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To take the second point first. In THE MACHIAVELLIANS, Burnhaminsists that politics is simply the struggle for power. Every greatsocial movement, every war, every revolution, every politicalprogramme, however edifying and Utopian, really has behind it theambitions of some sectional group which is out to grab power foritself. Power can never be restrained by any ethical or religiouscode, but only by other power. The nearest possible approach toaltruistic behaviour is the perception by a ruling group that itwill probably stay in power longer if it behaves decently. Butcuriously enough, these generalisations only apply to politicalbehaviour, not to any other kind of behaviour. In everyday life, asBurnham sees and admits, one cannot explain every human action byapplying the principle of CUI BONO? Obviously, human beings haveimpulses which are not selfish. Man, therefore, is an animal thatcan act morally when he acts as an individual, but becomes immoralwhen he acts collectively. But even this generalisation only holdsgood for the higher groups. The masses, it seems, have vagueaspirations towards liberty and human brotherhood, which are easilyplayed upon by power-hungry individuals or minorities. So thathistory consists of a series of swindles, in which the masses arefirst lured into revolt by the promise of Utopia, and then, whenthey have done their job, enslaved over again by new masters.
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I’ve enjoyed your vids, the book, and Elayna’s singing. You guys have a great life. I’ve been dreaming of being a live aboard for years and hopefully have my sailboat by end of summer. Thanks again and keep safe