“I never say what I believe and I never believe what I say,” declared Machiavelli. “If I sometimes say the truth, I conceal it among lies”… more»
The political philosopher Niccolò Machiavelli wrote “The Prince” as a manual on leadership and governing during the late Italian Renaissance, …March 11, 2014 – – U.S. – Print Headline: “Text to Text | ‘The Prince’ and ‘Why Machiavelli Still Matters'”
Five centuries after “The Prince” was written, visiting spots in and around Florence that track the arc of Machiavelli’s life.
Arthur Herman makes the case for assigning Machiavelli to Team Aristotle.
Looking for a firm modern presidential declaration of anti-Machiavellian sentiment? Jimmy Carter said: “A strong nation, like a strong person, can afford to be gentle, firm, thoughtful, and restrained. It can afford to extend a helping hand to others. It is a weak nation, like a weak person, that must behave with bluster and boasting and rashness and other signs of insecurity.”
We’re talking civil disobedience too, today. Again Nigel slights the Yanks, in not mentioningThoreau. “If the machine of government is of such a nature that it requires you to be the agent of injustice to another, then, I say, break the law.” And,
Unjust laws exist; shall we be content to obey them, or shall we endeavor to amend them, and obey them until we have succeeded, or shall we transgress them at once? Men generally, under such a government as this, think that they ought to wait until they have persuaded the majority to alter them. They think that, if they should resist, the remedy would be worse than the evil. But it is the fault of the government itself that the remedy is worse than the evil. It makes it worse. Why is it not more apt to anticipate and provide for reform? Why does it not cherish its wise minority? Why does it cry and resist before it is hurt? Why does it not encourage its citizens to be on the alert to point out its faults, and do better than it would have them?
Russell, incidentally, himself a civil disobedient in the great tradition of Socrates, Gandhi, King, et al – (“On April 15 1961, at the age of 89, Bertrand Russell gave a speech calling for non-violent civil disobedience in his campaign for British unilateralism, i.e. to get Britain to unilaterally give up its nuclear weapons and membership in NATO”) – gives Thoreau only passing attention as an American representative of the romantic movement of the 19th century.
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