Sunday, September 14, 2008


An interesting if obvious observation from this week's New Yorker book review:

"There is today an entire school of political philosophers who see Machiavelli as an intellectual freedom fighter, a transmitter of models of liberty from the ancient to the modern world. Yet what is most astonishing about our age is not the experts’ desire to correct our view of a maligned historical figure but what we have made of that figure in his most titillatingly debased form. “The Mafia Manager: A Guide to the Corporate Machiavelli”; “The Princessa: Machiavelli for Women”; and the deliciously titled “What Would Machiavelli Do? The Ends Justify the Meanness” represent just a fraction of a contemporary, best-selling literary genre. Machiavelli may not have been, in fact, a Machiavellian. But in American business and social circles he has come to stand for the principle that winning—no matter how—is all. And for this alone, for the first time in history, he is a cultural hero."

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