26
Aug
2005

Machiavelli and US politics

Part 4: War

Source: Future of Freedom Foundation
Author: Lawrence Ludlow

08/19/05

When uniformed armies are not used to enslave people directly, politicians use other techniques to control them. They invent enemies that appear to threaten the nation. In his book Crisis and Leviathan, Robert Higgs showed how wars and economic crises help to expand the power of government and diminish individual liberties. In one example, he showed how the Wilson administration overcame the opposition of Americans to involvement in World War I by hiding its true costs. Instead of relying on free-market purchases to acquire needed resources (and reveal all costs), the government resorted to command-and-control measures …

Link: //www.fff.org/comment/com0508k.asp



Machiavelli and US politics, part 5
Future of Freedom Foundation
by Lawrence M. Ludlow

08/24/05

For Machiavelli, there is no deed too ruthless for rulers on the fast track to dictatorship. A prince who wishes to remain in power must not blink at opportunities for cruelty when they can advance his position. Consequently, in chapter 5, Machiavelli advises would-be princes to follow the example set by the ancient Romans in dealing with the Greek cities conquered by Rome as it gobbled up the Mediterranean world ...

//www.fff.org/comment/com0508m.asp



Machiavelli and US politics, part 6
Future of Freedom Foundation
by Lawrence M. Ludlow

08/26/05

Machiavelli would take great comfort in the 'public choice' theory as outlined by economists James Buchanan and Gordon Tullock. Public-choice theory tells us that politicians cannot legislate or spend taxpayer dollars wisely. Why? Because there simply is no incentive to fight powerful interests on behalf of the majority of taxpayers. This is how it works. On the one hand, the general public remains intentionally unaware of most legislation because keeping informed requires too great an investment of time in proportion to the benefit gained from the information. Even if individuals become aware of harmful legislation, they are unwilling to do anything about it. Why?

//www.fff.org/comment/com0508p.asp



Machiavelli and US politics
Source: LewRockwell.Com
Author: Laurence M. Ludlow

08/29/05

"During a much-quoted radio broadcast in October 1939, Winston Churchill commented on the surprise Soviet invasion of Eastern Poland -- an invasion that closely followed the German attack from the west, which triggered World War II. In his radio broadcast, Churchill said of Russia that it was 'a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma.' Of course, it was only a mystery to Churchill because, until the invasion, he did not understand why the Soviets and Nazis had signed a pact that made partners of Stalin and Hitler. Using Churchill's own words as a springboard, however, we can devise a parallel aphorism by blending in the advice given by Niccolo Machiavelli in his political treatise, The Prince. In our new Machiavellian aphorism, we may say that 'the practice of politics in the United States is a lie wrapped in hypocrisy inside a half-truth.' As we shall see, this neatly characterizes the behavior of most U.S. politicians for the past century...

Link: //www.lewrockwell.com/orig5/ludlow3.html


Informant: Thomas L. Knapp
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