Mach 2.1: Modern Machiavellian-ism

What might Machiavelli write if he were alive today? How might his original ideas find a new, fuller expression if they were infused with the knowledge of the past five centuries? Answering those questions became my challenge and obsession in recent years. I found myself reading and re-reading The Prince and having imaginary conversations with his spirit. He was most obliging by appearing to me whenever I asked for yet another sťance.

Machiavellian-ism is not a topic you have felt much need to learn about. That is because you believe what you've been told. Don't believe the fake news that Machiavelli has been getting for five centuries. Machiavellian-ism doesn't have rules or commandments. It is a perspective, rather than a philosophy. It is a list of tactics rather than a strategy of life. It is relativism. What matters to you is all that matters. Machiavellianism says that all things in your life are relative to you. How you should behave in a situation depends totally on what you want to get out of that situation. The ends often justify the means, and only you can say whether one method is better than another in a particular situation. Just don't mention any of this to your boss or your mentor. There is no reason to trouble their little minds with these big thoughts. This web site is about modern Machiavellianism. It is an outgrowth of my charming and informative little book:

Mach 2.1: Promoting Better Living in the 21st Century Through Machiavellianism
by the brilliant and ever humble Midas Jones.  (Paperback $9, Kindle Unlimited $0, Kindle $3.69)

“But,” I hear you thinking, “is Machiavellianism true or false? It Machiavellianism good or evil? I don't want to believe in a false or evil philosophy or doctrine or belief system or whatever!”

On Truth: It may seem like a contradiction, but a Modern a_trust_in_human_nature_home_pageMachiavellian should be more trustworthy and honest than the ordinary person. The Machiavellian realizes how valuable trust is and how fragile it is. If you lie to a person once - and are caught - then he or she will never trust you again. In most cases, the truth is best. As the great philosopher, Mark Twain, commented, “When in doubt, tell the truth.” On the other hand, our mentor Machiavelli observed that he had known many great and powerful people: kings, queens, popes, princes, princesses, generals, bishops, and so forth. He observed that all of them, at one time or another, lied, cheated, stole, or murdered to achieve success. If you want to be successful, he commented, then you must be prepared to lie, cheat, or steal to get what you want or keep what you've got. Otherwise, you may have to give up your dreams. (Five centuries ago, Machiavelli was much more casual about murder than we are today. My 21st century version of Machiavellianism excludes murder as an acceptable way of getting what you want. Sorry if that is disappointing to you.)

The public and private dialogs of our society are saturated with falsehoods and misinformation. Think about that as you browse what is below.

Is it better to lose honestly or win by cheating? How would you answer that question if asked by your child? The normal reply would be, “It is best to win by playing fair.” But, in many life situations, those are not your choices. The choices in life are often (1) lose if you play fair or (2) win if you cheat.
The old saying in pro-sports, I have heard, is “If you ain't cheating, you ain't trying!” Many of our most intense competitors cheat as a way of doing business. Large corporations (not all of them but most, I think) routinely use accounting flummery, deceptive marketing, bribery (both campaign contributions and outright bribes) to make the sale or get the contract. Professional athletes use banned substances all the time. In the highly competitive business of politics, the lie is just a way of doing business.

I am not a crook. ~ President Nixonrope
I did not sleep with that woman. ~ President Clinton
Cigarette smoking is no more addictive than coffee, tea, or Twinkies, ~ the tobacco industry.
History is a pack of lies about events that never happened told by people who weren't there. ~ George Santayana
I'm not upset that you lied to me, I'm upset that from now on I can't believe you. ~ Friedrich Nietzsche.
Lying Primates: Possession of the capacity to lie among non-humans has been asserted during language studies. In one instance, a gorilla (Koko), when asked who tore a sink from the wall, pointed to one of her handlers and then laughed.
Deceptive body language, kokosuch as feints that mislead as to the intended direction of attack or flight, is observed in many species. A mother bird deceives when she pretends to have a broken wing to divert the attention of a perceived predator, including unwitting humans, from the eggs in her nest, as she draws the predator away from the location of the nest.
Priests lie about sleeping with parishioners and altar boys.
Students lie to professors about why their homework is not ready.
Citizens lie to policemen, judges and juries about why they are speeding.
Lawyers lie to judges and juries about their client's innocence.
Corporations lie incessantly to their customers, stockholders, and government officials.
Horse Meat: Four major supermarket chains operating in Britain are withdrawing a number of beef products after horse DNA was found in frozen burgers sold in the UK and Ireland by Aldi, Iceland, Lidl and Tesco.(2013)


