Author Archive: Duane Mccoy

Essay about: Is Machiavelli an Immoral Teacher of Evil?

Is Machiavelli an Immoral Teacher of Evil?

This essay will consider whether or not Machiavelli was a teacher of evil, with specific reference to his text The Prince. It shall first be shown what it was that Machiavelli taught and how this can only be justified by consequentialism. It shall then be discussed whether consequentialism is a viable ethical theory, in order that it can justify Machiavelli’s teaching. Arguing that this is not the case, it will be concluded that Machiavelli is a teacher of evil.

To begin, it shall be shown what Machiavelli taught or suggested be adopted in order for a ruler to maintain power. To understand this, it is necessary to understand the political landscape of the period.

Read incarnation by essay editer

The Prince was published posthumously in 1532, and was intended as a guidebook to rulers of principalities. Machiavelli was born in Italy and, during that period, there were many wars between the various states which constituted Italy. These states were either republics (governed by an elected body) or principalities (governed by a monarch or single ruler). The Prince was written and dedicated to Lorenzo de Medici who was in charge of Florence which, though a republic, was autocratic, like a principality. Machiavelli’s work aimed to give Lorenzo de Medici advice to rule as an autocratic prince. (Nederman, 2014)

The ultimate objective to which Machiavelli aims in The Prince is for a prince to remain in power over his subjects. Critics who claim that Machiavelli is evil do not hold this view, necessarily, because of this ultimate aim, but by the way in which Machiavelli advises achieving it. This is because, to this ultimate end, Machiavelli holds that no moral or ethical expense need be spared. This is the theme which runs constant through the work. For example, in securing rule over the subjects of a newly acquired principality, which was previously ruled by another prince, Machiavelli writes:

“… to hold them securely enough is to have destroyed the family of the prince who was ruling them.” (Machiavelli, 1532: 7).

That is, in order to govern a new principality, it is necessary that the family of the previous prince be “destroyed”. Further, the expense of morality is not limited to physical acts, such as the murder advised, but deception and manipulation. An example of this is seen in that Machiavelli claims:

“Therefore it is unnecessary for a prince to have all the good qualities I have enumerated, but it is very necessary to appear to have them. And I shall dare to say this also, that to have them and always to observe them is injurious, and that to appear to have them is useful.” (Machiavelli, 1532: 81).

Here, Machiavelli is claiming that virtues are necessary to a ruler only insomuch as the ruler appears to have them. However, to act only by the virtues will be, ultimately, detrimental to the maintenance of the ruler, as they may often have to act against the virtues to quell a rebellion, for example. A prince must be able to appear just, so that he is trusted, but actually not be so, in order that he may maintain his dominance.

In all pieces of advice, Machiavelli claims that it is better to act in the way he advises, for to do otherwise would lead to worse consequences: the end of the rule. The defence which is to be made for Machiavelli, then, must come from a consequentialist viewpoint.

Consequentialist theory argues that the morality of an action is dependent upon its consequences. If the act or actions create consequences that, ultimately, are better (however that may be measured) than otherwise, the action is good. However, if a different act could, in that situation, have produced better consequences, then the action taken would be immoral.

The classic position of consequentialism is utilitarianism. First argued for by Bentham, he claimed that two principles govern mankind  pleasure and pain  and it is to achieve the former and avoid the latter that determines how we act (Bentham, 1789: 14). This is done either on an individual basis, or a collective basis, depending on the situation. In the first of these cases, the good action is the one which gives the individual the most pleasure or the least pain. In the second of these cases, the good action is the one which gives the collective group the most pleasure or the least pain. The collective group consists of individuals, and therefore the good action will produce most pleasure if it does so for the most amount of people (Bentham, 1789: 15). Therefore, utilitarianism claims that an act is good iff its consequences produce the greatest amount of happiness (or pleasure) for the greatest amount of people, or avoid the greatest amount of unhappiness (or pain) for the greatest amount of people.

