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Article :: Supporting Evidence

Machiavailli Reconsidered

Machiavailli Reconsidered

An annotated dissection of the truth / falsity of the knowledge that Niccolo Machiavelli endeavored to impart to the "rule of man", "divine rights of kings" tyrants of his period of history.

"The Prince", although strategically denied is a great embarrassment to the manipulative (fraudulent) ruler classes. It is very highly placed insider knowledge constituting the bible of politics regarding how rulers of his day manipulated matters such that "rule of biased man" (themselves), as opposed to "rule of law" prevails in the affairs of mankind.

In fact, the period of history occupied by Machiavelli was the declining heyday of "divine rights of kings" and church of Rome as the Renaissance and "age of reason" was rapidly dispelling all myths that rulers are anything but mere mortals and frauds. Public consensus was achieved: Rulers, by criminal manipulations acquire and exercise the power of life and death (God), over others, at a whim, unchecked by reality and the "rule of law". This and similar knowledge regarding the total hypocrisy and frauds of the church, formed a pincer movement, squeezing the ability of dominent criminals (alliance of church and rulers) to function, depriving them of all credibility. This knowledge, as it permeated educated segments of society caused a destabilization in the "balance of power" between arbitrary rulers and the people, known as the Renaissance, an end of the dark ages imposed by the church of Rome, leading to, among other things, the birth of scientific method, western civilization, enabled by Rule of Law as opposed to "rule of some men".

Machiavelli, in "The Prince", attempted to inject some realistic sanity into the affairs of rulers, whom he called "princes", pointing out, although they may wish to exercise arbitrary, unaccountable power, there are REAL consequences, leading to inglorious ends for those who so choose.

The historical "bad rap" attached to Machiavelli as a manipulator is unearned. He "told it like it was" and, critical thinkers will agree "like it is" and the civilized will agree "like our freedom fighting ancestors STOPPED; as it should not be".

Critical thinkers should also note that virtually all of the methodologies enumerated by Machiavelli regarding acquiring power, placing others in servitude and variations thereof are in use by current rulers. It should also be noted that the real consequences (perils, as proven by Machiavelli) of doing so are ignored by current "smash and grab" rulers which is sufficient to explain the ongoing social / economic collapse of western civilization, leading right back to the barbarous conditions of total war among rulers with everyone else and civilization "collateral damage" as chronicled by Machiavelli.

Analysis Perspective:

The author is a systems design engineer, well versed in physical (natural) law. Life (school of hard knocks) and the succeses / initial failures (understood, then adapted to success) in his endeavors has taught him, beyond a shadow of a doubt that every REAL state of affairs is a balance of power of the forces acting against elements, in an environment. If you ride a bicycle balanced, you can maintain stable forward motion so long as you remain balanced and provide enough energy to overcome the inertia and friction to forward motion. Should you become unbalanced or cease energy input, a new stable state of affairs (balance of powers) will manifest, perhaps including bruises and scrapes as the system (you, bicycle, terrain, gravity) energy finds a new stable balance of powers; you, not moving, crashed.

The author's intellectual paradigm is realistic, based solely on fact and proven knowledge. All REAL questions (assuming you ask the right ones, restricted to physical reality) have REAL answers. The truth or falsity of any logical proposition dealing with reality can be determined using well known principles of reality and logical deduction from the evidence.

The author believes, by irrefutable evidence in support and zero evidence to the converse that life in general and human beings in particular, at least in terms of reactions to real forces / events (behavior) are purely creatures of physical reality, with no mystical aspects or divine puppet masters "pulling our strings".

Don't bother asking any member of the subverted psychiatric or social "sciences" "professions" whether they can or will agree with this alleged fact. They will unambigously tell you that human beings are clockwork mechanisms, doomed to follow along the path that individual fixed "nature", as labelled by them, in their "expert" opinion, dictates. This, as opposed to being free agents, with self-volition, adaptive to REAL facts and environment, in puruit of REAL goals.

The author's skills, knowlege and scrutiny, as part of a long term interest in human behavior and history as an action / consequence sequence turns his gaze to Machiavailli, a very important observer / chronicler at a crucial inflection point in history, whom, by his works, significantly influenced the history of civilization and, more importantly, still is. Machiavailli may very well have been the first REAL "Social Engineer", an architect of civilization, as opposed to the fraudulent, manipulative "Social Engineers" of the 20th and 21st centuries.

The author upon again reading "The Prince" was once again astounded at the sheer genious, scope, depth and breadth of Machiavailli's intellect, of which "The Prince" is but the tip of a vast iceberg, only perceptable if one follows the hints and uses logical deduction regarding the scope of what lies beneath the surface, the conclusions he presents. For the author, each reading of "The Prince" is a gift that keeps giving, with new insights at each reading.

The author finds Machiavailli to be extremly fit company for himself and whatever other "one eyed kings on the planet of the blind" may exist.

Machiavailli, in speaking of "princes" was discussing a common social / economic organization of his day. The author generalizes the concept of the position of "prince" (top dog in a power hiarchy), to "ruler", or absolute (monopoly) controller of some aspect "or turf" of civilization. For example, the clique of those who monopolize, control and thus set price of planetary energy supplies. As another example, those who control the printing of fiat currency, decreeing their own wealth and power with the consequence / expense of inflation (reduced purchasing power, theft of stored productivity) for the rest of us.

Executive Summary:

Machiavailli, was an intensely curious person who chose to spend his youth pursuing studies in classical history, antiquities and virtually every field of knowlege that struck his fancy. A true Renaissance man. And since knowlege is power of persuasion, Machiavailli was very powerful. His lack of success during his lifetime can, for the most part be attributed to the threat he posed to "blessors of truth", those who maintained the perception of "divine rights of kings" and the infallability, moral purity of the church of Rome.

Machiavelli, as evidenced by his known life history, and by his last statement in his dedication of "The Prince" to his hero Magnificent Lorenzo Di Piero De’ Medici, stated in his own words: "if your Magnificence from the summit of your greatness will sometimes turn your eyes to these lower regions, you will see how unmeritedly I suffer a great and continued malignity of fortune". This is evidence that Machiavelli was a worshiper of power, a whiner, whom political fortunes had evicted and excluded from basking in and enjoying the power and perks of "tax eater", assisting power in maintaining and acquiring "more power", just so Machiavelli could get "a cut" by appearing "of use".

Machiavelli interpreted this rejection by his love and suitor (power) as a firm judgement he was not "of use". "The Prince" appears to be an effort on Machiavelli’s part to restore his "self-esteem", his fortunes, his second-hand power and to satisfy his addictions to be in the circle of power by proving himself to be "of use".

This did not work in Machiavelli’s favour during his lifetime. In fact, Machiavelli has the dubious honour of having a concept named after himself:[1]

  • machination: mach–i–na–t–ion (mk-nshn, msh-)
  • noun
  • 1. The act of plotting.
  • 2. A crafty scheme or cunning design for the accomplishment of a sinister end.

The author's (and humanity’s) basic truth is that "whatever the REAL goal, it can only be achieved by some combination of force, fraud and honest, mutually agreed trade".

Machiavelli’s "The Prince" is his best shot at advising rulers regarding the real, inevitable consequences of wielding force and fraud in the achievement of their basic goals of "getting on top", "staying on top", remaining "master predator", enslaving and sucking the life out of the balance of humanity, collapsing civilizations as "collateral damage".

The discerning reader will note exactly how closely current "rulers" follow Machiavelli’s "advice" and how they use it to thwart the "rule of law" which prevailed over "rule of man" after Machiavelli’s time, as the social / economic effects (consequences) of the Renaissance completely decimated the ability of arbitrary power to function.

The discerning reader should also note that Machiavelli was "all in" regarding the basic psychopathic position of arbitrary power that "some must be destroyed in pursuit of ruler goals". The author considers this a mistake on Machiavailli's part, not following his work to logical conclusions, as history, based on Machiavailli's insights evolved to all individuals are free, rulers within their personal domains, "consent of ALL of the governed" counterbalanced by the "rule of law" to control "democratic excesses", the basic principles of law that once spawned the western civilization that current arbitrary rulers are so intent on destroying with criminal complicity of current "predators on the bench".

It should also be noted that the manipulative methods of rulers in Machiavelli’s time were enabled by public ignorance maintained by monopoly control of education by corrupt clergy, living in a dark age. This was in process of being destroyed as the Gutenberg Bible educated the populace that "clerical interpretations" of biblical "secrets" (hidden by Latin, pointless, arcane process...) were complete and utter lies, in support of the power of "claiming to represent God", the moral pretext of the day.

Today, at the beginning of the 21st century, the game is the same. Only the players and pretexts have changed, enabled by centrally owned and thus controlled "Mainstream Media" and state controlled education, keeping the population uninformed and stupid, living in a dark age. Like the Gutenberg Press, the design structure and nature of the internet enforces freedom of information and impossibility of monopoly control. The internet, like the Gutenberg Press before it is again widely disseminating the "truth that shall set us free". A new Renaissance is upon us. Woe to tyrants, and, they KNOW it.

