From my Copy of The Prince by Niccolo Machiavelli
"Machiavelli's outlook was darkly pessimistic; the one element of St Augustine's thought which he wholeheartedly endorsed was the idea of original sin. As he puts it starkly in the same chapter 18 of The Prince, men are bad. This means that to deal with them as if they were good, honourable or trustworthy is to court disaster. In the Discourses (I,3) the point is repeated: 'all men are bad and are ever ready to display their malignity'. This must be the initial premise of those who play to found a republic. The business of politics is to try and salvage something positive from this unpromising conglomerate, and the aim of the state is to check those anarchic drives which are a constant threat to the common good. This is where The Prince fits into the spectrum of his wider thought: while a republic may be his preferred form of social organization, the crucial business of founding or restoring a state can only be performed by one exceptional individual."
In other words everyone but me is bad, so bend to my will.
Obey, and don't question obedience.
Confessions of a Monopolist anyone?
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