Sunday, November 30, 2014
Machiavelli and the Joker
Niccolo Machiavelli authored a guide for rulers entitled, “The Prince” and with this guide we get a glimpse of his character and what he thought of the world around him. Niccolo felt as though people were unreliable and couldn’t be trusted, a ruler should know this and be cunning in the way he or she ruled or enacted their policies. In order to be an effective ruler you should be ready for anything and willing to act in blood thirsty ways if it becomes necessary in order for you to stay in power.
According to Nigel Warburton, many people have referred to his book as a guide for mob bosses and gangsters, I find that reference to be understandable; Machiavelli was a lover of swift action that would be considered too harsh to most. Power was something he seemed to seek his whole life but bad luck followed him and becoming a ruler never happened for him. In banishment he became an author in hopes of impressing enough people to be allowed back to Florence.
If Niccolo is considered to be “mobbish” and cunning then I think it is acceptable to say he is comparable to the Joker, a cunning, former mob member who everyone has come to know through Heath Ledger’s performance portraying him. The Joker reminds me of Niccolo due to his cynical view of human beings and his ruthlessness that controlled people with fear. The only difference between the two men would be the fact that the Joker killed at times for no just or logical reason, Niccolo thought murder was only acceptable when necessary to stay in power.
Niccolo seemed to be a very ruthless man with a very low view of the world and people around him. The Joker felt the same way and acted out what Niccolo would have thought necessary to take control of situations. I do feel there might be one more slight similarity between the two.. I could see Machiavelli as a man that had the same spine tingling laugh as the Joker and a small spark of insanity.