Friday, February 25, 2005

No Trick Too Nasty or Perverse For the GOP

It is difficult for the majority of American citizens to think in Machiavellian terms. In the late 15th century Nicolo Machiavelli had been tortured and reviled by the Medici family which ruled Florence, Italy, because he was involved in a reform movement. In fact, he had become an important diplomat in that movement. But by 1525, Machiavelli had regained favor with the Medicis. He wrote “The Prince” in 1513, although it wasn’t published until after he died in 1527. The treatise was so controversial that Pope Clement VIII condemned it. Machiavelli admitted that his reason for writing “The Prince” was to endear himself to the Medicis. The basic tenet of “The Prince” is that royalty should maintain total control of their realms by any means necessary, including deceit. A few do’s and don’ts from the Machiavelli playbook are: Some "virtues" will destroy a prince but some "vices" will allow him to survive. The prince must be deceitful when it suits his purpose. But he must not appear to be deceitful. The prince must always seem to exhibit five virtues: mercy, honesty, humaneness, uprightness, and religiousness. A prince must be severe when punishing people rather than merciful. Death sentences affect only a few, but they deter crimes which affect many. It is better to be feared than to be loved. Machiavelli also wrote seven books on the art of war. One of his wartime pieces of advice was: Religion and the soldier's oath are to be used to inspire the men - put the fear of God in them. Apparently, the White House copies of Machiavelli’s works are well-thumbed. Today, the BlogBox on Democratic Underground quotes a caveat for all bloggers from the John Arivosis blog, AMERICAblog: “Defenders of Gannon are now phoning people who post comments on AMERICAblog, they pretend to be me, and ask the person to stop posting on the forum. This happened to a good friend of mine who posts here (guys, get a clue, don't call a friend of mine and pretend to be me), and now it's happened to someone else. “First off, when you use a phone, there's an electronic paper trail. Second of all, when you pretend to be someone else, you're very likely bordering on a crime. If this story is so hot that Gannon's, and/or the White House's defenders, are feeling the need to try to sabotage this blog, well all I can say is thanks, and I'm posting this publicly so perhaps we can get another media story out of this. “Folks, just a word of caution to everyone on visiting our site, but also to the good folks working like dogs at DailyKos, World o Crap, and everyone else on this story. I'm starting to sense some disinformation coming our way, especially in the comments section of the blog. We've all finally captured the attention of the mainstream media and made this story a story. We've also captured the attention of the Bush administration and other GOP bad guys, and I suspect they're trying to feed us bad info so we jump on it, print it and thus they can try to debunk all of our good work. “All I'm saying is that I recommend everyone be doubly careful about sussing out any information you find, see printed, or receive before running it on your blog, emailing it around as truth, etc.” So...there you have it from John Arivosis. Be careful about printing anything before you check it out--it may be disinformation leaked by the White House. Normal people do not live their lives based on Machiavelli’s philosophy. Most Americans find it hard to believe just how deceitful, nasty and perverse the White House can be. But the White House could teach Machiavelli a thing or two about deceit and dirty tricks. So believe it!

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