One fine day in the early 1500s, a retired public servant, lately employed by the Florentine Republic, and out of power because of the return of the Medicis, went up into his chamber and sat down and wrote The Prince, thereby inventing political science. He had been the equivalent of Secretary to Cabinet and Clerk of the Privy Council in the Florentine Republic. He personally had known the Holy Roman Emperor, the King or France, and the Pope in the course of his diplomatic travels. A man of many parts.

Here is a serious and deeply well-educated lecture by a British savant, Quentin Skinner, on the subject of Machiavelli. You will absorb it to your benefit. Politics is about outcomes.



The empty-headed rule

Observe the uncluttered brows on the portraits below.

There are days, and this is one of them, I feel we are very close to something awful, like actual revolution. Then I think, no, that’s what we have the Deep State for: to prevent all change in current power arrangements.


Tsar Nicholas II in 1917



President Joe Biden in 2021