Sunday, April 30, 2017

Machiavelli's Advice for Mr. Trump – and Us

It is one thing to reform a corrupt state.  It's another to reform a corrupt people.

By James G. Wiles

Perhaps the best explanation for the frustration of President Trump's first Hundred Days can be found in a not-much-read book by Niccolo Machiavelli.

The great Florentine political thinker is best-known today for The Prince. But his most extended work -- which also showed the shape of Machiavelli's heart -- are the Discourses on Livy. It's an extended meditation on democratic politics in a republic, as exemplified by the history of Rome. Machiavelli, as always, doesn't mince words -- and he has some extremely pertinent (and uncomfortable) things to say to us.

Here's the question: have the American people been so corrupted by the welfare state that they can no longer reclaim their liberty? Is restoration of the American republic along the lines originally conceived by the Founders, impossible?  More

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