Academic journal article et Cetera

What Would Machiavelli Do?: The Ends Justify the Meanness

Academic journal article et Cetera

What Would Machiavelli Do?: The Ends Justify the Meanness

Article excerpt

Stanley Bing. What Would Machiavelli Do?: The Ends Justify the Meanness. New York: HarperBusiness, 2000.

Are there places in the world for kind, considerate, fair-minded people? According to Stanley Bing, the author of What Would Machiavelli Do?, today's business environment is not one of them. Bing, who writes a satire column for Fortune magazine, says evidence from both ancient and contemporary history suggests that people who are obnoxious, self-centered, greedy, needy, overly aggressive, vain, immature, and, above all mean, are destined for all the good things that power and money bring - including but not limited to: vast numbers of servile associates, state-of-the-art electronic gizmos and cars, and numerous spouses.

Bing contends the path to power over other people and to a completely unquestioned expense account was first laid down more than 500 years ago by Niccolo Machiavelli, a mid-level bureaucrat in the court of Lorenzo de Medici, a powerful and ruthless prince who ruled Renaissance Florence back when that was a very big deal. Machiavelli, who had been imprisoned for backing the wrong corporate venture at some unfortunate point in his career history, decided to offer his boss a brief, punchy, and completely amoral how-to on central issues of senior management. That book was The Prince, and it was perhaps the most famous mixture of useful philosophy and superior sucking up in the annals of corporate politics. …

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