The Corrupt Rule Of Walter VI Of Brienne, The “Duke Of Athens”

The citizens of a free republic should always be alert to threats to their liberty.  Such threats may come in a variety of forms; one of the most dangerous is that posed by a fraud or con artist who appears in the guise of a “people’s champion.”  Skilled at manipulation and demagoguery, such men know how to take the measure of a crowd, or the tenor of the times; they know how to cast their voices so as to appear sympathetic to the legitimate aspirations of their people; and they are practiced at dangling before their gullible audiences the enticements that could be theirs, if only they agree to throw in their lot with him.

Continue reading

“The King Likes Only Empty Words” (Podcast)

The willingness to do what is necessary is an essential condition of success in any enterprise. There are those who are willing to do what is necessary, and those who are not.

We discuss an anecdote from Sun Tzu’s “Art of War,” and several other historical examples, to bring these points into focus.

Continue reading

Military Adventurism Brings Disaster To The Reckless

In the year 1260, Tuscany was engulfed in war.  The cities of Florence and Siena were engaged in mutual hostilities.  About twenty-five miles from Siena was located the small town of Montalcino, which happened to be a friend and ally of Florence.  The Sienese hoped that by staging an attack on Montalcino they might be able to compel the Florentines to send an expedition for its relief–an expedition that, they hoped, they could lure into a trap.  To this end, the Sienese government publicly announced their intention to move against Montalcino, and watched to see what the Florentine response would be.

Continue reading