I have Machiavelli on the mind, but instead of discussing “The Prince” in relation to our current administration, I will instead do everything I can to get Machiavelli off of my mind before I attempt to go to sleep. Upon reading through it for the eleventy-twelfth time, the hairs on the back of my neck continue to react as if I were only just discovering it. It is likely more cringe inducing with the current state of American politics in mind.
Okay, okay, that wasn’t exactly the best way to get Machiavelli off my mind, so let’s go ahead and put an end to this with one final quote:
“…It being my intention to write a thing which shall be useful to him who apprehends it, it appears to me more appropriate to follow up the real truth of a matter than the imagination of it; for many have pictured republics and principalities which in fact have never been known or seen, because how one lives is so far distant from how one ought to live, that he who neglects what is done for what ought to be done, sooner effects his ruin than his preservation; for a man who wishes to act entirely up to his professions of virtue soon meets with what destroys him among so much that is evil.” – Machiavelli’s “The Prince”
A virtuous ruler, must not live up to his professions of virtue, lest he be destroyed amongst the evil that surrounds him?
Okay…Well that is understandable considering the source, Niccolò Machiavelli. Here in “The Prince” is seemingly the foundational stone of the axiom upon which Machiavelli derives that the ends, do in fact justify the means. If you were a Ruler. We associate this amoral1 perspective of political theory as synonymous with that of Machiavelli himself.
And since this is such an easy task… And while I’m at it… Let’s compare this to our very own Prince Obama, eh?
Just as it was hard to measure the true effect of Machiavelli’s “The Prince” in its own time2, it is equally hard to determine just how much influence it could have over any one person today. What we can do however is just take a glance at correlation, keeping in mind it does not always guarantee causation. So, let’s do it.
It’s too damn easy to find perfect examples so it’s hard to decided which is worth writing about. (If only the MSM had that problem.) Okay I figured it out, we’ll go with the most underhanded example of Prince Obama’s Machiavellian tactics.
The Affordable Care Act shares the spotlight on the wall of shame with the PATRIOT Act as egregious examples of legislative tomfoolery. We all know the problems with both of these unconstitutional usurpations of our rights, but let us examine how Machiavellian this administration really is. “Obamacare” was sold to the American people as a leap forward in the progression of human rights. In fact, this was so widely believed that it was portrayed as merely the United States catching up with those civilized Europeans…(see: Greece, Spain).
This can’t help but remind me of an article that the late Senator Nelson Aldrich4 wrote in October of 1912. This particular article was entitled, “The Need for Currency Reform” and the relatively close timing of its publication and the passage of the Federal Reserve was not a coincidence. In part of his attempt to persuade the public that our banks need to be reformed, he said “No system in any country has a system as antiquated as…the United States”3. And what did they say about our healthcare system again?
Ahh yes, it was antiquated I believe.
The centuries go by, the manipulation stays the same. We were given a Federal Reserve system to stabilize the economy, and we get Obamacare to “fix” healthcare? They must know it will only further expand the deficit, and that it will make it harder for the average person to get healthcare. And they do, and that is what makes this an underhanded, and Machiavellian administration. The only *government* answer to skyrocketing healthcare prices and artificially low inflation is to Nationalize the entire industry. This is Prince Obama’s Machiavellian plan. There is no doubt that a fully socialized healthcare system is the ends to his means. His means just happened to include further destroying an already broken system to detriment of all Americans. He may well honestly believe that his desired ends are in the best interests of us all, but that becomes irrelevant when the free market is understood. Socialized healthcare will fail, no matter the intentions of those who impose it on us.
This method is in many ways reflective of a Machiavellian approach, but there is one very important difference. This difference lies in the final sentence of the earlier quote from The Prince, Machiavelli says “a man who wishes to act entirely up to his professions of virtue soon meets with what destroys him among so much that is evil.”
Obama most certainly did not live up to his own professions of virtue, but would Machiavelli see Prince Obama as justified in his actions? Take note of the qualifier in Machiavelli’s statement above, “among so much that is evil”. Machiavelli is referring in this passage to the troubles facing a “New Ruler” of a recently conquered land, in which there are many powerful political organizations seeking to dispose of the new ruler. Does Washington D.C. fit that criteria? I have heard some terrible things come out of that city, but the evil that pervades the world of Machiavelli’s Prince is not present for Obama.
Obama faces a much different sort of danger. For our Prince, is subject to election, and a slightly free, but compliant press. Obama must do no more than save face to maintain power, and he can’t always do that right. This “danger” does not justify the underhanded tactics that Prince Obama has undertaken in his destruction of our healthcare system, that is according to Machiavelli. Does that make our Prince Obama more tyrannical than “The Prince” of Machiavelli’s fantasies? Let’s consider that.
So we’ve established the familiarity between one of Obama’s tactics, and the tactics suggested in “The Prince” by Machiavelli, but there must be more. It is only fair to give our Prince Obama another shot so he may not appear so cruel. Let’s take a look at something else Machiavelli’s Prince would be advised to do.
“Upon this, one has to remark that men ought either to be well treated or crushed, because they can avenge themselves of lighter injuries, of more serious ones they cannot; therefore the injury that is to be done to a man ought to be of such a kind that one does not stand in fear of revenge.” – Niccolò Machiavelli The Prince
How do you think this relates to anything the Obama administration has done? Comment below and we can work on this together. It obviously brings Mr. Anwar al-Awlaki to mind. After that, maybe I can get to bed
- Amoral – Lacking a moral sense; unconcerned with the rightness or wrongness of something
- Lecture Notes – “Era of the Reformation” – @AdamBlacksburg 2/28/13 – p.6.
- Rowe, L.S. Aldrich, N. Burton, T. Andrew, A.P. Roberts, G. “The Need for Currency Reform” Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science (1911) 1+3-32 JSTOR Web. 19 Oct. 2012
- Father-in-Law of John D. Rockefeller Jr., (D) Senator
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