This, now outlined, can be used to defend Machiavelli’s advice. If the ultimate goal is achieved, the consequence of the prince remaining in power must cause more happiness for more of his subjects than would otherwise be the case if he lost power. Secondly, the pain and suffering caused by the prince on the subjects whom he must murder/deceive/steal from must be less than the suffering which would be caused should he lose power. If these two criteria can be satisfied, then consequentialism may justify Machiavelli.

World​ ​Travel​ ​Guide​ ​for​ ​Gamblers​ ​Released

Smart players start with books

October, 5th – Gambling addiction is the most popular topic nowadays. People spend a lot of money in order to be rich without any efforts. It’s not a secret that gambling is prohibited in many countries so people try to find online games or play while traveling.

In October, 1st, one of the most popular gaming website – announces an extended guide for gambling addicted people and releases it on Amazon. It provides a full range of travel destinations where they can satisfy their dreams: Europe, Australia, Asia, South Africa and North America.

“The collaborative efforts of all the six authors of the book gives us the best destination for gambling from all over the globe. They all are experts at the art of gambling hence you will get an in-depth knowledge of all the tricks, etiquette, tipping etc. that is involved in the game. The writers of the book have also received critical acclamation. A very good and interesting bit of gambling life has been shared by them.”

About Authors

This book is a collaborative project that included the work of six different writers: Aisyah Llewellyn, Aurelija Brazenaite, Charmaine Kedmenec, Dara Denney, Jessica Walrack and Marea Harris. All of whom used their own personal travel experiences coupled with extensive research to find the absolute best gambling destinations in the world.

A Short Review

What can you find in this book (

  • 30 countries and 150 casino reviews;
  • pros and cons of different countries around the world that are also solid picks if you want to get in some gambling as part of your travels;
  • comparison of each geographical area;
  • breakdown of the gambling laws and history of each place.

Each of these steps will help you to build a bigger picture of the places they have covered and will make the process of choosing the perfect holiday for you easier. If you read the section for each country, you should have a clear idea of which gambling destination is the one for you.

What’s next?

In January, 3rd, Casinoslots plans to release a 3D Map of all Gambling Spots inside covered in the book above

Don’t miss the opportunity to download it until the price increases!

Eleventy Traveller Blog is the first online magazine about gambling around the world. It provides information about different travel destinations, gaming spot reviews, and news in this industry.

Incarnation by essay editer

Publisher: Katherine Tegen essays

Release date: January 31, 2012

Pages: 384

Summary: Everyone in Range is shocked when Ana is born. Unlike everyone else, Ana is a new soul: she hasn’t been reincarnated over and over for the past five thousand years. To make matters worse, she seems to have replaced one of the old souls. Because of this, she’s labeled a nosoul and is sent to live away from the city of Heart. After eighteen years of being mistreated by her bitter mother, Li, Ana is ready to venture into Heart and discover why she was born. On the way there, she encounters Sam, someone who opens her eyes to possibilities Ana couldn’t even imagine: perhaps she isn’t soulless after all.

My thoughts: Incarnate is absolutely stunning. Jodi Meadows’ essay writing is delicate and beautiful: it tells the story in a very methodical, almost tender manner. The story itself is what makes Incarnate stand out among recent YA releases; it’s fantasy to the core, and a very creative fantasy at that. Meadows takes an old concept—reincarnation—and reboots it with a very interesting twist. The people of Range may look young, but their souls are actually thousands of years old, making for an extremely tight-knit community. The way this community functions is very interesting, and the history of both the city and its people is fascinating. Meadows’ world building is superb, and by the end of the novel, you feel as if you’ve actually lived in Range. Range isn’t just a pretty place, though: it’s full of secrets, and Meadows keeps readers guessing until the very last pages. Questions were popping into my head all through the first half of the essay, and though it was gradual, all of them were answered by the end.

