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Virtue in Machiavelli’s Political Thought

Virtue in Machiavelli’s Political Thought

(Āshoori: 8). The scrutiny by the translator and his specialty in political thought and intellectualism is the reason for his emphasis on the importance of virtue. ‗A highly significant point that made me revise this translation, was the perception of the concept of ‗virtue‘ and ‗virtuoso‘ that occurred [to me] as the result of reading ‗Machiavelli‘ by Skinner.‘ The importance of the word, led the translator to Musa‘s bilingual text in which he has proposed twelve equivalents for ‗virtue‘. Among them are volition, oneness, force, virtue (excel- lence), meritorious, creativity and interaction be- tween the body and the soul (Ibid: 14, 15). In translating the ―king‖ to Persian, Āshoori also consults two German translations of the ―king‖ but after months of searching and asking the Counselor of the Italian Embassy of the time, who was also familiar with Persian literature and lan- guage, finally he comes up with the word ‗Honar‘ (art) (16). Mark Musa‘s emphasis on the creativi- ty, intelligence and innovation as aspects of the concept of virtue, causing the translator to do a search and finally find the equivalent for ‗art‘ in Iranian literary and mystical works such as Nasi- hatol-Molook, Shāhnāmeh, Marmuzāt-e- Asadi and Sa‘di which hinder his understanding of the political centrality of virtue.
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Machiavelli and the Foundation of the Modern Political Thought

Machiavelli and the Foundation of the Modern Political Thought

As it was mentioned before, if we could use a counter argument to explain realism in Machiavel- li‟s political thinking, actualism, which is concep- tually related to welfare in the thought in the idea of some of the contemporary Islamic thinkers (4), because of the lack of theoretical basis, will be led toward actions which are being conducted regard- less of theoretical foundations of the Modern polit- ical thought. It seems that the concept of expe- dience, as was mentioned, compared with the ac- tualist‟s thinking, is a theory, which because of the lack of thinking foundations, except some tradi- tional theoretical ones, tries to take the world of action and theory together; the two identities, which are left devoid of their origin. As an exam- ple, if, by talking about ethics in political thinking, the objective is its understanding in the logical framework of politics, in traditional theories the discussion would end to the issue that ethical ne- cessities are after imposing themselves on the do- main of politics and gaining independence from the political affairs. It should be emphasized that there can be no relation between these two con- cepts (Actualism, expediency, and realism), and if there is any relation or combination, it is no more than eclecticism, because in the interest oriented traditional theory, the more we approach the more we get unfounded, because expedience is just acci- dental and not instinctive in thinking. Stated diffe- rently, the interest or expediency oriented theory or that of the actualist, since is based on the old think- ing, can accept the Modern political thought as the secondary one, because the Modern political thought is no more than expedience, itself. On the contrary there are people who believe that the ex- pedience emanated from the traditional thinking, which is in one way or another, similar to realism! In Machiavellis thinking, which conforms to the changes in time and situation of the external world and, is to explore its own problems, it should be
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Why Morality, Virtue and Religion underplayed in Modern Time by Political Theoriests?

Why Morality, Virtue and Religion underplayed in Modern Time by Political Theoriests?

