Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Happy Birthday Machiavelli!

And no, I'm not talking about the nom de plume for Tupac's post-mortem albums.

Niccolo Machiavelli, famed author of The Prince, was born on this day in 1469.

The Prince, which is touted today as one of the foundations of western political thought, was not so well received when it was first released. Machiavelli's support of amoral tyranny in political leadership was one of the first published accounts where the maxim of "the ends justify the means" was expressed openly to the public. Ironically, the book which is so highly revered and practiced in today's ruthless political theater resulted in Machiavelli's complete alienation from the people of his native Florence.

Originally penned in an attempt to regain favor in the face of his temporary exile, The Prince was unable to garner Machiavelli respect with either the public, or the Medici family with whom he was trying to curry favor. And yet still, despite the knowledge that The Prince was just a brown nosed attempt at trying to re-enter the good graces of the Italian ruling class, classrooms across the nation still teach this ruthless and bloodthirsty text as an archetypal example of refined political idealism.

So Happy Birthday Machiavelli.

A toast. Here's hoping Lucifer turns up the heat on your birthday bash today. You've earned it.


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