One of the upcoming ‘princes’ of video games, if FFVSXIII ever comes out. Regardless, I’ve recently read ‘The Prince’ and I want to talk about it.

The Prince is written by Machiavelli, a great social commentator of Renaissance era Italy and likely one of the most misunderstood historians of their time. His book, the prince, is not some dictators manual, it is a Prince’s manual. If a prince heads the book, he will understand the dangers of mercenaries, flatterers, being hated by his people, what sort of war and when he should fight it and a thousand other things.

‘It is better to be feared, than loved.” is, first and foremost, a missaying. The proper saying is this: “when choosing between being feared and loved, it is much safer to be feared’. This is a game changer. Machiavelli is discussing how a Prince should conduct himself, and the proper answer is being balanced and honorable. In this way the people know you to be just, and thus will be content, even if they fear you! If they are satisfied that you will not take their possessions and kill them without clear and justified cause, then they may not love you, but they will not hate you. This is similar to fear, in that they will not cross you, but they aren’t your friend.

I learned a great truth, as well. The reason for Alexander’s great success against the Medo-Persian King Darius the 3rd was that the king was killed and no one wanted to fight the guy who destroyed their army. Darius was similar to a Narcissist King, and since he was at the top, and their were no heirs to replace him, the empire said “Screw it, Alexander may as well get it.” This was because all the power was invested in Darius and then distributed through a gigantic system of servant/Lords. The benefits? Hard to begin your campaign against Darius, however, once killed, easy to mop up. European Feudal style is the opposite, Machiavelli mentions, as the various lords infighting makes it easy to get in, but conquering them all would be like conquering individual kingdoms, with the threat of your allies (that let you in to the kingdom in the first place) stabbing you in the back.

The Prince gave me a lot to think about, and I think I’ll talk more about it later.