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 Throne Room OOC - Archived Parts

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Iskar
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PostSubject: Re: Throne Room OOC - Archived Parts   Wed Sep 05, 2012 1:42 am

I think most people misunderstand Machiavelli. He pretty much just described what was usual in early renaissance politics in italy and beyond and added some rather objective analysis regading the effectivity of the political actions he described. Scolding him for the ruthless actions others committed and that he only wrote about seems hypocrite.

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PostSubject: Re: Throne Room OOC - Archived Parts   Wed Sep 05, 2012 1:45 am

Leviathan is a very under-valued book. He had a lot of ideas that were really ahead of his time, but since he favored a strong monarchy he is rarely looked at now. The state of nature aside, that is.


Machiavelli just falls prey to offending sensibilities, and so is often analyzied in that light it seems. I never intrepreted his statements about the 'best' prince to be his personal endorsement of his ideal government, just his analysis of the situations he was examining and what worked out the best then.
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Marcus the Shadow Fighter
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PostSubject: Re: Throne Room OOC - Archived Parts   Wed Sep 05, 2012 1:46 am

Could we please keep this stuff out of here? I hate to read about people discussing something I don't know at all.

For the limited knowledge I have about Machiavelli, he seems a very learned person, providing insightful comments in several matters in life - such as politics.

Then again, the Earth will probably turn inhabitable by humans in the next few hundred years.

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Mordred
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PostSubject: Re: Throne Room OOC - Archived Parts   Wed Sep 05, 2012 1:47 am

Marcus the Shadow Fighter wrote:
Could we please keep this stuff out of here? I hate to read about people discussing something I don't know at all.

This is as good an opportunity as any to learn something then.
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Marcus the Shadow Fighter
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PostSubject: Re: Throne Room OOC - Archived Parts   Wed Sep 05, 2012 1:53 am

Learn - what exactly? Your opinions on him and his literature? I have very much learned those, and my mind is currently trying to decide whether to adopt them or refuse them, but it does not come with instant knowledge of all the books. But as for being able to join in the conversation with you - I don't think I know enough to do that anyway. And it just seems that way everywhere - Iskar and the rest of you talk about something only you and a few others actually know about, and leave the rest of us wondering how to join that little private club you seem to be hosting.


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PostSubject: Re: Throne Room OOC - Archived Parts   Wed Sep 05, 2012 1:55 am

I must agree with him, If you want to learn more (or discuss) the subject, open a seperate thread.

let's keep this one related to dividing the spoils of war. Wink
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PostSubject: Re: Throne Room OOC - Archived Parts   Wed Sep 05, 2012 1:55 am

Simply jump in. Ask a question, raise a point, etc. We just share often-esoteric joys so I at least tend to jump on any opportunity to discuss them. We're having an event that seems we'll get the opportunity to raise varying political theories of semi-medieval rule, which is rare. So now we're discussing a few OOC too. This isn't a Salon of Europe where only the elite get invited, anybody can jump in and we won't be too mean about it. tongue
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PostSubject: Re: Throne Room OOC - Archived Parts   Wed Sep 05, 2012 1:58 am

We can't raise points or ask questions without knowing anything about the subject - that just results in dull conversation. Not everyone has read into that stuff, either, and especially not people like me(who are 15, mind you), but would still like to talk about... something. So perhaps you could at least drop the references and discuss it in a tongue the rest of us commoners can understand and discuss?

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PostSubject: Re: Throne Room OOC - Archived Parts   Wed Sep 05, 2012 2:09 am

Yeah sorry I sometimes forget that not everyone has a degree in political science (and when I meet someone that can actually hold their own in a conversation on politics I tend to get excited).

Hobbes, at his core was talking about the need to have a strong, central governmental figure so as to maintain order. He argues that without this authority, mankind is doomed to struggle (fight) against one another (in essence that man is at its core bad), for survival. He suggests that man should create a contract with other men to accept a third party's law and give them the power to enforce those laws so as to accommodate cooperation, as it is only through this that mankind can hope to prosper.

Machiavelli on the other hand was saying that Princes (ie rulers) should hold themselves above the law, as only then will they have the means to really protect their people against the machinations of others, who cannot themselves be trusted to conform to legal barriers. Order can only truly be upheld when there is a threat of violence to stop criminal activity (both in terms of people and other nations... ie war).

