing my reading in Daniel Klein's book, I stumbled across our 'manly' authority figure Machiavelli. The first joke explaining Machiavelli (Mach for short) tells about his ideas of a ruler being feared over loved:
A woman sues a man for defamation of character, charging that he called her a pig. The man is found guilty and has to pay charges. After the trial, he asks the judge, "Does this mean that I can no longer call Ms. Harding a pig?" The judge says,"That is correct." "And does it mean that I can't call a pig Ms. Harding?" "No", says the judge, "You are free to call a pig Ms. Harding, there is no crime for that." The man looks Ms. Harding in the eye and says, "Good afternoon, Ms. Harding."
This jokes shows Mach's importance on doing whatever it takes to stay in control/power. Having people fear and hate you, as Ms. Harding does her name caller, than respect them and have them like you. If people fear you, they respect you and your authority over them.
Another important point Mach made to his followers was the notion that deceit is ok, especially if you do not get caught:
A man wins $100,000 in Las Vagas and, not wanting anyone to know about it, takes the money and buries it his backyard. The next morning he goes out back and finds nothing but an empty hole. Seeing footprints that lead to his deaf-mute neighbors house, he asks a professor, who knows sign language, to help him confront his neighbor. The man takes his pistol and he and the professor walk over to the deaf-mute man's door. When the neighbor answers, the man waves the pistol at him and says to the professor," You tell this guy that if he doesn't give me back my $100,000, I'm going to kill him right now! The professor conveys the message to the neighbor, who responds that he hid the money in his backyard under the cherry tree. The professor turns to the man and says, "He refuses to tell you. He says he would rather die first."
Here we can easily see Mach's vision of deceit and lying. The person who lies, holds the control and the power. "Enter into evil when necessitated" was a motto Mach lived by, and wrote about in his book The Prince.
In many ways, Mach's vision of politics reins true today: we know very little about what actually goes on with our political system. Could our 'honest', 'manly' politicians lie about everything, take lives when necessary, and instill fear into our hearts to remain in control? (Food for thought)