Machiavelli in Manolos: Jill and Kent Easter
In his seminal work The Prince, philosopher and father of modern political science Nicolo Machiavelli wrote, “In the actions of all men, and especially of princes, where there is no court to appeal to, one looks to the end. So let the prince win and maintain his state: the means will always be judged honorable, and will be praised by everyone.” Many people have taken this to mean that Machiavelli was giving advice—that if you’re pursuing a goal, you should use whatever means necessary to achieve it. But I think if you read that line more closely, what he was really saying was that when a powerful person achieves a desirable end, people tend to decide after the fact that whatever he did to get there was a-okay. Seems more about perception than reality—which is almost scarier, if you think about it. Because whether this is true or not, people in positions of power often seem to think it is. Narcissists are prone to that kind of magical thinking—that whatever they try will turn out great, and everybody will stand up and applaud. For the baddies in today’s story, that didn’t work out so great.
LA Times, Framed by Christopher Goffard: https://www.latimes.com/projects/la-me-framed/#chapter1
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