I would seriously recommend you read those books though, I know we may come across in a condescending manner at times but it is because we take it for granted that others may not have looked through them yet. Even if you have no interest in politics, the messages within can apply to many other subjects, for example The Art of War is often used by businessmen to out manoeuvre their business rivals; without resorting to guns obviously!
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PostSubject: Re: Throne Room OOC - Archived Parts   Wed Sep 05, 2012 2:10 am

Isabel Tenorio wrote:
This isn't a Salon of Europe where only the elite get invited, anybody can jump in and we won't be too mean about it. tongue
Wait, this is NOT the salon? Are you implying I have been conversing with colonial underlings from across the sea? Excuse my, I have to go vomit in an explicitly elegant manner. Wink

Seriously: Noones going to scold anyone for not knowing anything (except maybe, if you don't know how to read and write, but your virtual presence here implies that that is not the case), and speaking from my experience it is always as much fun discussing stuff with well-versed participants as it is fun explaining stuff to those that wish to become the former.

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PostSubject: Re: Throne Room OOC - Archived Parts   Wed Sep 05, 2012 2:12 am

Some recommended reading then!


Vienna 1814: How the Conquerors of Napoleon Made Love, War, and Peace at the Congress of Vienna by David King.

It's written like a novel with minimal dialogue. Beyond the anti-Metternich claims, it's a great book. It's much more Talleyrand focused than is probably fair, but it's still a great account. Kissinger's book is better though, A World Restored: Castleraegh, Metternich and the Troubles of Peace. He'll explain how 20th century ideologies gave Europe 20 years of general peace, while 19th century conservatives gave it a century of general peace.

Something we're in theory trying to do now!


Hobbes has a great deal of philosophy as well, Leviathan is an entire political theory made from the cause-before-which-there-is-no-cause (Hobbes' God) all the way to how we form a state. I would sum up Leviathan as a single text qualifying as 'Pre-Enlightenment Thought.'


I genuinely don't care much for the Art of War. It's necessary reading of course, but the maxims are so general that it's like a fortune cookie. On War holds better truths, it's just more difficult to read since only the first chapter was in a finished state at his death.
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PostSubject: Re: Throne Room OOC - Archived Parts   Wed Sep 05, 2012 2:14 am

Iskar wrote:

Wait, this is NOT the salon? Are you implying I have been conversing with colonial underlings from across the sea? Excuse my, I have to go vomit in an explicitly elegant manner. Wink


Noooope! Not a salon! We would need Americans trying to argue as if it is the 21st century even though they're supposed to defend the original American government.

I loved my high school salon... I played Metternich's (first) wife. According to legend, he snuck into her bedroom one night, then went downstairs early in the morning and told her father that they did it so that he would agree to a marriage to limit his shame. My guess is this wasn't true, but it makes for a great story!


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PostSubject: Re: Throne Room OOC - Archived Parts   Wed Sep 05, 2012 2:18 am

That is very interesting, Mordred.

Politics interest me in a way(we need deep understanding of them to create a ruling cell that actually knows what it's doing); in my view, the humankind has doomed itself already - perhaps due to the lack of a clever man in charge, or perhaps just because we're so self-important (and so many). We're in the process of making Earth inhabitable by humans - of course, we cannot destroy nature(Nature would simply include anything we do to it into the "natural" pattern, since in the end everything comes from the nature) - but nobody really seems to take it seriously. Maybe everyone simply thinks that if they're dead then, it doesn't affect them? I don't think that many of the political leaders have thought it this far. In the end, the more power you have, the more self-important you become, and at some point you begin to lose your ability to see straight.

I think that I concur with Hobbes' views; lots of people together in a government would perhaps remind the individuals that there were people out there who depended heavily on their decisions, and while we have reached somewhat of a compromise, there are still hundreds of nations in the world. What do you people think - would one government, ruled by several hundred people(what kind of people? Do they think the same or differently? Their goals? These affect the outcome.) be able to preserve humankind, provided that they are aware of the damage we're doing to ourselves?

@Isabela

Sorry just noticed your recommendations; I'd love to read all of those! They sound very interesting, to say the least. As for how I'm going to get them, though, that might be a little harder. I will promise to myself to read them at some point, though.

