Your World and Your Domain
Remember that the Machiavellian perspective is a self-centered one. You, after all, are the star of your own personal drama. You are the center of all things. It is your experience of events that gives them meaning. You are the measure of all things. If something makes you happy, then it is a happy event. If something makes you sad, then it must be a sad event. There is no reason to pretend to yourself that you are humble or modest about the importance of your own feelings or your own position in your own life. You can pretend to be modest to others, but not to me and not to yourself. This does not mean that you should should indulge yourself in megalomania, imagining yourself to be godlike or uniquely special in some way that is invisible to others. Everyone else is also the star of his or her own drama. Everyone’s life is measured by his or her own feelings. And from your own perspective, you are the center of the world.
But what is the world? And how can each of us be the center of it?
Your world is not the planet earth. Lots of things happen on earth that will have no impact on your life, and those things are unimportant. Your world is composed of all the things that can influence your life. Inhabitants of your world might be your boss, your spouse, your children, the mayor of your city, the President of the United States, a novelist who writes the mystery stories you love so much, a favorite actor or actress, a favorite prostitute, your bookie, a librarian, your child’s teacher, the man you are sleeping with, and the man who picks up your garbage. Some of the people in your world are beyond your control. For example, you probably have little influence over the President or your favorite novelist. This is because you are not part of their world. There are other people that you can influence somewhat but cannot control: your boss, your minister, your state legislator, the president of a local university, etc. Because these people can potentially have a significant impact on your life, you must take their attitudes and actions into account in your plans.
It could be that you don’t like the world you live in, in which case you have to find another one: another city, another employer, another spouse, another place with opportunities that your current one doesn’t have.
Some of the people in your world are under your control - or can be. These might include your children, your spouse, your subordinates, your neighbors. Who these people are will vary greatly depending on the circumstances of your life. If you are homeless, you probably have no influence over anyone except, perhaps, a few homeless acquaintances. If you are president of a large global corporation, then you can potentially control many people. The part of your world that you can control is your Domain. The people that you can control are the inhabitants of your Domain.