Lie: it’s a plan

by Yule Heibel on October 21, 2003

Today my daughter announced finding the credo George Bush lives by. It’s reprinted in her socials studies textbook, Michael Cranny’s Pathways; Civilizations Through Time, p.223:

So it follows that a prudent ruler cannot, and should not, honour his word when it places him at a disadvantage…. If all men were good, this precept [rule] would not be good; but because men are wretched creatures who would not keep their word to you, you need not keep your word to them…. One must know how to be a great liar and deceiver.

– Nicolo Machiavelli, b.1469, as per his treatise, The Prince.


Giuse October 22, 2003 at 11:35 am

I love Macchiavelli, discovered it, the year in Venice. He corresponds in a way to Sloterdjik’s definition ‘zynische Vernunft’ of the Weimar and post aera.

Surprising for me, that your daughter learns it in scool. We did not learn anything, but Schiller and this moderns, you read and instantly forget. No wonder Switzerland is down in Pisa..

greets and a bigsmile, I sincerely enjoy your page.. thanks.

Yule Heibel October 23, 2003 at 12:48 am

What I really liked is that my daughter made the connection to Bush — yea!, she’s no dummy!

Sloterdijk, hmm, I read some of his stuff about 15-20 years ago, and I didn’t like it very much. I thought at first that he had some real potential, and that subsequently, he got too schicki-micki (as they said in Germany at the time): he was pleasing an audience, but not really going for the truth. Machiavelli is much more interesting because he teaches you that there is a strategy, it’s not anything to do with things “naturally” being any which way, but rather strategically so. If more people realized that, they wouldn’t follow all the bastards out there.

PISA has raised a lot of hackles, but I kind of liked that Canada did so well. (If you ask me, the countries that are going down in Europe are doing so because they’re becoming too Americanized….)

I’m glad you like my blog, Giuse, thanks!

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