Note that "judicial interpretations" of "secrets" (hidden by pointless process) are also complete and utter lies, in support of the power of "claiming to represent fact, reason, social science, good of some group", the moral pretexts of today.

Machiavelli claimed to have knowledge (absolute relationship between action and consequence) and practical advice for rulers. This annotated copy of "The Prince" is an analysis of the veracity of Machiavelli’s claims contrasted to the actual course of history and thus, the veracity of the knowledge by which our rulers presume to rule.

Points Proven / Hinted at by Machiavailli

Observations regarding man, in general:

  • People are self-interested. [C10, P3]
  • People value their own self-interests greater than the interests of others.
  • People have tendancies to resist change, not to seek change, are reluctant to fight for or adapt to something better. Conversely, people will fight to maintain or return to their "comfort zone", if threatened. [C2, P2]
  • People have short term memories and easily forget atrocies and reasons for rebellion with the passage of time. [C2, P3]
  • The desire to acquire is natural to man. When they wish to do so by any means, but cannot, there is folly and blame. [C3, P15]
  • People are a "monkey see, monkey do" species. The intelligent seek to understand and emulate the successful. Fools either emulate the unsuccessful, follow false prophets, or, do not consider at all. [C6, P1]
  • The ambitious always aim higher than they can see. They may not achieve their goals, but will increase abilities by trying and certainly exceed lessor goals, had they been chosen. [C6, P1], [C7, P11]
  • People are creatures of habit that once a tolerable "comfort zone" is adapted to, even if not ideal, are resistant to change and, should they lose their "comfort zones" are eager to return to them. [C2, P2,3]
  • Assuming dicontent, people willingly take up arms against the current ruler, in support of a new ruler in hopes of bettering themselves. [C3, P1]
  • People are easily fooled (defrauded) into believing, but time and reality exposes all lies, destroying false beliefs, requiring force and threats thereof to compel people to at least behave as if "they believe". [C6, P6]
  • Men injure from fear or hatred. Note that, to rulers, any power not under their control is to be feared. Not to have all power is to risk having none. [C7, P12]
  • Men of power, once offended, never forget. No amount of subsequent appeasement will defer vengence, once they are in a position to do so. Not stated: another reason to crush any you may harm, to eliminate this risk. [C7, P12]
  • Some men are dishonest, lie and break their promises. They cannot be depended upon. [C9, P7]
  • There are two types of men, predators, those whose tendancy is to prey upon people and, the people, prey, who just want to be left alone. [C9, P1,3,5]
  • All men want to survive. If you harm them, they will retaliate, if able.
  • It is the preference of man to seek honest, reciprocal trade. They feel obligated for benefits received as well as entitled to reciprocation for benefits given. [C10, P4]

On the reactions (adaptations) of man, in general:

  • Friendliness of the people can be achieved by not allowing their oppression and protecting them. [C9, P5]
  • People, when faced with a ruler they expected evil from receive benevolence instead become quickly loyal, more so than if they had been long term adapted to rule. [C9, P5]
  • There is a key distinction between people's loyality and support for each other and loyalty and support for a ruler: [C9, P6]
    • A ruler whom has laid foundations well and secured the loyalty of the people will not be abandoned in adversity, since the people and their "comfort zones" is dependent on the ruler. A competent ruler insures that his fate is also the people's fate. [C9, P6]
    • Private citizens readily abandon each other in adversity because, by doing so, private citizens do not risk each others fate. Those whom choose loyalty and to share adversity with friends or to fight for values such as freedom, also share their fate, a risk. [C9, P6]
    • Implied: This is a major strategy of rulers, in controlling those lacking civilized moral values such as loyalty and courage. It is also a major clue to "social engineers" that discouraging these values in society will prevent people from cooperating for the demise of those whom enslave them. [C9, P6]
    • Implied: The strong, near certain possibility exists that Machiavailli's observation regarding unwillingness of people to cooperate towards common interest is an adaptation to forceful ruler response (sticks), smiting all who do. Conversely, support for rulers is an adaptation to forceful ruler defined environment where the fate of the people is tied to ruler fate by organized dependency, making the rulers demise a survival risk to all dependents. In others words, environmental control 101, the imposing of an environment, or system enforcing these disincentives / incentives in his day, as recommended by Machiavailli, as it also is today. [C9, P6]

On the reactions (adaptations) of the ruled, in general:

  • A ruler whom has laid foundations well and secured the loyalty of the people will not be abandoned in adversity, since the people and their "comfort zones" is dependent on the ruler. A competent ruler insures that his fate is also the people's fate. [C9, P6]
  • Private citizens readily abandon each other in adversity because, by doing so, private citizens do not risk each others fate. Those whom choose loyalty and to share adversity with friends or to fight for values such as freedom, also share their fate, a risk. [C9, P6]
  • When attacked, individually or collectively, passions of the people are highest after the initial attack, when memory of loss is greatest. As time passes, passions and memories fade. Best to immediately harness the passions of the people (to achieve tolerance for sacrifice) at the initial attack and keep them passionate, rather than waiting. [C10, P4]
  • People whom have suffered damage by attackers are ready to support authority, whom they feel are under obligation to make amends. [C10, P4]
  • Not being able to engage in productive activities and secure sustinence is interpreted by men as a survival threat, leading to discontent and rebellion. [C10, P2]
  • People's tolerance of adversity can be increased by giving them either hope, or terror that matters will get worse, without their tolerance. [C10, P3]

On the Attributes of the Intelligent:

  • The intelligent are those who make the choice to overcome their tendancy of laziness, to observe, study and seriously consider the facts of their existance and all available knowledge, the laws of reality relating action to consequence under the particular circumstances (environmental considerations). The intelligent are able to reconcile actual, obeservable reality to the mental symbology / language / concepts by which they think and process information, to create a intellectual model of reality. If they succeed in creating a verifyable model of reality, the intelligent acquire the power of prediction, the knowlege of what the probable outcomes of their choices will be, by natural law, avoiding mistakes or, efficiency of choice, a major survival advantage. The intelligent develop the ability to sort fact from fiction.

    Intelligence was once called "common sense" before public education and information sources became centrally controlled (corrupted) by control freaks, "social engineers", using, not coincidentally, ruler methodology observed by Machiavailli, in his time. This has simultaneously destroyed ability to critically think among the general population along with corruption of information sources, removing the factual subject matter of thinking. Now, in the 21st century, intelligence is "rare sense", and the intelligent, being a small minority, are at survival risk, perceived as a threat to the manipulated majority (interfering with their manipulated wants, such as "something from nothing", entitlements) and those who wield force under "rule of man, over man". The intelligent know that "natural law" must be obeyed, since all dissenters, including civilizations are, in the long run, smited by the attrition costs of opposing reality.
  • The intelligent must be able to differentiate perception from reality.
  • The intelligent must know that what appears true under one set of conditions is not necessarily true under another set of conditions (environment). [C9, P7]
  • The intelligent also have power of persuasion over others which can be used to convince them to trade (quid quo pro, cooperation for mutual self-interest) or, to defraud people with false promises or, threats (manipulation).

On the behavior of those with organized power:

  • Individuals with power possess the following attributes, which are learned and self-developed:
    • Power of observation.
    • Power of precise meaning, language of thought. Unchanging symbology (language) concepts to relate real observed phenomea to symbology to allow thinking.
    • Knowlege (equals power) of reality, the immutable relationship between action and consequence, learned and deduced from observation. Allows making informed choices, to know, with high probability what the consequences of your choices will be. Machiavailli, in "The Prince" provides knowlege, his observations of the consequences of ruler choices and "reactions of the ruled" under various conditions.
    • Power of persuading others, intellectually, or otherwise. Includes usage of force / fraud.
    • Ability and will to successfully defend from those whom would coerce them.
  • shit
  • A ruler is a person or group of people acting in concert that have total monopoly control and freedom of action within some turf. The turf ranges from control of self and personal affairs, uncoerced by others to total control of a power hiarchy composed of subservient (non-free) others.
  • The first order of business, to become a ruler is to achieve freedom which is self-rule. Once this is achieved, you are in a position to acquire power (rule) over others, if so inclined.
  • The power hiarchy is used to extract tribute (power to coerce, pay your servants, bribe support from the non-servile) from the populations of the domains you control.

