The proper use of cruelty

Coming now to the other qualities mentioned above, I say that every prince ought to desire to be considered clement and not cruel. Nevertheless he ought to take care not to misuse this clemency. Cesare Borgia was considered cruel; notwithstanding, his cruelty reconciled the Romagna, unified it, and restored it to peace and loyalty. And if this be rightly considered, he will be seen to have been much more merciful than the Florentine people, who, to avoid a reputation for cruelty, permitted Pistoia to be destroyed. Therefore a prince, so long as he keeps his subjects united and loyal, ought not to mind the reproach of cruelty; because with a few examples he will be more merciful than those who, through too much mercy, allow disorders to arise, from which follow murders or robberies; for these are wont to injure the whole people, whilst those executions which originate with a prince offend the individual only.

How much happier France would be if Louis XVI had been more ruthless in securing his rule!  I am astounded that today even the top military leadership think it illegitimate to suppress open and violent insurrection.  The first duty of authority is to defend and perpetuate itself.  Burning, looting, blocking traffic, destruction of public monuments, attacking police are not peaceful acts, but deadly provocations, or at least they would be, if their perpetrators were not agents of the true power.

Upon this a question arises: whether it be better to be loved than feared or feared than loved? It may be answered that one should wish to be both, but, because it is difficult to unite them in one person, it is much safer to be feared than loved, when, of the two, either must be dispensed with. Because this is to be asserted in general of men, that they are ungrateful, fickle, false, cowardly, covetous, and as long as you succeed they are yours entirely; they will offer you their blood, property, life, and children, as is said above, when the need is far distant; but when it approaches they turn against you. And that prince who, relying entirely on their promises, has neglected other precautions, is ruined; because friendships that are obtained by payments, and not by greatness or nobility of mind, may indeed be earned, but they are not secured, and in time of need cannot be relied upon; and men have less scruple in offending one who is beloved than one who is feared, for love is preserved by the link of obligation which, owing to the baseness of men, is broken at every opportunity for their advantage; but fear preserves you by a dread of punishment which never fails.

Best of all is moral terror, which the media inspires.  Not only can they destroy you; they can make every soul on Earth hate you; they can even make you hate yourself.  What can one do in the face of such power, but to bow to it in abject love and worship?  Still, if one were to try to separate the fear and love which are combined in practice, the rule of the New York Times rests more securely in its power to summon the mob than in any confidence that it has its subject’s best interests at heart.  (In fact, it doesn’t even pretend such benevolence!)

Nevertheless a prince ought to inspire fear in such a way that, if he does not win love, he avoids hatred; because he can endure very well being feared whilst he is not hated, which will always be as long as he abstains from the property of his citizens and subjects and from their women. But when it is necessary for him to proceed against the life of someone, he must do it on proper justification and for manifest cause, but above all things he must keep his hands off the property of others, because men more quickly forget the death of their father than the loss of their patrimony.

Historical grievances persist precisely as long as it is profitable for them to.  One might hope that a patrimony lost could someday by a change of government be regained.  If the loss of a father were translated into an actionable monetary claim, these wretches might rediscover their piety.

6 Responses

  1. In the past, a historical grievance was used to create solidarity and spirit in a people. Jews are still get angry and feel their Jewish identity when they think about Amalekite, and the Amalekites disappeared a couple thousand years ago. What’s new about the Get Whitey grievance is that it paralyzes Whitey at the same time that it creates solidarity and spirit among those who want to get him. Another striking novelty is that Whitey doesn’t dispute the accuracy of the grievance narrative. He should feel mad when he hears it, but instead he just feels sad.

  2. Has there been an extended analysis from the right of what might have prevented the French Revolution entirely? It’s obvious, or at least obviously defensible, that he should have acted more forcefully from 1791 onwards.

    But in 1789 the French monarchy was totally insolvent after a century of decline relative to far smaller England. It seems that once that point is reached there’s little to do except make concessions towards constitutionalism in order to have new taxes granted.

  3. JMSmith, whitey is probably more genetically prone to depression. And that’s not Christianity’s fault either, in fact the pagans were more tragic. still, Christianity united whitey, and bettered everyone, and it sure can do so again – if tradition was restored, that is.

    Roepke, a revolution of a whole society (which included even changing calendars and modes of addressing others, that is how deep it went) doesn’t happen because of just high or low taxes. that’s probably a residue of the Americanist myth you got there, as if wealthy American landowners really only revolted because of a temporary tax.

