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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.



Greatness is before us

The most difficult part of building the Tesla car company was reaching volume production without going bankrupt. Tesla was the first company to do this since Chrysler in the 1920s. More than this, Elon admits that he and his team made every mistake possible to make. The result, as Musk admits, is that he “knows more about manufacturing than anyone currently alive on earth.” (at minute 38:35)

He spent three years on the factory floor working out problems. It was vital for the workers to see the boss was not in a remote office.

I am skeptical of Musk’s attempts to convert the world from fossil fuels to electrical energy, but if anyone is going to show the way, it will be engineer/scientist/businessmen like Musk, and not climate ideologues like Steven Guilbeault, the federal minister in charge of wrecking the  Canadian energy industry and driving up energy prices through taxation.

I cannot resist comparing Musk with Bill Gates, the vaccine apologist and WEF apostle. Musk seems alive with wit and self awareness, by contrast to Gates, who seems increasingly like an earnest plodder with authoritarian tendencies. The more I see of Gates, the less impressed I become. The more I see of Musk, the more impressed with him I am.

In his youth Musk read a lot of books, and gradually learned that not everything is to be taken literally. With Asperger’s syndrome, “or whatever condition I had”,  he was not intuitively connected to other humans. His childhood was not happy, he admits. Understanding ambiguity and implicit meaning were beyond his reach, He found it rewarding to spend all night programming computers. He was “obsessed with truth”, and turned to physics in consequence. (at minute 47:46) His motivating philosophy is “to find what questions to ask of the answer that is the universe” and “to expand the scope and scale of consciousness so that we may be able to better understand the nature of the universe”. (at minute 51:00)

This is no small mind. This is greatness. I am glad that he has so much money: he will go farther still.







Trump at Davos

Trump starts at the 2:26 minute mark. After a recitation of his economic successes, he reminds the audience that the US will never surrender to gloom and catastrophism, before concluding with allusions to the great cathedrals of Europe as emblems of hope, daring, and orientation towards success.

“You are going to be so tired of winning by the time I am through”, he said a while back. The prediction may be coming true.

He declared that in the previous two regimes, the US had lost 60,000 factories, and that since his coming to power, had regained 12,000 of them. 200,000 manufacturing jobs had been lost under Bush Jr. and Obama. This was the principal reason he decided to run, said he.

“The time for skepticism is over”.

He claims his policies are designed to improve the life of the American worker: “A nation’s highest duty is to its own citizens” [at 34:22] Would you not like to hear that coming from Justin Trudeau? “A pro-worker, pro-citizen and pro-family agenda”. Do you seriously imagine Bernie Sanders or Elizabeth Warren have a chance against this?