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Recovering backpacker, Cornwallite at heart, political enthusiast, catalyst, writer, husband, father, community volunteer, unabashedly proud Canadian. Every hyperlink connects to something related directly or thematically to that which is highlighted.

Monday 8 June 2015

The Fall of the Prince

Machiavellian political machinations are quite common these days.  The bolder (or more ruthless) the politician, the closer they get to implementing the lessons Machiavelli himself laid out in The Prince.

The Prince, of course, is all about how to gain and hold dictatorial power.  It's not a book that promotes democracy, nor does it really pay much attention to broader concerns - certainly not the ones that have emerged with globalization.

If you follow the threads of history back, you'll be surprised how many modern conflicts have their roots in Machiavellian political machinations.   To crush today's foes, we arm tomorrow's opponents. We "pick fights" as though we're gods on high, completely removed from the ground-level consequences.

You might suggest today's conservative leaders - like that Machievelli fan, Stephen Harper - are utterly respecting the law of economics, and therefore are breaking the cycle.  You'd be wrong, both on the economics front, but even more importantly on the behavioural economics front.  We're seeing the slow and steady fallout from the increased centralization of power, neglect of evidence and the downloading of consequence and responsibility.

And winter is coming.

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