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LovelyLuna
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Dumbledore Machiavellian???

So I came across this quote from Jo and it really struck me:

UPDATE: MTV has an interesting report with a few new bits of fan reaction and information concerning Snape:

Earlier, Rowling said she was particularly pleased with how Snape's story played out throughout the course of the series, contrasting his character arc with that of Dumbledore.

"Although [Dumbledore] seems to be so benign for six books, he's quite a Machiavellian figure, really. He's been pulling a lot of strings. Harry has been his puppet," she explained. "When Snape says to Dumbledore [toward the end of 'Hallows'], 'We've been protecting [Harry] so he could die at the right moment' — I don't think in book one you would have ever envisioned a moment where your sympathy would be with Snape rather than Dumbledore."

I had to look up Machiavelli to make sure I understood correctly, Machi wrote that the end justifys the means. The thing I am struggling with is that this is usually understood to be a bad thing.

Was God the Father Machiavellian to plan the death of his son so that the world could be saved from sin?

I would say it was only Machiavellian of DD to prepare Harry if he did not suspect Harry would be coming back as was mentioned about DDs look of triumph in GoF when Harry told him that Voldy had used Harry's blood to come back. It would only be negative if one didn't really believe in life after death.

I would love to ask Jo about this comment...


Any thoughts?
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tigerlilly
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Re: Dumbledore Machiavellian???

Wow that's deep, but quite true I think. In a way I can kind of see where Dumbledore was coming from. It is not like he wanted Harry to die, but there really was no other way to destroy Voldy. So he conditioned Harry to die in order to save the world. I agree with Jo on this, Dumbledore's plan is only negative if you don't believe in life after death("there are worse things than death", don't you remember). It was just pure luck that Voldy used some of Harry's blood to regenerate.
We know it broke Dumbledore's heart to set him up for that sacrifice, but I think DD realized that he couldn't not. Remember at the end of OOTP, DD said that his one mistake was that he cared about Harry too much, he said who cares how many faceless people die as long as Harry was happy. But after Sirius's death he realized that it had to be ended, Voldy had to be destroyed. Harry HAD to die. In a way I feel bad for DD because he was the only one who knew what Harry had to do, it was he who had to see that that horrible fate was carried out. What a burden that must have been.
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Re: Dumbledore Machiavellian???

This is very deep stuff indeed, and I am not sure you will ever truly reach a consensus from people anywhere. However, I will throw in my two cents.

First, I want to respond to God as the Father Machiavellian. Some people, including myself, believe that God is the Son. I could be wrong, but I believe most Christian religions believe in this. Therefore, if God was puppetmaster, he was also his own puppet.

Many political theorists will say at some point, for someone to gain power, the end justifies the means. It all boils down to conflict and power procurement. But Machiavelli discusses this in more detail. He does not simply say that the ends justify the means. He states that, "The only acceptable end was the stabilization and health of the state; individual power for its own sake is not an acceptable end and does not justify evil actions." However, some other Machiavellian ideas are more controversial, and this is why it has been censored. He says that "if cruel actions must be undertaken, they must be swift, effective, and short-lived."

What we have to remember about Machiavelli, is that he wrote these ideas at a time when Italy was building its republic, and he was very interested in how it should be structured

Obviously, we have a huge conflict in HP. But at the very root of this conflict is the breakdown of a system of government and the possible takeover from one very dark wizard. The resolution is held in the body of one innocent boy. Here is the question, the entire world, wizarding and muggle alike, are in danger of a homicidal maniac who holds great power. How do we take this awesome power away from him? Surely, DD pondered this many times, but always came back to the same sad conclusion. I don't believe he wanted it to happen, but that he knew it had to happen to save the world from this horrible being that had no ties to anything, including himself! He was primarily interested in the health and stabilization of the state.

So here is my question. What would we do if we were in DD's shoes. I would like to think that I would do the same things and see that the end justifies the means. We are awfully attached to the character of Harry Potter, and rightfully so. He is our hero. We have been rooting for him from Day 1. Rowling is a genius. She hands us a problem of great magnitude with a solution that is mortifyingly overwhelming. Fortunately for us, we have a safe passage.

At any rate, you cannot, I beg, berate DD for what he orchestrated. Had he not done what he did, had he not been in charge of the whole thing from day 1, had he not ultimately been interested in the health and stabilization of the state, I believe with all my heart and fictional clarity, that we would have had a more somber ending.

I am no expert on Machiavelli. I got this info from two websites. I don't like Wikipedia so much because it isn't entirely dependable, nonetheless, I went there.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Machiavelli
http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/machiavelli/

Political theorists have their work cut out for them. They have to walk the line on morals and authority. These are two things that don't often work well together. Religious history is outstanding proof of this.
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LovelyLuna
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Re: Dumbledore Machiavellian???

