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Sunday 8 January 2023

The Power Of Women

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The problem with an egalitarian society is the basic assumption that men and women are not really different. That men and women should work close alongside each other and be considered basically interchangeable. But history shows something completely different. As does reason, but history provides interesting examples, such as this from Discources on Livy:

Chapter XXVI

How states are ruined on account of women.

A difference arose in the city of Ardea between the patricians and plebeians, on account of a rich heiress, who had been demanded in marriage by a plebeian and a noble at the same time. The young woman, having lost her father, her guardians wanted to give her to the plebeian, but the mother preferred the noble. This gave rise to such disturbances that they actually came to arms; the entire nobility armed in support of the young noble, and all the people in favor of the plebeian. The latter, having been overcome, left Ardea, and sent to the Volscians for assistance, whilst the nobles applied to Rome. 

The Volscians, having arrived first, surrounded and besieged Ardea. When the Romans came, they shut in the Volscians between their army and the walls of the town, and pressed them so hard that, constrained by want of provisions, the Volscians were obliged to surrender at discretion. When the Romans entered the city, they put to death all the chiefs of the sedition, and re-established order. This occurrence suggests several points for reflection; first, we see that women have been the cause of great dissensions and much ruin to states, and have caused great damage to those who govern them. We have seen, in the history of Rome, that the outrage committed upon Lucretia deprived the Tarquins of their throne, and the attempt upon Virginia caused the Decemvirs the loss of their authority. Thus, Aristotle mentions as one of the first causes of the ruin of tyrants the outrages committed by them upon the wives and daughters of others, either by violence or seduction; and we have discussed this subject at length when treating of conspiracies. 

I say, therefore, that absolute princes and rulers of republics should not be indifferent to this subject, but should well reflect upon the disorders that may arise from such causes, and should see that proper remedies be applied in time, ere they involve their state or republic in loss and shame. This happened to the people of Ardea, who, after having permitted the quarrel amongst their citizens (which we have mentioned above) to grow to that degree that it led to civil war, were obliged afterwards, by way of restoring union, to ask the intervention of strangers, which is a great step to a loss of independence. But let us come to another subject for reflection, namely, the means of restoring union and harmony to a city, of which we shall treat in the following chapter.*

Men and women are very different, and many men can destroy themselves because of how they interact with women. 

Woman have a particular power over men, especially women of beauty. Men and women are not the same, and are not interchangeable. But Machiavelli is not rebuking or challenging women here. He is warning men of note that they should control themselves around women. There is no way in the near future that men and women will stop working alongside each other in most working contexts. There is no signs of our egalitarian society abating soon. So it is incumbent on men to hold themselves to a higher level so as not to be destroyed, by their own foolishness around women. 

For lack of self control men have ruined themselves and kingdoms. For lack of self control it’s possible for men to ruin themselves today. It happens a lot. Men ruin themselves, their careers, their family, their church, and more. 

Consider the dangers of lack of self control in this area, and make adjustments so you don’t end up in devastating error. 

*Niccolo Machiavelli, Discources on Livy, Pp341-342

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