Attributes of successful rulers:

  • Rulers must have accurate knowlege (feedback) regarding perceptions of them, by others, to avoid mistakes due to subjective perceptions. [Dedication, P4]
  • Rulers must be truth-seekers. Knowlege and truth is the most valuable commodity, exceeding the value of material wealth. [Dedication, P2]
  • Rulers must, to the greatest extent possible be self-reliant, not dependent on the behavior of others or fortune. The uncontrolled is the unpredictable, a risk. [Dedication, P5], [C7, P5,9]
  • Rulers over others create states (power hiarchies) that are not free, since to rule is, by definition to impose your will on those so ruled. [C1, P3]
  • Self-rule also implies self-discipline, to control the consequences of your choices and passions.
  • Rulers must be implacable, long term determined to rule and fight dissent in all of its forma, at every opportunity, until there are no competing powers left. [C4, P6].
  • In considering historical examples of excellent rulers whom have acquired or founded kingdoms, there is little evidence of their relying on fortune, apart from the provision of opportunity. [C6, P3]
  • Opportunity created by fortune makes available the resources and conditions required (environment) and possibility of success. [C6, P3,4]
  • Opportunity is useless unless there is ruler of intelligence and will capable of recognizing, siezing and moulding the opportunity. [C6, P3]
  • Without opportunity, power of mind is extinguished. Implies that intelligence and skills are developed by siezing opportunity and, without taking the initiative, lost. Developing power of mind is an adaptation to an environment of adversity and, overcoming it. [C6, P3]
  • Opportunity is a combination of perceived need / want on the part of your potential supporters combined with weakness in those whom are suppressing the needs / wants. For example, that Cyrus should find the Persians discontented with the government of the Medes, and the Medes soft and effeminate through their long peace. [C6, P3,4,8]
  • The fact that the "Medes were soft and effeminate through their long peace" is further confirmation that, "powers of mind" are developed by overcoming adversity and, like a muscle, if not exercised, lost. This is consistent with intelligent choice. [C6, P4]
  • Machiavailli addresse the question of whether innovating rulers can rely on others (prayer, fortune) or, is self reliance and force neccessary: [C6, P6,7]
    • Relying on others (fortune):
      • History offers no examples of unarmed innovaters prevailing. All have failed badly.
      • Unarmed innovaters are destroyed.
      • People are easily fooled (defrauded) into believing, but time and reality exposes all lies, destroying false beliefs, requiring force and threats thereof to compel people to at least behave as if "they believe".
      • Relying on the people's belief is relying on others, an unknown variable, a matter of fortune.
    • Relying on self and force:
      • Those who rely on self and force, assuming sufficient rarely fail
      • Armed innovaters conquor.
      • The "new order" is a constitution, a promise, a Social Contract. Without ability to enforce and compel "belief", once people no longer believe, the entire endeavor fails.

On the goals that must be achieved to be a successful ruler of others:

  • to win friends [C7, P11]
  • to overcome adversity either by force or fraud (criminal) [C7, P11]
  • to make himself beloved (liberal) and feared by the people (terror) [C7, P11]
  • to be followed and revered by the soldiers [C7, P11]
  • to exterminate those who have power or reason to hurt him (crimainal) [C7, P11]
  • to change the old order of things for new [C7, P11]
  • to be severe and gracious, magnanimous and liberal [C7, P11]
  • to destroy a disloyal soldiery and to create new [C7, P11]
  • to maintain friendship with others of power in such a way that they must help him with zeal and offend with caution [C7, P11]
  • A ruler, independent of how rule is acquired, must, at all costs achieve friendliness and dependency of the people on his rule, otherwise, he will have no support in adversity. [C9, P5.7]

On the nature of the general environment of rulers:

  • Rulers are surrounded by supplicants, seeking favor, for which they offer gifts (bribes) as trade.[Dedication, P1]
  • Some supplicants, seeking favor, deal in the coin of flattery, manipulating your perceptions, a serious danger.
  • A ruler is surrounded by powers over whom he seeks to prevail and extract tribute from or, strong powers whom he is not yet ready to engage in conflict with and therefore must either ally with, trick into conflict with each other or otherwise persuade them to leave him alone.
  • There will always be in doubtful times a scarcity of men whom the ruler can trust. [C9, P7]
  • When the state has need of its citizens, then he finds but few. [C9, P7]
  • A ruler cannot rely upon what he observes in quiet times, when citizens had need of the state, because then every one agrees with him; they all promise, and when death is far distant they all wish to die for him. [C9, P7]

On the nature of the domestic environment of rulers:

  • Every administrative region is populated by two groups of citizens: the common people and the nobility:
    • The nobles desire to prey upon the people. [C9, P1]
    • The people desire to be left alone, free from predators. [C9, P1]

On the nature of the external environment of rulers:

On the basic methods of achieving / maintaining power dominance:

  • Power dominance is a competition, to achieve the most power over dissenters.
  • In any competetion, there are only two possible methods to prevail: by excellence, or, by destroying the competition.
  • Dominence can be achieved by voluntary consent, by being the best, selected and supported by the majority of power holders. They will use their power to support you in dealing with minority dissenters. Your power is limited by the neccessity of not acting against the interests of your supporters, thus alienating them and risking turning allegience to opposition.
  • Alternatively, dominance can be achieved by destroying the power of your competition, leaving you with the greatest power, by which you can impose your will on all others, without their consent or ability to dispute without risk of invoking a forceful response. Should you succeed at this, your power is based on "terror to dissent".
  • A large component of dominance, or public lack of "will to resist" is based on your competetion's opinion or perception of your power which can be maintained by occasional demonstrations of reality with all else being lies. This requires corruption of information, education and keeping the public ignorant or at least distracted to irrelevancies. Thus, if public perception of "being the best option" or, "too terrifying to oppose" can be maintained, your rule is secure. Your rule can persist until until majority consensus is achieved: "the emperor has no clothes".
  • To maintain longevity / stability of rule, zero competetors nor shared power allies can be tolerated. Allies, allowed power of their own, not delegated by you, will inevitably, by the quest for absolute power natures of of all rulers will inevitably seek to expand their power at your expense. This will create conflict and disunion in the state, weakening your power, domestically and externally, creating opportunities for external powers to inflame and capitalize on these divisions, ultimately destroying your power and the state. There can only be one ruler, division of powers states inevitably, due to ambition and disunion implode. [C4, P5]
  • In establishing a new principality (previously unruled), the ease of establishing and holding it is directly proportional to the ability of the ruler and / or the degree that fortune favors the endeavor. [C6, P2]
  • A ruler who relies less on fortune and more on ability applied to reality is established the strongest. [C6, P2]
  • Rule of new principalities will be much more successful if the ruler resides there in person, asserting direct control. A new ruler has no other place to go.[C6, P2]
  • A private citizen may, by ability and ruler service rise to the top ranks of profession, trust and esteem. He may then use this position of trust and opportunity (self-created fortune) to entrap and slaughter all competing power holders, siezing rule for himself. [C8, P2-5]
  • If cruelty is used by a ruler, it must be used properly, in the following manner, with the following consequences:
    • If a new ruler carefully considers the harm that must be done to destroy potential opposition, destroy existing power holders and consolidate power, then applies cruelty all at once, then ceases cruelty, the people will forget. [C8, 6,7]
    • If a ruler applies cruelty, on an ongoing basis, this will be considered odious, inflaming hate and anger of the people destroying the ruler. [C8, 6,7]
    • Cruelty will be tolerated more readily if it is perceived to be of benefit to subjects. Not stated: The targets of cruelty should be cast as "enemies of the people", subhuman. [C8, 6]
    • In general, the lash (stick) should be applied generously, all at once, and not repeated unless neccessary. Benefits (carrots), should be administored often, in small doses, that the memory may remain fresh. [C8, 7]

On achieving power dominance by excellence / consent:

On achieving power dominance by destroying the will or ability to resist of competition:

  • You can smite one segment of society as an example for the rest. This will keep others in line, out of terror that, if they dissent they will also be smited. [C3, P7]

On the methods to achieve "Consent of the Governed":