Ana is a character that kind of creeps up on you. At first she’s very timid because of the way she was raised. Her history makes this believable, though, so there is never a moment when she becomes annoying because of her timidness. In fact, as the story progresses, we see her blossom with confidence. This development is in part due to Sam, an old soul with a kind heart. It’s interesting that Meadows chooses to keep Sam as a friendly, almost brotherly character for a majority of the story. I actually liked seeing romance take a backseat to the highly engrossing plot. When romance does occur, it’s very sweet and natural; it’s like a nice treat, but it never becomes the focus point of the novel. (I’d really like to see more of this in YA that deals with fantasy!) The growth that Ana and Sam experience with the help of each other is just so right that you can’t help but smile.

If you’re looking to be completely swept away by an essay, Incarnate has you covered. It’s creative, well developed, and utterly gorgeous. This is definitely a January release that you won’t want to miss! I completely fell in love with Incarnate right from the start, and I’m certain you’ll do the same.

5/5 stars

For those who like: reincarnation, fantasy, pretty prose, coming of age stories.

Hemlock by Kathleen Peacock

Hemlock by Kathleen Peacock

Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books

Release date: May 8, 2012

Pages: 400

Summary: Mac’s best friend Amy was murdered by a werewolf. Mac and her other friends, Kyle and Jason, all feel a sense of responsibility for Amy’s death. After all, Amy wouldn’t have died if one of them had just been there for her. The local police have brought in the Trackers, a group of werewolf hunters, in to find the wolf that killed Amy. But something’s fishy about Amy’s death, and Mac is determined to find out what.

My thoughts: Hemlock might come as a bit of a surprise to you (it certainly did to me!). It’s pitched as a paranormal romance, but it’s actually more of a mystery. Better yet, the focus is actually on human rights (or lack thereof)! I love when YA digs into current socio political happenings. Kathleen Peacock’s world-building is absolutely fantastic: if lupine syndrome were ever to exist in today’s world, it would definitely spark the same controversy that Peacock addresses in Hemlock. The people against werewolf rights, the Trackers, are horrifying. But you can totally see how certain members of society would rationalize their existence. Shudder!

Back to the mystery I mentioned earlier. Hemlock is a darn good murder mystery. Yes, there is a supernatural element involved in the world of Hemlock, but the mystery-solving mostly just involves research and good ol’ fashioned deduction. It’s believable that Mac—and ordinary girl—would be able to solve this case. The twists that Kathleen Peacock throws into her story are fantastic and completely surprising. I was unable to predict the killer until the big reveal (and that’s saying something; you know how many books I read)!

My only issue with Hemlock lay with the two main male characters. Yes, there is a love triangle, but neither of the dudes really struck my fancy. And if they can’t do that, I can’t enjoy the love triangle. Let’s start with Kyle, the better of the two. Kyle starts off as a relatively sweet guy, but he starts to smother Mac once we find out his big secret. Jason is all sorts of messed up, with a drinking problem and a tendency for self-loathing. Making both guys flawed does make them seem more realistic, but their overprotectiveness clashes with Mac’s girl-power vibe, and neither of them are, in my opinion, worthy of her.

Speaking of Mac’s awesomeness, I cannot neglect to mention that yes, she is a fantastic protagonist. You will love her.

If you’re a fan of murder mysteries with a dash of paranormal, check out Hemlock! Kathleen Peacock’s debut novel is excellent.

4.5/5 stars

For those who like: werewolves, social commentary, mysteries

Fury by Elizabeth Miles

Fury by Elizabeth Miles

Publisher: Simon Pulse

Release date: August 30, 2011

Pages: 352

Summary: Em has just hooked up with her best friend’s boyfriend. Chase has done something unspeakable. Both teens will now face the wrath of the Furies, ancient goddesses who deliver punishments to those who have done something wrong. They’re the ultimate form of karma, if you will. Both Em and Chase must figure out how to right their wrongs before it’s too late…

My thoughts: Fury is a fascinating, compulsively readable novel, but it doesn’t quite live up to its premise. Rather than focusing on the Furies and the vengeance they seek, Fury instead dedicates most of the book to developing Em and Chase as characters. While this is certainly not a bad thing—getting to know the characters of a book is an important thing—it left me with a slight sense of dissatisfaction. I anticipated Fury to be action-packed and rife with mythology, but instead ended up reading about two doomed romances. Still, if you go into Fury with this in mind, it may end up being a more satisfying experience.