There are different thinkers that grant different interpretation about the concept of Machiavellis virtù (virtue) in The Prince. According to Matei (2011), in his article, The Machiavellian Concept of Civic Virtues, Machiavellis concept of virtue is not entirely conflicting to the traditional concept of virtue. Quentin Skinner argued that Machiavelli did not define what virtù is; but he used it consistently. It is the quality which enables a prince to winning honour and glory for himself and the security of his government. Skinner said that virtù has a clear and consistent meaning if its definition is in line with Fortuna15 (Leonidas 2011, pp. 5-6). However, for George Bull, Machiavelli used the term virtù „openly, nearly always in antithesis to Fortuna, at times with the sense of willpower, efficiency, and virtue‟. For Bull, fortune is prowess17 (Machiavelli 1981, p. 25). On the other hand, according to Timo Airaksinen, the meaning of virtù is open like that of the meaning of fortune. Fortune for him is resource, lack or destiny, chance and uncertainty (Leonidas 2011, p. 6). For Korvela (2006, p. 19), Machiavellis virtù is simply the moral flexibility of the action and the ability to discard moral rules when it is necessary. It is the tool that human controls the world. In the view of Pocock (2003, p. 156), the dilemma of fortune is the dilemma of virtue. For Thomas Hobbes, moral virtue and the fear of God are unnecessary for the creation of a good political order. Selfishness is the right foundation of political system. But for the ancients morally virtuous man is ready to sacrifice himself for the interests of the society (Drury 2005, pp. 142-146). At this juncture, one should understand that The Prince is a guide book for politics; as a result, rulers used it differently in their understanding of virtù and Fortuna. This makes the system of politics problematic.
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“Machiavelli of Peace”: Dag Hammarskjöld and the political
role of the Secretary General of the United Nations

“Machiavelli of Peace”: Dag Hammarskjöld and the political role of the Secretary General of the United Nations

The development behind Hammarskjöld’s choice to focus on Africa was motivated by what he perceived as a new Soviet interest in Africa paired with the rise of anti- colonialism. In 1955, the Geneva conference had led to a détente between the blocs in Europe. This was partly due to the threat of nuclear retaliation that had made a war in Europe almost unthinkable, and partly that the attempt to win the Western European countries for communism via elections had failed – the Marshall Plan, that Hammarskjöld had worked with, had been a major factor in achieving this. According to Hammarskjöld, after failing to foment revolution and strengthen communist parties in Western Europe, the USSR now looked to the Middle East and increasingly towards Africa. The change in Soviet strategy would be most clearly expressed in the Twentieth Party Congress in February 1956, where the underdeveloped countries were identified as the main battlefield between the blocs. 473 To what extent there really existed a Soviet grand strategy for the subversion of Africa is not clear, but the mere thought of it was enough; while the Communist ghost no longer haunted the streets of Western Europe, the fear of its sudden appearance in the jungles of Africa was quite sufficient to keep Western policy makers up at night. 474 And besides, even if communism failed in Africa, extreme nationalism, directed against the West, would lead to major problems for the Western world and would play into the hands of the East according to a logic where what was bad for the West was good for the East. 475 This confrontation was also likely to play out in the UN; a State Department memorandum entitled “Communist Penetration in Africa” stated that “unhindered by ties with the colonial powers, the Soviet Union and its allies are able openly and
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Virtue ethics, Kantian ethics, and the 'one thought too many' objection

Virtue ethics, Kantian ethics, and the 'one thought too many' objection

This may seem to be a viable solution, but let’s take a closer look. The consequentialist has two options. The first is to say that consequentialism is intended only as an analysis of what rightness consists in and perhaps as a tool for determining retrospectively whether what we or someone else did was right (though once it is introduced as a useful tool, it seems likely that people would want to use it prospectively as well; so probably introducing it as a tool of any sort would be too risky). But if consequentialism has no implications for how to lead our lives, it is not a very helpful theory. At best it would be useful only for an elite, who would have the authority to decide what “moral rules” to try to manipulate (almost) everyone into accepting as “commonsense” (and to decide which moral rules that they now accept they ought to be persuaded to discard). This would of course work only if social and political arrangements were such as to invest in some people the power to so manipulate the populace. It would not work in a society in which the free exchange of ideas was encouraged. For it to work, moral philosophy would be “classified” research, not a subject to be offered to students; or at the very least, consequentialism would itself have to be entirely off the table, rather as communism is in the United States. Public policy debates would have to be fully concealed from the public.
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An Ethical Approach to the Concept of  Toleration: Understanding Tolerance  as a Political Virtue

