Power and Persuation



Of what importance is goodness in the weak? The righteously ineffectual fall like all the rest.

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“Hence it comes about that all armed Prophets have been victorious, and all unarmed Prophets have been destroyed.”

– Nicollo Machiavelli

The most useless of our philosophers are fond of saying ‘great men are almost always bad men.’ What philosopher of the good would value the impotence of his adherents?
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 “You should not forget about the law even for one moment, you should weaken the adherents and conquer the public speakers. You should suppress all discussions and arguments and govern only according to the law. When people are stupid, they are easy to govern.”

-Shang Yang


One of the most commonly held assumptions in the 21st century is that we are all answerable to the same, universal standard of morality. Being kind, being humble, being agreeable, being merciful, being charitable – these are the marks of goodness in both teachers and prison guards, small children and retired business people, presidents and janitors.

I hope you come to question these assumptions in the following series of essays.

Part One – Dr. McN, Professor CL and the Niceness Trap

Part Two – Sun Tzu and the Concubine Army

Part Three – Concerning Cruelty and Clemency

Part Four – French and Raven’s Five Forms of Power 

Part Five – Theories of Punishment

Part Six – Leaders Who Can’t Forgive (Coming soon)

Part Seven – The Ken Ham vs. Bill Nye Debate or Why the Facts Don’t Matter (Coming soon)

Part Eight – How to Persuade People Who Don’t Want to be Persuaded (Coming soon)

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