1513. FIVE HUNDRED YEARS AGO, Niccolo Machiavelli finished The Prince, the practical guide to political survival. Because it's practical, it's cogent today: our milieu may change, but our motivational rainbow remains the same. Boston University's BU Today blog has a fine posting by John O’Rourke, “Machiavelli’s The Prince: Still Relevant after All These Years”; check it out. The article interviews CAS associate professor of history James Johnson, who states:
Whatever its intent, one thing is clear. The book follows its declared purpose fearlessly and without hesitation: to show rulers how to survive in the world as it is and not as it should be.
Pithy and concise, that's Niccolo. Shane Parrish (do check out his own blog, Farnham Street) has an article on THE WEEK, “11 surprisingly apt lessons from Machiavelli's The Prince” that lists important must-do's for Number One. Click on the link to get the details and some observations from Michael Ignatieff, too.
1. Be present
2. Be careful who you trust
3. Learn from the best
4. Be picky about who works for you
6. Prepare for the worst
8. Don't steal
9. Appearances matter
10. Sometimes your enemies are your friends
11. Avoid flatterers
So, how well has Stevie done? Can you say Harper Fail? Upon reflection, I believe that our country has a political disease, known as harpes . . . but folks like Owen and Mound and Dammit and the rest are working on the cure.