  • By controlling information and education, to make and keep people stupid, lacking objective reasoning power, leads to stifling of innovation, dark ages:
    • Requires defining and enforcing an alternatte reality, with the attribute that the ruler and his opinions is the only possible reality.
    • In general, the governed must hold the perception that all alternatives to your rule are impossible, inferior, personally dangerous and further, "resistance is futile", dissenters smited with absolute certainty. This is equivalent to a social lobotomy, narrowly restricting the "tolerable" focus of intelligence and thus, choice within "acceptable" bounds, intellectual turf that you control.
    • A very effective way to achieve this is with dogma, such as religious or some value set, that to deviate from is believed to be evil incarnate. For example, to oppose socialism is to oppose "helping the unfortunate", bringing the wrath of all believers to the ruler's assistance, against dissenters.
    • For example, in Machiavailli's time, the spiritual dominence of the church of ROME was indisputable. Vast temporal power accrued to those whom claimed to exercise the "will of god", with dissenters burning in eternal hell. All rulers were required to at least provide the perception of being pious. Nobody could rule without perceptual alliance with the church, leading to "divine rights of kings". Examples of this deference to religious dogma:
      • Do not act or imply in a manner that may be interpreted as contrary to publicly believed dogma, or contrary to the interests of those who create / maintain the dogma for, presumably, power and control.
      • Evidenced by Machiavailli's reluctance to discuss Moses as a successfull ruler, attributing his success as a ruler to god, a special case, not to be discussed for reasons of reverence. [C6, P3]
  • By allowing the people to prosper:
    • "Consent of the governed", and of local power holders and, therefore support (consolidation of power) can be achieved by allowing the people to prosper, including bribing supporters. [C7, P6,9]
    • "Allowing the people to prosper" is not just a matter of a ruler controlling the state's criminal predations, but also requires that competing criminals be controlled. [C7, P7]
    • When state and other criminals are running amok, there is no unity, nor "consent of the governed", only lawless violence and chaos, leading to an easily conquored state. [C7, P7]
    • After having secured mastership over a lawless, chaotic state, harsh measures are required to impose order, peace and obedience to authority. [C7, P7]
    • When harsh measures are required to restore order, best to do it using an intermediary, a pawn whom can be later sacrificed to appease the people and deflect blame from the ruler, who can pretend innocence and unawareness of the "crimes" of his agent, who, in reality was under total control, acting "under orders", with full ruler support. [C7, P7]
    • After your agents have completed the tasks of "harsh measures", much hate will exist among the people, requiring appeasement and deflection from you. A very public, barbaric fate for said agents will simultaneously appease the people and provide warning to (terrify) any whom may consider disputing your rule. [C7, P7]
    • When harsh measures are required, dangerous power must be delegated to the agents tasked with implementing the measures. This power is at high risk of being abused, becoming odious to the people and thus, to rule. This power cannot be allowed to exist after the task is done. [C7, P7]
    • To maintain law and order, once achieved, some power must exist to do so. Best to set up a court of judgement where the people can petetion grievances and have at least the illusion of representation and control in their own lives and affairs. [C7, P7]

On the perceptions that rulers must maintain:

  • Betraying and harming friends and supporters will earn you distrust, preclude future alliances. Anything accomplished by doing so will not earn glory, nor respect. It will earn contempt. [C3, P2]
  • The ruled must have the perception that they can petetion the ruler for grievances, to delay outright defiance. [C3, P6]
  • Above all, a ruler must present the perception of infallability, unchanging in the face of changing circumstance. The perception of adapting to change is concluded as unprepared, weak. Neither harsh nor strong measures will generate public support for adversity. People don't like losers and, by being unprepared and needing public support, you have been judged as unfit, especially since, in all probability, the adversity has been created by your own greed or other follies. [C8, P8]

On the general requirements for rulers to maintain rule:

  • Princes should be prudent, not only dealing with present problems, but paying careful attention to detect future problems while they are still small and manageable, lest they grow unseen to unmanageable, costly or incurable proportions. [C3, P10]
  • He who is the cause of another becoming powerful is ruined; because that predominancy has been brought about either by astuteness or else by force, and both are distrusted by him who has been raised to power. [C3, P18]
  • A ruler, faced with a balance of powers of competing rulers, a state of affairs not to his liking can always "embroil the powers" using intrigues and many other methods to weaken them by conflict and deflect attention from his actions to increase power. [C7, P5,6]
  • A ruler, engaged in conquest, if using troops whose loyalties are not totally to him may face being stopped and / or having his gains siezed by those the troops have dual or secret allegiance to. [C7, P5,6]
  • A ruler should observe his troops carefully looking for any sign of lack of total alleginace or flagging motivation such as half hearted attacks or, opposition of the ruler the troops have any loyalty to. [C7, P5]
  • A prudent ruler does not depend on the luck or arms of others, rather chooses to use his own resources, rather than risk mis-fortune. [C7, P5,9]
  • To consolidate power and prevent a return of the conquored to their "comfort zones", previous ruling classes must be exterminated. [C7, P6,9]

On the requirements for rulers to maintain domestic rule:

  • The ruler must get the ruled into a habitual "comfort zone", where they consider his rule and the costs of tribute to be tolerable. [C2, P2,3]
  • Once this "comfort zone" is established, the ruler has less reason to introduce change which offends the people and is therefore more secure in rule with a willing to defend population. [C2, P2,3]
  • Ancestral traditions must be upheld. [C2, P2]
  • Problems due to changing circumstance must be dealt with prudently, introducing as little change as possible. [C2, P2]
  • A ruler, should he fall into extraordinary vice, imposing costs negatively impacting the "comfort zone" of the people will create public hate and eventually rebellion and loss of rule will occur. [C2, P3]
  • In general, rulers require "consent of the governed". [C3, P2]
  • In the treatment of subjects there are only two options: pamper them and make them dependent or, crush them such that they are unable to rise again and seek revenge. [C3, P7]

On the requirements of monopoly power rulers to domestically rule:

  • The prince shifts and changes ministers as he chooses, presumably to prevent them from becoming entrenched and corrupt, defined as choosing self-interest, at the expense of the princes interests. [C4, P3]

On the requirements of division of power rulers to domestically rule:

On the requirements for rulers to be secure from external predators:

On the nature of states, the hiarchical power structures, used to maintain rule:

  • States are of two classes, republics or principalities. [C1, P1]
  • In republics, the state is considered not to be the private property of a ruler and is subject to some degree of public control. In republics, freedom exists. [C1, P3]
  • In principalities, the state is the private property of the ruler with zero degree of public control. In principalities, freedom does not exist unless granted by the ruler. [C1, P3]

On the nature of principalities, where any freedoms are granted or witheld by whim of rulers:

  • Two types of principalities, distinguished by method of internal division of powers. [C4, P2]
  • The first type is controlled by a prince, who has a monopoly of power. It is organized as a top down controlled hiarchy with the prince at the apex and appointed servants (ministers) below, executing the princes policies, process and will. Although the ministers perform the management function of rule, everyone is servile to the prince. The prince decrees and everyone else is a slave. Although ministers are obeyed, they are representing the will of the prince. Obedience is to the prince and to none other. [C4, P2]
  • The second type is a balance of power between dominent prince and nobles, each with their own states and power hiarchies, enslaving their own subjects. Nobles are not appointed by the prince, they have heriditary states and subjects of their own. [C4, P2]

On the acquisition of states:

  • States may be acquired by heriditary means (principalities), annexation (principalities) to a larger principality, arms of the ruler or of others, by ruler ability, or, by fortune. [C1, P2,3,4]
  • Those whom support the new ruler are inevitably deceived by promises (lies) the new ruler cannot possibly keep, going from bad to worse. This is because the new ruler is burdened with the costs of conquest and consolidation of power, meaning that supporters cannot be rewarded, rather must pay these extra costs by increased servitude. [C3, P1]
  • In siezing control of a new principality a ruler offends the people he has conquored and he offends friends who supported him because he cannot keep his promises which secured their support. [C3, P2]
  • Cannot take strong measures against previous supporters who resist your rule and tribute because of your debt to them. [C3, P2]
  • After losing a new province to rebellion, it is easir to re-acquire and hold the second time due to experience (failure is the mother of success) and the rebellion offers an excuse to deal harshly with dissenters, delinquints and suspects and to strengthen known weak points. [C3, P3]
  • It is easier to rule a new acquisition if it has the same language and culture, especially if they are not accustomed to self-rule (freedom) than not. In such an acquisition, it is sufficient to exterminate the ruling class, and not make major changes to laws and taxes, since the rest of the people are already adapted to servitude. [C3, P5]
  • Subduing and holding territories with different cultures, language and laws is fraught with peril. It is best if the ruler moves to the territory to better become aware of and manage difficulties as they arise. Further, this allows controlling the pillaging of officials and the serfs, having direct access to the prince for grievences can be under the perception, true or not that they matter, reducing discontent and delaying outright defiance. [C3, P6]
  • Another option is to send colonies to key control regions of the state. If you do not do this, the only alternative is a large standing army. Colonies are very economically efficient. Land and property can be siezed from local power holders and distributed to colonists. Only this minor percentage of the population is offended and they are made poor, scattered and powerless. The remainder of the population, being unharmed are easily controlled and remain in fear that, should they dissent, they too will be impoverished. [C3, P7]
  • If you opt for standing armies to subdue a state, you face very expensive ongoing costs. which must be borne by the entire state, vexing everyone. Also, rotation of the garrison causes further hardship and hate in the state. Even though your enemies are beaten on their own ground, hate will inflame them to do what harm they can. Standing armies are worse than useless. [C3, P8]
  • A ruler controlling a state differing in language, culture and laws also need to see to external threats, by becoming the head and defender of neighbors whom are turned into subject states. No neighboring state should be tolerated to be as powerful as his, the stronger ones should be weakened. Discontented powers will attempt to invite foreign powers, to relieve themselves of you. Care should be taken that no power capable of challenging you gains a foothold. If such a power gains a foothold, all subject states will rally to it, to relieve themselves of you. It is a waste of time to attempt to win them over, they will abandon you. Weakening the stronger of the subject states will meet with approval since the stronger prey on the weaker. This will allow you to be master in the region. Fail at this and either lose rule or face endless difficulties and woes. [C3, P9]
  • Acquiring and holding principlaities controlled by monopoly power
    • These states are difficult to conquor, but easy to hold. [C4, P3]
    • Difficulty of conquering arises because there are no nobles (disunion of powers) to foster discontent, nor to ally with. The inner circle of the prince cannot be induced to rebellion because, although slaves, they are well treated and selected for loyalty. Ministers may be able to be corrupted with difficulty, but, they, being slaves, have no power nor support, making them useless. Thus, a conquerer faces a strong, unified state, with no possibility of weakening it by inflaming internal dissent. [C4, P3]
    • To conquor such a state requires brute force, relying on your own resources, with no internal support. Once the slave armies are routed beyond replacing, there is no power to fear except the prince and his family who should be exterminated. [C4, P3]
    • When the absolute rulers of a principality are exterminated, the people are disunited and confused, adapted to servitude having forgotten the practical skills of being free. They will be slow to take up arms, proving an opportunity for a ruler to take forceful control. [C5, P3]
  • Acquiring and holding principlaities controlled by distributed power
    • Where power is distributed, controlled by a dominent power, there is always discontent and some power to ally with, to create internal divisions, to weaken the state and achieve easy victory. [C4, P4]
    • Holding such a state is fraught with infinite peril, both from those whom have assisted you demanding reward whom you cannot appease and, those whom you have crushed. [C4, P4]
    • It is insufficient to exterminate the family of the prince, since the remaining nobles all seek to be "top dog", and will continuously cause troubles, at your expense. [C4, P4]
    • Such states, with independent powers are inevitably lost, when time creates opportunity. Not stated, but should have: continuous rebellion is an attrition cost, destroying any whom dare to resist the basic drive to freedom of mankind. [C4, P6]
    • Histotically, those frequent rebellions against the Romans in Spain, France, and Greece, owing to the many principalities there were in these states, of which, as long as the memory of them endured, the Romans always held an insecure possession; but with the power and long continuance of the empire the memory of them passed away, and the Romans then became secure possessors. [C4, P6]
    • Thus, states in which power is distributed are impossible to to hold. Only by assuming a central power and making everyone servile, plus the long passage of time to make people adapt to servitude and forget is able to rule such a state after generations of rebellion. [C4, P3,4,6]
  • Acquiring and holding republics controlled by the people, whom are adapted to freedom
    • Only three possible methods to hold states that are acquired and are accustomed to living by their own laws and in liberty: [C5, P1]
      • Ruin them
      • Live there. Assert personal control.
      • Let them live by their laws, taking tribute from them, charging taxes, and creating within them an oligarchical ruling class which is friendly and subservient to you.
    • The best way to attempt to rule a region accustomed to freedom is to allow them to live according to their own laws, managed by an oligarchy created by you and therefore, loyal to you, collecting tribute for you. [C5, P1]
    • A region is best ruled, if done so with administration performed by locals, sharing a portion of tribute (proceeds of crime) with them. Not stated: For rulers, it is always best to rule indirectly, through pawns, to "take the heat". [C5, P1]
    • Regions accustomed to freedom cannot be held and are best destroyed, before you are destroyed by the costs of attempting to subdue them. [C5, P2]
    • For revolution, liberty and its ancient privileges is a rallying point, which neither time nor benefits will ever cause people to forget. Not stated: and, the cost of every transgression will cause those whom have forgotten or never known liberty to demand, dissent and fight for it. [C5, P2]
    • Republics have greater vitality and fresh memories of liberty. There is much hatred towards the usurper and a quest for vengence, never allowing the memory of the sweet taste of liberty to rest. Best to crush these people. Not stated: they will never be slaves unless it is the only way to survive and, surly, insolent slaves at best. [C5, P3]
  • Principalities are established by rulers of extraordinary ability with extreme difficulty and held with ease: [C6, P5]
    • Difficulty of acquiring arises for the following reasons:
      • New rules and methods are required to establish the new government and its security. Force must be used to emforce and overcome opposition.
      • Introducing a "new order" is fraught with peril, since it interferes with existing balance of powers and the people's "comfort zones" to which they are adapted and consider to be neccessary for survival.
      • Innovaters have enemies of all whom have done well under the old order.
      • Support for innovators is lukewarm because the "old order" has the law on its side, posing a risk and people are very skeptical of change, not believing in change and ruler promises until the promises are kept (become real) and people become adapted to the new environment.
      • Thus, those who oppose change, presented with opportunity, attack, behaving like partisans, while the defense of supporters is lukewarm at best. This endangers the ruler, who is a lightening rod for dissent, considering him as "a problem" to be eliminated.
    • Ease of holding arises for the following reasons:
      • After pervailing, change becomes real by kept ruler promises and people become adapted to the new environment and "comfort zone" which they will then equate with their survival.
      • After pervailing, those who envied rulers their success are exterminated, they will begin to be respected, and they will continue afterwards powerful, secure, honoured, and happy.
  • Principalities are established by rulers of extraordinary fortune with ease and and held with difficulty:
    • Easy rule can be achieved by:
      • Favor of, or purchase of rule from existing ruler. This includes becoming ruler by acclimation of the people. [C7, P1]
      • Siezure of control by an element of current apparatus of state, such as military coup. [C7, P1]
    • Difficulty of maintaining rule is because:
      • The undelying power of the ruler is based on goodwill, consent and support of those whom assisted in transition of power. [C7, P1]
      • Such good fortune is a variable, inconsistant and unstable, easily reversing state of affairs, undependable. [C7, P1]
      • The new ruler, having changed environment from private station (inability to command) to rule lacks the experience, skills, knowlege and wisdom to rule, as opposed to those whom have learned (adapted to) the requisite skills by earning rule. Costly mistakes will be made. [C7, P1]
      • No loyal, stable power base (foundation) exists to enforce rule. [C7, P1]
      • The new state also has no foundations, friends or alliances with external powers. [C7, P2]
      • Without sound foundations of power, internal and external, the first crisis will destroy the new state, due to lack of wise, unified, backed by power responses to adversity. [C7, P2,8]
      • The lack of foundations of power, internal and external can be laid immediately after achieving rule by rulers of extraordinary ability, to prepare for the inevitable challenges to rule. [C7, P2]
      • Laying the foundations to consolidate power is fraught with peril, the changes alienate friend and foe alike, generating opposition. [C7, P3]
      • Even rulers who do everything right can still be undone by the malignancy of fortune (the unforseen). [C7, P4,10]
  • A prince may obtain power, without the use of evil or unacceptable violence by the consent and acclimation of competing power holders: [C9, P1]
    • Every administrative region is populated by two groups of citizens: the common people and the nobility:
      • The nobles desire to prey upon the people. [C9, P1]
      • The people desire to be left alone, free from predators. [C9, P1]
    • The power conflict between the goal seeking of these competing powers can result in one of three possible outcomes: [C9, P1]
      • Principality, when the nobles have dominent power and select a ruler from among themselves, with limited powers, controlled by the nobles. [C9, P1]
      • Liberty, civil government, controlled by the people when the people are the dominent power and select a leader from among themselves, with limited power, granted and controlled by the people and civil institutions. [C9, P1]
      • Balance of powers, a draw, the nobles and people are equally matched in power. Anarchy (license), absence of a monopoly power. Nobles win monopoly in some areas, the people in others. Balance of power, in all areas is continuously shifting due to continuous competetion. [C9, P1]
    • The ruler will find it easier to achieve "consent of the people" than "consent of the nobles": [C9, P2]
      • "Consent of the nobles" is difficult because:
        • The ruler was once a peer of the nobles, whom consider themselves your equals, making subservience problematic. [C9, P2]
        • The nobles cannot, by ruler fair dealing and refraining from causing harm be satisified. Nobles survive by oppressing and preying on the people. [C9, P3]
      • "Consent of the people" is easy because:
        • He who rules by popular acclaim knows that the full weight of pupular support is behind him, ready to assist in smiting all who dispute, so long as ruler behavior stays within the parameters by which rule was granted. [C9, P2]
        • The people can, by ruler fair dealing and refraining from causing harm be satisified. That is all they want, "to be left alone", unoppressed. [C9, P3]
    • The ruler will find it easier to deal with hostility of the nobles than hostility of the people: [C9, P3]
      • Dealing with hostility of the nobles is easy because:
        • A ruler can secure himself from hostile nobles, there are few. Unstated, but should have. The nobles are undoubedly hostile because of favoring the people's interests, thus, the people will assist the ruler. [C9, P3]
        • Hostility from the nobles has the consequences, not only of being abandoned by them, but nobles can also command military resources that can be called to bear. Nobles will also form alliances with other factions, supporting the one they believe will prevail seeking favor and gain. [C9, P3]
        • Nobles are also dangerous due to being more astute and intelligent, capable of plotting and long range planning. [C9, P3]
        • A ruler can always replace nobles, depriving them of title, property and power as he sees fit. [C9, P3]
      • Dealing with hostility of the people is difficult because:
        • A ruler can never secure himself against a hostile people, there are too many. [C9, P3]
        • The worse that a ruler can expect from a hostile people is to be abandoned by them. Unstated, but should have. Rulers, being unproductive, depend on tribute and resources from the people. [C9, P3]
        • A ruler is always compelled to live with the same people, they cannot be replaced and, if they are destroyed, who to rule? [C9, P3]
    • Differentiating friend from foe among nobles is easy: [C9, P4]
      • Friendly nobles entirely, without reservation bind their fate to yours.
      • Those whom bind their fate to yours and are not rapacious (interfering with tolerance of the people) should be honored and loved
      • Unfriendly nobles are those with reservations, whom do not entirely bind their fate to yours.
      • Unfriendly nobles may lack courage. In prosperity, you make use of them, in adversity you need not fear them
      • Unfriendly nobles, with courage and ambition indicate that they are thinking more of themselves than you. A ruler should be on guard from such nobles and fear them as if they were open enemies, since in adversity, they will always seek your downfall.
    • Principalities in which the ruler is selected by consent of power holders face extreme dangers in passing from the civil to absolute form of rule, since there are only two ruling options, directly or, through magistrates: [C9, P7]
      • When ruling through magistrates:
        • Government is weaker and more insecure, because it rests entirely on the goodwill of those citizens who are adapted to obeying the magistracy. [C9, P7]
        • The magistracy, especially in troubled times, can depose or destroy the government with great ease, either by intrigue or open defiance. [C9, P7]
        • Not stated, but implied: The magistracy, as all delegated power risks developing self-interest and abusing the power to aggrandize more power, creating an independent monopoly, pursuing selfish goals, increasing power for the legal profession, which, by definition, being selfish, is in opposition to all other powers, rulers, nobles and the people. [C9, P7]
        • The ruler has not the chance amid tumults to exercise absolute authority, because the citizens and subjects, accustomed to receive orders from magistrates, are not of a mind nor adapted to obey him amid these confusions. [C9, P7]
        • There will always be in doubtful times a scarcity of men whom the ruler can trust. [C9, P7]
      • A ruler cannot rely upon what he observes in quiet times, when citizens had need of the state, because then every one agrees with him; they all promise, and when death is far distant they all wish to die for him. [C9, P7]
      • When the state has need of its citizens, then he finds but few. [C9, P7]