[ Edited ]
Do not, I beg you, berate DD for what he orchestrated. Had he not done what he did, had he not been in charge of the whole thing from day 1, had he not ultimately been interested in the health and stabilization of the state,



And I do not berate DD. I know that there was no other way. The problem I have is for anyone to think badly of DD because he sent Harry like a lamb to the slaughter. I think DD ultimately did it for love.


And not to get into a theological debate, but in my religion God the Father and Christ are 2 separate beings and are one in purpose. Again not to start a debate. I understand that others believe differently. But that sort of explains my idea of the Father/Dumbledore as the puppetmaster idea.

Message Edited by LovelyLuna on 10-19-2007 08:32 PM
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Re: Dumbledore Machiavellian???

I wasn't speaking to you personally. Just to anyone, in general.

Additionally, he didn't lead Harry like a lamb to the slaughter. In this case, we see Harry with the choice. Harry technically did not have to do anything with the knowledge. That is what makes Harry such a great heroic character. He takes the knowledge and he acts on it. Lambs did not have the choice. Small point, I suppose. But different enough I think.



LovelyLuna wrote:
Do not, I beg you, berate DD for what he orchestrated. Had he not done what he did, had he not been in charge of the whole thing from day 1, had he not ultimately been interested in the health and stabilization of the state,



And I do not berate DD. I know that there was no other way. The problem I have is for anyone to think badly of DD because he sent Harry like a lamb to the slaughter. I think DD ultimately did it for love.


And not to get into a theological debate, but in my religion God the Father and Christ are 2 separate beings and are one in purpose. Again not to start a debate. I understand that others believe differently. But that sort of explains my idea of the Father/Dumbledore as the puppetmaster idea.

Message Edited by LovelyLuna on 10-19-2007 08:32 PM


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phrodo41
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Re: Dumbledore Machiavellian???

Where do you guys think DD's earlier statements in regard to the Greater Good fit in here?

There seems to be some heavy irony in this. Dumbledore's reputation is tainted b/c he inspired Grindelwald's slogan "for the greater good" albiet through a very brief but intense friendship they shared shortly before DD came to his senses. I believe this 'slogan' came from the good part of DD's conscience; that he had convinced himself that Grindelwald would see it the same way.

But fast-forward to Harry's time and... everything DD does is for what he perceives to be for the greater good, even though it causes incredible suffering for Harry.

In a way you could say it is the slogan of DD's entire life - to work for the Greater Good.

Is this the same thing as Machiavellianism - saying that the ends justify the means; that certain things can be justified as long as a 'greater good' is being served?

Even deeper, in a way isn't this same notion at the very crux of the Christian doctrine of atonement - that God allows/caused tremendous suffering for his Son, for the greater good of redeeming his creation that has been ruined by the curse of sin.

SO if that's how it works on the largest scale - ie, God and his choices - how does it work for humans on a smaller scale??
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tigerlilly
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Re: Dumbledore Machiavellian???

[ Edited ]

phrodo41 wrote:


Is this the same thing as Machiavellianism - saying that the ends justify the means; that certain things can be justified as long as a 'greater good' is being served?






I am not a Machiavellian scholar, but this is what I have retained from my European History class that I that was a complete waist of my life up until now. In the 15th century, he wrote a book called The Prince, which was a sort of instruction guide for rulers. He was mainly writing with Italy in mind, and Florence in particular. You see, at this time the city-states of Italy were very divided, often lead by corrupt, despotic governments. Machiavelli's hope was that a ruler would come forward to unite his particular state. He said that this ruler should work "for the greater good", and in this case the greater good of course meant unity. He said that sometimes the ruler may have to engage in some kind of evil in order to ensure that greater good. So, to Machiavelli, the end only justified the means when it would result in good for the nation. Selfish interests did not justify the means.

It is interesting also that Machiavelli said that when evil has to be done for the greater good, it should be done discreetly; the ruler must be able to retain their good face. Perhaps that is why Dumbledore was ambiguous and never too trusting of anyone; he only gave the information that was needed, nothing more. That may also be why he never discussed his past. Think, if Harry had known the truth about DD any earlier than he did, he may have accepted his fate so easily. Similarly, Machiavelli continues to say that in order for a good ruler to be respected, to be loved by his people, he should be slightly feared by his people. Doesn't that seem like a contradiction? Do you think DD was feared(I mean feared by those who were loyal to him. we all know he was feared by Voldy/the MoM)

If you guys already knew all of that about Machiavelli, then I am truly sorry for being repetitive. I just think it helps to know where Machiavelli was coming from. Based on that I think DD has some Machiavellian traits, but they are not on the same level completely.

Message Edited by tigerlilly on 10-20-2007 03:36 AM
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Re: Dumbledore Machiavellian???

