Monday 17th of June 2024

the united states of niccolò machiavelli: sub realismi cuiusdam politici…

Slowly but surely we come to “understand” politics. 
The Realism Reader is a book that provides broad coverage of a centrally important tradition in the study of foreign policy and international politics. After some years in the doldrums, political realism is again in contention as a leading tradition in the international relations sub-field. 

Gus: We shall not confuse "realism" with REALITY. Realism is about deception in politics, in order to achieve supremacy —after having accepted the premise that "other states are as bad and as devious as we are". In art, realism is also a form of grand deception as it does not provide any historical sequence, nor the three dimensional aspect of reality — now frozen in two dimensions.

Wikipedia provides the basic guff about political realism:

Neorealists are also divided between defensive and offensive realism. Realists trace the history of their ideas back through classical antiquity, beginning with Thucydides.

Jonathan Haslam characterizes 
[political] realism as "a spectrum of ideas."[1] Its theories revolve around four central propositions:[2]

• states are the central actors in international politics, rather than leaders or international organizations;
• the international political system is anarchic, as there is no supranational authority to enforce rules;
• states act in their rational self-interest within the international system; and
• states desire power to ensure self-preservation.

Realism is often associated with Realpolitik, as both deal with the pursuit, possession, and application of power. Realpolitik, however, is an older prescriptive guideline limited to policy-making, while realism is a wider theoretical and methodological paradigm to describe, explain, and predict events in international relations. As an academic pursuit, realism is not tied to ideology; it does not favor any particular moral philosophy, nor does it consider ideology to be a major factor in the behavior of nations. Priorities of realists have been described as Machiavellian, single-mindedly seeking the power of one's own nation over others.

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• states are the central actors in international politics, rather than leaders or international organizations: THE DEEP STATE.

• the international political system is anarchic, as there is no supranational authority to enforce rules: BUGGER THE UNITED NATIONS ORGANISATION.


• states desire power to ensure self-preservation: HAVE THE BIGGEST ARMY IN THE WORLD.


So, The Realism Reader provides a dangerous legitimisation of basically behaving like a cultured psychopathic hooligan: Niccolò Machiavelli. 

Divided into three main sections, the book covers seven different and distinctive approaches within the realist tradition: classical realism, balance of power theory, neorealism, defensive structural realism, offensive structural realism, rise and fall realism, and neoclassical realism. 

The middle section of the volume covers realism’s engagement with critiques levelled by liberalism, institutionalism, and constructivism and the English School. The final section of the book provides materials on realism’s engagement with some contemporary issues in international politics, with collections on United States (U.S.) hegemony, European cooperation, and whether future threats will arise from non-state actors or the rise of competing great powers. 

Here comes China and Russia… : countries who also have understood the game of "political realism" after years of victimisation...

"The book offers a logically coherent and manageable framework for organizing the realist canon, and provides exemplary literature in each of the traditions and dialogues which are included in the volume. Offering substantial commentary and analysis and including enhanced pedagogy to facilitate student learning, The Realism Reader will provide a 'one-stop-shop' for undergraduates and masters students taking a course in contemporary international relations theory, with a particular focus on realism." 

Gus: yes, the book provides the pathway on how to become a sociopathic bully who will kill people for no other reason than to stay on top. To achieve this aim, many forms of deceit will be invented, and at large, us, the populace and our rotten western media, never ask the REAL questions about our COMPLETELY absent political ethics. Sure we will rely on Christian values which are manipulated such to become completely devilish — or hide REALITY.

This is why, IN REALITY, “realist” governments refuse to accept the theory of global warming (the USA, Australia, the UK leading the denial — though the UK and Australia have indulged in windmills during "leftist" governments).

This is why “realist” governments will stir and create international political tensions through FAKE DIPLOMACY in order to provide THEIR (sociopathic) solutions which demand submission or destruction.

This is why the USA hate socialism far more than terrorism. IDEALLY, Socialism tries to provide a human scale of “equality” between people, while REALISM politics demand AND ENFORCE “inequality” in order to enrich the rich and keep the poor away from the loot — or even have a decent shot at life.

This is why the STATES will often use TERRORISM to destroy other countries where socialism has been effective at bringing the poor out of poverty. VENEZUELA  and SYRIA come to mind... Libya was the victim of such as well, all led by this hypocritical femme fatale: La Madam Clinton who of course was an agent of the DEEP STATE.


wrong policies...


From Phillip Adams...


