Niccolò Machiavelli was a Florentine public servant whose most famous publication, yet not representative, was the political treatise II Principe, The prince (Published in 1532 five years after Machiavelli’s death).
“The theories expressed in The Prince are often venerated as shrewd methods that an aspiring prince can use to acquire the throne, or an existing prince can use to establish his reign. According to Machiavelli, the greatest moral good is a virtuous and stable state, and actions to protect the country, no matter how cruel, are always justified (my emphasis D.S.).
Machiavelli justified rule by force rather than by law. Accordingly, The Prince seems to justify a number of actions done merely to perpetuate power. It is a classic study of power - how to get it, expand it and use it for maximum effect.”
Credit: House of cards – Tv series
Implementing Machiavelli’s principles to the contemporary worlds of relationships - and mind you, leadership and governing are also forms of relationships, ones that represent the interactions between the chosen individual and the masses – we could witness the following two scenarios that serve as examples to a widespread phenomenon:
A young girl is in love with a boy from her high-school. The problem is that he has a girlfriend, her best friend actually, whom he dearly cares for and loves. But the young girl wants that boy. She will do anything it takes to have him. She will tell her friend that he cheats on her; that she saw him with another girl. Eventually, the lies and manipulations will part the young lovers. The boy will then will find comfort in the young girl’s arms. Mission accomplished!
A man wants to have sex. He doesn’t care with who. He is getting dressed, puts on his best perfume and goes out to a dancing club. There he meets a nice girl who merely wants to be loved. They spend the entire evening together. The girl is falling for him. “I like you”, she shyly says. “I like you too. Very much”, he replies; lie number one. The girl doesn’t notice his drooling mouth. “Do you, really?”, she hopefully asks. “Yes baby, I really love you”, he makes his second lie. “Let’s go to my place”, the lonely girl suggests. There, his smooth words convince her to sleep with him; and why not? He loves her, does he not, and it’s only natural to celebrate the rest of their life together – in bed, is it not?. The man is satisfied. Mission accomplished!
But no matter how glory one thinks the goal is, eventually it is destined to collapse. A marriage that was created through lies, manipulations, and half-truths will suffer grave hardships, since the conscious energy that has conceived the marriage was charged from the beginning (and even throughout their wedding) with imbalanced impurities.
When you make your first steps on the path of life, be it your career, your romantic love life or any venture you are participating in, remember that the end never justifies the means. If you happen to witness otherwise it is only mirages created by your fearful ego who urges you to succeed, to conquer and to rule. If you follow the defective way that Machiavelli charted you may reach a pick, but only to look back on the dead bodies that you have stepped upon and to feel the horror of loneliness that encompasses your limited mind on top of that sandy pick.
From then on your mountain of illusion will begin to crumble. Your tower of cards will vanish, sweeping with it the poor qualities that you obsessively have developed and nourished. The deafening sound will echo in your head: “The end never justifies the means. The end never justifies the means”.
Ask yourself –
- Would you embezzle a large sum of money that belongs to the company you work for if the cause was to save your ill child from dying?
- Would you bribe your way up the political ladder because you believe that you could be the best leader for your country? And even if that was true, would the bribes be all right?
- Would you do anything to get your Ex- (boyfriend/girlfriend) back? Would you lie, manipulate or deceive just because you can? Are you really sure that once you got that ex your way towards him/her would not influence the energy of your relationship?
If you answered yes to any of the above three rhetoric questions then you are still led astray by your fearful ego. Your ego will tell you that there is no other option; that you must use such means if you want to grasp those goals. But your ego doesn’t know everything. Its reality is limited. It cannot see how simple life becomes once you adhere to the eternal virtues that emanate from your essence. The irony is that only when you sanctify the means that you use, your cause can really be manifested!
Regrettably, The Prince has been widely regarded as one of the most influential books on politics, especially on the acquisition, perpetuation, and use of political power in the western world. Machiavelli's observations continue to resonate with politicians, students, and scholars. It’s time to put an end to that. It’s time to come up with new theories about the illusion of power and the proper use of it, and most of all to root a new truth, one that stresses the intentions as the building blocks of the end results!