I Don't Get Why Machiavelli Is So Bad

No, seriously.  I've read a bunch of stuff by him, and it's like, well, he's kind of pointing out the obvious truth.  And everyone follows this anyway.

In the 1500s, Italians used to quote "Tacitus" because quoting Machiavelli automatically had a bad reputation.  But he was saying things that needed to be said, so they pretended they were just reading some Roman history.  (Actually, he does this in the Discourses near the end, so he started the trend.)

There seems to be this general denial of certain, rather necessary truths in our society.  I see this as one of the major shortcomings of democracy: it is necessary to fool some of the people all of the time--as long as those people are the majority, and every so often the truth pokes out and people are always surprised, as if politicians didn't have to engage in politics.  (Granted, though, Illinois takes the cake.  What the hell, Blagojevich.)

But anyway.  Why is it unacceptable to do anything and everything for the sake of a profit if what you are doing ultimately is good?  It seems like America, a country built on capitalism, only believes in altruism as an acceptable motive for doing something.  It's like wanting to be a doctor--you have to either say you're doing it to help people or because your parents made you (which is, of course, the best Asian excuse for everything).  Even House MD, a show that is half about one man's ego (off-topic: was anyone else disappointed by the latest episode?), justifies House's being a doctor as "he really likes to solve puzzles.  Really."  I mean, why can't someone profit from something they're good at?

It's odd that countries choose to deny their own foundations so strongly.  Maybe it's like growing up and being too embarrassed to admit that yes, that is really how you were in the past, and somehow the fundamentals are completely avoided. 

Also p.s. name changes happen...dear people opposed to the Willis Tower (instead of the Sears Tower), you won't remember it in, like, two months after it's happened.  I say this from experience with the Qualcomm Stadium (whose original name I don't even remember).

Ok.  So...this was a lot of fun to write.  Because the entire Discourses on Livy is exactly this frustrating!  Have fun reading between the lines and dealing with the fact that the title has only a vague acquaintance with the body. :D

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