On war:

  • A blunder should never be committed to avoid war, since war is inevitable and, once the time is ripe for war, any delay is to your disadvantage, allowing the enemy to prepare. [C3, P17]
  • The power of a prince is determined by offensive and defensive capabilities, differentiated by whether resources available allow self-sufficiency or, whether others must be depended upon, in times of adversity: [C10, P1]
    • A prince whom has sufficient resources to field an army has both offensive and defensive capabilities, capable of defending both fortresses and countryside. [C10, P1]
    • A prince lacking resources to field an army must rely on well provisioned fortresses and, under no conditions, attempt to defend the countryside. [C10, P1]
    • Resources above means: financial, manpower and support or at least non-hatred of the people. [C10, P1,3]
  • Men are always adverse to enterprises where difficulties or risks are perceived. [C10, P1,3]
  • A strong city or fortress has the following attributes, sufficient to keep it free of external rule, not fearing conquest: [C10, P2]
    • Proper ditches and walls, making conquest difficult. [C10, P2]
    • One year's supply of weopons and ammunition. [C10, P2]
    • One year's supply of food, drink and consumables. [C10, P2]
    • Regulated military exercises, always prepared for defense. [C10, P2]
    • Ability to keep the people engaged in productive activity, from which the people earn their sustenance, resources for fortress survival and support for the prince comes (keep the people quiet). [C10, P2]
  • If an enemy still attacks, provisions will prevent them from pervailing for a year, far beyond the time that an offensive army is able to manage loss and frustration while maintaining focus. [C10, P3]
  • People are self-interested. Those whose property outside the fortress has been destroyed will tend to lose patience with the long siege and the prince. [C10, P3]
  • The defending prince can control the people using alternating combinations of the following methods: [C10, P3]
    • Encouraging hope to his subjects that the evil will not be for long.
    • Encouraging fear of the cruelty of the enemy.
    • Dealing adroitly with those subjects who become bold and dissent.
  • Passions of the people are highest after the initial attack, when memeory of loss is greatest. As time passes, passions and memories fade. Best to immediately harness the passions of the people at the initial attack and keep them passionate, rather than waiting. [C10, P4]
  • People whom have suffered damage by usurpers are ready to unite with the prince, whom they feel are under obligation to make amends. [C10, P4]
  • It is the nature of man to seek honest, reciprocal trade. They feel obligated for benefits received as well as entitled to reciprocation for benefits given. [C10, P4]

Machiavailli's effect on history:

Machiavailli contributed the following insights, that, depending on how they were used resulted in "good" or "bad" for mankind, history and civilization:

