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The MachiavelliansThe Scholar Mimir

Despite being criticised as "Merely stating the obvious" by higher-up baatezu, Borgia (Planar / spinagon male / Fated / LE) has caused quite a stir in the philosophical circles of the Fated. Unlike many of his contemporary philosophers, Borgia ain't interested in explaining the structure of the Planes, the nature of the powers, or what will happen at the end of the Multiverse. In fact, he's most famous for once saying "Piety's a good thing for keeping the masses happy".

Instead, he's turned his mind to Political power -- how to get it, how to keep it, and how to wield it. All over the planes and the prime, kings and emperors pretend they rule by divine right (everyone knows most powers just ain't that interested) or hereditary necessity. Portions of some of the more contested planes seem to change hands every few weeks, as the prevailing attitude of the inhabitants is swayed by rhetoric or deed. In this climate of political treachery, Borgia put his mind to analysing how anyone could grab power, justify it, and then hang on to it. Borgia's been accused of being cynical, but he just retorts, "No, not cynical. Just realistic!"

He's written a book on the subject, too. It's called "The Prince", and described the ideal Prince. Borgia calls him "Machiavelli", and describes him as a mixture of lion and fox: The fox to recognise traps laid by enemies, and the lion to frighten off wolves. In a dangerous world, he argues, a strong government is necessary -- basically, a dictatorship. In the corrupt political atmosphere, the only way to achieve things is by corruption also: "Any means is acceptable as long as it is effective."

Thus, if you want to be a strong and effective ruler, you have to have a double standard of behaviour; one for yourself, and one for your people. As he says, "All this may sound wicked, but it's just an empirical statement of what goes on in politics, basher! Get used to it!"

Borgia's book is available in the Fated Library, for the budding political animals amongst you, though you might have to fight one of Borgia's disciples (they call themselves the "Machiavellians") to get hold of a copy.

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Copyright 1997 by Jon Winter

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