WASHINGTON The University of Phoenix and its parent company, Apollo Education Group, have agreed to settle for a record $191 million to resolve Federal Trade Commission charges that they used deceptive advertisements. The ads falsely touted their relationships and job opportunities with companies such as AT&T, Yahoo!, Microsoft, Twitter, and The American Red Cross. According to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) under the settlement unanimously approved by the Commission,  the University of Phoenix (UOP) will pay $50 million in cash as well as cancel $141 million in debts owed to the school by students who were harmed by the deceptive ads. “This is the largest settlement the Commission has obtained in a case against a for-profit school,” said Andrew Smith, Director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection. “Students making important decisions about their education need the facts, not fantasy job opportunities that do not exist.”



false advertisement taco bell burger king



An Example of Truthful Advertising



People will find any excuse to call out of work, but the most common excuse is that they are sick.

"My only goal is the happiness of my customers."

In 2015, Creflo Dollar asked his congregation to donate $300 each “to his fund-raiser. For what, you ask? A $65 million private Gulfstream jet, so that he could travel safely and comfortably to spread the word of the Gospel.

Pastor Andy Savage made headlines early this year when he admitted to sexually assaulting a woman in 1998. The headlines were because he received a standing ovation from his congregation for his confession, not because justice was served.

Bernard Law is possibly the most infamous "Bad Priest." In the 1990s, the Spotlight team from the Boston Globe exposed Law for failing to remove sexually abusive priests from his congregation and for covering up the abuses for years.

Peter Popoff was one of the bolder frauds in televangelist history. He claimed to be able to diagnose (and cure) any of his churchgoers' hidden diseases just by asking the heavens for help. He was later revealed to be wearing a wire, through which his wife would feed him the information. He now sells bottled water on late night infomercials.

South Carolina preacher Mark Burns, who regularly introduces Trump at his campaign events, had listed on his church's website that he had a Bachelor of Science degree and served six years in the Army Reserve.
Burns, however, was never in the Army Reserve. He was in the South Carolina National Guard, from which he was discharged in 2008, CNN found.
As far as a Bachelor's degree, North Greenville University told CNN he only attended the school for one semester. Burns admitted that he did not finish his degree when CNN asked him about it.



“Your penis is SO big, I don’t know if I can handle it!”

Women’s Health points out its very possible that ladies fantasize about another person while doing the deed.

“I have read and agree to the terms and conditions”

"Your Responses Will Remain Completely Confidential"

Here are examples of companies that were found guilty of false advertising:

- Ads say it is made from sugar; but, that is not the case. It is made of highly-processed chemical compounds.

Activia yogurt - Dannon stated that its yogurt had nutritional benefits other yogurts didn't. They had to pay $45 million in a class action settlement.

New Balance - One of their sneakers has been sold with claims to help consumers burn calories. No studies confirmed this and the shoe turned out to be an injury hazard.

Taco Bell seasoned beef - It was not really seasoned, but had oat filler. This tricked consumers into thinking it had a higher grade of beef.

Definity eye cream - An Olay ad showed the model Twiggy wrinkle-free and the ads were retouched.

Hyundai and KIA - These companies overstated the horsepower of their vehicles, as much as 9.6 percent.

Airborne - It claimed to ward off germs to prevent the flu and colds, but no studies backed it up. Airborne had to pay $23.3 million in the class-action lawsuit and $7 million settlement later.

Kashi - The Company claimed their
products are All Natural but, they are full of synthetic and unnaturally processed ingredients and actually some that are considered hazardous


These authors are bidding to write my college paper on “The Impact of Benito Juarez on Modern Mexican History” for the prices shown below. They must be making money to stay in business. Surely the real authors know that their customers are college students who hand in the paper, pretending that it is their own work, to a professor. Who is lying here? The true author of the paper who wrote it for money or the student who handed it in as their own, original work? Who is the victim? The professor? The college? The corporations who later hire the student after graduation, believing their credentials are valid?

Interesting ...


[Sorry for the low quality of the screen capture. It’s the best I could do.]


So, if Machiavellianism isn’t about lying, cheating, stealing, and murdering, then what is it about?