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It must be considered that there is nothing more difficult to carry out, nor more doubtful of success, nor more dangerous to handle, than to initiate a new order of things. For the reformer has enemies in all those who would profit by the old order, only lukewarm defenders in all those who would profit by the new.
I have often thought that the cause of men?s good or ill fortune depends on whether they make their actions fit with the times. A man having prospered by one mode of acting can never be persuaded that it may be well for him to act differently, whence it is that a man?s Fortune varies, because she changes her times and he does not his ways.
It must be remembered that there is nothing more difficult to plan, more doubtful of success, nor more dangerous to manage, than the creation of a new system. For the initiator has the enmity of all who would profit by the preservation of the old institutions and merely lukewarm defenders in those who would gain by the new ones.
Men are of three different capacities: one understands intuitively; another understands so far as it is explained; and a third understands neither of himself nor by explanation. The first is excellent, the second, commendable, and the third, altogether useless.