Chapter 5 – I am Johnny’s first blog.

8 08 2008


Hi, everybody! I figured it was time I made my own blog, you know to record my life, and stuff, for, you know, prosperity. Is that the word?

Where to start? Maybe I should start by telling you a bit about me. My name is Johnny. I’m 16 years old and I live in Hercynia. I’m a bit of a geek.

Hmm… To be honest, I really haven’t planned this post out at all. What should I talk about? My life? Nah, not very interesting. Plans for the future? Haven’t got any. Gloating about how many hits this blog is going to get?

I decided that for now I’d do something a little less narcissistic – I’m saving my narcissism for future posts. So I decided to talk to you about… History!

I know what you’re thinking. History is boring, right? Wrong.

Take Machiavelli’s “Il Principe”. People always associate Machiavelli with doing what you like to further your own goals, but actually many scholars think the book was satirical. In any case, Machiavellian basically means achieving your goals through unscrupulous means. Which naturally is a bad, selfish thing to do. But what if your goals are good?

To give an example of a real life “Machiavellian”, take Armand Jean du Plessis, better known as Cardinal Richelieu, or as I like to call him, AJ Rich. Advisor to Louis XIII of France, incredibly ill, incredibly cold hearted and a total genius. He once said ‘I have no enemies except the enemies of the state.’ He disliked war, yet he deliberately prolonged the Thirty Years War, involving France as little as possible, just to strengthen France. They called it “raison d’etat”.

I know, he sounds like a horrible person. He probably was. Everyone was scared of him. But the idea is interesting, don’t you think? Can you do bad things for the greater good? You know, it’s kind of noble in its own way.

Like lying to protect a friend. Or stealing to feed your family. Or even like Robin Hood. Can stealing be for the greater good?

I’m rambling, sorry. I really didn’t have anything planned out for this post, so I thought I’d get philosophical. Hope that wasn’t too boring or anything.

Anyway, I’ll be back later once I’ve come up with some decent ideas for blog posts. See you around!

What a geeky thing to say. So, um, yeah, thanks for reading, and stuff.




3 responses

8 08 2008

Hey B0bby am I the first to comment? wow 1st the saying is “for posterity” I love history and a good way to approach history is through the people who made it-that hopefully brings it to life-the topic you raise wow you could debate it for weeks and weeks, ol’ Richelieu of course was for the greater good of France, but mark you well the very nature of power politics is self first, it’s a dirty business from start to finish… oh my there are so many streams of thoughts and arguments here…”can of worms” comes to mind

johnny07: Yay! First ever comment! It’s Johnny, actually. Posterity? *slaps forehead* D’oh! I knew it was something like that! Thanks!

Yeah, ol’ AJ was definitely no stranger to power politics. France back in those days was a veritable hive of scheming nobles trying to gain land and favour, not to mention the whole practice of duelling one another left, right and centre.

Probably is a can of worms, but it’s fun musing about it! Thank you very much for your comment!

8 08 2008

of course one can do bad things for greater good. in my mind, it’s probably more noble in a way because

1. you’re obviously not doing it for the glory or honour of doing a good deed
2. you’re willing to sacrifice your reputation or self for the benefit of other people

the controversy of this approach would be depending on where you stand. if you steal from my shop to feed your family, i may not think you’re very noble! but a person who can see beyond your bad deed would be able to appreciate the noble thought that drives you to do something bad!

johnny07: Well, glory and honour are overrated in my opinion. If you’re only doing a good deed to make people like you, it’s not really all that generous, is it? Sacrificing your reputation, though… never thought of it that way. It’s a very good point. I suppose from an objective viewpoint, that makes it even more “honourable”!

Yeah, I agree. If I ran a store and someone stole from it, I probably wouldn’t be too happy either, just like I probably wouldn’t be happy if someone lied to me, even if it was to protect somebody else. But if I found out a friend lied to me to protect my feelings, I think I’d probably be cool with that, since I’d know they meant well… but then, I guess that only betrays my own selfishness.

Thank you so much for your thoughts!

10 08 2008

Hi Johnny, I’m a friend of a friend of yours. I think it’s kinda cool you want to record your life for “prosperity” even if that’s not the word you meant to use! 🙂 As far as bad and good stuff: I think you can only respond in the best way you can at the moment. Woooh—maybe there is no bad or good. What do you think?

johnny07: Hi! A friend of a friend? How mysterious! Maybe my record of my life for posterity will also bring prosperity?

As to there being no bad or good… I suppose it’s a matter of opinion. I would say hurting other people to benefit only yourself is always a bad thing to do. But I don’t know really. I mean, I try not to upset other people if I can help it, and I think that’s a good way to live your life. Thank you very much for commenting!

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