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Posts Tagged ‘The Prince

“Thou hast set all the borders of the earth”*…

 

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* Psalms 74:17

###

As we doubt whether good fences make good neighbors, we might wish a crafty Happy Birthday to Niccolò di Bernardo dei Machiavelli; he was born on this date in 1469.  Machiavelli wrote comedies, poetry, and some of the best-known personal correspondence in Italian; but he is best remembered as a Man of Affairs, first as a servant of the Florentine Republic in a time during which Medici influence was on the wane.  His most famous work, The Prince– first published as a pamphlet in 1513– was written mid-career to gain favor with the Medici, who were at that point regaining dominance in Florence.  The essay on the exercise of power (inspired by Cesare Borgia) not only failed to win over the Medici, it alienated Machiavelli from the Florentine public; he never again played an important role in government.  Indeed, when the Florentine Republic was established in 1527, Machiavelli was effectively ostracized.

But published in book form posthumously (in 1532), The Prince began its steady growth in influence.  And of course today, Machiavelli is considered one of the fathers of modern political theory.

Niccolò Machiavelli by Santi di Tito

source

 

Written by LW

May 3, 2014 at 1:01 am

Freudian Slips…

From Fox News, announcing the big news story of May 1, 2011:

BREAKING NEWS
Obama Bin Laden Dead

Still, Happy World Press Freedom Day!

***

As we remember that, to paraphrase Craig Newmark, a free press is the immune system of a democracy, we might wish a crafty Happy Birthday to Niccolò di Bernardo dei Machiavelli; he was born on this date in 1469.  Machiavelli wrote comedies, poetry, and some of the best-known personal correspondence in Italian; but he is best remembered as a Man of Affairs, first as a servant of the Florentine Republic in a time during which Medici influence was on the wane.  His most famous work, The Prince– first published as a pamphlet in 1513– was written mid-career to gain favor with the Medici, who were at that point regaining dominance in Florence.  The essay on the exercise of power (inspired by Cesare Borgia) not only failed to win over the Medici, it alienated Machiavelli from the Florentine public; he never again played an important role in government.  Indeed, when the Florentine Republic was established in 1527, Machiavelli was effectively ostracized.

But published in book form posthumously (in 1532), The Prince began its steady growth in influence.  And of course today, Machiavelli is considered one of the fathers of modern political theory.

Niccolò Machiavelli by Santi di Tito (source)

Your correspondent is a few too many time zones away to allow for timely posting of a new missives; so this is a note from a May 3 pastregular service should resume May 6


Written by LW

May 3, 2012 at 1:01 am

Freudian Slips…

From Fox News, announcing the big news story of May 1:

BREAKING NEWS
Obama Bin Laden Dead

Still, Happy World Press Freedom Day!

As we remember that, to paraphrase Craig Newmark, a free press is the immune system of a democracy, we might wish a crafty Happy Birthday to Niccolò di Bernardo dei Machiavelli; he was born on this date in 1469.  Machiavelli wrote comedies, poetry, and some of the best-known personal correspondence in Italian; but he is best remembered as a Man of Affairs, first as a servant of the Florentine Republic in a time during which Medici influence was on the wane.  His most famous work, The Prince– first published as a pamphlet in 1513– was written mid-career to gain favor with the Medici, who were at that point regaining dominance in Florence.  The essay on the exercise of power (inspired by Cesare Borgia) not only failed to win over the Medici, it alienated Machiavelli from the Florentine public; he never again played an important role in government.  Indeed, when the Florentine Republic was established in 1527, Machiavelli was effectively ostracized.

But published in book form posthumously (in 1532), The Prince began its steady growth in influence.  And indeed today, Machiavelli is considered one of the fathers of modern political theory.

Niccolò Machiavelli by Santi di Tito (source)

Yaka-Wow!…

Rubik’s Cube for the Blind (via Yanko Design, which readers will remember)

On an obliquely-related front, from the ever-illuminating World Wide Words:

In what seems to have been a mixture of rueful admission
of error and pleasure in accidental accomplishment, the Times noted
on 23 April that a transcription error in an interview on 15 April
with the neuroscientist Baroness Greenfield has gone viral. She was
concerned that excessive playing of computer games or using social
networks such as Twitter would stop the malleable brains of young
people developing as they should: “It’s not going to destroy the
planet but is it going to be a planet worth living in if you have a
load of breezy people who go around saying yaka-wow. Is that the
society we want?” Within 24 hours, it is said, Google had 75,000
results for “yaka-wow”. It has inspired a Twitter stream, a page on
Facebook, mugs and T-shirts; it has become a personal philosophy:
“I think, therefore I yaka-wow”; and it has led to the creation of
the virtual First Church of the Yaka-Wow. What Baroness Greenfield
really said was “yuck and wow”, a derogatory comment about the
limited emotional range and vocabulary of Twitter users. Considered
linguistically and culturally, it’s a fascinating example of the
way electronic communications can today create and transmit a new
word.

As we coin ‘em as fast as we can, we might recall that it was on this date in 1469 that civil servant, philosopher, and father of political science Niccolò di Bernardo dei Machiavelli was born.  Machiavelli served the Florentine Republic; in 1498, after the ouster and execution of Girolamo Savonarola, the Great Council elected Machiavelli as Secretary to the second Chancery– the blunt instrument replaced by the sharp…

But Machiavelli is, of course, best known for his short “how to” book on political power, The Prince.  Written in 1513, it was only privately circulated during Machiavelli’s life; but it was published publicly in 1532, five years after his death– and has had such an impact on our understanding of the cynical exercise of political power that “Machiavellian” has become a widely-understood adjective.

Niccolò Machiavelli

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