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PostSubject: Re: Throne Room OOC - Archived Parts   Wed Sep 05, 2012 2:32 am

Marcus the Shadow Fighter wrote:
In the end, the more power you have, the more self-important you become, and at some point you begin to lose your ability to see straight.

The main man Abraham Lincoln stated himself "Power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely", and it's a maxim that has been proven time and time again, and your own comments just highlight this.

Marcus the Shadow Fighter wrote:
I think that I concur with Hobbes' views; lots of people together in a government would perhaps remind the individuals that there were people out there who depended heavily on their decisions, and while we have reached somewhat of a compromise, there are still hundreds of nations in the world. What do you people think - would one government, ruled by several hundred people(what kind of people? Do they think the same or differently? Their goals? These affect the outcome.) be able to preserve humankind, provided that they are aware of the damage we're doing to ourselves?

And this leads to my absolute favourite aspect of political thought; international relations. There is a theory which I heavily buy into called "Anarchic Theory of International Relations", which basically suggests that because there is no authority powerful enough to enforce international law, all nations will ultimately do what is right for them, at that point in time. So if we borrow Hobbes' theory of the State of Nature (that man will do whatever it takes to survive), and apply the fact that nations are ruled by men, so then are nations subject to the State of Nature, and it is only the threat of outside forces that prevents all out war; a state of affairs seen most plainly during the Cold War, where it was only Mutually Assured Destruction that stopped the USA and USSR nuking each other, as to do so would doom themselves.

We have admittedly made some forays into bringing order onto the international stage with the formation of the United Nations and the International Court of Human Rights, the problem lies in the fact that neither organisation really has to the teeth to bring a nation state to account (the failure to stop the events in Syria at the moment being a clear example).

One thing I have discovered through experience, is that people often have a good idea of what is going on, but they do not have the ability to really explain it; the great thing about those books is that they explain these concepts really nicely, and give the rest of us a good platform to discuss those issues further.
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PostSubject: Re: Throne Room OOC - Archived Parts   Wed Sep 05, 2012 2:38 am

One of Kissinger's books (Diplomacy, I think) claimed that Richard Nixon stopped believing in Mutually Assured Destruction once he had access to everything the US really knew about a nuclear war. It really changed my perspective on his actions.


What's remarkable about the attempts at imposing international law to me, is that the Congress System of the 19th cenury was much more successful at solving much bigger problems! (Nuclear war excluded as a big problem >.>)
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PostSubject: Re: Throne Room OOC - Archived Parts   Wed Sep 05, 2012 2:38 am

I go to lunch and you manage to lecture POL 101?

This is a subjects that interests me a lot, but at the time a post a proper text you will already have changed the topic Smile

EDIT: See? I can't even write a single line.
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PostSubject: Re: Throne Room OOC - Archived Parts   Wed Sep 05, 2012 2:41 am

It's your fault! Needing food and all.
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PostSubject: Re: Throne Room OOC - Archived Parts   Wed Sep 05, 2012 2:42 am

Saeros wrote:
I go to lunch and you manage to lecture POL 101?

This is a subjects that interests me a lot, but at the time a post a proper text you will already have changed the topic Smile

EDIT: See? I can't even write a single line.

Next week we start POL 314: Ruling the World!

(Yes, that is actually a module I studied!)
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PostSubject: Re: Throne Room OOC - Archived Parts   Wed Sep 05, 2012 2:49 am

I've actually heard Hobbes' theory before, in a similar yet different context, and I agreed with it back then. I will agree with it now, as well.

Indeed haha, nukes are the biggest reason why nowadays big nations don't just dare to start wars. If they would, I doubt that nukes will stay unused for very long - or perhaps it will come to a set of "war rules"? Or more likely some unspoken rules. Nuclear weapons were a mistake, yes. Now, they only give us trouble(and to the superpowers, difficulties in declaring wars against other superpowers) and their existence is a rather... unfortunate thing. Plus the several thousand nuclear tests they have already made as years passed by. If I understand this correctly, during the Cold War nuclear tests were a way of showing your country's power - "oh, Russia did 7 nuclear tests in a row. Let's do a hundred and two to show them their place!" - and is exactly deriving from Power and it's Corruption.

