History's End

History will end only when Man does

Location: United States
Blogroll Me!
  • E-Mail me
  • Wednesday, May 05, 2004

    Machiavelli on the War on Terror

    Everyone will agree, I know, that it would be a most praiseworthy thing if all the qualities accounted as good in the above enumeration were found in a Prince. But since they cannot be so possessed nor observed because of human conditions which do not allow of it, what is necessary for the prince is to be prudent enough to escape the infamy of such vices as would result in the loss of his state; as for the others which would not have that effect, he must guard himself from them as far as possible but if he can not, he may overlook them as being of less importance. Further, he should have no concern about incurring the infamy of such vices without which the preservation of this state would be difficult. For, if the matter be well considered, it will be seen that some habits which appear virtuous, if adopted would signify ruin, and others that seem vices lead to security and the well being of the prince.

    Niccolo Machiavelli
    is well known among historian and political scientists because of his treatises on politics, which tend to be rather practical in nature. In this exerpt from his most famous work, The Prince, Machiavelli is advising his ruler, Lorenzo de' Medici. on how to deal with the issue of vice. Do what is needed to ensure the, but nothing more, is the age old advice. Why do I bring up the words of an Italian political scientist who wrote this centuries ago? It is still relevant today, in dealing with the issue of abuse of Iraqi POWs by US troops. I bring Machiavelli up because of this post on LGF, which states that we must always act as if we are morally superior. Machiavelli would disagree with this, and in fact say to follow that path would lead to ruin. In our case, the ruin of the West. In war, some actions are necessary to the preservation of the state. Although in the War on Terror, the state is not the only actor, for either side. The Islamists often operate without direct state support or control, and the West, as a concept, transcends the nature of the state. Rather, it is a culture, a way of life. As Steven DenBeste would say, it is a culture of empiricism.

    This war is a fight to the death, something that I don't think everyone understands. In fact, I am sure of it, especially where Europe is concerned. Machiavelli would have instantly realized the seriousness of the situation, in part because in his time the Turks(representing the most powerful Muslim state) were a force to be reckoned with. He would understand that this war is vital to the culture and society of the West, and that half measures accomplish nothing. He would also know that hindering your ability to fight againt the Islamists based on some perceived need to maintain the moral highground would be foolish, if not outright evil.

    For, if the matter be well considered, it will be seen that some habits which appear virtuous, if adopted would signify ruin, and others that seem vices lead to security and the well being of the prince

    The security of the West must come first, everything else must follow. If the West does not survive as a cohesive society and culture, then Islamism will prevail. The p-idealists are ideologically incapable of fighting effectively against the Islamists, if the empirists lose, Darkness will prevail. Of course, it will be highly unlikely that the West will fall. Much more likely is the ultimate verification of Wretchard's Three Conjectures Scenario. The Arab/Muslim world will be turned into a glass lake, and Europe can do nothing to stop it. Our goal, the whole purpose of the War on Terror, is to prevent that outcome. Anything that can prevent that final solution of the Islamist issus should be done. In relation to the POW abuse story, I am not saying it was right. It was not. Nor am I advocating torture. It doesn't work. Rather, I am saying that the "moral highground" is best achieved by doing the most good, in this case saving the Arab/Muslim world from itself. Anything is more morally acceptable than necessary genocide/theocide. As Machiavelli would tell us, were he alive in such dark times.

    Listed on BlogShares Weblog Commenting and Trackback by HaloScan.com