Wednesday, June 15, 2016
Niccolo Machiavelli’s work, “The Prince” is a testament to how many people in power view the world around them. It is perhaps the most power hungry thing I have ever read as well as the scariest realization of human deception and manipulation. Arthur Herman’s view that Machiavelli could be rehabilitated as a friend and defender of “free societies” is absurd.
The entire principle of Machiavelli’s work is on the accumulation of power. No one that gathers power without morality has any interest in defending or perpetuating a free society. A free society is one that people exchange power of government by choice, as in a public vote. However, Machiavelli’s works would argue that giving people the power to vote would give them the chance not to vote for you, and therefor is ill advised. He would argue I think that giving people the illusion of voting would be very valuable to someone trying to gain power. An excellent example would be modern Russia, where Putin is the President with no term limit. You can vote, but only for his party that he controls.
It is possible that a person could use the information and advice contained in the Prince to defend a free society, but I contend that a person who is interested in absorbing the information and opinions Machiavelli has is not someone who would be interested in a free society. Moreover, the entire premise behind The Prince is that everyone is trying to play these courtesan games to derive in power, even if the person is unaware that the games are going on. The very mindset of a person who wrote the Prince is one of a man who has no faith in a free society in the first place.