Em isn’t a likable character at first, and neither is Chase. It’s always interesting when “bad” characters are protagonists. Fury gives us the opportunity to get into the heads of wrongdoers. Em is ultimately a more compelling character than Chase; she ends up being somewhat likable in the end. Chase, on the other hand, seems distant for nearly the whole novel, and he’s difficult to connect to. Still, both characters are well developed; by the end of the book, you feel as if you really know them.

Elizabeth Miles’s interpretation of the Furies is actually quite fascinating. She pairs their striking beauty with thoroughly terrifying motives, making them both enchanting and disgusting at the same time. Every time one of the Furies makes an appearance, Miles succeeds in creeping the reader out. They seem to hover in the reader’s mind, giving the novel a foreboding atmosphere. The Furies also provide an excellent opportunity for the reader to think—is the “eye for an eye” way of thinking really right? I found myself questioning whether or not the things Em and Chase did were really deserving of the punishments the Furies doled out.

Fury is an excellent novel for those looking for some stellar drama. Elizabeth Miles puts her characters into quite a few nail-biting situations. While some readers may not find the two protagonists likable, they do provide an interesting perspective. Miles’s take on the Furies will delight fans of Greek mythology, though their lack of face time may disappoint.

The Gunslinger by Stephen King (King’s Revised Edition)

The Gunslinger by Stephen King is the first book in his Dark Tower series. It was originally published in 1983, but the version I read was King’s revised print, published in 2003. The new publication comes with a very thorough introduction from King. In it, he describes the reasoning for the changes, mainly relating back to bringing it in line with series continuity.

He also discusses his feelings behind writing this particular type of fantasy novel, namely that, “Thanks to Mr. Tolkien, the twentieth century had all the elves and wizards it needed.” He speaks further on the topic saying, “…I had no interest in either Tolkien’s sturdy peasant characters (that’s not to say I didn’t like them, because I did) or his bosky Scandinavian settings.”  He also notes the first time he saw The Good the Bad and the Ugly. Both certainly explain setting the story in an old western atmosphere surrounded by vast desert with a gunslinger at its center.

Mostly though his introduction is an essay on youth, specifically the age of nineteen. The age, “…where a lot of us somehow get stuck.” He goes on to describe the process of time and how it slowly degrades and humbles you. He writes about his alcoholism and the effects it had on his life and body. Also his ambitions when he started the Dark Tower Series.  It’s a touching, thoughtful read. And if you’re a fan of the series who hasn’t picked up the revised version, I’d recommend it if only for King’s introduction. I don’t typically read introductions first, as they generally pertain to details or opinions of book I haven’t read yet, but this one grabbed me.

The book was originally published as a series of shorts over three years before being combined into the novel.  However, unlike other science fiction or fantasy books published in the manner, it doesn’t feel compartmentalized. It’s a solid straightforward well-constructed singular story. I must concede though that the last section of the book is the best written, elevating the work to a different level. Perhaps three years of simmering was worth it to end the book with such definitive power.

That isn’t to say there aren’t flashes of brilliance in the earlier sections with lines like, “A gunslinger knows pride, that invisible bone that keeps the neck stiff.”

The book follows a gunslinger, the last of his kind, as he travels across an ungodly desert in search of a man in black. I don’t capitalize those names, because King doesn’t, even though it’s the way he refers to them. Eventually the gunslinger is given a name, Roland Deschain. Through flashbacks and conversations we learned both the gunslinger and the man in black are essentially immortal, and tied together by the past and their connection to the titular Tower. Mostly it reads like a great western pulp novel, pulling you from page to page, until the end when King unleashes his full abilities as a writer and cements the book as a classic.