So it's a delicate balance between all the nations, and it has to be maintained; sometimes with diplomacy, sometimes with direct threats, but that just doesn't seem to be happening right now. Half the islamic world's in some bad internal troubles while the western countries grow richer and richer, more ignorant and even more ignorant. I don't think that we have much hope, honestly. The rich, old people are going to live a great life with their money and die before they have to face the consequences of their actions, and their passing will probably be mourned, too.

And I agree that UN just can't force anything except by making more wars. Theoretically, if people became more intelligent, they could realize the bigger picture and also become to realize why having no wars and a stable government is important, but as we stand now - we here might know about this, but then again, I think that at least some of the major political figures know it too. They don't believe their own propaganda. So why do they do this? That's something I just can't realize.

EDIT - three new posts while I was typing this? Yeah Laughing


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PostSubject: Re: Throne Room OOC - Archived Parts   Wed Sep 05, 2012 3:00 am

Points:

I like unorthodox thinking: many people consider Laozi's "Daodejing" as a book on "how to hold power for the longest time possible", according to Taoist principles.

If you liked the SZ's Art of war, you should look for "The 36 Stratagems". Some online versions have many examples their effective applications in modern events. There is also a traditional bundle, with other classical Chinese military treatises (I don't know the name, perhaps "Art of war canon"?)

If you didn't like the Art of war, you should read it again until you start seeing through it. Unlike the Mediterranean tradition, classical Chinese texts are meant to be open for interpretation (with few exeptions). This means that you will get a different idea each time you read it. Which on its turn means you will have to read it a lot, in different stages of your life Smile

When you analyze international politics from an ethical perspective (say, from a consequentialist approach), you realize interesting things. We think nuclear weapons are bad and dangerous, but how many lives were spared by their presence? Were it not for them, wars would be much more common. So do they save lives, or are they a threat?

My countrys greatest achievement in foreign policy was to stop attacking everyone. We're still wondering if that really was a good move.
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PostSubject: Re: Throne Room OOC - Archived Parts   Wed Sep 05, 2012 3:02 am

I don't like the decision to nuke Hiroshima and Nagasaki, but I agree that it saved the States from having to kill off the whole Japanese army, provided that every single one of the soldiers actually were loyal to the Emperor - as they were, I think. After that, though, they have been a threatening presence in the world, but we can't tell whether there would've been any difference without nuclear weapons. Personally I just don't like such weapons of huge massive OMG destruction.

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PostSubject: Re: Throne Room OOC - Archived Parts   Wed Sep 05, 2012 3:04 am

I just have to say I have learned more about philosophie in this forum that in my schooltime. As well I haven't studied(I am one of the lucky to do the Job they wanted when they were kids).

Very much you write around here is very very interesting and I have to get much more books to understand this completely.


Thanks everyone =)

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PostSubject: Re: Throne Room OOC - Archived Parts   Wed Sep 05, 2012 3:05 am

lots of fun, but don't forget the actual throne room event k? Razz
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PostSubject: Re: Throne Room OOC - Archived Parts   Wed Sep 05, 2012 3:09 am

I don't like the idea of nuking at all. It's not because the allies won that they did everything right and honorable in the war. The Japanese Emperor-cult was already on its way to ruin (American generals cleverly managed to remove his godhood concept from the popular culture by taking pictures of him and showing how human he was).

It's not about the nuking, but the possibility of nuking.

I personally think that forbidding space weapons has halted our development of space technologies.

EDIT: alright, posting this so as not letting it going to waste. Next class scheduled to November 12th. Dismissed!


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PostSubject: Re: Throne Room OOC - Archived Parts   Wed Sep 05, 2012 3:10 am

It isn't that I didn't like the Art of War, it's simply too open to interpretation to claim as much influence as it does. I still read it once a year, but I've found it's more of a name-dropping book than something actually useful. 'Be subtle, be subtle, and use your spies' is a fine maxim, but that's it. On War provides far more practical advice, such as the factors that must be considered in the creation of any plan. It's general, but the theory is successfully applied to past events and easily used to form predictions. IE, Clausewitz has a very successful groundwork for the waging of war.

What I love most about Clausewitz is his stern warning about not allowing generals total control. To have that thought in a Prussian society is great, but to have it so completely proven true in WWI makes it even better.
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