by Nicolo Machiavelli
Concerning Things For Which Men, And Especially Princes, Are Praised Or Blamed
IT REMAINS now to see what ought to be the rules of conduct for a prince towards subject and friends. And as I know that many have written on this point, I expect I shall be considered presumptuous in mentioning it again, especially as in discussing it I shall depart from the methods of other people. But, 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.
Hence it is necessary for a prince wishing to hold his own to know how to do wrong, and to make use of it or not according to necessity. Therefore, putting on one side imaginary things concerning a prince, and discussing those which are real, I say that all men when they are spoken of, and chiefly princes for being more highly placed, are remarkable for some of those qualities which bring them either blame or praise; and thus it is that one is reputed liberal, another miserly, using a Tuscan term (because an avaricious person in our language is still he who desires to possess by robbery, whilst we call one miserly who deprives himself too much of the use of his own); one is reputed generous, one rapacious; one cruel, one compassionate; one faithless, another faithful; one effeminate and cowardly, another bold and brave; one affable, another haughty; one lascivious, another chaste; one sincere, another cunning; one hard, another easy; one grave, another frivolous; one religious, another unbelieving, and the like. And I know that every one will confess that it would be most praiseworthy in a prince to exhibit all the above qualities that are considered good; but because they can neither be entirely possessed nor observed, for human conditions do not permit it, it is necessary for him to be sufficiently prudent that he may know how to avoid the reproach of those vices which would lose him his state; and also to keep himself, if it be possible, from those which would not lose him it; but this not being possible, he may with less hesitation abandon himself to them. And again, he need not make himself uneasy at incurring a reproach for those vices without which the state can only be saved with difficulty, for if everything is considered carefully, it will be found that something which looks like virtue, if followed, would be his ruin; whilst something else, which looks like vice, yet followed brings him security and prosperity.
- Important for a prince to learn how to not be good and to learn how to use it and not use according to necessity.
- If a prince does what should be done rather than what is necessary, it will lead to his ruin. Should be able to pursue vice just as well as virtue to maintain state.
- The following characteristics should all be within a prince's capacity and should be employed when necessary to remain in power: liberal / mean, giving / rapacious, cruel / merciful, breaker of faith / faithful, humane / proud, hard / agreeable, grave / light, lascivious / chaste
 There is a vast and crucially important difference between ideals, how you wish to be perceived, how others expect you to conduct your affairs and what reality and success demands of you. A ruler whom neglects the reality of situations and acts according to habits, ideals and fails to Really Think and adapt to ever changing fortune and circumstance is doomed to failure. A ruler must reject all concepts of good / evil and do what is neccessary to achieve their goals.
 A ruler, to succeed, due to the nature of reality and what it takes to sieze or create each opportunity cannot, on all issues behave as good, evil or any consistent philosophy. And yet, a powerful ruler, being by nature a parasite needs "consent of the governed" and support of the serfs. The only way to accomplish this is to behave as you deem necessary, but, manage perceptions both of those whom you need (appear to have positive virtue) and those you would have fear you, to keep them in abject terror, afraid to act. A ruler must be a consummnate LIAR. Again, a rulers domain is force / fraud (vice). If you leave this domain and honestly trade (virtue), you will be ruined.
 The discerning reader, five centuries later should note how closely modern rulers, those who wield the apparatus of state for private gain, public loss are following this sage advice. Public education, all intellectual diciplines dealing with the nature of mankind, civilization and reality media have been captured and subverted by rulers. All information and sources which shape public perceptions have been subverted and redirected to the functions of public manipulation and "perception management". The CIA calls this the "Mighty Wurlitzer" and, they are one of many "conductors".
Bill Ross is an electronic design engineer in Oakland, Ontario, Canada. The above article is either an excerpt from, supporting evidence for or logical implication of HumanNature, an evolving objective study of humanity and civilization and dissection of the lies of those who incorrectly believe they are in control from the factual, provable perspective. Feedback is welcome. Email Author
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