In Machiavelli’s masterpiece, The Prince, chapter 19 — “That One Should Avoid Being Despised And Hated” — contains Machaivelli’s only suggested restrictions on the Prince’s absolute power. Machiavelli essentially argues that the Prince must not take the people’s sheep (“sheep” being a metaphor for the ability of peasants to have enough food) or their women (“women” being a metaphor for women). He writes: “It makes him hated above all things, as I have said, to be rapacious, and to be a violator of the property and women of his subjects, from both of which he must abstain. And when neither their property nor honour is touched, the majority of men live content, and he has only to contend with the ambition of a few, whom he can curb with ease in many ways.”
These are good restrictions for all who find themselves in positions of inscrutable power. Most men will suffer any other form of servitude so long as they have enough to eat and are allowed exclusive access to their own wives. The 1% will be just fine, so long as they don’t institute some kind of system of polygamy that allows the wealthy to marry-up all of the available women.
Machaivelli’s advice applies just as easily to a totalitarian ruler of a country as it does to a managing partner of a law firm. Managing partners, ignore Machiavelli at your peril. You could end up with a full-scale revolt on your hands — or, at the very least, an embarrassing lawsuit from a former, allegedly cuckolded partner….
My boyfriend and I always joke with each other that if we get married and one of us is stupid enough to cheat, then we won’t just get mad, we’ll get even. I personally don’t understand why people cheat — it’s a disgusting thing to do to another person. Can’t you just break it off before you get your rocks off with someone else? I mean, come on, have some common courtesy, folks.
A lawyer in Texas shared my point of view on cheating, but he got mad and apparently took the “getting even” part a little bit too far. In the end, while he might have been $155,000 richer, his law license was indefinitely suspended, and his wife was recently disbarred.
How did this all come to pass? And why did she get disbarred, not her husband?
It all started with a “[p]rofessional woman who [wa]s full of desire but not having her needs met”….
It’s a Scarlet Letter tale for the digital age. A Georgetown law student’s life has completely unraveled. His way of dealing with losing his wife, his mistress, his supposed baby, his military assignment, and good standing at Georgetown Law School? A public confession on Facebook.
He posted the note with the details of his sad, sordid story on his Facebook wall this week. It begins:
For the world to know:
I was an awful husband. Instead of being honest with my wife about the real problems we faced, I chose to band-aide my pain by seeking comfort in the arms of another woman. The single worst moral failing of my entire life, that I will never atone for and never live down. There is no excuse for my behavior and I deserve every stone that any of you choose to throw.
Anyone who’s ever seen Fatal Attraction or any of the derivative films it has spawned knows that seeking comfort in the arms of another woman will only lead to very bad things. We’ve redacted the names of those involved; we’ll call this candid law student “BAD, BAD BULLDOG.” He decided to share in detail how his dalliance with BULLDOG TEMPTRESS sent his life into a tailspin.
One or more of his Facebook friends — so impressed by the public pillory — copied the note into an email and forwarded it on, thus inviting others to join in the stone-throwing. This has resulted in widespread distribution at the school, and the email’s landing in our inbox.
There are many lessons to be learned here. Two big ones: (1) Don’t cheat on your wife, and (2) If your mistress tells you she’s pregnant, make sure you see the test with the pink line with your own eyes…
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