P. Edronkin

Authority (XVIII).



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Macchiavelli says that it is far better to take a side in such cases, because if you are among the winners, you enjoy the benefits, and if you are among the vanquished, the disgrace brought upon you would not last forever and in any case, you would be trusted at least by one of the opponents, which is better than the other option in the long run.

Enemies can be internal or external: in the first case the adversaries would be among the population of Plato's Kallipolis, and by fighting them they will turn against their own people. Thus, enemies must remain external, and the Kallipolis would have to seek contact with the barbarians, real enemies or invented.

This can be achieved by commercial or territorial expansion. In the first case, this would imply contact with the barbarians and cultural intercourse with them to a varying degree; it would pose a formidable challenge to sterilise this process in order to assure that the citizens do not become contaminated by it.

It would put the guardians in an even more defensive stance, and as the history of Japan proves, such a way of living cannot be maintained forever or it might turn the guardians against the populace if the 'infection' propagates. If not it cannot be guaranteed that the sterilisation will perpetuate itself: the Portuguese and Spanish missionaries in cities like Nagasaki were kept isolated from the Japanese people, but then, Commodore Perry appeared with his black ships and good firepower, and that was the end of feudal Japan.




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