No, this isn't the same as the doctrine of atonement. There are biblical references to us being afraid of God, but this is merely symbolic of a parent/child relationship. Religion and scripture has a great deal of symbolism obviously. I don't believe there is a "Machiavellian" God. God doesn't strive for the greater good. God strives for entire good through his own principles. To ascribe God to a Machiavellian nature, is way off the mark. And even if you believe that he and Jesus are two different entities, then Jesus knew what his role was and made the choice to complete his mission because he knew it was what he had to do. He was not a puppet. That is not Machiavellian.

Now, you can think of this on a smaller scale, and teachers and students are a great way to do this, or you can even think of boss to employees. In order to establish your leader role, some people argue that you have to place some amount of fear in people to get them to do what you want/need them to do. I, being a teacher, have heard that teachers should not show a smile until December, halfway through a school year. Thankfully, this has always been laughably ridiculous to me. My whole theory of teaching is about connecting with students. To not smile is to shut out an emotion; therfore, shutting out part of my humanity. If I were to do this, I would be subscribing to Machiavellian ideas. I have to be a step above. I have to be a level above my students. Bullcrap! I have always thought more of the teachers and bosses that made connections with me, and showed me their humanity. Smiles are very important to me. I love the television show The Office (US version, I have yet to see the British version), and Dwight Schrute's character is a perfect example of Machiavellian ideas.

There are Machiavellian ideas in motion all around us: the war in Iraq, 9/11, wire and phone tapping controversy, torture of prisoners, etc.



phrodo41 wrote:
in a way isn't this same notion at the very crux of the Christian doctrine of atonement - that God allows/caused tremendous suffering for his Son, for the greater good of redeeming his creation that has been ruined by the curse of sin.

SO if that's how it works on the largest scale - ie, God and his choices - how does it work for humans on a smaller scale??


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snapessister
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Re: Dumbledore Machiavellian???



LovelyLuna wrote:
br>
Was God the Father Machiavellian to plan the death of his son so that the world could be saved from sin?

I would say it was only Machiavellian of DD to prepare Harry if he did not suspect Harry would be coming back as was mentioned about DDs look of triumph in GoF when Harry told him that Voldy had used Harry's blood to come back. It would only be negative if one didn't really believe in life after death.

I would love to ask Jo about this comment...


Any thoughts?





The big difference between Dumbldore's treatment of Harry and Heavenly Father's treatment of his Son is that Jesus KNEW what he was getting into. And he agreed, of his own free will, “Thy will be done."

Harry would have probably agreed to Dumbledore’s plan as well, if he were given the chance. It was wrong for Dumbledore to distrust Harry in this important issue and not talk with him about it; in a way Dumbldore was using him. (Although I hate to think of it that way). But the books make it clear that Dumbldore has faults, and that in the end Harry is “the better man.”
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Re: Dumbledore Machiavellian???

tigerlilly--Thanks for taking the time to write this! I think DD was a little feared by everyone, really, even his loyalists. There was always a sense of mystery and the unexpected about him.

~ConnieK



tigerlilly wrote:

phrodo41 wrote:


Is this the same thing as Machiavellianism - saying that the ends justify the means; that certain things can be justified as long as a 'greater good' is being served?






I am not a Machiavellian scholar, but this is what I have retained from my European History class that I that was a complete waist of my life up until now. In the 15th century, he wrote a book called The Prince, which was a sort of instruction guide for rulers. He was mainly writing with Italy in mind, and Florence in particular. You see, at this time the city-states of Italy were very divided, often lead by corrupt, despotic governments. Machiavelli's hope was that a ruler would come forward to unite his particular state. He said that this ruler should work "for the greater good", and in this case the greater good of course meant unity. He said that sometimes the ruler may have to engage in some kind of evil in order to ensure that greater good. So, to Machiavelli, the end only justified the means when it would result in good for the nation. Selfish interests did not justify the means.

It is interesting also that Machiavelli said that when evil has to be done for the greater good, it should be done discreetly; the ruler must be able to retain their good face. Perhaps that is why Dumbledore was ambiguous and never too trusting of anyone; he only gave the information that was needed, nothing more. That may also be why he never discussed his past. Think, if Harry had known the truth about DD any earlier than he did, he may have accepted his fate so easily. Similarly, Machiavelli continues to say that in order for a good ruler to be respected, to be loved by his people, he should be slightly feared by his people. Doesn't that seem like a contradiction? Do you think DD was feared(I mean feared by those who were loyal to him. we all know he was feared by Voldy/the MoM)

If you guys already knew all of that about Machiavelli, then I am truly sorry for being repetitive. I just think it helps to know where Machiavelli was coming from. Based on that I think DD has some Machiavellian traits, but they are not on the same level completely.

Message Edited by tigerlilly on 10-20-2007 03:36 AM


~ConnieAnnKirk




[CAK's books , website.]
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tigerlilly
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Re: Dumbledore Machiavellian???

