Top 100 Non-Fiction Book: #4 – The Prince, Nicollo Machiavelli (1532)

Bone Crushingly Rational.

Machiavelli does not care about the virtue of actions but the rewards from outcomes. 
518oe2WjJtL._SX384_BO1,204,203,200_.jpg
The Greatest Book’s Ranking: #4/100
My Rating: cropped-smooth-star-e1545863035586cropped-smooth-star-e1545863035586cropped-smooth-star-e1545863035586

This short treatise on bad acts within the royal court reads more like the rules of engagement from a political intrigue novel. Backstabbing is permissible. Cruelties okay if justified. Fear is a better tool than love.

The measuring stick for Machiavelli is whether it works. It promotes egalitarian rights only in so far that it helps The Prince stay in power, not whether it is the “right” thing to do. What it leaves out is more deafening than what’s available: no talk about virtues, ethics, or morals. While it is never so clearly stated, the colloquial summary of this book is correct… “The Ends Justify The Means.”

Continue reading “Top 100 Non-Fiction Book: #4 – The Prince, Nicollo Machiavelli (1532)”

Top 100 Movie Review: #66 – Network (1976)

Prescient to Our Current Political Life.

Human nature never changes — Network knew it.

140326200452-network---howard-beale-horizontal-large-gallery
Howard Beale (Peter Finch), the despondent news anchor, now prophet of the airways.

American Film Institute Ranking: #66/100
Academy Awards: Nominated for six winning four: Best Actor, Actress, Supporting Actor and Original Screenplay.
My Rating: cropped-smooth-starcropped-smooth-starcropped-smooth-starcropped-smooth-star

“Network” knew there was a weakness in the system and ourselves. All it was going to take was one seemingly clairvoyant person to serendipitously realize that people don’t live on a diet of rational, purposeful solutions. Rather it is channeling people’s frustrations and anger, being a conduit for people’s rage, that propels you to power.

Howard Beale did not purposefully reinvent his show to do the latter; he mentally snapped at the appropriate time on air. What happened next was a lack of duty by those that had the power to stop it — the television executives were more than happy to rake in the ratings boom that he brought.

This bug in the system reveals much about ourselves and should make our selections of politicians no surprise.

Continue reading “Top 100 Movie Review: #66 – Network (1976)”