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The Price or The Prince of Fame?

Ms. Waclawski,

I enjoyed reading your January Real World editorial on the TIP Web site. Although I have not read Bings book, I have thumbed through it at my local Borders. Is there anything better than having the actual book in your hands? Actually yes, but I digress. It looked good natured and given your comment regarding how funny it is, I will even consider reading it now.

On a serious note, the real question that must be asked whenever a contemporary author uses/misuses Machiavelli, is: Did the author truly understand what Machiavelli was doing in The Prince? Unfortunately the answer is always no, and then Im left wondering if the people have read The Prince and, if so, did they read any of the quality commentaries of it (e.g. ,Leo Strauss). I dont want to sound pedantic, but to say that Machiavelli can be distilled to the ends justifies the means is as comprehensive as saying Freud was all about sex.

Is there wisdom in Machiavelli? Yes. How do we know? What, you wont take my word for it? Ok...fine...well then, how about because the likes of Francis Bacon and Nietzsche say so? Can all of us apply this wisdom to our everyday lives and careers? No, because that was not the context for which The Prince was written. What was the context? To paraphrase Socrates, Leadership writ big.

Id love to continue this discussion, but since Im not sure anyone is listening or cares to hear more, Ill stop now. I dont mind talking to myself, but I abhor the idea of typing to myself. Id love to discuss the existing leadership bankruptcy, but only if youre interested.

Take heart, because if history is a good example, the existing black plague of leadership can be a precursor to a renaissance. 


Phil Amsrud

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