  • Contributed to the Renassence and "Age of Reason" with his well reasoned arguments (knowlege) relating ruler actions to ruler consequences.
  • Irrefutably proved that without "willing consent of the governed", rulers will inevitably meet with inglorious fates and be overthrown, leaving much collateral damage in their wake.
  • Proved that "consent of the governed" and much else in human behavior is not just a product of reality, but also of perception which implies controlling / manipulating / managing information.
  • Proved that successful rule is a matter of maintaining balance of power among power holders.
  • People are creatures of habit, resistant to change. If radical change is imposed, deposed rulers and all previous ruler power holders must be exterminated, lest the people fight for a return to their "comfort zone", No return path can be allowed, or, revolution will fail.
  • Rulers whom impose survival threats on the people by excessive predatory behavior will be overthrown.
  • New rulers must introduce change slowly, else, the people will rebel.
  • New rulers whom achieve power are in peril. Your supporters expect payback, if you pay from your own resources, you lose power. Somebody else must pay. If you keep your promises to favor certain interests at the expense of others, you must prey on some to appease others. This costs discontent, loss of support or indifference turning to opposition. To survive the consequences of your promises, you must betray and reneg on your promises.
  • Rulers must be tyrants to their foes, generous to their supporters. This is a consequnce of rulers operating in the criminal domain, using force / fraud, as opposed to being productive and securing survival by honest trade.
  • Rulers must personally occupy conquored domains to prevent delegated power holders from expressing self-interst, becoming corrupt and pillaging. Alternatively, colonize the domain, have the colonists extract tribute and send you a "cut".
  • Only two ways to achieve stable rule of men; treat them well (generate dependency and therefore allegence), or, crush them completely (preclude dissent).
  • Standing armies are an unproductive dead economics loss, whose costs create discontent and loss of "tolerance of the governed". Further, military organizations develop "self-interest", a direct threat to rulers since they compete in the same moral domain, after the same prey.
  • A ruler, in terms of regional power must be and remain "king of the hill" and not tolerate any other power to rival his, else risk conflict and loss of control. Risk of conflict is inversely proportional to quantative difference of power between potential combatents. Keep all others weak, even allies, else they will covet your "king of the hill" position. Further, do not tolerate subservient regional powers to co-operate for yor demise. Keep them fighting each other.
  • Political alliances are a short term "means to an end" and cannot last. Betrayal of agreements is inevitable, by both parties. Carefully consider opportunity, be the first to betray. Any peace is just the "calm before the storm" and risk of a significant loss of power when the inevitable reneg on political agreements / treaties happens.
  • Basic truth: "he who is the cause of another becoming powerful is ruined", because power is "ability to prey" and, everyone else, allies included are eventually prey.
  • There are two basic types of states, differentiated by by how power is distributed:
    • States in which all power flows from a single ruler or unified group of rulers have servile populations and obedient (enslaved) social economic control hiarchies, easily conquored and held by exterminating the existing rulers, controlling existing power structures.
    • States composed of a balance of power of power holders such as barons or, worse, civil government controlled by the people are extremely difficult to conquor and impossible to rule due to virtually all factions being against rule. Such states and the will of the people for freedom can only be destroyed and slowly replaced with more servile institutions.
  • From the perspective of rulers, "there can only be one" (dominating ideas, compelling choices of all others). Only then can the entire state be organized with and have the strength of single purpose, a hiarchical organization of slaves, where all power flows by top down decreee, the rest are easily replaced slaves, compelled to obey.
  • Since "problems are opportunities", rulers, to increase power must, on occasion, create problems and enemies to increase their plunder, power and glory as part of the never ending quest for "absolute power".
  • When force and fraud are the dominent methods of goal seeking, what is good for rulers is bad for the people. When these methods are suppressed by law, the people prosper because rulers cannot prey.
  • A free society can never be subjugated, just destroyed.
  • We are a "monkey see, monkey do species" and, the intelligent and successful emulate the choices of the successful while the un-intelligent and unsuccessful emulate or repeat the choices of the unsuccessful. [C6, P1]
  • Correct choice is dependent on varying environmental factors and requires the intelligence (and freedom / accuracy of information) to identify all pertinent factors at any instant in time. It is not sufficient to emulate the successful choices of others. Circumstance (environment) must be adapted to. [C6, P1]
  • Comes to the incorrect conclusion that overwhelming force alone is sufficient to rule. Cannot, because force has significant costs to maintain, at the expense of productivity, collapsing the whole regieme.
  • Rulers must earn their power and ability to keep it by setting the foundations of alliances and weakening enemies, to create a power vacuum to be filled. The highest probability of success is if this is done on the rise to power, but, extraordinary individuals may be able to do it after power is achieved. Fail at this and lose power.
  • Admits the domain of rulers is "force and / or fraud", the key attribute of "rule of anarchist man", historical collapser of civilizations.
  • Basic natural law of humanity: hurt someone, and, they will retaliate if able. If you intend to harm someone, best to totally crush them, since they will NEVER forget and, subsequent appeasements will not be able to make up for the initial harm. Ever.
  • People value security and stability of their "comfort zones" above all else. Do any "necessary" harm quickly, all at once. The people will note atrocities, but soon adapt and forget, especially if they are not personally harmed and their habitual "comfort zones" can be maintained. Conversly, repeated, ongoing aggressions against the people, such as escalating trubute for social adventures, military, economic collapse or otherwise cannot be ignored and will eventually destroy the people's "comfort zones" and cause loss of tolerance, loss of support and rebellion.
  • The people, as individuals, are not in possession of significant resources, nor organized force. This environment precludes them from using force / fraud, since their victims can easily combine and retaliate. A ruler does not normally (unless inflamed to mobs) need to fear organized force from the people, only withdrawl of support, which in the long run is just as deadly since rulers are unproductive and exist solely by tribute of the people, who can and will go "on strike" if being productive is insufficient to meet their needs.
  • Given the honest nature of people with only personal power, people want fair trade, fair laws, stability from their rulers. This is what they trade "Consent of the governed for". Without this, eventually rulers will lose support and rebellion will build.
  • Providing the people with fair governence is not sufficient to secure their loyality to you in times of internal or external threats to your rule. You have provided the ability of the people to be self-sufficient, by "getting out of their way" and controlling predators. Another ruler can promise the same, or something better. The people will not be loyal, nor grateful. Something extra is required: they must be made dependent on your rule, such that they suffer if anything happens to you. Only then will the people support you through thick and thin.
  • Machiavailli states there are two types of defense available, active and passive:
    • Active defense is available to rulers whom have sufficient resources to pay for and therefore command the allegiance of armies. Consent of the governed (to tolerate the ruler, pay tribute, provide soldiers) is a key resource. Rulers with sufficient resources can defend a region and smite any transgressors. It is still prudent to have fortified areas, as in passive defence below to fall back to, should "crap happen".
    • Passive defence is the method that must be used by rulers with insufficient resources to field an army. Their cities must be defensible, heavily fortified and stocked with weopons and provisions sufficient to last a year. Outlying regions cannot and should not be defended. According to Machiavailli, the short term "smash and grab", plunder, share the spoils mentality of armies will make them lose patience and leave in frustration (seeking easier prey) well before the year is up. Consent of the governed still required.
  • States that people are basically honest, seeking trade to mutual benefit. They feel beholden for favors received as well as expecting return for favors conferred. They expect and demand "quid quo pro".
  • The power of pervailing social mores(propagandized religion in Machiavalli's time) are so great that even rulers tremble against them. Under no condition should rulers provide the perception they believe or behave contrary to prevailing social mores (values). To do so is to be judged "heretec" and have virtually the entire population, inflamed by those who manipulate the social values intent on your demise. No ruler can withstand opposition of this magnitude.
  • States that Mercenary and rented military forces are doomed to fail, or turn against you due to motivation / allegiance problems. Only a well armed citizenry, with a personal survival stake in the outcome of conflict, personally led by the ruler for motivational purposes of "common interest" and, "united we stand" can succeed on the field of battle and secure the peace. He correctly claims that free republics thus composed are unstoppable on the field of conflict and cannot be conquored or long subdued. An unfortunate consequence is that less tribute can be extracted from a free, armed citizenry.
  • The SOLE concern of rulers is study and mastery of the discipline of war. In peace, prepare for war, in war, you live or die depending on how well you have mastered this dicipline, trained and disciplined your soldiers.
  • 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.
  • Machiavailli defines liberality as generousity (Today: entitlements) and the bribing of goodwill. He correctly states that using this method of coercion by making people dependent on your generousity may achieve short term goals, but must and therefore will quickly deplete ruler resources, a loss of power which must be quickly corrected by reducing generousity and increasing tribute extracted from the people. Liberality must and therefore will change the public perception of the ruler from generous, charitable and liberal to cheap, greedy, uncaring, erasing all past memory and support based on generousity. The people will rebel and throw off the odious yoke of servitude required to correct this mistake.
  • It is neccessary that rulers be frugal in their affairs, saving and building resources and placing tolerable burdens and tribute on the people. Only then can he be prepared for adversity and opportunities for conquest while retaining the strength of "consent of the governed" without alienating the people by the costs of ruler adventures. A reputaation of mean or cheap is not to be feared by rulers, since it allows placing light burdens on the people, allowing them to prosper making them forget all about how mean and cheap your political opponents allege you to be. People value a survivable / tolerable reality far greater than opinions.
  • It is useful for rulers, on the way to increasing power to cultivate the perception of liberality, to gain supporters "hoping to benefit". Once having consolidated power and becoming ruler, it is fatal to exercise liberality, as explained above. So, once power is consolidated, a "bait and switch", fraudulent betrayal of your supporters is neccessary, to break your liberal promises, else face the loss of power inherent in liberality which is just a means to power, to be avoided like the plague once power is achieved.
  • A ruler needs to keep a firm hand on the tiller of the ship of state and the crew in line, focussed on ruler objectives. There are absolute necesseties that must be observed to retain both power and the loyality of the people. Perceptions regarding how you react to dissent, with cruelty or clemency determines much since people will perceive your actions and conclude regarding your future response to their behavior:
    • If you cultivate the perception of clemency, this will allow you to be secretly cruel to key dissenters and maintain your reputation for clemency by forgiving dissenters in irrelevant areas. This will also have the consequence of embolding dissenters (and actual criminals), by reducing the perceived costs and therefore, risks of transgressing. When dissenters and criminals are emboldened, this increases your enforcement costs and, criminal predations on the serfs dramatically reduces "tolerance of the governed", making tribute extraction far more difficult.
    • If you cultivate the perception of cruelty, this will allow you to remain in character when neccessary, making highly public the fate of transgressors. This will have the effect of instilling caution and terror by increasing the perceived costs and risk to those whom may be inclined to be criminals, dissent your rule or attempt to avoid to paying tribute.
  • It is far superior that a ruler be feared than loved because love carries the ongoing cost of being maintained whereas fear needs to be invoked once with occasional examples to maintain public perception.
    • Maintaining fear is lower cost, since it is more economically efficient to generally threaten to destroy and occasionally destroy dissenters than to earn love. The cost of maintaining fear is low, therefore the motivation of fear to dissent can be maintained during times of adversitity when obedience and support of the people is most neccessary.
    • Maintaining love is an ongoing expense since people are fickle and easily forget your favor when the time comes to return it. In times of adversity, the ongoing costs of maintaining love cannot be afforded. With loss of bribing their support, the people will abandon you at your time of greatest need, resulting in your destruction.
  • Rulers are to avoid invoking hatred within the public at all costs, since, like fear and all strong emotions, once established as a habit, it takes great efforts to eradicate it and will result in your destruction, should you invoke hatred and fail to achieve forgiveness.
  • Since men are, by nature self-interested, with a priority on their own lives and affairs, they take far greater offense against being harmed personally, than harm to others whom they may value such as family members and friends.
  • Because of the self-interestd nature of man, a ruler MUST, AT ALL COSTS refrain from taking the property or women of others. This is a sure path to public hatred and your demise, to the extent that you engage in these transgressions.
  • There are never ending pretexts for taking the property of others, far fewer for taking their lives. If a ruler becomes accustomed (addicted) to robbery, plunder and taking the property of others, this is a sure path to hatred and your demise. People will adapt to this plunder and you will be left without "proceeds of crime", helpless without defense nor support. Even your own soldiers will turn on you when they can no longer be appeased.
  • At all costs, a ruler must maintain a reputation of cruelty, all along the military chain of command, to maintain discipline.
  • Everyone is in agreement that it is a virtue to be honest and keep your promises and agreements, insofar as others keep their promises which were exchanged for your promises (real trade considerations, expectations of reciprocracy). However, history is very clear. Those rulers whom betrayed, backstabbed allies, were dishonest, employed craftiness, trickery, fraud and, in general did not behave honestly achieved the greatest personal success and glory.
  • It is crucially important for a ruler to cultivate the perception of having the following five qualities: mercy, faith, friendship, humanity, and religion (read: public values). Whether a ruler actually has these qualities is irrelevant. They may be employed when "of use", or not. A ruler should not hesitate to act contrary when to these qualities when circumstance or opportunity makes it neccessary.
  • A ruler should avoid the perception of being fickle, leading to endless attempts to change your decisions. A ruler must cultivate the perception of implacable, impossible to deceive, else, attempts will be made.
  • A ruler must take great pains and precautions to avoid creating an environment where conspiracies against him can flourish. Conspiracies are born of discontent among those with power, namely nobles and the people in general, seeking a "better deal":
    • When the people and nobles are for the most part, content, engaging in conspiracy is a very dangerous venture since the people will not support and dispute any instability caused. Further, conspiracy is by definition, division of labor among the discontented. With a strong ruler, anyone that a conspirator confides with is immediately placed in a postion to relieve their discontent by exposing the conspircy. Under these conditions, paranoia is solely for conspirators and the ruler, security.
    • When the people or nobles are discontented, conspiracy is inevitable and can come from any quarter. The remedy to discontent is seen as "replacing you". Under these conditions, paranoia is solely for rulers whom will have many woes and waste many resources attempting to guard from everyone. Conspirators, meanwhile can conspire in confidence with much support.
    • Discontent of the people can also be caused by predatory nobles which will cause endless arbitration troubles for the ruler. Whatever a ruler does, one side or the other will be discontented. Best to appoint an arbiter with the perception of impartiability to arbitrate these difficulties and "take the heat" of discontent away from the ruler.

