Posts Tagged ‘Machiavelli’

The Euro: no more agonising stages

22/11/2011, 09:58:27 AM

by Jonathan Todd

“If your action must be drastic, do it in one fell swoop, not in agonising stages”.

This was Isaiah Berlin’s interpretation of one of Machiavelli’s maxims. The Euro crisis unfolds in stages; each more agonising than the last.

A couple of weeks ago rapid and drastic action may have created a firewall between Greece and the rest of the Eurozone. Shock and awe of 2008 proportions did not come. The markets remain ahead of the politicians.

Henry Kissinger still wouldn’t know who to call if he wanted to call Europe. If he did get through he’d say: “Why don’t you fix your biggest economic crisis since the 1930s”? (more…)

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Only direct action can save us from Cameron’s Machiavellian Prince

28/01/2011, 03:00:42 PM

by Robin Thorpe

Machiavelli advises any aspiring Prince (or ruler; royal blood not necessary, although being related to the Queen can’t harm) to be ruthless from the day that he seizes power and “to determine all the injuries that he needs to inflict. He must inflict them once and for all, and not have to renew them every day, and in that way he will set men’s minds at rest and win them over when he confers benefits”.

The ruler should do this while his people are still getting used to his rule so that they start off fearful and learn to love him as he becomes more lenient. The lesson is that people do not mind being afraid if they are looked after and that things improve. If they improve, then it does not matter if they are not as good as before, as long as there is tangible improvement on the immediately preceding time. Machiavelli advises not to be timid or delay any acts of violence, but to inflict them once and for all so that “people will then forget what it tastes like and so be less resentful”. (more…)

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