The Prince by Machiavelli; The Art of Being an Asshole

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Any man who believes himself high and mighty will cringe after reading the first pages of The Prince. I am not a follower of political science but thought it could be a great idea to go ahead and give this book a try; why not? Maybe I could learn something useful. And what did I learn? Nothing new, really. If anything, this book only reinforced my belief that, in other to make it in the world, you have to be able to master both magnanimity and avarice.

I know, to any sound-minded, regular person of the earth, these two nouns are obvious antonyms, but they simply show what we’ve known all along: politicians wallow in a sea of hypocrisy. The end goal has always been a selfish interest in power, even though they continue feeding the people with misguided and empty promises of a better tomorrow.

That reminds me: never put your trust in the government for a better future that can only be achieved by your own damned self.

It almost feels as though I am trashing this book, but I am not. I enjoyed it. I didn’t cringe. I actually laughed. It was like reading episodes from House of Cards. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if Francis Underwood had a copy of The Prince next to his bed so he could read it every night before going to sleep.

I say give this book a read if you are ever planning to either be a better asshole and conquer the world by stepping on people, or guard yourself against those who are trying to step on you.

Notable quotes:

“Everyone sees what you appear to be, few experience what you really are.”

“If an injury has to be done to a man it should be so severe that his vengeance need not be feared.”

“The lion cannot protect himself from traps, and the fox cannot defend himself from wolves. One must therefore be a fox to recognize traps, and a lion to frighten wolves.”

“There is no other way to guard yourself against flattery than by making men understand that telling you the truth will not offend you.”

“Never was anything great achieved without danger.”

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