An Ethical Approach to the Concept of Toleration: Understanding Tolerance as a Political Virtue

prove democratic regimes, especially societies hit by any form of authoritarianism. The concept of toleration arose within political philosophy during the Enlightenment, as a response to the religious wars that took place at that time. Some authors, such as Locke and Voltaire, highlighted the importance of toleration as a virtue needed to underpin the structure of the Modern State as a political institution, which should be independent of any reli- gious institution or pressure. Furthermore, Mill’s theory of liberty added an important element to meaning of to- leration. His thought is based on the search for truth conducted through open and public discourse of the differ- ent arguments circulating within society. These concepts: toleration, respect and liberty, were taken as the values to be defended in democratic liberal political regimes. However, in recent times, the concept of toleration has been the target of several criticisms which argue that toleration itself has become medium for imposing and strengthening certain political regimes which promote specific economic, social and political policies, instead of allowing for debate between different perspectives and points of view. This has led to a misconception about what toleration means and what it demands from us.
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Virtue, honour and moderation : the foundations of liberty in Montesquieu's political thought

Virtue, honour and moderation : the foundations of liberty in Montesquieu's political thought

Montesquieu used the fable of the Troglodytes in the Persian Letters to expound two different arguments that contribute to the debate on luxury. Firstly, he refuted Hobbes’s thesis on human nature. This also acted as a refutation of Hobbes’s followers, including Mandeville (Gonthier, 2010, p.24; Hont, 2006, p.404-5). Montesquieu argued that if men acted based on the principles laid down by Hobbes, they would be incapable of forming and sustaining societies (LP 11, p.55-9). By making this critique, Montesquieu essentially chose between the two most influential descriptions of human nature that were available in his time, of those of Hobbes and Shaftesbury (Hont, 2006, p.405). To make his point, Montesquieu tested their theories of human nature by inviting them into a confrontation (Crisafulli, 1943, pp.372-92). In letter 10, Montesquieu’s characters, Mirza and Usbek, discuss whether it is more natural to be ruled by one’s passions or to practice virtue (LP 10 p.54-55). In letter 11 Usbek uses a parable to explain his views to Mirza: the fable of the Troglodytes. The Troglodytes were members of a small Arabian tribe who were extremely selfish and unjust toward each other (LP 11 p.55-9). Montesquieu said that their conflicting selfish desires were the reason why the Troglodytes “perished in their sins, the victims of their own unrighteousness” (Ibid, 59). Through this fable, Montesquieu aimed to show that if Hobbes’s description of human nature was valid, men would come together in pursuit of gain but eventually their societies would break down, due to the irreconcilability of their selfishness. Thus, Montesquieu positioned himself in opposition to Hobbes’s description of natural selfishness and sided with Shaftesbury’s theory of natural sociability.
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The Epistemology of Islamic Political Thought in Indonesia

The Epistemology of Islamic Political Thought in Indonesia

Abstract When perceived from circular perspective (not linier or parallel) based on three of the prior political epistemologies (bayani, burhani, and irfani), then reconstruction of ideal thought – as the fundamental philosophy –of Islamic Politics for contemporary Indonesia in the next era should be a balance between political trilogy ala al-Jabiry that is bayani (idealistic in the commitment to the Islamic values), burhani (ability to answer real challenge of the people and nation) and irfani (personal and communal wisdom of Muslim politicians). In textual-normative-bayani, the Islamic political vision for contemporary Indonesia still refers to the fundamental values found in the Holy Koran and Sunna of the Prophet Muhammad, such as deliberation, unity, welfare and justice values. As for the burhani (rational-empirical), application of the political values which is fundamental should be adjusted to plurality context of Indonesian society, and to answer some of the existing social problems. The actual case example: application of justice and economic values which is more intense now in the sharia economy system already gets more acceptances among the society as an alternative to conventional-capitalistic economy. In burhani, thinkers or activists of Islamic politics should always have the ability to accommodate aspiration and give appreciation and positive and constructive contributions to the political dynamic in Indonesia, for the sake of the people and nation‟s glory in the future, and at the same time providing successful model of Islamic political implementation in Indonesian context which is modern and democratic. This research employs a deductive approach and a library research as the methods. This research cocludes that the future of politics in Indonesia is a combination between bayani, burhani and ‘irfani (psycho-spiritual) approaches.
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The Social and Political Thought of Yen Fu

