Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Opposition should read ‘The Prince’ by Nicolo Machiavelli

In this interesting piece published in Daily Monitor, yesterday, Mr. Sam Akaki argues that reading 'The Prince' could greatly benefit IPC

Your story, “IPC says government training militia”, published on December 7, has prompted me to send Dr Kizza Besigye a special Christmas gift in the form of The Prince by Nicolo Machiavelli. I hope he will find time to read and pass it to all presidential candidates, given his proven determination to build opposition co-operation.

You would be forgiven for thinking that Machiavelli had dedicated Chapter 14 of The Prince to Uganda’s opposition presidential candidates in the 2011 election, when he said: “To exercise the intellect the prospective prince should read histories, and study there the actions of illustrious men, to examine the causes of their victories and defeat, so as to avoid the latter and imitate the former; and above all, do as an illustrious man (like Museveni) did to become a prince!”

Machiavelli told the Ugandan opposition presidential candidates: “Among other evils which being unarmed brings you, it causes you to be despised, and this is one of those ignominies against which a prince ought to guard himself, because there is nothing proportionate between the armed and the unarmed; and it is not reasonable that he who is armed should yield obedience willingly to him who is unarmed, or that the unarmed man should be secure among armed servants.”

Of course Ms Margaret Wokuri, director for publicity and communication at the IPC campaign bureau, was right to issue a statement on the “militia in different places in the country”. However, she should also be realistic and recognise that Machiavelli may have written his book in 1505, but its basic message is relevant to the 2011 election. She should get hold of the book, photocopy and distribute to all IPC leaders. For any presidential candidate to ignore Machiavelli’s message is to engage in a monumental self delusion.

Sam Akaki,FDC International Envoy to the UK and the European Union, London

No comments:

Post a Comment