12:00AM AUGUST 17, 2019

From the time of Martin Luther’s virulent anti-Semitism to Hitler’s Holocaust, Germany was calamitous for Jews. Add the slaughter of two world wars and Germany has a history of violence that’s hard to challenge. Though the Soviets did, under Stalin. Imperial Japan had its history of inflicting horror, from the Rape of Nanking to the Burma Railway. Ditto Mao’s China – and on to Tiananmen and Tibet. But when it comes to an innate culture of violence, America, the Home of the Brave, wins the Oscars, Emmys and Tonys. And not only because of the immense death toll of its internecine and international wars.

A list of America’s scores of wars would crowd this magazine from cover to cover, beginning with the war of independence with the British and on to Mexico, Korea, Vietnam, Afghanistan and Iraq. More wars than stars on Old Glory. In the “Indian wars” from 1622 to 1924, countless Native Americans were subjected to a genocidal onslaught (the destruction of the bison herds, the staple diet of the 500 Nations, was intended to starve the indigenous people). The other bloodstain on US history, the monstrous violence of slavery, still echoes and reverberates. Millions of slaves then, millions of African Americans in the prison system now. Do black lives matter? Looking at ongoing killings at the hands of white cops, it would seem not.

’Twas ever thus. Even after 620,000 died in a civil war to end slavery, thousands of African Americans were lynched in public spectacles by the KKK and their ilk, with such murders surging during the civil rights movement. As Texas governor, George W. Bush (billed as “the compassionate conservative”) exulted in confirming the fate of Death Row prisoners, who were overwhelmingly black: 154 executions were carried out on his watch.

But that was nothing to the millions killed, maimed, maddened and displaced by his invasion of Iraq. His “Shock and Awe” TV war seemed to amplify the ultraviolence of video games. The dominoes of that insanity, that vast war crime, are still falling throughout the Middle East – while Saudi Arabia, central to 9/11, remains very welcome in Trump’s Oval Office. The US dropped two A-bombs on an Asian country – and millions of tonnes of explosives, napalm and Agent Orange on another. More than a million Vietnamese pointlessly killed; thousands of kids born with deformities. It was the US during the Cold War that coined terms like “overkill” and “megadeath” and MAD, for Mutual Assured Destruction – forcing President Eisenhower, when leaving office, to warn the world of America’s “military industrial complex”.

US cities have burned in the modern era. The Watts riot, the LA riots. We’ve watched in disbelief as presidents and national leaders have been shot. This month’s mass shootings are part of an appalling trend; there were 39,773 gun deaths in the US in 2017. Yet every attempt at tougher gun laws fails. Insane drug laws trigger the War on Drugs and danger in the streets and the US spends more on building prisons than universities.

Killing is the principal form of entertainment in US cinema, on television and in video “games”. That’s unsurprising given the political and cultural clout of the National Rifle Association, an organisation fomenting bigotry and butchery. And the current POTUS applauds racism.

The Militia movement encourages more home-grown terrorism (remember the Oklahoma bombing?). And the US endlessly plots violent “regime change” around the world (remember that other 9/11 – in Chile, 1973?). And here we go again, in Iran.


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From Phillip Adams, see also:

MINE eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord He is trampling out the vintage where the grapes of wrath are stored.About the same time as America's Julia Ward Howe was writing these lyrics for The Battle Hymn of the Republic - that magnificent anthem for the abolitionists - Arthur Sullivan was setting the banal words of Sabine Baring-Gould to music for the battle hymn of the British monarchy, Onward Christian Soldiers. It was nothing as lofty as freeing the slaves that inspired Sullivan. This most jingoistic of jingles was so unashamedly imperialist that it sounds like a parody of patriotism by his usual collaborator W.S. Gilbert, a song to follow "I am the very model of a modern Major-General".

Recruiting Jesus for military purposes was hardly new - think of the Crusades - but no other song had been so tub-thumping. Little wonder that it was Winston Churchill's wartime favourite, and Australian state school students sang it in Religious Instruction. (In 2D at Eltham High we begged to sing it - it was more fun than soppy stuff about Jesus wanting us to be sunbeams). Or that embarrassed Anglicans, Methodists and Presbyterians provoked controversy by trying to remove it from their respective hymnals.

