“Those who hope that a republic can be united,” Machiavelli says, “are very much deceived,” and want something harmful to freedom. Why: because one of the unalterable realities of political life is that people have different brains, interests, and values. Orderly clashes of rival political parties ensure that differences are represented and allowed to breathe freely. When one part of society—whether left- or right-leaning, traditional or progressive—tries to dominate the other and control public space, this infuriates the other parts, and threatens everyone’s freedoms.
Sunday, November 12, 2017
#316 / Take A Lesson From Niccolò
My blog posting #295 was titled, "Our Politics Must Be Based On Division."
It turns out that Niccolò Machiavelli made this observation a long time ago. I learned this from an article posted on the Literary Hub website: "8 Delusions of Western Democracy We Could Do Without." The article is subtitled, "Machiavelli Is A Better Pundit Than Most Of The Idiots On TV."
Well, that conclusion is not much of a revelation! Some of Machiavelli's thoughts on the delusions to which we are subject, however, may be less obvious. For instance, here is what the article calls "Delusion 1":
I commend the entire article to you. By clicking this link, you can read up on all of the eight delusions. "Delusion 2," for instance, is that "democratic freedom is safe in vastly unequal societies."
"Delusion 7" is the belief that "the surest way to national safety is to build walls."
That Machiavelli guy certainly knew what he was talking about!