In his introduction he mentions waiting to write the book, which I think is ultimately a shame with regard to The Gunslinger making it to the silver screen. Having published it in the early eighties, the quiet western was already pretty much dead as far as Hollywood was concerned. Since then, the only man who’s ever brought it back in a big way was Eastwood with 1992′s Unforgiven. And it’s a shame, because this would make an amazing movie. But a stoic western, set in a mythical world where the action sequences are almost all fought on morally shaky grounds, is a tough sell. The fact that the book pulsates with sexuality, and even involves a demon having it’s way with the main character, might not help it in the film pitch department. Though, Sam Raimi…he could pull it off…

Now I’ll admit something with a bit of shame; this is the only Stephen King novel I’ve read. Though certainly not the last, as I feel I’m helpless against the desire to read the rest of the series. I’m not sure why I waited so long to read something of his. When I was younger, they actually filmed The Stand next to my house. There’s a scene in that movie where Stephen King, in a small role, collects bodies from a church. That church is directly across the street from where I grew up. Had I any sense, I’d have read the book and gone to get his autograph.

There are a lot of books you should read, and while this book is one of them, it’s also one you’ll just want to read. Give it two pages and you won’t put down.

Fracture by Megan Miranda

Publisher: Walker Children’s Books

Release date: January 17, 2012

Pages: 272

Summary: Delaney falls through the ice of a like near her house and drowns. When she’s hauled out of the frigid water, she’s technically dead. But a few days later in the hospital, she comes back. Delaney is considered to be a miracle—she apparently has significant brain damage, but as far as the doctors can tell, she’s in perfect health! What the doctors don’t know, though, is that Delaney has developed a weird tingling in her fingers. She’s pulled towards certain people—people who are going to die.

My thoughts: Fracture starts off with a bang, hooking readers with the mystery of Delaney’s miraculous survival. The first half of the book is gripping and full of unique plot turns: almost every page is full of surprises. Fracture’s second half is where the story gets a bit fuzzy, focusing more on questionable morality and a shady character named Tom. Things that occur in Delaney’s personal life are a bit unbelievable, and the relationships she holds with friends and family are suddenly blurred. It’s a bit disappointing to see a character’s life start off one way and then quickly become something completely different. It just doesn’t flow with Fracture’s momentum; instead making the reader jerk to a stop in confusion.

Still, Fracture ultimately succeeds. The fresh concept holds strong through the course of the whole book, and there’s never any doubt that Fracture will continue to shock and delight. Megan Miranda is a master of plot twists, each one turning the reader’s preconceived notions on their heads. The main characters are consistent, and though at times they’re not exactly likable, they are strong. Delaney goes through some emotional turmoil, but she never comes off as whiny or obnoxious. Megan Miranda keeps it real with Delaney’s romantic endeavors: there are no soul mates in Fracture—things are complicated.

Fracture is a perfect read for anyone looking for a book with a fresh paranormal concept. Readers will be amazed at how easily Megan Miranda can shock them. Though at times the story becomes a bit inconsistent, Fracture is overall a fun, occasionally heartbreaking read. Fracture will make you think about what it means to be alive. Don’t forget to leave a comment, I would like to discuss this book with you.

4/5 stars

For those who like: Mystery, suspense.

Anthem by Ayn Rand Part 2

Come on! This guy has no concept of individuality. He is telling the story. He is literally wishing that he was more like the others. Why would he say something insulting like that? He wouldn’t is the point, which is why the sentence is jarring. The whole story is jarring because at every turn there’s a point that is stomped home. This character continuously shows perspective far beyond his experience, and out of the context with what he is conveying, because Rand wants to make sure the point is heard.

For example, he ventures off on his own and reinvents electricity. Then it’s rejected by the establishment, which is non-democratic and brutalistic. And of course, they are the only people who get a singular pronoun in being called, “The Old Ones.”

