Tag: Machiavelli

Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Member Post

 

Willie: Welcome to another edition of Thunderdome! Boy oh boy this time we’ve got a real treat for you! We’re broacasting live from the History’s Sneakiest Bastards Connive-Off Invitational, and let me tell you we’ve seen some really underhanded dealings today. The skullduggery is only going to get better from here so stay tuned! As […]

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Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Technology + Comedy = Machiavelli

 

In my other haunt, over at The Federalist, I’ve been writing about “Silicon Valley,” the laughingest comedy on TV. I’m talking about Mike Judge, the creator of “Silicon Valley,” and Peter Thiel, the mysterious prophet-billionaire. Well, I’ve got more things to say! I’m moving here from writing on spectacles in the direction of political philosophy–to put some suggestions to that secret teaching I have made into my title.

Everyone knows, the biggest new enterprises are in Silicon Valley. The names of America’s founder-CEOs, princes of our technological future, are household names. But who are these people? Almost nobody knows, although we all vaguely expect that, if there’s any future, that’s where it is going to be made. Views of the future abound at the movies, on TV, and in books, and they are almost always depressive, if not apocalyptic. How about the people by whom the future is supposed to come? Who will give us a good look at them? There’s hardly anything to mention on that subject, let alone something worth mentioning. There’s no Tom Wolfe novel about Silicon Valley.

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“Herein, among other things, we perceive in what ways commonwealths are overthrown, and how men climb from one ambition to another; and recognize the truth of those words which Sallust puts in the mouth of Cæsar, that “all ill actions have their origin in fair beginnings.” For, as I have said already, the ambitious citizen […]

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I’ve written on the politics of science recently, starting from one of Feynman’s letters, which includes an appeal to humanism against democratic crassness. He identifies the Renaissance as the origin of humanism & points out that since then, the most enduring popular speeches–poetry–have been either the enemy of science or at best indifferent to science, even […]

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[NB: these are intended as random observations, not thinly-veiled indictments of anyone’s decision making.] The justification pretzel twisting [and untwisting] is more in earnest now than ever. It seems we’re collectively and individually staking out projected Ends that will either justify or require certain Means with respect to how we vote or abstain [excuse the […]

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Mr. Angelo Codevilla, who recently attracted attention on the Ricochet podcast, seems to me to be the mind behind the many complaints conservatives have about the establishment. Many here on Ricochet have complaints about American politics that range from constitutionalism to foreign policy, & there are many clever speakers in America who teach that the […]

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Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Xenophon, The Cyropaedia: The Inauguraral Discussion

 

Anabasis_bigXenophon, a well-born Athenian, spent most of his political life in Sparta. He understood his duties as a citizen thus: in battle, he fought for Sparta against Athens; at least one of his sons fought for Athens and died in battle.

Xenophon lived from about 430 to 355 BCE, making him a contemporary of Plato. The Cyropaedia, or the Education of Cyrus, is his biography of Cyrus the Great, the founder of the first Persian (or Achaemenid) Empire. Machiavelli loved this work of theory, which was written in seven books.

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Some of you may know, I’m a pol.sci lifer. Recently, I’ve started working on my political theory again, reading Machiavelli & Xenophon. Are there any takers for reading & talking? Whether you’ve read these books before or not, I’d like it if you gave this a try–whether you like politics, war, history or philosophy, there […]

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