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Another Machiavellian proverb waits for you just a few inches below. This one is original and it provides a recipe for Machiavellian happiness.

Peace within yourself and in your world. When is it good, when is it bad?.

Conflict cannot be avoided at times. When should you fight and when should you walk away? How can you avoid a fight and still win? See the conflict checklist.

 

Peace

Peace is the enjoyment of being in control of your domain and being able to make steady progress toward your goals. Newly Sprouted YuccaPeace is the enjoyment of the cooperation of the people around you. Peace is the enjoyment of your daily activities.

Peace is a period of organic growth. Imagine that your Domain - whatever it is - is a growing plant. When does a plant grow? A plant wants good sun, enough but not too much water, and good soil so that it can get on with the important business of absorbing nutrition from the soil and Yuccausing it to grow. Its goal is to produce flower and seed. A period of growth is a period of peace.

A plant in a harsh, combative ecology - droughts followed by flood, thin bad soil, many herbivores continuously, glaring hot sun all the time - will expend resources on survival rather than growth. This is conflict. Survival is more important than growth, so conflict is sometimes necessary.

Peace does not mean inactivity. You desire peace within your Domain, so that you may rule it happily, actively, and energetically. You want to preside over a domain that grows and flourishes, providing you with an abundance of the things you desire in life.

Peace, like everything else, begins inside yourself. You must have control over your mind and your behavior, as much as is possible for you. It is easier for some and harder for others, depending upon their nature (brain chemistry). Some can listen quietly to disagreeable comments from others. Others cannot keep their mouths shut no matter how much damage their angry tongue will do.

If controlling yourself is difficult for you, then you have a challenge to face.

A calm thoughtfulness which leads to purposeful action is the mood you must always strive for. You will lay better plans. You will implement them with boldness. Your calmness will rub off on those around you.

 

Conflict

Conflict is when two people or two organizations try to reduce each other’s resources - control, time, money, resources, perhaps even life itself. Each party in the conflict seeks to deprive the other of something valuable. The result of most conflicts is that you expend resources - money, time, emotion - in pursuit of victory or maybe just to stay alive. The decision to engage in a conflict - whether a dispute is over who gets the larger office or whether the district attorney gets to put you in jail - is carefully made.

The conflict checklist: should I fight this fight?

  1. If you do nothing, will the conflict go away of its own accord? If so, do nothing.
  2. Can this conflict be avoided without unacceptable setbacks in the pursuit of your goals? If so, avoid it.
  3. Will someone else take on this conflict if you do not? If so, let the other person fight. Cheer him on.
  4. Will the benefits of victory in this conflict advance you toward your goals? If not, why take the risks?
  5. Will the benefits of victory be worth the costs? If not, why pay the cost? Keep what you’ve got.
  6. Can this conflict be postponed until a time when you will be more certain of victory? If so, postpone it.

If conflict is chosen, then :

  1. Devise your plan for victory.
  2. Consider how you will deal with your defeated enemy after her defeat.
  3. Have a plan ready to deal with defeat, should it come.
  4. Prepare yourself mentally and emotionally for the conflict.
  5. Choose your time.
  6. Choose your place.
  7. Defeat your enemy without regret and without mercy. You would have avoided the conflict if she had permitted it, but she did not. Screw her.
      But if you lose: (a) assess your situation, (b) plot the most direct path to your goals given the change in your situation
  8. Move on.

 

Thoughts on Conflict from Men Who Knew Conflict

 

Harry Truman oversaw the surrender of Germany, the use of nuclear weapons against Japan, and the initiation of the Korean War.The atom bomb was no "great decision." It was merely another powerful weapon in the arsenal of righteousness. - Harry S. Truman is the only man in history to have ordered atomic weapons used against an enemy. Harry did not believe in holding back during war, but no man worked harder for universal, eternal peace than he did.

 

Carry the battle to them. Don't let them bring it to you. Ulysses Grant's armies killed more Americans than Hitler's.Put them on the defensive. And don't ever apologize for anything. -- Harry S. Truman, advising Hubert Humphrey on the 1968 Presidential campaign

 

The art of war is simple enough. Find out where your enemy is. Get at him as soon as you can. Strike him as hard as you can, and keep moving on. - Ulysses Grant, Civil War General

 

Winston Churchill, Prime Minister, Britain, World War IINever, never, never believe any war will be smooth and easy, or that anyone who embarks on the strange voyage can measure the tides and hurricanes he will encounter. - Winston Churchill, Prime Minister of Britain during World War II.

