It has been rumored that Obama once declared one of his favorite philosophers to be none other than the famous prince of notoriety, Niccolò di Bernardo dei Machiavelli. Others have suggested that Obama and his Chicago gang incorporate the tactics of Machiavelli, Sun Tzu, and Saul Alinski directly into their political strategy in order to reap the benefits of excessive control, demanded by chaos. However, if Obama truly did claim to be a scholar of Machiavelli, he would have done himself well to pay closer attention to Machiavelli’s doctrines, because they carefully foretell the ruin that Obama is inevitably headed towards.
For those who are not scholars themselves, in 1505 Machiavelli wrote “The Prince ” in an attempt to persuade the Medici family to wage war upon barbarian invaders who were enabled in part by France’s invasion of Italy. Putting aside all of the stereotypes of Machiavelli, it is sufficient to say the man was far more rationale than “brutal,” and his doctrines need to be measured in the context of perpetual warfare, which was the permanent political nature of the times. However, because a unification of the Italian provinces was antithetical to the political ambitions of the French and English states, and because of Machiavelli’s willingness to argue in a language that was radical in respect to papal notions of morality and civility, he was quickly labeled “the devil” all across Europe, a stereotype which continues today. But I digress.
Machiavelli makes a very clear distinction between obtaining power and keeping it. Since power can be achieved in many ways, such as through skill, fortune, or wickedness, all rulers should not assume that power attained is power that will remain. Its destiny is closely linked to the circumstance through which it was gained.
Generally speaking, Machiavelli knew that exercise of real power (real politic) was more a matter of animal instinct than nuanced practice of enlightened theory. Thus, for princes who came to control their cities through arms or skill (experience), maintaining power was easy. As ancient examples, Machiavelli cites Moses (leading the people of Israel from their Egyptian Slavery), Romulus (original ruler of the emergent Roman empire), Cyrus (of the great Persian empire), and Thesius (ruler of the Athenians.) As modern examples I will cite such names as George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, FDR, and Ronald Reagan, all of whom faced significant obstacles in their rise to power, and were required to show unordinary skill and talent to win the Presidency. Additionally, they brought with them large power bases.
On the other hand, there are those who come to power through fortune and circumstance, who conversely face extraordinary difficulty in maintaining their power. Machiavelli states:
“And it ought to be remembered that there is nothing more difficult to take in hand, more perilous to conduct, or more uncertain in its success, than to take the lead in the introduction of a new order of things. Because the innovator has for enemies all those who have done well under the old conditions, and lukewarm defenders in those who may do well under the new. This coolness arises partly from fear of the opponents, who have the laws on their side, and partly from the incredulity of men, who do not readily believe in new things until they have had a long experience of them. Thus it happens that whenever those who are hostile have the opportunity to attack they do it like partisans, whilst the others defend lukewarmly, in such wise that the prince is endangered along with them.”
For those of you who can already draw the parallels, mind you this was written 500 years ago, and yet the power principals remain the same. Because of the difficulties that arise when one arises to power through fortune, treacherous tactics are required to quickly build that base once in power. For if one must lay the foundation of their house after it is already built, it must be ripped apart to lay new roots. But if this is not done, the Prince himself will be destroyed for his lack of foundation will not allow him to weather the first storm.
What does this entail? For starters, a prince must utterly destroy any existing power structures and replace them with his own, so his power is not challenged from within. Second, the prince must not allow foreign powers to exercise influence in his own province, since then his people will not be sure of the result in case of invasion. Finally, the prince must eliminate existing institutions and values or mold with them, so that his people’s customs and habits do not themselves spur an uprising. As an example:
“When the duke occupied the Romagna he found it under the rule of weak masters, who rather plundered their subjects than ruled them, and gave them more cause for disunion than for union, so that the country was full of robbery, quarrels, and every kind of violence; and so, wishing to bring back peace and obedience to authority, he considered it necessary to give it a good governor. Thereupon he promoted Messer Ramiro d’Orco a swift and cruel man, to whom he gave the fullest power. This man in a short time restored peace and unity with the greatest success. Afterwards the duke considered that it was not advisable to confer such excessive authority … [a]nd because he knew that the past severity had caused some hatred against himself, so, to clear himself in the minds of the people, and gain them entirely to himself, he desired to show that, if any cruelty had been practiced, it had not originated with him, but in the natural sternness of the minister. And having found the occasion to do this, one morning … he had Messer Ramiro d’Orco [cut in two pieces and laid out publicly in the city square] with a bloody sword laid beside him. The ferocity of the spectacle left the people satisfied and amazed at the same time.”
So what has President Obama done? In short, he has assured himself that he will not weather the storm.
For starters, when then Senator Obama came into power, he turned over the keys of the kingdom to “weak masters,” who rather plundered the Americans than governed. This includes crooks in Congress like Charlie Rangel, and pseudo crooks like Pelosi and Reed who each alone had the power to destroy Obama if they decided. He turned over the banks to none other than Timothy Geithner, the squirrel/puppet boy of the same crooks who bankrupted our Treasury through Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. He went around the world bowing to foreign directors in Asia and the Middle East, while making absurd proclamations (that even foreigners do not believe) such as “American is one of the world’s largest Islamic nations” and pointing out that America has been “cruel and arrogant” in its past ways. He has been personally handed anti-American propaganda in photo ops with murdering dictators like Hugo Chavez, and has been punked by real power players like Vladimir Putin who convinced Obama to backstab our allies Poland and the Czech Republic in return for … nothing. Furthermore, he has attempted to entirely redefine our country’s values, morals, and laws rather than molding to them, drawing significant opposition from within his own country, and even his own political party.
What did Obama expect the result to be? I’m not sure. But everyone, both in this country and around the world, know that he is weak . He came to power not through his own skill, accomplishment, or achievements, but mainly through fortune and circumstance. Even Machiavelli knew there was a difference between popular politics and real politics – for public speaking skills are no substitute for the real skill of building powerful, enduring power coalitions. Unfortunately for Obama and his neophyte, inexperienced advisers, he wasn’t paying attention when he read The Prince . For he should have known that his power center would be weak when he came into office, and handing over his domestic agenda to Reed and Pelosi, along with allowing our nation’s biggest crooks to gain even more power, and letting every human around the globe to know that America’s leader is a weakling who will capitulate to foreign power, he has not only compromised our nation’s power and standing, but he has all but guaranteed the utter destruction of his own.
The last leader to behave this way, and come to power through similar circumstance was Jimmy Carter. Unless President Obama can mimic the actions of other presidents who also came to power through fortune rather than skill (George W. Bush, John F. Kennedy), but were able to do what it takes to maintain their power, he will, in fact, end up just like his friend Jimmy.