Machiavelli as a role model

Portrait of Niccolò Machiavelli by Santi di Tito. Source
Girolamo Savonarola. Source

If Moses, Cyrus, Theseus, and Romulus had been unarmed they could not have enforced their constitutions for long — as happened in our time to Fra Girolamo Savonarola, who was ruined with his new order of things immediately the multitude believed in him no longer, and he had no means of keeping steadfast those who believed or of making the unbelievers to believe.

From 1502 to 1503, Machiavelli witnessed the brutal reality of the state-building methods of Cesare Borgia and his father, Pope Alexander VI, who were then engaged in the process of trying to bring a large part of Central Italy under their possession. (From, probably, spring of 1502 until early 1503, Leonardo da Vinci served as a military engineer and architect of Cesare Borgia and traveled with him, then quit his service and moved to Florence, where he started working on a portrait of Lisa del Giocondo.)

The Strappado by Jacques Callot (cropped). Source

When evening comes, I go back home, and go to my study. On the threshold, I take off my work clothes, covered in mud and filth, and I put on the clothes an ambassador would wear. Decently dressed, I enter the ancient courts of rulers who have long since died. There, I am warmly welcomed, and I feed on the only food I find nourishing and was born to savor. I am not ashamed to talk to them and ask them to explain their actions and they, out of kindness, answer me. Four hours go by without my feeling any anxiety. I forget every worry. I am no longer afraid of poverty or frightened of death. I live entirely through them.

Thinking about Machiavelli, I cannot help remembering another talented person — Soviet engineer, inventor, scientist, journalist, and writer Genrich Altshuller. He is most notable for the creation of the Theory of Inventive Problem Solving (TRIZ).

That is not what the humanity needs. One has to take a weapon and start protecting human rights for real.

Genrich Altshuller. Source



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