When His ethics were more concentrated on

When we look at ancient times
(back way to Greek philosophe Aristotle), politics was considered as a so
called branch of ethics. Ethics is characterized by the moral behavior of
people. We can define politics as “morality” of people when they are organized
in social groups.  Machiavelli however,
was the precursor of a view that politics should be separated from the morality
and treated as a separate “special” branch.

If we look at Machiavelli’s “The
prince” it sorts of reminds me Shun Tzu’s “Art of war”. It has similar way of
guiding and educating the reader, how war (or in this case politics and ruling
of lands) should be done. While reading “The Prince” we can see that the author
was not especially interested in ethics and morality. He is interested in
efficiency, pragmatism and telling the reader (or the “Prince”) how to stay in
power and what to do not to lose it.  I
think that best summary of this would be a quote from Machiavelli himself  “How we live is so different from
how we ought to live that he who studies what ought to be done
rather than what is done will learn the way to his downfall rather
than to his preservation.” 

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Politics itself is a very “dirty
business” and its very hard to stay afloat once you are on top. You have to “sail”
through a very rough water all the time. There is no “golden remedy” for
anything. One way or other someone (or many “someones”) will be unhappy. And
sometimes the group that will be unhappy, is the group that already is “on the
bottom. Ethically, we should find compassion and sacrifice, but if there is no
way to achieve it, and end game will benefit society as whole (or the larger
group) that is usually the way to go.

He knew that, when risky or tough
decisions were made , the empathy, morality and so called “Christina values”
would have to be put on a “back burner”. He believed that those things may be
signs of weakness, and this kind of weakness can put republic at risk. His
ethics were more concentrated on efficiency and preservation rather than Christian
values and morality (probably that’s why His book “The Prince” was on a churches
list of banned books for a long time).  

We may not like what we read
and are faced with, but in a long run (and probably deep down inside) that pure
soul of power (even the democratic power) is the use of violence to protect it.
That is why we have so many wars that were fought in the name of “preserving
our values and way of life”. That’s is not very ethical and not very “Christian
like”, but it happens all the time and even though some groups protest, it is
still being done for the greater good.

Of course, pure violence is never justified, and violence
for the sake of violence is bad (and Machiavelli is very clear about that).

One of the best examples of
such a behavior is portrayed in my favorite TV series “Scandal”. Our main
characters are the ones “in power”. President, his ( and hers ) advisors and
famous Chief of undercover Section B613 are the ones who have to face the
reality of every day politics and touch (and most of the times very questionable
form ethics points of view decision).  We
can have a sneak peak ‘behind the curtain look” of how its done. Assassinations
and manipulation are almost “daily bread” there. Very often we hate the decisions
they make, but in the “big picture” it was for the good and sake of “the
republic”.

I think that politics should
be separated from this “lovey dovey, lets all love each other ethics”, but it
should not be separated to far. Its goal should be to work for the greater good
of people, and some decisions would be tough and “cruel” to make (maybe that’s why
lots of futuristic books deal with AI and some kind ruling by that. Computers
have no morals and their decision are based on pure calculations and most
beneficial outcome). On a finishing note I would recommend reading Dan’s Brown “Inferno”
(not movie as ending is different to a book and they majorly damaged the whole
idea). What was done there was hugely unethical and immoral, but when we really
think about it, it was done for a greater good and sake of humanity (even
though we hate it from a moral perspective). I think that this fictional book
perfectly describes why ethics and politics “don’t mix very well”.