Yes, maybe fear was the reason that Lupin, Arthur, Molly, etc. did everything DD told them to do- no questions asked. The only people that ever really questioned DD were Harry and Sirius. Interesting
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Re: Dumbledore Machiavellian???



tigerlilly wrote:
Yes, maybe fear was the reason that Lupin, Arthur, Molly, etc. did everything DD told them to do- no questions asked. The only people that ever really questioned DD were Harry and Sirius. Interesting


fear and veneration, I think. Another case of fear being incorporated into love and devotion (aka bella/voldy relationship).
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Re: Dumbledore Machiavellian???

I've never felt that any teachers feared him. McGonagall, Snape, even Trelawney didn't seem to fear him. He had more of a presence of a trusted and loyal friend. Yes, he was their boss, but he always had more of a Santa Claus feeling about him for me with a twinkle in his eye. I don't see the fear from DD. He always used reason and logic when talking with people. Additionally, the MoM did question him, all the time. Probably because of Lucius, and perhaps this was related to fear. But I never sensed that from the professors in Hogwarts.
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Re: Dumbledore Machiavellian???



Kreacherteacher wrote:
I've never felt that any teachers feared him. McGonagall, Snape, even Trelawney didn't seem to fear him. He had more of a presence of a trusted and loyal friend. Yes, he was their boss, but he always had more of a Santa Claus feeling about him for me with a twinkle in his eye. I don't see the fear from DD. He always used reason and logic when talking with people. Additionally, the MoM did question him, all the time. Probably because of Lucius, and perhaps this was related to fear. But I never sensed that from the professors in Hogwarts.


I don't think they feared DD himself, really...I think they feared his anger, thus no one ever dared enrage DD...
"There is nothing easier than self-deceit."
"Bombing for peace is like f***ing for virginity"
"There is no such thing as death, only the absence of life."
"There is no end, unless you let it."
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tigerlilly
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Re: Dumbledore Machiavellian???

[ Edited ]
Yeah it's just a bad idea in general to piss off elderly people. Trust me, I have had some bad experiences.

Although, I never really thought of DD as elderly, just aged. Still, I wouldn't want to get on his bad side.

Message Edited by tigerlilly on 10-21-2007 10:24 PM
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Re: Dumbledore Machiavellian???

Ive been thinking about this a lot… Dumbledore is indeed the greatest wizard of all time.
Although of course, he obviously has foreseen all of the possibilities, and we have seen the end result.. the freedom of the wizarding world from lord voldemort.
I can’t say enough because I am very satisfied with the way Dumbledore handled everything.
And I am very touched that he exerted that much effort to help save everybody.
Harry ‘had to die’ yes… but Dumbledore himself dragged himself along…
Along with the other ‘tools’ necessary.
However. Dumbledore is only human. An old man’s mistake as he said.
He fought his own demons.
Led harry and the others to the right path the best and ‘painless’ way he can…
He was wrong at some points but it was all well meant…
If it weren’t for him snape wouldn’t have come over to the right side…
And everyone against voldemort would’ve been in chaos…\
For Dumbledore was the binding force in the series…
o’~aNd I'm So Sad, LikE a GoOd BooK, I caN't PuT tHis Day BacK~’o
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tigerlilly
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Re: Dumbledore Machiavellian???

mrsronaldweasley, I think some people on the Dumbledore Gay??? thread need to read your post; need to be reminded just how amazing the man was. Well said!
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Re: Dumbledore Machiavellian???

It seriously bothers me that one simple fact about someone can change veiw points completely. Especially when this fact has never had any affect on the person themselves, or anyone around them. Dumbledore was generally agreed, minus some obscure, "manipulative" ideas from Molly, to be one of the very greatest chracters. Now this fact is chanign perspectives. This is jsut pissing me off. honeslty.
"There is nothing easier than self-deceit."
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tigerlilly
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Re: Dumbledore Machiavellian???

I agree completely, ABI. Dumbledore was a hero, bottom line. And I love him for it.
"Who's that little old man?
PAUL'S GRANDFATHER!"
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Re: Dumbledore Machiavellian???

See what I mean now about people being judged about their past?
No I don’t want to make a post on that thread for the mean time tigerlilly..

I haven’t read all of the posts yet. It would break my heart to see people being outraged and icked out by the fact Dumbledore is gay.

Snape was a disgusting creature till we proved he loved lilly, helped save harry yada yada yada but he was forgiven,.what’s all the fuss about DD?

I think I’ll read the thread , so I know what you guys mean…
:smileyvery-happy::smileyvery-happy:

and ps…of course dear molly did have a point DD kind of manipulated them , but he had his heart in the right place and meant well.. I guess he gets confused tooo….
o’~aNd I'm So Sad, LikE a GoOd BooK, I caN't PuT tHis Day BacK~’o