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Wednesday, December 10, 2008

A Little Machiavelli?

The situation with the Republicans being ready to trash the domestic auto industry reminded me of something I read when I was in college and a lot smarter than I am now.

From The Prince, Chapter 8 (Project Gutenberg):

Hence it is to be remarked that, in seizing a state, the usurper ought
to examine closely into all those injuries which it is necessary for him
to inflict, and to do them all at one stroke so as not to have to repeat
them daily; and thus by not unsettling men he will be able to reassure
them, and win them to himself by benefits. He who does otherwise, either
from timidity or evil advice, is always compelled to keep the knife
in his hand; neither can he rely on his subjects, nor can they attach
themselves to him, owing to their continued and repeated wrongs. For
injuries ought to be done all at one time, so that, being tasted less,
they offend less; benefits ought to be given little by little, so that
the flavour of them may last longer.

Or, restated somewhat, if you must do something ugly to the people, do it quickly all at once, get it over with, so that you can start rebuilding your reputation over time by doing beneficial things gradually.

So if you are a Republican and you just lost a big election, now is the time to do damage and break things you want broken, because you have a few years before your next chance at power.

3 comments:

donald said...

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Betty


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Anonymous said...

Dear AP,

Why isn't there any noise in the blogosphere about Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn), who in my opinion is the most Anti Big 3 bail out and his relationship with Volkswagen? VW has broke ground on their new plant in Tenn. They will produce ~300k cars there. Several states competed for this plant; Ala., Ga., NC, SC, etc. Obviosuly VW received some incentives; large ones from Tenn. It seems as though Corker will support his state before his country.

Dublin Saab said...

Who controls Congress?

Blaming Republicans is kind of like blaming the waterboy for RichRod's 3-9 showing.