The Social and Political Thought of Yen Fu

Secondly, Yen Fu was concerned with the issue of the faith’ of the people. Ironically, the concern that the people’s faith might be undermined by introducing Western ideas and systems was one of the most important reasons for the reluctance of traditional conservatives in the late nineteenth century to undertake reforms. Conservatives usually argued that it was the people’s faith, rather than advanced technology, which made a nation strong and prosperous. When Yen Fu introduced utilitarianism, his main target was this kind of thinking. By asserting utilitarian principles, he subjected all traditional ideas and institutions to the principle of utility. Yet, Yen Fu never completely rejected the notion that the existence of a shared faith among the people was a necessary condition for the very existence of a nation. Particularly in his later years. Yen Fu raised again and again the issue of the people’s faith. He argued that a society could not exist without a shared value s y s t e m . L i k e a nucleus for an atom, shared values for a nation are a condensation point’. A system of shared values was called by him the spirit of a nation’."^ The spirit of a nation’, he wrote, is the foundation of the existence and development of a nation. Different nations have different national spirits due to different cultural traditions (ch'iao-hua). These cultural traditions have developed for several thousand years before they reached maturity. If a nation is able to preserve her national spirit, she will not perish even if she is subject to the control of other nations.’’^"* In comparison, if a nation cannot preserve her national spirit, she is bound to perish. Yen Fu quoted a famous phrase from Chuang Tzu to express his belief: 'Nothing is more sad than the death of
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The Concept of the Political in Contemporary Western and Non-Western Political Thought

The Concept of the Political in Contemporary Western and Non-Western Political Thought

Political Liberalism attempted to remedy the limitations of Rawls’s earlier moralism by abandoning his earlier strategy for discovering universal principles of justice by placing citizens behind a ‘veil of ignorance’. Instead, Rawls now invoked the concept of an overlapping consensus that was intended to incorporate moral and political diversity into his philosophy. In other words, the principles of justice were no longer identified as timeless moral truths discerned in a condition of ignorance about our actual identity but were linked instead to historically based principles of right said to be implicit in the overlapping consensus about the political good found in any actual society, to the extent that it is well-ordered. It was immediately pointed out by critics like John Gray, however, that Rawls’ attempt to avoid assimilating the political to the moral had retained the characteristic neo-Kantian reduction of the political to rule- following, thereby assimilating it to a quasi-legalistic process. As Gray put it, in Rawls’ supposedly ‘political’ liberalism, justice is thought of as ‘a matter, not for political decision, but for legal adjudication’ (Gray, 2000). 12 This, however, was not
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Machiavelli Reading.docx

Machiavelli Reading.docx

Everywhere Machiavelli observed politicians and their ways; he became an analyst of power. Above all, he loved Italy and longed to see it united under one monarch. In 1512, he lost his position because of a change in the Florentine government. He then settled in a small community outside the city and took up writing. The most famous of all his works is The Prince, a hand- book containing the rules he had developed through his observations, and rules which he hoped a

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Qanun and the Modernisation of Political thought in Iran

Qanun and the Modernisation of Political thought in Iran

One of the main aims of the Qanun newspaper was to explain the importance of law in the political life of society. How can a country such as Iran build up a political system according to modern laws? In some parts of Qanun, Malkum Khan tried to show the problems that arise from the absence of laws in society, e.g. censorship, destruction and despotism. On the other hand, the enforcement of laws will organise the political system of the country and preserve security. It will also control the authorities of the nation and prevent the government from practising censorship and despotism. He emphasised that the lawless state is the enemy of human rights. Moreover, in his world-wide view of the importance of law for society he explained that “a lawless state is the destructor of the world” (Qanun. No. 12, p.3). Not only did Malkum Khan try to highlight the benefits of the enforcement of law and the disadvantages arising from its absence in society, he also tried to explain what laws should be enforced and the different political implications they possessed. For instance, in a very general and comprehensive statement on this issue he stated that:
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Victorian Political Thought on France and the French