 

... we must learn to be equally good at what is short and sharp and what is long and tough. - Churchill, the master of hanging in there when the going got tough

 

Perseverance is more prevailing than violence; and many things which cannot be overcome when they are together, yield themselves up when taken little by little. - Plutarch, ancient Greek biographer of many great warrior generals

 

Adolph Hitler's war killed perhaps 30,000,000 people.Never let the enemy pick the battle site. --George S. Patton

Gen Patton led his troops across Africa, across Europe, and into GermanyThe object of war is not to die for your country but to make the other bastard die for his. - George Patton

Anything worth fighting for is worth fighting dirty for. - Anonymous

 

You shouldn’t underestimate an enemy, but it just as fatal to overestimate him. - George S. Patton

 

The victor will never be asked if he told the truth. - Adolph Hitler, German leader during World War II

 

 

 

Taking Harry Truman’s Advice

 

In reading the lives of great men, I found that the first victory they won was over themselves... self-discipline with all of them came first.” - Harry Truman was a voracious reader, and the biographies of great men were especially fascinating to him.

 

Fear, depression, and anxiety are emotional responses to a situation in which you feel that there is no course of action open to you. The human mind evolved from brain cells associated with body movement and motion. A thought must express itself somehow as action. If it cannot, if there is no action you can think of that will make things better, then your body wants to withdraw, to run, to hide. You recoil from the situation instead of dealing with it; or you brace yourself for physical or psychic pain.

Another dysfunctional emotion (for all but a few situations in our modern World) is anger. Anger is the experience of a body chemistry that is readying you for a physical fight. You say and do stupid things when you are angry. This emotion is a vestigial remnant of a time not so long ago in human history. In the last few thousand years, the human race has developed a much better mental state than anger for handling conflict. It is called rational thought. In every case where anger would help you - even including the boxing ring - clear thought would help you more.

You cannot control your situation if you cannot control your self. Controlling your self has nothing to do with “will power” - a fantasy concept from pre-scientific days. It has to do with chemistry. Emotion is another name for changes in brain and body chemistry. Depression, anxiety, fear, and anger are all your experience of your brain’s biochemical state. Depression, anxiety, and fear make you want to avoid the object of your emotion: your job, your spouse, the IRS, your boss, your children, whatever. Anger makes you want to engage in physical or verbal combat in a state of irrational rage.

Clear thinking followed by purposeful action is a better response in any and every situation that may confront you. Put this thought on the back burner of your mind. We will come back to it several times in the book and in these pages.

 

A Machiavellian Proverb

 

 

The word

is only as good as the deed.

 

 

This proverb is adapted from Theodore Roosevelt’s Nobel Peace Prize Acceptance Speech. What Teddy actually said was, “Moreover, and above all, let us remember that words count only when they give expression to deeds, or are to be translated into them.”A artist's version of TR leading his Rough Riders into battle.

If there was ever a man who understood action it was TR. The man was a steam engine of action: amateur naturalist, rancher, buffalo hunter, African big-game hunter, explorer, author of 36 books, war hero, New York City Police Commissioner who himself patrolled the dark streets of the city with a revolver in his pocket, the governor of New York, two-term President of the US, winner of the Nobel Peace Prize, winner of the Congressional Medal of Honor, creator of the national park system, digger of the Panama Canal, trust-buster, and all-around, self-proclaimed bull moose. Roosevelt was that most powerful and dangerous of personalities: the intellectual in vigorous and uninhibited action.

For TR - and for the budding Machiavellian - thought without action is pointless. It is like cooking food without eating it. It is like being pregnant without ever delivering the baby. It is like building a house in which no one will ever live. It is like buying a car and never driving it. It is like fantasizing about all the wonderful books you’d like to write but never writing anything. It is like reading a book on how to ride a bicycle but never riding one. It is like planting a lawn but never watering it. It is like having a child and never letting her grow up and leave home. It is like building a moon rocket and never going to the moon. It is like reading The Modern Prince and never using any of its ideas to improve your life.

To the Machiavellian, thought is only useful when it enables action. Thought always precedes action and action always follows thought. There are no armchair Machiavellians.

 

The word is only as good as the deed.

 

Chapter 4

 

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Download or read online: Machiavelli’s Prince in English translation by W. K. Rowling

 

Read a brief summary of Machiavelli’s life and works,

written by W. K. Rowling as the Introduction to his translation of The Prince

 

A readable summary of Machiavelli’s Prince can be found at

http://www.princeton.edu/~ferguson/adw/prince.shtml

 

 

 

 

The Modern Prince:

Better Living Through Machiavellianism

 

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