“…We now come to the case where a citizen becomes prince not through crime or intolerable violence, but by favor…, which may be called a civic principality. To attain this position depends not entirely on worth or entirely on fortune, but rather on cunning assisted by fortune. One attains it by help of popular favor or by the favor of the aristocracy… (Niccolo Machiavelli, The Prince, 63)…
“[There will also be those who] endeavor to exalt and create a prince in order to be protected by his authority… A wise prince will [thus] seek means by which his subjects will always, and in every possible condition of things, have need of his government, and then they will always be faithful to him” (66).
Not much has changed regarding political hegemony in the past 481 years sinceThe Prince was originally published, especially in the State of Illinois. Perpetuation of rule depends upon cronyism, patronage, nepotism, party loyalty, the re-drawing of legislative districts for consolidation of dominance… and stacks of money. It is best to rise and to retain power through “pay-to-play” politics in the Land of Anti-Justice (where legislators have squeezed the public employees’ pensions by dint of thievery).
Though the exploitations are transparent – political privilege, position, and self-preservation at any cost; delegation of power to ingratiating upstarts with their own political self-interests that will ensure one’s own; rigged judicial elections; and a belief that morality, ethics and legality are not binding, particularly for those who wield such unconscionable authority – indeed, subversions that are connived with selected lobbyists, corporate trolls and legislative toadies (a legislative “bipartisan” group) must be kept cunningly concealed behind closed doors and not widely-publicized.
Should all of this matter to you? The answer is an emphatic “Yes.” Though the Speaker of the House of Representatives has unequivocally refused to attend the Illinois We Are One Coalition summit to discuss an “honest proposal,” “fresh ideas,” and legal and ethical solutions for the state’s debt and revenue problems – in his words: “[Mr. Carrigan,] your suggestion of a meeting in Burr Ridge is not timely” – don’t let his scowl scare you.
Tell him what you think about his rebuff. After all, he invited you to respond: “Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions. With kindest personal regards, I remain sincerely yours”:firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com; (773) 581-8000 or (217) 782-5350.
If you’re lucky, his email addresses and telephone lines will not be disconnected, and one of his underlings will take your message to the Ninth Circle…