Actors often say its more interesting to play the baddie role, they find it a challenge to present this kind of character whilst also coming up with something that helps explain them and maybe even garner a bit of sympathy from the audience.
There’s a TV advert that’s doing the rounds at the moment trying to sell Jaguar cars with a number of actors who look familiar but not enough to know their names, on the basis that Brits make the best villains. This may well be so in films but it doesn’t relate to politics.
The political leaders of this country may be pompous, opinionated and inefficient like their counterparts around the world, but villains never. Even Gordon Brown who looks a bit like one of James Bond’s opponents, started his time at No 10 trying to be Joseph Stalin, but still ended up falling to his natural level of Mr Bean.
The British electorate don’t seem to go for the macho baddie type. They prefer David Cameron or John Major to Vladimir Putin.
There are some countries where villainy of one sort or another is seen as a positive. It’s as if these traits will be just what’s needed to whip the country into line.
Italy has a famous tradition of such characters. For a country that’s known for changing its leaders every few months, the ones that stick around are the dodgy types.
From Mussolini to Berlusconi, the Italian leaders seem to have a certain edge. For articles on these two characters see Benito Mussolini – A True Dictator and Life with the Berlusconis. These characters often have two sides to them. They appear to have a great confidence in their ability to make things work but also the capacity to behave in an extremely dubious fashion as well.
But then this is a country whose main contribution to political theory over the years has been the works of Niccolo Machiavelli, an historian, politician, diplomat, philosopher, humanist, and writer based in Florence during the Renaissance. He was an official in the Florentine Republic, with responsibilities in diplomatic and military affairs. He was also a founder of modern political science, and more specifically political ethics.
Machiavelli’s best-known book, The Prince, contains several maxims concerning politics, and particularly advice to a new prince facing the task of ruling. He must first stabilize his newfound power in order to build an enduring political structure. Machiavelli believed that public and private morality had to be understood as two different things in order to rule well. As a result, a ruler must be concerned not only with reputation, but also must be positively willing to act immorally at the right times. As a political theorist, Machiavelli emphasized the occasional need for the methodical exercise of brute force or deceit including extermination of entire noble families to head off any chance of a challenge to the prince’s authority.
Scholars often note that Machiavelli glorifies instrumentality in statebuilding—an approach embodied by the saying that “the ends justify the means.” Violence may be necessary for the successful stabilization of power and introduction of new legal institutions. Force may be used to eliminate political rivals, to coerce resistant populations, and to get rid of those who might attempt to replace the ruler.
Many of his political ideas have become concentrated into a package that we now refer as Machiavellianism.
Machiavellian is a term that is used to describe a person’s tendency to be unemotional, and therefore able to detach themselves from conventional morality to deceive and manipulate others.
Its interesting to look at the chart of someone expounding this kind of philosopher. Obviously we would be looking for a strong Mercury because he was a thinker. The overarching pragmatism of his views suggest someone who is basically an Earth person, certainly not a Water sign.
Niccolo Macchiavelli had the Sun in the practical Taurus with the extremely pragmatic sign Capricorn rising. His Moon, the planet that rules the emotional side is placed in the cold dry sign of Aquarius. This is someone who finds it very easy so put emotion out of the picture altogether and sees life in terms of practical theory.
The Sun is in Taurus in the 4th house, suggesting that stability and endurance is the thing that is most important to him. All the advice he gives is to potential new Princes is how to make sure their hold on the throne stays for as long as possible.
Mercury is extremely strong, dignified in its own sign of Gemini but also the apex of a powerful T Square. Its this pattern that really shows us the basis of his political theories.
This T Square is based on an opposition between Mars and Pluto. Mars is in Pisces, an extremely fluid and adaptable sign which is certainly not tied to a particular mode of action. It’s in the 2nd house so the pursuit of financial reward is important.
Mars opposition to Pluto is the most violent aspect in astrology and the fact that Pluto is in the 8th house shows that Macchiavelli is advising the aspiring Prince to use whatever force is necessary to gain his desired ends, even to the point of eliminating opponents.
The opposition between Neptune and Saturn along the central axis of the chart backs this up. In order to achieve the stability required ( Saturn in Taurus in the 4th house ) it is advisable to be open to all kinds of different approaches even using deception ( Neptune ) and manipulation ( in Scorpio ) in one’s approach to attaining high office ( conjunct the Midheaven ).
The capacity to play with these oppositions, to appear to do one thing whilst at the same time doing the exact opposite seems to be an important part of the Macchiavellian approach to politics.
All of it conditioned by the Capricorn Ascendant to the requirements of the 4th house Taurean Sun.
Niccolo Macchiavelli seems to have captured the essence of what is needed to be a successful politician and many of his successors both in Italy and elsewhere have made use of his advice.
But it was one of his own countrymen,Giulio Andreotti who took it most to heart.
Andreotti was an Italian politician, prime minister three times and a high-ranking minister to most of Italy’s 50-odd Cabinets since World War Two.
