Graham King

Solvitas perambulum

Machiavelli on Occupy Wall Street

society politics

Reading Machiavelli’s The Prince, his advice seems just as relevant today. In On the civil principate he writes:

In every city there are two different humours, one rising from the people’s desire not to be ordered and commanded by the nobles, and the other from the desire of the nobles to command and oppress the people.

You cannot satisfy the nobles honestly and without harming others, but you certainly can satisfy the people. In fact, the aim of the common people is more honest that that of the nobles, since the nobles want to oppress others, while the people simply want not to be oppressed.

The Prince must always live among the same people, but he can do very well without a particular set of noblemen.

Substitute nobles with the 1%, and substitute Prince with President, and you get the advice he would probably give today.