View Full Version : Response to, well, everyone.

Kaiser Leib
05-24-2005, 06:07 PM
"that a prince ... cannot observe all of those virtues for which men are reputed good, because it is often necessary to act against mercy, against faith, against humanity, against frankness, against religion, in order to preserve the state." <br> Nothing can, quite frankly, be at once more and less true. If the quotation were split into two parts, one ending at "reputed good," the other beginning at "it is often necessary," then both are accurate. Note also that it says "reputed good" rather than "good."<br> The relationship between the two is not necessarily based on causality. It is true that acting on the second may bring about the first, but not all amoralities committed are an effort to preserve the state. Sadam Hussein's rule comes to mind: however much morale (by which I mean to say inclination to productivity, rather than happiness) may be improved by killing those who are nonproductive or counterproductive, inciting these forces to productivity and glorifying them for it is much more effective, and, quite frankly, more moral.<br> It is also possible, while remaining true to machiavellianism, to "positively" encourage productivity. Playing the sides against each other is often accomplished through duplicity, a machiavellian principle, and is much more moral than genocide. <br> The first part of the quotation is accurate mostly because it is competely impossible to adhere perpetually to virtues regarded as good, because things so regarded change from place to place and time to time. The topic of abortion is an excellent example: if I claim "Pro-Choice" over "Pro-Life," I will be heralded as a visionary in some circles and despised in others. Thus, this principle need not apply only to politicians, although they are more visible and should pay more attention to it.<br> The second part of this quotation is accurate because it is accurate. The illustration of this is impossible in such short space as I have here, if you are interested enough in knowing what I mean, you should read Orson Scott Card's "Ender's Game." Bluntly put, what is good for those currently living need not (and usually is not) be what is best for those living a thousand years from now.