Percy Kemp not fly foot! Five hundred years after the Florentine Machiavelli, dare provide advice to contemporary Princes on “new ways of exercising power and the best way to keep it” does not lack audacity. Especially when it is not patented political scientist, but strategic intelligence specialist on the Middle East and complicated that we devote his spare time to write geopolitical thrillers in the John Le Carré, based on the best sources. And when, a native of Beirut and Oxford graduate, is written in French as caustic as distinguished.

The exercise, however, is not that style. The “Prince” modern (. Threshold, 140 pp., € 15) is like little, indeed, to his illustrious predecessor: “Due to the new reality of the world, the increase in world population, its needs , requirements and claims, as the result of narrowing of the space and the acceleration of history, unexpected events and their effects are known to multiply, weakening even more the Prince. ”

So here it buffeted by uncontrollable global turmoil, chess player taken aback by this unique game of checkers, sentenced to custody and control of more and more just to appear, the former as the guarantor security, stability and prosperity. So true it is that “contrary to what was the case in ancient times, today everyone knows that the Prince does not control events.” This does not, however, to hold him accountable for all and anything, political turmoil and economic crisis, military adventure and climatic hazards, safety or food.


Everyone will behind this profile, the Prince of choice. But the temptation is great, from our window, to see it as an accurate picture of who governs us. Francois Hollande, in this case.

Ten months after his election, in fact, than they say about it! For some, he talks too much, for others not enough. Here is praised his composure and coolness; regrettably, were there, his indolence or carelessness. Many and various are those who accuse him of not having taken the measure of the crisis besetting the country for five years, less numerous, it is true, those who recognize him step by step to accustom France to harsh medicines they need. Here he is sentenced to take care of everything, note do you here when we regret there, it does not take enough height. For some, he hesitates, for others, it cunning.

But everywhere, even in its ranks, doubt instilled and settled. Without clear doctrine or teaching convincing, it depends. With this fateful result: more curve unemployment rises, the more its popularity collapses.

Back to Percy Kemp, who says things nicely: “The tide of events is now such that it would be vain Prince cherchat to preserve its tumult by caulking in his fortress of paper mache or so, as if distressed in the Sicilian Ibn Zafar [Arab thinker and theologian of the twelfth century], hiding in a tree trunk like a chameleon and until the storm should pass. ” Indeed, “if that were threatening events, the Prince has no choice but to face them.” For this ensures our modern Florentine, he has four arms that some deem too surely “Machiavellian” to be up to the challenges of the moment.

The “Information”, first of all, that “predicts the event before it happens and thus gain time to prepare.” Intelligence, Fran?ois Hollande not lack. He showed no hesitation in intervening in Mali, where the French troops push their advantage tirelessly for two months.

It is less obvious, however, on the face of the economic war. Not that there is a lack of data, they swarm. With the exception of a single, decisive one rergain growth – global, European – he will come, and when put wind in the sails of the French economy? Without certainty, our rulers are reduced, on this point, the hope is that, Percy Kemp provides the same information that would otherwise lucid vision.


The second weapon is the “discount”. “Dangerous to handle,” Mr. Holland can see today at his expense: it relied on a bit of growth, which was not to go in 2012 and will not be more this year. For not having anticipated this stagnation places today in a painful stalemate.

If intelligence and discount lacking, “spoofing” can allow the Prince, if not foresee events and manage them, “at least try to return to his advantage.” Alas, all contribute to dissipate much faster than before: constant development of means of communication, always demand greater transparency, increase leaks and more, clearing the figure of “King Magician”. So, forced to repeat the exercise continuously, the modern Prince “must prove at any time that the glass is not half empty but half full.” Here we are, and unconvinced.

Remains, finally, the “Diversion”, or the art of implementing measures that deviate against-threatening event “of its trajectory towards a scapegoat.” In this regard, some bitterly criticized Mr. Holland did not vigorously enough, the day after his election, pointed the finger at the responsibility of ten years of right-wing government in the calamitous situation.

A sarcastic stranded Kemp adviser admits that these are just that “expediency”. And that there is no substitute for the Prince, “his ability to be in tune with those it governs and the spirit of its people.” Comparing England and France, he said that the latter, “Nation in stable equilibrium, do not like the movement and abhors change.” This, at least, seems very Hollande warned. That leaves him hoping to be in the long run, considered a good Prince!

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