16 November 2009
Destruction: It’s Inside Us All
The pattern of destruction is in each and every human being, and is buried within their very natures. This destruction is the root of all evil that is done by human hands. It comes in many shapes, sizes, and forms but, all lead to the same end. The end is what is recorded, but the beginning is what needs to be researched. Who is to say that if the beginning was averted, that the ending would have never happened? Human nature is a destructive force, and therein lays the danger. The danger of the pattern of destruction being infectious, and how it finds a way to seep into everyone’s mind and cause various forms of evil. This destructive pattern can present itself in a physical act of destruction; the never ending cycle, the recurring pattern, and the trend of presenting most within the family and within one’s self. Destruction manifests in two broad topics named mind and reason. Within the mind, the mental aspects of the pattern of destruction include fear, hatred, the belief that one is superior to another, lack of control, and self-destructive patterns. Within the reason category, there are the physical aspects of personal gain, and the rise and quest for power. Two great philosophers, Machiavelli and Francis Bacon, write of the destruction through man. Machiavelli’s writing of “The Qualities of the Prince,” and Bacon’s writing “The Four Idols,” show their views of human nature and how it can become a destructive force. The quest for power is one of the evils of human nature. In Machiavelli’s “Qualities of the Prince,” the ruler is subject to a rise in power, and with it the driving force of trying to gain more. He writes, “a prince, therefore, must not have any other object nor any other thought, nor must he take anything as his profession but war, its institutions, and its discipline; because that is the only profession which benefits one who commands; and it is of such importance that not only does it maintain those who were born princes, but many times it enables men of private station to rise to that position,” (Machiavelli 40). This is written to describe how a prince must ensure his station through matters, so that his actions benefit himself and allows others to rise to the position of prince. Machiavelli is discussing how private parties lie in wait for the opportunity to present itself so they can have the power. This ties into the evil in human nature because all want to aspire to a position that is higher than where they stand presently. Meaning, for example, if one was a servant and one was the master, the servant would aspire to be a master himself and not just some servant without station or power; so the servant may entertain evil thoughts for his master so the servant could obtain the role of master. Machiavelli writes of his view on patriotism, how one must be loyal, and how it is a way to redemption from the evil in human nature. An online writer, who dove into the view of patriotism shown in Machiavelli’s writing, H. Zmora, discusses the fundamentals of Machiavelli’s view on politics and patriotism from the ruler, “this paper argues that he conceived of patriotism primarily in terms of readiness to self-restraint rather than readiness to self-sacrifice. Patriotism in Machiavelli is a force passive and limited enough to conform to human nature” (Zmora). Human nature is destructive through many things, but interaction between people is generally what causes the seeds of destruction to take root. Francis Bacon’s philosophy was focused around men and their dealings. In Bacon’s “The Four Idols,” he has sections written to discuss his views on the interactions between men. Two of the sections are titled the Idols of the Tribe and Idols of the Marketplace. In the Idols of the Marketplace, Bacon writes; For it is by discourse that men associate; and words are imposed according to the apprehension of the vulgar [common people]. And...
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Jacobus, Lee. A World of Ideas. Bedford/ St. Martin’s; Boston, MA. c. 2010. Machiavelli 37-53; Bacon 579-595.
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Zmora, H. Love of Country and Love of Party: Patriotism and human nature in Machiavelli. History of Political Thought. 424-445: 2004.
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