Posted by: HouPL | 01/25/2013

The World…or Bust

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Do any of you have any nefarious plans to take over the world? (Excluding Colonel Meow of course – he has already declared world domination as his ultimate goal.) Well, if you do have such aspirations, have I got the book for you. In fact, the author of the book is so well known for his machinations that his name is synonymous with malevolent strategy. Who, you ask? Have you ever heard the term Machiavellian? That’s right! I’m talking about Niccolo Machiavelli, the author of the well known book “The Prince”.

Now, I will be the first to admit that this book is a bit on the deep side and since it was written in 1513, it can be challenging to find modern connotations, but once you start understanding what Machiavelli is saying, it is quite fascinating. This book is a letter to “the Prince” describing the basic strategies that may be used to overtake a country and which ones will work best depending on the type of government that is currently in power. World domination here we come!

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If you like philosophical discussions, this is the perfect book for you. It is a short manuscript, broken up into 2-3pg. chapters, which compel the reader to think about the logistics of conquering and keeping (a very important concept that Machiavelli stresses) a realm. Just to give you a taste, in chapter 5 Machiavelli wrote that there are 3 ways to hold an acquired territory that is used to being self-governed (sound familiar?) : despoil it, go and live there in person, or allow them to continue living under their own laws and taking tribute from them. Guess which tactic Machiavelli favored? He writes “there is no sure method of holding a free realm except by despoiling them. And whoever becomes the ruler of a free city and does not destroy it, can expect to be destroyed by it. For it can always find a motive for rebellion in the name of liberty.”

What do you think? Is he right?

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