As you all know, I'm a university student so a lot of my thoughts revolve around that fact: be it a class, or homework assignment or these conferences I have to go to every semester in order not flunk that particular subject. Whatevs,the point is I thought you all might benefit from the dark circles under my eyes. I'll occasionally write about stuff I learn at school only digested so it's easy to understand and you don't end up sleep deprived like me.
In a nutshell, I hope you enjoy these five minutes in college.
Today I'm going to talk about the largely (in my opinion) misunderstood Niccoló Maquiavelli. And no it is not an italian dish, he was an italian guy.
Now, (don´t quote me though) this dude lived between 1469 and 1527 in ancient Italy, only it was nothing like todays´ Italy because it wasn´t organized as a country yet. Rather, there were city-states in constant, ruthless war. It was just brutal: cities were sacked, women were raped, children were killed... the whole enchilada. This was how Machiavelli grew up. You can´t blame the man if he acquired a realistic and crude way to view life!
His two most important books were The Prince where he talks about all the stuff you should do in order to be a good prince like staying in power and, well, staying alive, and Discourses on the First Decade of Titus Livy where he now turns to the proper way to run a republic.
I read The Prince in high school for pleasure and studied and read half of the second book because of this subject at school called Social and Political Theory, or something to that effect ´cuz it´s in spanish. They´re both very practical books that in spite of being obviously outdated (when he says "eliminate" it is not a metaphor)it´s based on human nature. And we may have new gadgets, tecnology and all, but we´re just as good and bad as five hundred years ago, only our toys are much cooler.
We all feel jealousy and anger, passion, love. We´ve become more "civilized", but those instincts are still there, hidden in our subconscious. In fact, Hobson talks of this as Primitive Instincts and their translation into a more modern reality, for example
Nomad habit: the love of traveling
Spirit of adventure: modern hunting, competitive sports
The pleasure of fighting- war: dangerous gambling
See what I mean?
Ok, back to Machiavelli. Before this becomes more of an essay than it already is, I'll leave you with a couple quotes of Machiavelli so you can know him better by what he said and not only by what I wrote. With this these quotes I end these first five minutes in college. I hope you enjoyed it :)
"Men judge generally more by the eye than by the hand, for everyone can see and few can feel. Every one sees what you appear to be, few really know what you are."
"If an injury has to be done to a man it should be so severe that his vengeance need not be feared."
"Since love and fear can hardly exist together, if we must choose between them, it is far safer to be feared than loved."
"There is no other way of guarding oneself against flattery than by letting men understand that they will not offend you by speaking the truth; but when everyone can tell you the truth, you lose their respect."
"When neither their property nor their honor is touched, the marjority of men live content."
Quotes courtesy of readprint.com