In this chapter Machiavelli appears to be discussing how rulers should appear to be faithful, though Donney has indeed had to do very little hamming it up. Our reason for citing this today is not the translation of the famous “ends justify the means” idea, which introduced unlimited means into modern politics, but rather how few will see a tyrant, and their voice will be drowned out by the crowd rushing to salute whatever has been run up the flagpole. That is why we need genuine leaders who can see and oppose tyranny before it is seated with the “majesty of the state.” A note: by “eyes,” ole Nic means appearances, while, by touch, hands and seize he, quite perversely, means that tyrannic control is the only or true way of “knowing.” The royal philosophers rather write in terms of sight as the highest sense, and hearing next best, as those who cannot see for themselves will hopefully listen, and those who can do neither are called “utterly useless” (Aristotle, Ethics, Book I).
…men, universally, judge more by the eyes than by the hands, because it is given to everyone that they see, but to few that they can touch. Everyone sees what you seem to be, but few touch what you are, and those few will not dare to oppose themselves to the opinion of the many who have the majesty of the state defending them. And with respect to all human actions, and especially those of princes where there is no judge to whom to appeal, one looks to the end. Let a prince then win and maintain the state- the means will always be judged honorable and will be praised by everyone; for the vulgar are always taken in by the appearance and the outcome of a thing, and in this world there is no one but the vulgar…
Machiavelli, The Prince XVII
Translated by Leo Paul S. de Alvarez
There are many points of commentary that we will let go for today, and only reiterate that saying that “in this world there is no one but the vulgar.” A tyranny is walking into power, and everyone in a position to do anything about it is simply going along with it, because so few can “touch” what it is, or we say, see and speak effectively so that the office holders will set aside the allure of the Trump banner and just, like Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz, melt this witch. The Republicans, as those who were defrauded in the primaries, are simply pursuing their apparent self interest, and when they falter in this, a little intimidation will restore their vulgar slavishness. That is how the Electoral College was prevented from considering, and that is how the “republicans” are all selling, yea whoring, their nation’s liberty in the worship of mammon. We are about to get it, unless Trump is arrested, since in five days there will no longer be a Constitution nor a procedure of impeachment that has more meaning than parchment.
The smartest of the “republicans,” such as Larry Arnn, believe they can control the presidency, but that is an illusion. Putin will control the U. S. Presidency in five days unless we act. The next smartest thought they would use the Donald for their own agenda, to run the table against their partisan enemies, and that is just not very smart. Then there are the oligarchs, who really think they will be richer when we fight a huge war against all Islam or receive an accidental nuclear strike, and get the bill for the clean up. And that is just plain stupid.
Our fear of a bumpy transition is unfounded. If Trump were arrested, the Supreme Court could easily decide both what we are to do in the short term- continue as we are until we either give the republican slaves their stupid foot ball and let them go home or really take away the fruits of the Russian election of 2016. It has just become apparent that the FBI director interfered decisively in the election, hopefully for partisan and not treasonous reasons.
INDICT AND ARREST DONALD TRUMP. BE NOT AFRAID. END THIS CHARADE.
“Speak to the Mariners, or we run ourselves aground”- Boatswain, Shakespeare, The Tempest, Act I, scene i