Sunday, May 3, 2009

Happy Birthday, Niccolò...

Today is the birthday of Niccolò di Bernardo dei Machiavelli. He entered this world on May 3, 1469. He led an anti-Medici militia (distrusting mercenaries to do the job), was accused of conspiracy and theft (leading to torture on the rack), and has acquired the reputation due to his writings that he believed "the ends justify the means." Machiavellian...if you like.

However, that is just a careless reading of his work(s) (The Prince). His true calling card may very well be this:

"All cities that ever at any time have been ruled by an absolute prince, by aristocrats or by the people, have had for their protection force combined with prudence, because the latter is not enough alone, and the first either does not produce things, or when they are produced, does not maintain them. Force and prudence, then, are the might of all the governments that ever have been or will be in the world."
If that is true Machiavellian...sign me up.