January 28, 2009

Power Rules


I was reluctant to write on this subject until I saw this book promotion on the website of the Council on Foreign Relations. 


Excerpt from book promotion:


Inspired by Machiavelli’s classic The Prince, Leslie H. Gelb offers illuminating guidelines on how American power actually works and should be wielded in today’s tumultuous world, writing with the perspective of four decades of extraordinary access and influence in government, think tanks, and journalism.1



As a matter of reference, Leslie Gelb was the President of the Council on Foreign Relations during the Clinton years.  Up front, I am sure that this book is written politely and reasonably.  However the fact that one of the leaders of America’s ruling elite should be inspired by Machiavelli should give pause to any patriotic American.  That he should feel such freedom to say so to his peers implies a common mentality contrary to anything pertaining to democracy.  Machiavelli is synonymous with the concept of ruthless exercise of power.  Consider the following definitions:2


Definition:  Machiavellian

1 : of or relating to Machiavelli or Machiavellianism

2 : suggesting the principles of conduct laid down by Machiavelli;  specifically   : marked by cunning, duplicity, or bad faith

  –Machiavellian noun


Definition:  Machiavellianism

: the political theory of Machiavelli;  especially   : the view that politics is amoral and that any means however unscrupulous can justifiably be used in achieving political power.


How have cunning, duplicity, or bad faith been demonstrated in modern America?  Perhaps you should know already.


·        Certainly my treatment as an object of covert activities.

·        The Democratic Coup of 2006.  (refer related article)


Generally the subversion of our democracy by wealth and power should be explained in some detail.  The wealthy have always in all cultures wielded a disproportionate amount of power under any ideology.  Our constitution, however, promises us better.  Various factors beyond mere human inclination have had their part too.  From the beginning of World War II, war powers necessitated a more autocratic rule for protection from enemies.  That the Cold War followed without a break, continued the pretext for war powers unknown to the public, even if unofficial.  Parallel to these, the emergence of new communications technologies forced the necessity that our rulers would have to go to the wealthy to fund expensive radio and television advertising.  The convergence of these factors enabled the wealthy to grab the power that they always exercised to some degree.  This bind was also comfortable to politicians who, like most, would enjoy the benefits of the flow of wealth that resulted.


The last election saw the flow of a lot of money.  The favored candidates initially received $11-15 million to fund their campaigns.  At the end, it is said that McCain received $200 million in donations and Obama $750 million.  As an example of the regard politicians have for their benefactors, when House Majority Leader Hastart spoke to his peers of a plot by Soros, Clinton, and Democratic operatives to steal the 2006 election, they acted quickly to enjoin his silence.  It is perhaps suicide in politics to cross with the supply of money.


The 2008 election brought stranger bedfellows.  Oddly enough, McCain is alleged to have received some of his donations from Democratic benefactors.  Donations from Senator Kerry’s wife seem innocent enough considering their friendship, but he received donations from Soros as well.  Soros’ quest to remove Bush seems after all to have been non-partisan.  (You should know that there are a good many more benefactors other than George Soros.)


More light was revealed during the Democratic primary, when two pundits attempted to explain the apparently undemocratic inclusion of superdelegates in the primary process.  They said the courts had little jurisdiction to determine primary political proceedings because the political parties were non-governmental organizations (NGOs).  Research revealed that the U.S. Constitution does not proscribe a primary process.  The general election in November is the only Constitutionally proscribed voting process for the election of the President and his running mate.  If this is correct, the parties and their primaries could operate on any principle whatsoever, even an undemocratic one, and under the control of any group, even aspiring autocrats.  Certainly, this is an additional factor enabling despotism.


The outcome is that our vote buys us choices unimportant to the wealthy, those they defer to us to preserve the illusion of democracy, leaving them in control of anything of real value to them.


During the election the candidates did seem earnestly to contend for the position they wanted.  The question certainly is:  In the end, was the outcome the result of deference to benefactors whom they could not possibly afford to offend?  This cries out of the betrayal of the American people for the sake of expedience and wealth.  Does anyone know who owns Obama?


Niccolo Machiavelli profited politically from the overthrow, by his benefactors the Medici family, of Girolamo Savonarola, a virtuous saint of whom it was said that under his rule Florence enjoyed the greatest democracy that they have ever known.  Does such a peril await us?



It would be naïve to think this only occurs in America.



1.     Council on Foreign Relations, January 28, 2009  Book promotion. www.cfr.org, archived web page

2.     Merriam-Webster’s 11th Collegiate Dictionary.

3.     Encyclopedia Britannica 2002, articles “Machiavelli, Niccolo”, and “Savonarola, Girolamo.”