Thursday, February 28, 2008

A Prince for a New Generation

As a youth, whenever I felt maligned, threatened or simply outgunned (which, as a youth, is pretty much all the time), I found it comforting to pretend I was a conniving little 16th century Italian in tights.

(Yes, I turned to Machiavelli in times of trouble. Go nuts with that one, armchair analysts.)

So my ears perked up when I heard of a new translation of this famous work.

Indeed, one need not be a despot, diplomat or general to apply the Prince's lessons to daily life. Regard the following, my subjects:

Why it's in your best long-term interests, Secret Santa-wise, to just go with that cheap gift card
"Therefore, in order not to have to rob his subjects, to be able to defend himself, not to become poor and contemptible, and not to be forced to become rapacious, a prince must consider it of little importance if he incurs the reputation of being a miser, for this is one of the vices that permits him to rule."

Why your plan to introdue a new brand of bagel into the office lunchroom is met with apathy:
"And one should bear in mind that there is nothing more difficult to execute, nor more dubious of success, nor more dangerous to administer than to introduce a new order to things; for he who introduces it has all those who profit from the old order as his enemies; and he has only lukewarm allies in all those who might profit from the new. This lukewarmness partly stems from fear of their adversaries, who have the law on their side, and partly from the skepticism of men, who do not truly believe in new things unless they have personal experience in them."

Don't share your ideas for the new TPS report design with colleagues in advance - just spring it on 'em!
"No enterprise is more likely to succeed than one concealed from the enemy until it is ripe for execution."

It's stealth, not skill, that wins the Fantasy Football pool
"Every one admits how praiseworthy it is in a prince to keep faith, and to live with integrity and not with craft. Nevertheless our experience has been that those princes who have done great things have held good faith of little account, and have known how to circumvent the intellect of men by craft, and in the end have overcome those who have relied on their word."


At 1:52 PM, Blogger Hammer said...

Went back to re-read this one. Quality. Most excellent crossing paths with you again, and keep doin' what you're doin'.

At 2:32 PM, Blogger globalchameleon said...

Thanks for the comment! (when one sucks at stat tracking, it's always cool to know when a post is being read! and that little post I was saddened to see no comments by...until now, of course) Good talking with you too - thanks for steering me to your blog and the trippy dream post


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