And presumably it's a favourite of Lt. Colonel Gary Hensley, chief chaplain for the US Army in Afghanistan. Like the born-again Bush - who told anyone who'd listen that he was on a mission from God - Hensley is a fundamentalist who tells the troops they're fighting the Muslims for Jesus. He preached in one recent sermon: "There is no one else to come! There is no new revelation! There is no new religion! Jesus is IT! ... God! Sent! His! Son! Whoo!!" And the troops shouted in reply: "AMEN!"

Hensley's sermon, which was broadcast on Al Jazeera, confirms Islam's worst fears about the US's real purpose in Iraq and Afghanistan. And he is just one of an army of chaplains and officers in the American military running this line. Though the US military is slightly less religious than the overall population, the marketing of current conflicts as "crusades" (remember the back-pedalling from Washington when Bush let that word slip after 9/11?) is increasing the temperature throughout the Arab world. Hensley and his ilk sound as nuts as the Taliban, as fanatical as bin Laden.

The takeover of military chaplaincies by fundamentalists began in the Reagan era (previously the religious affiliation of chaplains had accurately reflected the religious demography of the US) and wildly accelerated under Bush. At last count more than two-thirds of the military's 2900 active-duty chaplains were affiliated with the evangelicals.

It's not only America's Muslims who are appalled. So are US Jews, Episcopalians and Catholics. And with the phenomenon of gung-ho, gun-ho Christian soldiers out of control, the problem has landed on Obama's desk - but after his problems with the Reverend Jeremiah Wright during his campaign and the continuing rage of the religious Right in the Republican Party, the new Commander-in-Chief is hiding under his Oval Office desk. Thus far his response to the situation has been as gutless and evasive as Clinton's was to gays in the military.

All together now: Onward Christian Soldiers/ marching as to war/with the cross of Jesus/going on before ... Combining religiosity with war is overwhelmingly dangerous. We see that with Islamist terrorism. We must guard against the same madness in our military ranks.

I first read these stories - and they're just the tip of the iceberg - in a major essay in Harper's Magazine by contributing editor Jeff Sharlet, and later from a conversation we had on Late Night Live. Sharlet went on to report related problems of Christian zealotry - bigotry and hostile acts directed at Muslims, Jews and atheists serving in the US armed forces. He describes the scale and intensity of the indoctrination of young soldiers, and of their behaviour in Iraq and Afghanistan, as "an evangelical coup".

And don't forget that Australians are serving with these crusading Christians in Afghanistan. I pray that the most Christian prime minister in Australian history sees the dangers.
Originally published [2009] as Divine recruitment


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See also:

Truth in art


"The Age of Deceit"


"The Age of Deceit" - 2


"The Age of Deceit" - 3


Age of deceit- chapter one part one


and for good measure:


The beginning of the uprising...


the fear of us and of the others...


By Patrick Boucheron


“Real power is – I don’t even want to use the word – fear.”


This sentence could have been written by Niccolò Machiavelli. It was spoken by Donald Trump in March 2016 when Trump was still only a candidate for the US presidency, and these words now appear as the epigraph to Bob Woodward’s book Fear: Trump in the White House.

Is a more off-putting introduction to our subject imagin­able? If we are tempted to assign words spoken by Don­ald Trump to Machiavelli, it’s not just because many western leaders have, and for a long time, bolstered their sense of their own power by affecting a cynical and crafty tone in the belief that it represents the last word in Machiavellian thought. It’s because we literally don’t know what to think of Machiavelli. Should we admire him or not, is he with us or against us, and is he still our con­temporary or is what he says ancient history?

My little book doesn’t pretend to resolve these questions; nor is it addressed to those who will read it to feel that they have right on their side – whether that side is answerable to justice or to power. On the contrary, this book tries to stay in that uncomfortable zone of thought that sees its own indeterminacy as the very locus of politics.

I should, at this stage, give a few explanations – who is speaking, and to whom. I don’t con­sider myself a historian of political ideas, but I approached Machiavelli a decade ago, yoking him with Leonardo da Vinci in an essay on contemporaneousness. Unexpect­edly, I found Machiavelli a useful guide and support – I’d almost say a faithful friend, one whose intelligence never failed me.

My conversations with Machiavelli became more regular and fruitful as I approached topics of which the Florentine author was, in his day, the most clear-sighted analyst. This happened first as I researched the political meaning of the architecture of the quattrocento. Machia­velli taught me to see it less as a representation of power than as a machine for producing political emotions: per­suasion, in the public buildings of the republican city-states; and intimidation, in the fortified strongholds that the princes built to keep those states in line. In every case, Machiavelli proved a worthy brother-in-arms who, because he had thrown light on his own times, threw light on ours – proving himself a contemporary in the very best sense.

