Deception In Niccolo Machiavelli's The Prince

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In the words of Niccolò Machiavelli’s The Prince, “…one who deceives will always find those who allow themselves to be deceived.” This piece is regarded as the first written account of sordid political theory that believes the end always justifies the means, no matter how immoral or unethical (Machiavelli 70). If Machiavelli were alive today, two movies he might enjoy would be Wag the Dog from 1997 and the 1978 film, Capricorn One, both graphic illustrations of bureaucrats’ propensity to deceive and the ease in which the public allows itself to be deceived. The art of deception and all of its subsets: lying, fraud, trickery, manipulation, etc., is one of the most prevalent traditions in politics today (Brooks). Politicians and bureaucrats employ…show more content…
This scenario is not at all difficult to conceive when you remember back to actual American history, when conspiracy theorists quite vocally kept the idea alive that the lunar landings of the late 60s and early 70s were faked. It was reasoned that the U.S. was feeling pressured to outdo Russia in every way during the Cold War era, but the NASA program lacked the funding (Fuller). Instigators of the Capricorn I deception, intended to manipulate public opinion for a program that, in their minds, was worthy of a large chunk of taxpayers’ dollars regardless of the program’s true performance (Capricorn). On the other hand, the plotters in Wag the Dog were never really under any allusion that they were acting for the greater good. Even to Machiavelli purists, a lie to cover up selfish misconduct, a crime or incompetence cannot be treated the same as a lie to ensure public safety, for instance (Machiavelli). Conrad Bream, Stanley Motss, and all their movie cronies did not even have any real political conviction; they did not even feel compelled to exercise their own right to vote
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