Machiavelli describes Ukraine

Machiavelli describes Ukraine:

— ‘Many examples in ancient history prove how difficult it is for a people that have been accustomed to live under the government of a prince to preserve its liberty, if by some accident it has recovered it, as was the case with Rome after the expulsion of the Tarquins. And this difficulty is a reasonable one; for such a people may well be compared to some wild animal, which (although by nature ferocious and savage) has been as it were subdued by having been always kept imprisoned and in servitude, and being let out into the open fields, not knowing how to provide food and shelter for itself, becomes an easy prey to the first one who attempts to chain it up again. The same thing happens to a people that has not been accustomed to self-government; for, ignorant of all public affairs, of all means of defence or offence, neither knowing the princes or being known by them, it soon relapses under a yoke, oftentimes much heavier than the one which it had but just shaken off. This difficulty occurs even when the body of the people is not wholly corrupt; but when corruption has taken possession of the whole people, then it cannot preserve its free condition even for the shortest possible time, as we shall see further on; and therefore our argument has reference to a people where corruption has not yet become general, and where the good still prevails over the bad.’ —

N.Machiavelli – Discourses, Book I, Chapter XVI.

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When I read this part:

The same thing happens to a people that has not been accustomed to self-government; for, ignorant of all public affairs, of all means of defence or offence, neither knowing the princes or being known by them, it soon relapses under a yoke, oftentimes much heavier than the one which it had but just shaken off. This difficulty occurs even when the body of the people is not wholly corrupt

I think of the fear Ukrainians have of defending themselves (gun ownership, militia) & their insistence that someone do it for them.

Don’t get me wrong, whatever happens will be an improvement. I’m quite proud to be Ukrainian right now. But it will also be a missed opportunity.

2 Comments

  1. Beauregard

    To the author:

    Methinks that you are farting in the wind with your scribing
    on this forum. The only way to achievement is build a cadre
    of equally able followers. That is to be come leader and
    teacher and inspirer of freedom.

    One light is quickly extinguished but a thousand candles
    leaves some lite on windy days.

    A way to light candles is stand in the pulpit and
    preach your Gospel.

    Maybe study Jesus Christ? Do you consider him a candle lighter?

    Reply
    1. Roman

      Maintaining this blog is a hobby at this point, not even a very time consuming one. It’s been most useful as a personal reference, when I need to find an old story.

      Reply

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