During the summer of 2016, I gave a series of daily talks on French public radio in which I tried to articu­late this capacity of Machiavellian thought to sharpen our understanding of the present. My little book col­lects those texts, which in their biting brevity and direct address attempt to harmonize in style with Machiavelli – not simply his manner of writing but his art of thinking, which brings to flashpoint the fusion of poetry and politics.

Only one of these talks was not broadcast on the France Inter network during the summer of 2016, the fifth, focused on Machiavelli’s reading of Lucretius’s De natura rerum, “a dangerous and deviant book that makes the world jump its rails and come off its hinges”. The plan was to air the episode on Friday 15 July, but it was swallowed up by the sorrow, anger and numbness that followed the terrorist attack on the Promenade des Anglais in Nice on 14 July, France’s national holiday, when 86 peo­ple were killed and more than 400 wounded. Although this book restores the text to its original place, there is still a gap left by the lasting stamp of fear.

s that why I have chosen to give prominence in the book’s American edition to the politics of fear? Not solely. As I write this preface, I am remembering a dia­logue that I had with the political scientist Corey Robin, the author of a major book in 2004, Fear: The History of a Political Idea.

“One day,” he wrote, “the war on terror­ism will come to an end. All wars do. And when it does, we will find ourselves still living in fear: not of terrorism or radical Islam, but of the domestic rulers that fear has left behind.” Our discussion, which led to the publica­tion in 2015 of L’exercice de la peur: usages politiques d’une émotion (Spreading fear: the political uses of an emo­tion), asked whether the American way of fear might be exported around the world.

We touched on Hobbes, of course, De Tocqueville and Hannah Arendt, but also Machiavelli, who continually inquired about the fears of those who govern: what makes them truly afraid? When justice stops being effective (or when crimes of corruption stop being punished) and when political vio­lence is no longer a threat, there is nothing left to cause fear in those who govern shamelessly, that is, buoyed by a mood they aren’t in control of and that no one is on hand to countervail. What will then happen to the repub­lic? This question inevitably arises when anxiety is felt about democracy, because the republic loses its stability when it no longer reflects a pacified equilibrium between the different fears that divide it.

In 1975, JGA Pocock defined that loss of equilib­rium as “the Machiavellian moment”, when there is daylight between a republic and its values. American his­torians have since associated Machiavelli’s name with that form of political crisis, a practice I have followed in this book. And today we are undeniably living through another Machiavellian moment, again bringing the Flor­entine author close to the core of American reality.

Living in unstable times, Machiavelli was keenly aware that the old political lexicon, which the Mid­dle Ages had inherited from Aristotle, no longer served him adequately. He defined the intellectual’s task as a kind of resoluteness toward truth – being unmoved by the dazzle of words to “go straight toward the actual truth of the matter”.

This experience, which is profoundly Machiavellian in nature, is one that recurs again and again in history, whenever the words for expressing the things of politics become obsolete. What do we do when confronting adversaries we can’t put a name to? We call them “fascists”, for want of a better term – just as in Italy’s medieval communes, the people called the lords “tyrants”. We intend to confound them, to abash and bring them down, when we should in fact be examining what they say closely for its fascist potential. One thing is certain: when we use words from the past, we are show­ing our inability to understand the present.


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"... when we use words from the past, we are showing our inability to understand the present."???

Bullshit. This is cynical, sophistic and circular. Most of the words we use are from the past, they are our memory without which the present would not make any sense. Of course we need to liberate ourselves from the weight of history's deceptions and careless mistakes. We need imagination to see the future, though we have to be prepared to understand that things might not turn as ideally as wished. We also have to understand that religious fervour was (is) a con, a trick to align each others in rows of sheep, ready to go to slaughter when demanded upon. We have a new tool to help us understand who we are and what we're doing wrong, but it's too brutal for many of us. Sciences are the future — and here is meant real sciences, not the science politics or economics that are art forms — but the sciences that see nature as it is and us as we should be. It's confronting. Sciences tell us of our past progressive actions that can disturb the future. This demands more than a leap of faith. Faith is useless. But understanding becomes our strength. Fear has always been the tool of religions embedded in politics — and of politics embedded in religions. 

How can we marry sciences and our politics? This has been many studies made on this site in small bits and insights. Democracy can become smarter, become scientific and allow blasphemy. 

"The only thing to fear is fear itself"?


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