Final Word from Thursday, May 28, 2020

Petr Nečas might go down in history as the first former Czech prime minister to be convicted of a crime, but his story is as old as the hills. Niccolò Machiavelli wrote in The Prince about how a ruler should choose his secretaries (also sometimes translated as ministers or servants). When a prince sees a servant thinking more of his own interests than those of the prince, Machiavelli wrote, such a man will never make a good servant, nor will the prince ever be able to trust him. When the prince and servant cannot trust each other, he continued, the end will always be disastrous for either one or the other. There are three classes of intellect among rulers, he posited, the third of which is useless: That which neither comprehends by itself, nor from the advice of others. By this definition, Nečas failed in his choice of secretary. But his party and coalition partners also failed, because they were incapable of advising their ruler of the disastrous end to which his actions were leading. [ Czech Republic Niccolo Jana Nagyová Nečasová ]

Glossary of difficult words

as old as the hills - very old;

to posit - to put forward as fact or as a basis for argument.

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