    but about 1789, it’s simple, and yet complex, but simple because the facts only have to be joined together. politically, France under the latter Bourbons had settled into way too comfortable a groove, keeping peace at home but going into war after war and losing, or winning with heavy losses, due to Britain being superior sailors (and also, having a better weapons industry and really industry in general, because Protestants and the natural resources/pressures on resources existing in the British Isles). there was also the fact that whenever the Germans and Italians and the Papal States went at it, France usually stepped in to help, at a cost in treasure and blood. another waste of treasure were the colonies, which did not at the time yield economic fruit, and a lot of which had been lost in war recently (Quebec iirc). add to that the notorious centralizing tendency of the Bourbons, which not only wasted the country’s fortunes as the nobility became an overpaid celebrities’ club instead of protecting their serfs. (remember, the Etats General had not convened in decades before 1789). this did not endear them nor the royals to the leaders of the provinces, which only halfway resisted the Revolution and more out of the people’s Catholic duty (La Vendee) than local garrisons politically supporting the king. the masses were going to go with whoever upholds/enforces the order eventually, just like the Germans and Anglos went with Luther and Henry the 8th; lest we forget, there was no total war until after the Enlightenment ideals took hold, therefore factions had to conscript and pay their own armies and militias, and thus most people remained civilians – sometimes even watched battles outside in the fields. meanwhile Paris benefited most from the largesse, but also was the most convulsed as its overgrowth meant lots of disgruntled people at the protoindustrial urban bottom became the first revolutionary shock troops, far more than in the provinces. plus there was the libertinism of the city aiding the disorder, and the entrance through cities and learned people in general of the insidious Enlightenment heresies, Freemasonry and its plotters, and others (three parentheses if you like). of course, the Church could be accused of slow to react and maybe even compromising at times for the sake of peace (for example agreeing to crown Napoleon), while also perhaps of having grown too cozy, specially as France was having bad harvests those years and the people needed extra empathy. true, it was hard to keep raising taxes, but the radicals did so anyway, and secular France loves taxes much more than the ancien regime ever did; and to be fair, it may even seem now that the ancien regime had less profligate spending than current secular France spending half their GDP away… though then again, some nobles were ridiculous, but the point is that there’s no use raising or lowering taxes if it didn’t match up with the spending… again, darn the centralizing Bourbons, they broke Spain that way too, with their idiotic self-serving “enlightened despotism” that backfired. this made for more local bureaucrats and bourgeois, that would then attempt to take over; instead of practicing Church-approved subsidiarity and agrarian values (and in the case of Spain, the Crown lost the Indies and secessionist/anti-Castilian movements began).

    in short, as you can see, it’s a big combination of several reasons. if you want a main one, probably the Enlightenment plotters, and their heresies which descend from earlier persistent ones. without them, this historical episode would have been nothing more than a peasant’s revolt, with at most some extra rights/less fees given to yeomen and city-dwellers, but probably without the regicide, anticlericalism, (highly efficient and scientific!) guillotines, and overall barbarous behavior. close second would be the Bourbons, and French decay in general in the 18th century.

  4. also JMSmith, it could be argued that whitey’s success made him feel more guilty than usual, specially as more and more people started mixing races and ethnicities (this also happened in the religious sense, as many US Catholics intermarried with Prots). this got white people mistakenly thinking that good exceptions of other groups (specially among the smarter yellow groups, which can still have a lot of materialist error in their ways) proved the rule in regards of interracial marriages; and really mistakenly believed in integrationism as a tenet of Western thought as opposed to an option for the few people who could not find a mate and a community at home. thus whites mistakenly concluded that it was alright to feel guilty for whatever excesses of war and evangelization that had happened in the past, and for whatever natural differences there may remain between groups. (and yes we are all children of God, just that each group may be more prone to different sins as well as virtues; and yet still, freely willed belief in the Lord and ensuing fulfillment of His commandments can save anyone of any group). thus after a few generations, with ever increasing media propaganda too, you now have more and more degenerate, irreligious, race-mixing whites. Christianity has been attacked similarly, which had the double whammy of upsetting and eventually destroying the concept of tradition and families in both white and colored Christian lands, making the secular multicultural mixed-race borg even stronger.

    meanwhile you notice, Jews are told to avoid intermarrying, while yet still claiming the sons and daughters of whatever few mixed couples they allow if the mother ever claimed Jewishness. they also lack the way that whites tend to have to proudly boast of accomplishment (sometimes excessively, perhaps due to excessive accomplishment too) or simply talking tons and sperging out in lectures. meanwhile Jews prefer to move in the shadows, for better and worse, while making their lectures more about emotion. blacks (of which Jews have a little DNA) are the loudest group, but they also know when to move in the shadows, thus they are willing to be footsoldiers of Jews and Muslims to spite whites and/or Christians. in short, whites and/or Christians need to wise up.

  5. Guilt feelings seem to be a normal byproduct of human consciousness, even in the absence of serious transgressions. Thus every society must develop means to explain and expiate these feelings. Western secularization has greatly reduced belief in traditional sins, but it has not thereby eliminated the guilt feelings. Thus large segments of the Western population became susceptible to ideologies that explained guilt as a consequence of historical privilege, and that proposed to expiate that guilt by killing the forefathers who enjoyed and sustained that historical privilege.

    Although secularization created the conditions where the guilt of Western men and women could be turned against the West, the interpretation of guilt as a consequence of historical privilege was deliberate and malicious. Indeed, one can look at secularization as a deliberate and malicious preliminary to the installation of crippling historical guilt.

  6. ^^ indeed, if anything secularization took out divine forgiveness out of the world. without such forgiveness, temporal justice is distorted into exacting as much punishment as possible for any materially perceived slight to ourselves and/or our group, instead of being as merciful as possible to those who wrong us, while also exacting exact and fair punishment for those wrongdoings.

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