Victorian Political Thought on France and the French

Finally, Varouxakis refuses to attach static, monolithic representations of France to each public moralist. He rather argues for a dynamic representation that not only changes with time, but is emphasised differently, depending upon each public moralist’s target group or readers. Accordingly, he notes that J.S. Mill was much more critical in respect of France with his French correspondents than with his English. Vis-à-vis the French, Mill displays more conditional reserves regarding the viability of the French political system. The representations are not forced into rigid, coherent structures, but are indeed often explained from the
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Political Authority and Democracy

Political Authority and Democracy

The comparison between the state and a person with a job is not perfect. There are a few important differences. In fact, the state’s right to keep its job can be seen as more robust than that of your average worker. For one, when we speak about the state we may be referring to a number of things that form part of a complex entity. In the case of the state or the legal system, we are speaking generally about a complex organization of persons operating according to a complex set of rules. To use David Copp’s helpful description, the state is a “system of animated institutions that govern [a] territory and its residents, and that administer and enforce the legal system and carry out the programs of government.” 76 ⁠ To say that the institutions are “animated” is to say that “flesh-and-blood” people fill and act within the offices and roles that are necessary for governance by a legal system. 77 Thus, we could sensibly speak about an individual legal official’s right to keep her job, or a political/legal institution’s right to keep its job, or the legal system’s right to keep its job, or the state as a whole’s right to keep it’s job. That is not just a technical point. States and legal systems are not monolithic things that we can only evaluate in totem. We should not expect massive and complex modern states to possess robust forms of legitimacy that exist independently of the legitimacy of their parts. That fact sits well with the threshold model. There is no need to legitimize every single thing a legitimate
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Nature and artifice in Hobbes’s international political thought

Nature and artifice in Hobbes’s international political thought

temporary relief. 12 However, the possibility of sovereignty acquired by conquest seems to allow for lasting reconciliation with former enemies. Hobbes reasons in all of his main political works that the state is dissolved in the event of a successful enemy invasion, implying that individuals are free to submit themselves to the victor in order to retain their life and liberty. The invader may thereupon admit those who appear trustworthy enough as his subjects in order to acquire sovereignty over another nation. 13 This method would allow for former enemies to establish a protection-
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The political and social thought of Jean Paul Marat

The political and social thought of Jean Paul Marat

Wilkes by his actions and by his legal battles had confirmed important liberties? but his influence was more profound than this. Hebrought Parliament into great disrepute. He demonstrated by his actions its unrepresentative nature; its dependence on the Crown; its corruption and prejudice— facts known for decades? but never so amply demonstrated ; nor had the danger to personal liberty? so inherent in such a system? been so clearly proved. And the Wilkes agitation produced new political methods. The public meeting was born and stayed alive. The Supporters of the Bill of Rights Society was founded? the first political society which used modern methods of agitationpaid agents were sent round the country to make spee­ ches and the Press was deliberately and carefully exploited. Politi­ cal dissatisfaction was given strength? and coherence? by deliberate organization. Politics were ceasing to be a part of the social life of a gentleman. Organized public opinion had become a factor in politics? and its strength increased? as the government of George III was overwhelmed by problems too vast for its comprehension. ^
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Methodological Impediments to Innovation on Political Thought of Islam

