So you believe that Obama has a dilemma. Does he serve his ideology or seek to regain lost love? The wishful narrative goes like this: "The media played up love for Obama so he could get elected. He misses it. Obama wants to be loved, so he'll come around."
Your uncle Pascal warns you to look to history, particularly the history of despots and their wise men. More on that to follow.
First, let us look at two incidents reported widely this past week. Both involve what could be seen as the result of unthinking apparatchiks. One was connected to a big entity, the other to a small one. Both bore the signs of heavy-handed stupidity. Yet in both instances, the "stupidity" also carried a warning to regulated institutions and decent individuals, indeed to all on-lookers of what transpired.
- Feds force bank to pull 'Merry Christmas' buttons... As I reported yesterday, the Fed backed off, but the bank and other institutions know, there is yet another shoe to drop. The initial action, as always, carries with it intimidation. In this instance, it was against Christianity and those displaying its symbols. That intimidation remains in place.
- Good Samaritans Fined for Helping to Save Deer in Distress. (with a h/t goes to JWF). Could our masters be looking to chill heroes? That's like asking will the sun rise in the East tomorrow? The cowardly scum at the top HATE heroes -- hence no good deed goes unpunished. Heroism, like martyrdom, is tied to old biblical values. Martinets must do their duty. In this instance:
- the men were well above the age range for the law allegedly broken,
- the ticket wasn't even properly filled out, so they could be let off on a technicality.
- but the men, if they want to fight city hall, will have to take more time out of their schedule to in order to fight back.
- Hence, the ticket will cause the next good Samaritans to engage in double-think "oh, what's the use, I no longer live in a world where I'm rewarded for heroism."
Where those at the top appear to be faltering, in a normal world they would seek a remedy. But what if the seeming faltering is their goal? Well, then, there must be penalties for noticing the faltering. For then you are in the world where the emperor has no clothes and he knows it. In such a world, nearly everything that is true, especially as arises from individual initiative, must be suppressed, in order to ward against some damn fools blurting out the obvious and making governing that much more difficult. (What do you think this is, America or something?)
How do I know this? Because when the despot is forced to choose between being loved and being feared, and he is unwavering on what he wishes, don't you know which choice he will make?
So here's your insight to courtly thinking courtesy of your uncle Pascal.
From The Prince, Niccolo Machiavelli (translation Stephen J. Milner)
This gives rise to an argument: whether it is better to be loved than feared, or the opposite. The answer is that one would like to be both, but since it is difficult to combine the two it is much safer to be feared than loved, if one of the two has to make way. For generally speaking, one can say the following about men: they are ungrateful, inconsistent, feigners and dissimulators, avoiders of danger, eager for gain, and whilst it profits them they are all yours. They will offer you their blood, their property, their life and their offspring when your need for them is remote. But when your needs are pressing, they turn away. The prince who depends entirely on their words perishes when he finds he has not taken any other precautions. This is because friendships purchased with money and not by greatness and nobility of spirit are paid for, but not collected, and when you need them they cannot be used. Men are less worried about harming somebody who makes himself loved than someone who makes himself feared, for love is held by a chain of obligation which, since men are bad, is broken at every opportunity for personal gain. Fear, on the other hand, is maintained by a dread of punishment which will never desert you.