Aristotle on Tyranny

Below is an excerpt from The History of Western Philosophy by Bertrand Russell. There is an interesting section on tyranny. A tyrant desires riches, whereas a king desires honour. The tyrant has guards who are mercenaries, whereas the king has guards who are citizens. Tyrants are mostly demagogues, who acquire power by promising to protect […]


Zeus had many children, but the cleverest one was Hermes, the God of thieves. When he was only a day old, he snuck into his brother Apollo’s (the God of Light and music) pasture and stole 50 of his best cows. He attached bark on the sole of their hooves and a broom on their […]

Appear to be Virtuous (The Prince)  

Machiavelli was suspected of being part of a conspiracy – he was tortured and placed under house arrest. That was when he wrote the Prince. This short book does not try to derive from first principles the nature of the ideal state and the qualities of a good ruler. He draws on the recent history […]

Be Spotless

Be Spotless: the indispensable condition of perfection. Few live without some weak point, either physical or moral, which they pamper because they could easily cure it. The keenness of others often regrets to see a slight defect attaching itself to a whole assembly of elevated qualities, and yet a single cloud can hide the whole […]

Find Each Man’s Thumbscrew

Find out each Man’s Thumbscrew. It is the art of setting their wills in action. It needs more skill than resolution. You must know where to get at any one. Every volition has a special motive which varies according to taste. All men are idolaters, some of fame, others of self-interest, most of pleasure. Skill […]