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Machiavellianism

Machiavellianism
Ronald Roy — March 5, 2014

Named after Niccolò di Bernardo dei Machiavelli (1469–1527), Italian statesman and political philosopher, Machiavellianism is the practice of using unethical, immoral or unlawful methods to right a wrong, or otherwise to gain an advantage, as exemplified in the case of the west-leaning Ukrainian people who are currently embroiled in a new turmoil after having just ousted their president, Viktor Yanukovich, a fervid Moscow ally, for corruption and economic mismanagement.

Russia’s invasion of Crimea
Last March 1, Russian President Vladimir Putin obtained from his parliament overwhelming support for his military invasion of Ukraine, putting the latter’s newly installed leaders and troops on high alert, and getting them to appeal to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization for help. Specifically, it was the peninsula of Crimea, located off the Black Sea in the eastern area of Ukraine, which Russian soldiers occupied in order to protect Crimean inhabitants, most of whom are Russian nationals.
From Moscow’s point of view, therefore, Russian occupation of Crimea is not imperialistic or aggressive, but an exercise of a natural duty and right to protect all Russians living therein. However, this position has raised the hackles of Washington officials, with no less than US Pres. Barrack Obama directly telling Putin by phone that his soldiers had violated international law when they entered Crimea, a Ukrainian territory, without first obtaining a GO signal from the UN Security Council.
Parenthetically, let us recall that on the dissolution of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics in 1991, Ukraine and each of the other 14 republics gained the international status of statehood.

America losing clout?
The trouble with America’s reaction here is that it had likewise ignored the council’s prior-consent requirement when US Pres. George W. Bush ordered the invasion of Iraq in 2003, so there is just no way Obama can persuasively lecture down former KGB toughie Putin, notwithstanding the former’s threat to economically isolate Russia.
The Group of Seven (G7) major industrialized countries (Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, United Kingdom and America) has condemned the cited Russian intervention and suspended preparations for the G8 Summit (which includes Russia) that had been calendared to take place in June in Sochi. Analysts however feel that G7’s opposition is weak without the support of some European countries that are in great need of Russia’s petrol resources — and how well Mr. Putin knows this!
In fact, European Union officials, showing scant interest in joining Obama’s call for sanctions against Russia, have instead proposed mediation between Moscow and Kiev. It is therefore easy to see why Putin post-haste organized in the central and western main streets of Russia a military exercise that showcased a mind-boggling array of 150,000 marching soldiers and over a hundred tanks, aircraft, and what have you. Lamang na, nanakot pa!
So you see, Texter #1178, I disagree that Putin has been Machiavellian in the premises. He has been behaving in a clever, fearless and patriotic way designed to safeguard the interests of fellow Russians living in Crimea. So far his troops have been behaving rather defensively, not aggressively, though it’s still too early in the day to say how the status quo will play out in the attainment of peace among “warring” Slavs. Hmmm…isn’t it somewhat like the water-and-oil conundrums between Moros and Christians who are all Filipinos?!

Kim Henares, a Machiavelli?
However, with respect to BIR Commissioner Kim Henares, yes, Texter # 1178, I agree that she can be a “Machiavellian collector of taxes and revenues, an unethical, heartless and robotic bureaucrat committed to following the orders of Pres. Noynoy, not to serving the interests of honest taxpayers, big or small.”
Her idea of “successful collection performance” is the size of total collection with nary a regard for those taxed individuals and business entities, especially the small ones, who will remain unprogressive, or will even deteriorate, in a very ailing economy. The Tax Code arms the Bureau of Internal Revenue with a generous amount of discretion which can be exercised in favor of taxpayers, but Henares appears to delight in “going for the kill” at every opportunity.
No, she is not capable of realizing that reasonable and compassionate tax assessments can be utilized by small taxpayers as tools for, say, energizing job-creation possibilities. Her only concern is to meet the collection targets identified by P-Noy and that, dear Readers, is at least UNETHICAL, and therefore Machiavellian.
For instance, it has been mindlessly unproductive, if not ruthless or “treasonous”, of her to tax such ambassadors of goodwill as Filipino beauty pageant winners, songfest winners and athletes who compete abroad to bring honor to the country. To this day, I am outraged that the cash prize of a lowly Filipino OFW caregiver was taxed by Henares after unexpectedly winning first place in a recent singing contest in Israel. €#£%¥@$& !!!

( https://musingsbyroy.wordpress.com | 09186449517 | @ronald8roy | #musingsbyroy )

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