THE MACHIAVELLIAN DARKNESS
Machiavelli’s short political treatise, The Prince, was written in 1513 but not published until 1532, five years after his death. Although he privately circulated The Prince among friends, the only theoretical work to be printed in his lifetime was The Art of War, which was about military science. Since the 16th century, generations of politicians remain attracted and repelled by its apparently neutral acceptance, or even positive encouragement, of the immorality of powerful men, described especially in The Prince but also in his other works.
His works are sometimes even said to have contributed to the modern negative connotations of the words politics and politician, and it is sometimes thought that it is because of him that Old Nick became an English term for the Devil. More obviously, the adjective Machiavellian became a pejorative term describing someone who aims to deceive and manipulate others for personal advantage. Machiavellianism also remains a popular term used in speeches and journalism; while in psychology, it denotes a personality type.
There is no avoiding war; it can only be postponed to the advantage of others.
One who deceives will always find those who allow themselves to be deceived.
Machiavellianism, psychopathy, and narcissism make up the “Dark Triad” of personality types. But while psychopaths and malignant narcissists generate much interest and discussion, Machiavellians typically get far less attention.
In 1970, psychologists Richard Christie and Florence Geis introduced the first test of Machiavellianism, the Mach IV.
“High Machs” Machiavellian behavior, however, is typical not just of High Machs, but of psychopaths and narcissists as well.
The High Mach?
Here are five characteristics to spot them, according to an article by Dale Hartley for Psychology Today, posted in September 08, 2015:
1. They function best in jobs and social situations where the rules and boundaries are ambiguous.
2. Emotional detachment and a cynical outlook enable them to control their impulses and be careful, patient opportunists.
3. Their tactics include charm, friendliness, self-disclosure, guilt, and (if necessary) pressure.
4. They prefer to use subtle tactics (charm, friendliness, self-disclosure, guilt), when possible, to mask their true intentions and provide a basis for plausible denial if they are detected. However, they can use pressure and threats when necessary.
5. They tend to be preferred by others in competitive situations (debating, negotiations), but are not preferred as friends, colleagues, or spouses.
Once in Florence, you should not solely indulge in the morbid legacy of Machiavelli. A visit to the Mercato Centrale Firenze must be worth your while. The Mercato was the brainchild of Umberto Montano, who with Claudio Cardini launched the project that would give Florence back one of its most important locations: the first floor of the covered market in the San Lorenzo neighbourhood. The project became a reality in spring 2014, marking the 140th anniversary of the iron and glass building erected in 1874 according to a design by architect Giuseppe Mengoni – also responsible for the San Ambrogio market and the more famous Galleria Vittorio Emanuele in Milan.