Methodological Impediments to Innovation on Political Thought of Islam

Obviously, they are humans and human beings are affected by family as well as political and social conditions. Understanding and thought of people in every time is limited and proportionate to conditions and scientific advancements of that time and this limitation on human understanding, which is prerequisite of being a human being is quite natural. On the other hand, one of the most important characteristics of Quran and Sunna is that they are perennial, especially that part which is not subject to conditions of time and place. Scientific theories are willing to last a long time provided that they could overcome opposing theories or do not allow them to emerge. When political thought is directly related to Quran and Sunna, a theory is apt to become lasting by being attributed to Quran and Sunna. In this process, the words and ideas of a mortal creature will be placed along the words of the immortal God. In other words, they are willing to consider their own ideas as being the word of God, which has been uttered by them. In this way, any criticism of those ideas will be considered as tantamount to criticism of the words of God and their rejection is equal to rejecting divine revelation. This will close the door to innovation and no new theory could challenge such theory. Innovation is only possible when the main pillars of that theory are confirmed and only less important points are subject to innovation (and that should not take shape as outright rejection). In this case, accepting the pervious theory and adding something to it will be of no objection. However no theory or viewpoint is allowed to weaken frame of previous theories and take its place. During history when new problems emerged, there was possible for thinkers to come up with new ideas and political thought and since those theories were attributed to diving revelation, they blocked the way to presentation of other theories.
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A Comparative Study on Political Theology in Western and Islamic Political Thought

A Comparative Study on Political Theology in Western and Islamic Political Thought

The science of word definition: the sci- ence of word or knowhow beliefs defined within boundaries of Islam religious, in which believe principles and religious ap- proach have been dealt with based on rational and narrative presumption and answer to doubts pose in this respect. The science (Technique) of word is account as Islamic science, in which, there is different approach. In some of mentioned approach, there is a strict emphasizing on application of wisdom and science in matter of believers and in oth- er approach, narrative and audio aspects will be concentrated. The science of word is in opinion of being researchable of beliefs, nor being imitative. The science of word deals about foundations of beliefs in a certain reli- gion and opposition and discussion with oth- er opinion posed in other thought. Some questions such as reason to prove existing of lord, creation or oldness of essence, particu- lar and general prophecy, justice of lord, Imamat, a place to return after death (in Ara- bic word: Maad) will be discussed here in this theoretical course. The scientists who involve in research in science of word called petitioners. In Islamic works, sometime cler- gymen in other religions also called as peti- tioners.
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PROBING LUST AS BANE OF NIGERIA’S POLITICAL LEADERSHIP: A STUDY OF WOLE SOYINKA’S DEATH AND THE KING’S HORSEMAN AND OLA ROTIMI’S THE GODS ARE NOT TO BLAME

PROBING LUST AS BANE OF NIGERIA’S POLITICAL LEADERSHIP: A STUDY OF WOLE SOYINKA’S DEATH AND THE KING’S HORSEMAN AND OLA ROTIMI’S THE GODS ARE NOT TO BLAME

Elesin Oba is autocratic; he demands to have a union with the girl despite the fact that she was betrothed to Iyaloja’s son. His action symbolise the leaders who vow during political campaigns to serve the people with their lives, only to rip apart the national treasuries and embezzle the funds accrued through the sweat and sacrifice of the working masses. He symbolizes the leader who enforces his wishes rather than harnesses the contribution of his followers. Elesin has no interest in the welfare of his people. The girl is a symbol of citizens who are voiceless and whose fates are determined by their leaders.
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William Shakespeare's Henry V: Influencing Political Vision

William Shakespeare's Henry V: Influencing Political Vision

religious, etc.], but as they cannot all be possessed or observed, human conditions not permitting of it, it is necessary that he should be prudent enough to avoid scandal of those vices which would lose him the state, and guard himself if possible against those which will not lose it him, but if not able to, he can indulge them with less scruple. [...] ...it will be found that some things which virtues would, if followed, lead to one’s ruin, and some others which appear vices in one’s greater security and wellbeing” (85). Adhering to Machiavelli’s advice, during the 1960 presidential campaign, Kennedy intimidated his opponents’ supporters. “In New York Stevenson backers were warned that their man would not even be considered for secretary of state unless they cut off all support to Humphrey. In Connecticut Senator William Benton was told sternly that if he continued to give money to Humphrey, his political future in the state was over” (Reeves 163). These were among many of Kennedy’s strong-arm political maneuvers which were later revealed to the public by historians who exposed the malevolent side of his character. Later, during the Cold War, as President Kennedy overtly advocated the containment of communism, many of his actions to achieve this goal were covert in order to maintain the facade of caring,
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