At one time or another he was undersecretary, foreign minister, minister of defense, minister of finance, and prime minister, weaving the web of alliances and appointments that supported every coalition government. Intrigue, religion, scandal and violent death have swirled around him almost constantly.
A consummate politician, Andreotti reassured the civil service, business community, and the Vatican, while guiding Italy’s European Union integration. In foreign policy, he established closer relations with the Arab world.
Admirers of Andreotti saw him as having mediated political and social contradictions, enabling the transformation of a substantially rural country into the fifth-biggest economy in the world. Critics said he had done nothing against a system of patronage that had led to pervasive corruption.
Along with a mafia boss and a far right terrorist, he was indicted for the murder of a journalist, Mino Pecorelli, who was shot in his car in Rome allegedly for holding compromising secrets.
At first he was acquitted, but then a retrial found him guilty and he was sentenced to 24 years. This was overturned on appeal and he was acquitted for the second time.
Andreotti was accused of participation in a variety of plots. He was alleged to be the éminence grise behind the Propaganda Due Masonic Lodge, supposedly a secret association conspiring to prevent the Italian Communist Party taking office.
He was also accused of having a hand in the death of Aldo Moro and terrorist massacres in a strategy of tension aimed at precipitating a coup, as well as banking scandals and various high profile assassinations.
The quote from the character of a powerful Mafia-linked politician in the film The Godfather Part III, “Power wears out those who don’t have it” came originally from Andreotti.
His opponent Bettino Craxi nicknamed him Beelzebub. So what was Guilio Andreotti, an able statesman who brought Italy forward as a nation or as many people thought the ” very devil himself “.
If its often said in these situations that the truth lies somewhere in between. But a look at Andreotti’s chart suggests that he was both characters at the same time.
His chart has an extraordinarily symmetrical shape based on 4 oppositions, a clear sign of someone who would have his finger in lots of different pies. It also shows a character that is able to carry so many contradictions.
But at heart he was a pure machiavellian. He had the Sun and Ascendant in that most politically pragmatic sign of Capricorn. This is a sign that will use any situation for the advancement of their cause. The only real question for a Capricorn is whether that cause is a noble one or a self serving one.
Like Niccolo Machiavelli his chart was a mixture of Earth and Air. But these two elements don’t sit easily with each other.
His Moon is in Gemini but in opposition to Mercury in Capricorn.
Mars is conjunct Uranus in Aquarius but opposite to Saturn
All these things point to someone who is a good communicator, but also always has a clear end in mind. Everything is done for a purpose.
Mercury in Capricorn is opposite Pluto an indication that he is prepared to stoop to some extremely underhand tactics in order to realise his plans. That Pluto is conjunct Jupiter suggests that he would be successful in this respect.
As Macchiavelli had Mars opposite Pluto in the 8th house, its interesting to note that Andreotti has Mars conjunct Uranus opposite Saturn in the 8th house. Could this be the aspect of someone who is prepared to be involved in bumping people off in order to achieve his goals ?
Andreotti had a long career but the peak time was when Pluto was creating a T Square to most of his planets between 1968 and 83. He was Prime Minister twice during this period and it also coincided with the murder of Mino Pecorelli and most of the mafia rumours.
He was Prime Minister for the 3rd time between 1989 and 92 when Pluto was square to his Mars.
The Uranus return which occurs around the age 84 is an interesting time. Not many of us are still engaged in public life at this age so it’s hard to gauge the effect on most people. Andreotti continued to wield great influence up to the age of 90 even standing for Presudent if the Italian Senate at the age of 87.
As Uranus is returning to its natal position, we would expect an experience which reinforces the themes that the planet has natally.
Guilio Andreotti’s Uranus is in Aquarius in the 2nd house conjunct Mars and opposite Saturn. Uranus and Saturn are opposites. Uranus stands for freedom whilst Saturn rules restraint.
Mino Pecorelli was murdered in 1979 when Uranus was creating a T Square to Andreotti’s Mars / Uranus / Saturn.
He was tried for his part in this murder in 1999 but acquitted along with his co defendants. Local prosecutors successfully appealed the acquittal and there was a retrial, which in 2002 convicted Andreotti and sentenced him to 24 years imprisonment. Italians of all political allegiances denounced the conviction. The Italian supreme court definitively acquitted Andreotti of the murder in 2003.
Uranus was applying to conjunct Andreotti’s Mars in 1999. In 2002 – 3 Uranus was conjunct its own natal position and opposite Saturn. So he was found guilty and sentenced ( opposite Saturn in the 8th house ) and released on appeal ( conjunct Uranus in Aquarius ) during this transit.
Its fascinating that the murder occurred whilst Uranus was squaring this pattern and the he was tried for it while the planet was conjunct the same planets.
He got off, but these Macchiavelians generally do, perhaps they have friends in high places.
So was Guilio Andreotti really the devil incarnate ?
Your view probably depends on your political leanings. To be fair to Andreotti, even Beelzebub started off as an angel but he probably had a lot of oppositions in his chart too.