It was on this day May 3, 1469 that the first honest to God Machiavellian was born. Yes that was the day little Nicky Machiavelli entered the world, soon after got acne, and later described how to take it over in his seminal and oft referenced treatise The Prince. The End.
OK, I'll admit that that's a bit of a simplification. Nicky did spend some in-between time in the Florence secretary pool as secretary of the ten-man council (from 1498 to 1512). The council conducted the diplomatic negotiations and supervised the military operations of the republic (Check out those legs! Who knew?).
Then the empire fell, and Nicky, long since tired of being chased around the boss' desk, gathered up his courage, quit.
Yes there were lines to be drawn even back then. A proud and defiant (you go girl!) survivor of terrible sexual harassment (He was once quoted as saying "I'ma nota justa pieca meata!" he channeled his energies into understanding the motives of men. Why do they behave so? And if I were one intent on ruling the world one day, what skills might I need?
At first he wasn't received well, mocked by those around him for being to forward...too...well...ballsy. He should know his place. But Nicky persevered, deciphered the behavioral code of patriarchal power, and put it down on paper.
What to call it though? He was initially drawn to the title
THE SECRET, but then thought to himself, nahh...doesn't quite pop. Never sell...something like that.
Weary, he laid his head to rest for the night. As he slept a strange purple ether enveloped him, and a man surrounded by thirteen crying doves and carrying a white guitar appeared. It was the ghost of philosophy future, 19th century philospher Arthur Schopenhauer and the apparition spoke the following haunting words:
"Dude,call it something like..I dunno..The Prince.. oh,and remember-He awoke, a bit confused, but nonetheless inspired, and decided to go for it. Thusly The Prince was born. Strange, that last part though, Nicky thought, but eh...whatev.
And the centuries passed, until eventually the much maligned Machiavelli was recognized as a true genius. It was 17th century English Philosopher Sir Francis Bacon who had the following to say about Darling Nicky:
We are much beholden to Machiavelli and others, that write what men do, and not what they ought to do . For it is not possible to join serpentine wisdom with the columbine innocency, except men know exactly all the conditions of the serpent; his baseness and going upon his belly, his volubility and lubricity, his envy and sting, and the rest; that is, all forms and natures of evil. For without this, virtue lieth open and unfenced. Nay, an honest man can do no good upon those that are wicked, to reclaim them, without the help of the knowledge of evil
And Today, almost every politician worth his or her salt has read all or part of the prince, though there are those who prefer the Billy Dee Williams movie version and/or are hoping for a comic book version.
I'll let you be the judge of which politician falls into which category. Far be it from me to even infer which is which. Much Love- PolitiGal. Sphere: Related Content