The Machiavellian States of America?
By Daniel O’Connor
Campaign for Liberty
Niccolo Machiavelli (1469-1527) was the preeminent political philosopher of his time, whose immeasurable influence still resonates today, perhaps even moreso than ever. His book, The Prince, has remained as a very widely read book throughout the globe for the past century, and before. In fact, it was the advent of the printing press, which came to existence just before his time, which helped disseminate his political philosophy across Continental Europe into the hands of Kings, Queens and major philosophical figures. In modern times, although many people have not read his works or are even aware of his existence, it is the political philosophy of Machiavelli and his descendants which has permeated the mentalities of many Americans and citizens across the globe.
Machiavelli’s worldview and writings were quite extensive and impossible to summarize in this brief article but a few of his main focal points are extremely relevant today and deserve re-examination by the American people.
In Niccolo’s most well-known book, The Prince, a strong emphasis is placed on the need for The Prince (or the governing body) to abandon principles and act immorally on occasion in order to achieve a particular objective (or to maintain/expand power). The Prince constantly posits a view in terms of power which is not necessarily relevant to this article–the focus of this article is the notion of abandoning principles to achieve a desired goal or objective. This is unfortunately the sentiment that has not only become embodied by our “representative government” but also much of the population. Members of our government carrying the labels (R) and (D), along with members of the numerous vestigial federal bureaus that surround our National Capital, can be found guilty of this Machiavellian practice.