The following insights of Machiavailli were used for "good" of mankind, history and civilization:

The following insights of Machiavailli were used for "bad" of mankind, history and civilization:

  • His insights regarding the power of perception were used to construct the general form of "Arguments of Neccessity", "Falsely Framed Arguments", or LIES which misrepresent the time sequence of events, omit / create / misrepresent facts, use not obvious unstated assumptions, commit logical fallacies, ad infinitum, targeted at miseducated fools.
  • His insights regarding the power of perception were used to subvert education, media, history.
  • His insights regarding the perceived effects of knowlege (action leading to consequence) versus serendipidy and divine intervention as believed agents of determination of outcomes alerted rulers of the neccessity of subverting education to destroy critical thinking, rendering populations incapable of understanding ruler predations, leaving rulers free and unacountable "to prey".
  • His insights regarding the power of intelligence and knowlege to relate action to consequence in human affairs (as evidenced by this applied example, "The Prince") alerted rulers that above all, knowlege in the area of human behavior, must, at all costs be suppressed and replaced with lies. Thus, the bogus, lying professions of psychiatry, anthropology, social science and virtually all disciplines dealing with humanity were born and, what is considered to be "official truth" is funded and allowed to be taught and, dissenters (heretecs) receive no funding, exposure, nor career success. These "professions" hold static, unchanging as opposed to dynamic, adaptive to circumstance views of human behavior. Thus, those out of favor can be given some label decreed by "professionals" as "dangers to society" and imprisoned, not for what they have done, but for speculation regarding what their decreed fixed nature compels them to do.

The Prince should be carefully considered and understood by all factions (power holders, meaning everyone) in the great game of life, civilization and mutual survival. Peaceful consensus, civilization and balance of power may again be possible:

  • Arbitrary rulers (predators), anarchists whom believe they can act without real consequences (blowback) to their actions should conclude that they are psychopaths, survival threats, even to themselves.
  • Self rulers (the free, neither predator nor prey), peaceful anarchists whom "live and let live", willing and able to restrict their actions to not initiating harming others will conclude that their freedom is lost if arbitrary rulers keep increasing power to coerce. There can be no neutrality in this war between the civilized and barbarians, intent on enslaving mankind. You need to stand up and fight for the innocent, as well as yourself.
  • All others (prey), who believe that the "deal" as offered by rulers for their servitude and "going along, to get along" can economically last are sorely mistaken. Your dependence on ruler provided perks and advantages has weakened you, adapted you to dependency and helplessness, fattened you up for the kill. When your "vote" is no longer required to provide the perceptual fraud of ruler legitimacy and tyranny becomes all pervasive, you become expendable. You have been used as a "means to an end" (of freedom, equals collective survival). Whining will be futile.

[1] In actual fact, Machiavailli was not advocating manipulation, he was just enumerating it as a tool used by rulers of the day and for all of history. He was very clear that reality and "consent of the governed" determines the fate of ruler endeavors and, survival.

In general, after the trouncing that arbitrary rulers took during the Renaissence, they do not dare to engage with determined dissenters on the basis of provable fact and reason. Rather, rulers have defined and moved on to a new turf: control of the power "to interpret". The Renassance lost rulers the power to "decree truth", now, they "define meaning" and reserve the power of "interpreters of meaning" to themselves. Combine these two forcefully held powers (define and interpret meaning) and you get: "define reality", which, for all practical purposes is still "decree truth". Manipulative rulers just love to change terminology, decree themeslves "winners" according to the new terminology and force the exact same real fight to be fought all over again, on ruler defined turf and terms. Any successful warrier will tell you: fight by your, not their rules, on your turf.

The point is, Machiavailli has been assigned a "bad rap" by ruler controlled education, propaganda and historical "interpretation". Rulers hope YOU will accept this decree as to the evilness of Machiavailli and not go to the source and make up your own mind. Advice that, not coincidently, is offered by Machiavailli himself as a remedy for dealing with manipulators.

The knowlege of many other significant figures in history, such as Charles Darwin and evolution have also been misinterpreted to "bad rap", evil by rulers whom impose and depend on YOUR ignorance.

The Prince

by Niccolò Machiavelli

Written c. 1505, published 1515

Translated by W. K. Marriott

Rendered into HTML by Jon Roland of the Constitution Society

Table of Contents

About Machiavailli Synopsis of the life and works of Machiavailli
Dedication Dedication (and begging for a "tax eater" job) to the Magnificent Lorenzo Di Piero De' Medici
Chapter I How Many Kinds Of Principalities There Are, And By What Means They Are Acquired
Chapter II Concerning Hereditary Principalities
Chapter III Concerning Mixed Principalities
Chapter IV Why The Kingdom Of Darius, Conquered By Alexander, Did Not Rebel Against The Successors Of Alexander At His Death
Chapter V Concerning The Way To Govern Cities Or Principalities Which Lived Under Their Own Laws Before They Were Annexed
Chapter VI Concerning New Principalities Which Are Acquired By One's Own Arms And Ability
Chapter VII Concerning New Principalities Which Are Acquired Either By The Arms Of Others Or By Good Fortune
Chapter VIII Concerning Those Who Have Obtained A Principality By Wickedness
Chapter IX Concerning A Civil Principality
Chapter X Concerning The Way In Which The Strength Of All Principalities Ought To Be Measured
Chapter XI Concerning Ecclesiastical Principalities
Chapter XII How Many Kinds Of Soldiery There Are, And Concerning Mercenaries
Chapter XIII Concerning Auxiliaries, Mixed Soldiery, And One's Own
Chapter XIV That Which Concerns A Prince On The Subject Of The Art Of War
Chapter XV Concerning Things For Which Men, And Especially Princes, Are Praised Or Blamed
Chapter XVI Concerning Liberality And Meanness
Chapter XVII Concerning Cruelty And Clemency, And Whether It Is Better To Be Loved Than Feared
Chapter XVIII Concerning The Way In Which Princes Should Keep Faith
Chapter XIX That One Should Avoid Being Despised And Hated
Chapter XX Are Fortresses, And Many Other Things To Which Princes Often Resort, Advantageous Or Hurtful?
Chapter XXI How A Prince Should Conduct Himself As To Gain Renown
Chapter XXII Concerning The Secretaries Of Princes
Chapter XXIII How Flatterers Should Be Avoided
Chapter XXIV The Princes Of Italy Have Lost Their States
Chapter XXV What Fortune Can Effect In Human Affairs, And How To Withstand Her
Chapter XXVI An Exhortation To Liberate Italy From The Barbarians


Darwin Reconsidered


Rule of Law


Mathematics of Rule

Thinking 101:

Intelligent Choice

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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