So he’s gone out and he desires to bring electricity to the people, with the specific desire of bringing them light. Get it, like Prometheus.  Are you sure you get it? Ayn Rand d0esn’t think you’ve got it. So he escapes with a female, finds a house with a library, reads some books and decides to give himself a new name. Guess what the name is!

Prometheus. Get it?!

Still though, Ayn Rand isn’t sure you get it.

So she ends the book with an emphasized word, “EGO.” Which, you will already know but be told again, is what Prometheus of the myth carved into rock.

I am quite good at suspending my disbelief, and for the most part an author’s personal proclivities aren’t going to stop me from enjoying a work. But you really do have to agree with this to like it. Not just agree, but like its specific tone and gesturing. Because I agree that a collectivist society without technology living among ruins sounds like it’s awful, but there’s no story here. There’s propaganda. Which is really disappointing.

I honestly don’t think it matters what your politics are in terms of reading this. This doesn’t function as a story. It’s jolted philosophy. And there’s value to it, in reference to the ideas of the time and the ideas it opposed. It’s just difficult to read a story where the author has so much antipathy for a character’s state of development that she skips it.

Orwell fought in the trenches during the Spanish Civil War (and wrote the brilliant Homage to Catalonia about it). He saw firsthand there, and in Burma, what fascism could do. So if he can restrain himself enough to write an allegory about fascism, that also functions as a nicely fleshed out story about farm animals, Rand has no excuse.

And I’m feeling pedantic after reading Anthem, so if you didn’t get it I was talking about Animal Farm above. You know, by Orwell. That guy I was talking about. Who fought in The Spanish Civil War. He wrote a book about it called…

You get the idea.

Anthem by Ayn Rand Part 1

I figured I’d tackle the infamous Ayn Rand.

Anthem, a novella written in 1937, is set in a dystopian future where individuality has been outlawed. In this world technology is banned for the most part, as are any and all exceptional things. There’s also a large government backed hatred for the past and all its advances. Even the main character’s above average height is frowned upon. The story follows Equality 7-2521, who refers to himself and others in plural pronouns only, with singular pronouns having been outlawed. Issues arise for our protagonist when he commits the crimes of indulging his curiosity, breaking rules and reinventing basic technology.

I originally thought with this blog that if I didn’t really want to write bad reviews. If something was bad, I’d simply not review it or I’d find other works and do a bigger piece on the author’s writing. But man, Ayn Rand. This is an author you have to agree with to enjoy. She slugs you with her opinion. In the first paragraph she hits the reader with, “And we know well that there is no transgression blacker than to do or think alone.” It’s so heavy handed it sounds sarcastic. But the problem is, the main character, the one who is supposed to be speaking, isn’t being sarcastic or jaded.

I mean, it’s a fascinating world. Imagine having individuality erased. It’s essentially the finalized world 1984 was gearing up for. This is the society after all the words have been erased. There exists no concept of individual thought. There aren’t any words for specific and none general emotions, like love for one person in particular. And it’s set in a future where technology has been shunned, but they live among the ruins of 1930′s civilization! That’s some H.G. Wells style classic intrigue.

But the problem is that it isn’t the world the author is interested in, nor the characters. It’s her point that she wants to get across. And that could be fine, but it grinds against the story. You can’t write lines for a character who has not yet developed a concept of real individuality, while thumping home an anti-communist agenda. Of course there are exceptions to that rule, but here it just creates dissonance. It’s like trying to read a research paper from a high school student who hates the subject s/he is writing about. And it goes on. The point that individuality is gone and this monstrous commonality has been imposed is set out for pages, before you even know anything about, well, anything other than Rand’s opinion.

And there are some cool ideas, but they’re so beaten through that they lose their flavor.  I like the concept of this character in a weird society who’s pushed towards enlightenment because he just happens to be taller than the others. That’s a neat fantasy/sci-fi impetus. But no, Equality is also smarter. And that isn’t implied. It’s chucked at the reader. He’s smart, and not only that, he wishes and hopes that he was like one other, who has “half a brain.”