Tuesday, November 18, 2014

The Compatibility of Machiavelli's Statement With the Current Syrian Civil War.

Some part of Machiavelli's statement (here below) is to some extent compatible with the current civil war in Syria, when it comes to the position of some Syrian opposition. Some have joined ISIS or Al-Nusra Front for better proposal in different terms and some have settled down and started a new life in Turkey, Qatar, Lebanon, etc. So is the case of Iraqi army that abandoning city after city to ISIS fighters. These simple examples, however, show an important point. The important point is that there is not too much difference between general characteristics of mercenaries in 16th century and today's so-called modern time as Machiavelli defined couple of centuries ago. Here below is a copy of a short note in this matter that i wrote it last year.

M. Sirani                                    18.11.2014

Machiavelli's Statement About The Current Syrian Civil War.

I don't want to apply this statement to all the Syrian opposition. Simply, because I know there are many honest Syrian freedom fighters, who do their best to establish freedom, democracy and secularism in Syria for all the Syrian people. But part of the reason (I emphasize part of the reason) that after two and half years struggle, we have not been able to remove Bashar Assad from the power lies in this part of Machiavelli's statement. There are many other reasons, which are out of the scope of this short note; therefore, I don't explore them. However, according to Machiavelli:

"Mercenaries and auxiliaries are useless and dangerous, and any ruler who relies on them to defend his state will be insecure and in peril; because they are disunited, ambitious, undisciplined, and disloyal; courageous when they are with their friends, cowardly in the presence of the enemy; they have no fear of God and don’t keep their promises. [Although he doesn’t say so, Machiavelli is now talking only about mercenaries. Auxiliary armies will be his topic in the next chapter.] With them as his army, the only way a prince can hold off his own ruin is by holding off any military attack; in peace one is robbed by •them, and in war by •the enemy. Why? Because they have no affection for you, and no reason to go to battle except the small wages you pay them, and those aren’t enough to make them willing to die for you! They’re ready enough to be your soldiers while you aren’t at war with anyone, but when war comes they either desert or run away on the battlefield"
                                                                                                           (Machiavelli, 2010, P. 26)
M. Sirani                       09.10.2013                
Bennet, J. (2010). The Prince. URL<: http://www.earlymoderntexts.com/pdfbits/machpr2.pdf>.
Accessed on: 09.10.2013.