To the editor: It’s amusing watching Dick Randolph try to match wits with the Cole brothers and is even more amusing to see Mr. Randolph misrepresent Niccolo Machiavelli and go on to remind us that “it is every citizen’s responsibility to become informed and know enough to make rational decisions and judgments.”
Should Mr. Randolph follow his own advice, he should inform himself by reading Erica Benner’s “Be Like the Fox: Machiavelli and his World” (2017 and available at his public library). There was probably no one alive who was as opposed to oligarchs, like the Medicis, than Machiavelli, who wrote in “Discourses” that “republics are far more observant of accords than princes, and argues that because of this popular governments last much longer and make fewer mistakes than the prince.”
Benner informs those willing to learn that “Machiavelli would later warn his readers not to be ‘deceived by a false good and a false glory’ into following men who ‘turn to tyranny.’ His ‘Prince,’ ‘Discourses,’ and ‘Florentine Histories’ were all written under Medici rule, and all these works, in different ways, convey a subtle message: beware.”
The Kochs are oligarchs, our own Medicis, no matter how you slice and dice them. Their corporations shouldn’t have the same rights as human citizenry. Their money shouldn’t own politicians. And their devotees should read more history.