Machiavelli and the Luthors
Villains are always evil.
They have no other traits.
Villains are rarely, if ever, single-dimensional, completely evil beings. They are layered, complex characters who have an entire framework of beliefs and rationalizations to rely on when their methods or aims are called into question.
The Luthor family is no different. Relying not on rationalization or flights of fancy but the solid, if somewhat cynical teachings, of Niccolo Machiavelli's The Prince. Written for Italian courtiers, Machiavelli builds a ruthless, but successful, ruling body. It is this blueprint that Lionel Luthor has chosen to indoctrinate his son in.
In the following pages, point after point has been outlined and explained, in as much detail as possible, as further proof that the Luthors are, indeed, Machiavellian.
Machiavelli and the Luthors
A study of Machiavellian philosophy as applied to the lives of Lionel and Lex Luthor, of "Smallville."
By Kelex Yarou-Noona
Chapter I--Of The Various Kinds of Princedom, and of the ways in why they are acquired.
1) The States thus acquired have either been used to live under a Prince or have been free; and he who acquires them does so either by his own arms or by the arms of others, and either by good fortune or by merit.
Lex Luthor acquiring Smallville. He must, by his own deeds and words, win the goodwill of the people because of his reputation and the reputation of his name.
Chapter II--Of Hereditary Princedoms
1) I say, then, that hereditary States, accustomed to the family of their Prince, are maintained with far less difficulty than new States, since all that is required is that the Prince shall not depart from the usages of his ancestors, trusting for the rest to deal with events as they arise.
This is Lionel Luthor's business philosophy, as he is grooming his son to take over the LuthorCorp empire. This is his way of telling Lex not to change the standard Luthor business practices, and if he keeps to the "usages of his ancestors," they will not steer him wrong.
2) For since a Prince by birth has fewer occasions and less need to give offence, he ought to be better loved, and will naturally be popular with his subjects unless outrageous vices make him odious.
This is Lionel Luthor's admonition to his son; that by birth, the good name of Luthor is his, but with his clubbing ways and the things he did in Metropolis before being sent to Smallville, those are the "outrageous vices" that will tarnish Lex's reputation aside from his reputation as a Luthor.
Chapter III--Of Mixed Princedoms
1) For however strong you may be in respect of your army, it is essential that in entering a new Province you should have the good will of its inhabitants.
This is Lex's desire, not just for Smallville, but later for Metropolis and then the world at large. Lex has made no secret of his desire to rule the world before thirty, and to that end, has been working, especially in Smallville, to create a cloak of goodwill that he can don and shed at will as he grows older. As it is now, the cloak of goodwill is the mantle that Lex wishes to wear permanently, but we can already see that he is slowly learning to slide it on and off as the occasion suits him. If he can project this aura of goodwill to his future conquests--Metropolis, the United States Presidency, and then ascension to rule the world, then he will have an easy task of it.
2) For when you are on the spot, disorders are detected in their beginnings and remedies can be readily applied; but when you are at a distance, they are not heard of until they have gathered strength and the case is past cure.
This is why Lionel has sent Lex to the crap factory. He has sent his son there in answer to the disorders and rebellions that Lex was a part of in Metropolis… late nights, Club Zero, and the basic disgracing of the Luthor name. He knows that Lex is not yet past cure, and by sending him to Smallville and the crap factory, it is Lionel's hope that it will toughen his son and turn him into a true Luthor heir, ready to take onto his shoulders the mantle of responsibility.
Not only that, but this can also be applied to Lex's refusal of his father's job offer in Metropolis. He knows that when he is close under his father's eye, he will always remain a lackey in his father's machinations, never trusted with his own power until it's too late. In Smallville, however, away from his father's constant observation, Lex is free to create a destiny of his own, one that his father cannot touch and cannot attempt to sabotage until, as Machiavelli says, the case is past cure.
3) The Prince who establishes himself in a Province whose laws and language differ from those of his own people ought also to make himself the head and protector of his feebler neighbors, and endeavor to weaken the stronger and must see that by no accident shall any other stranger as powerful as himself find an entrance there.
This is Lex's belief that he is needed in Smallville. Some of the many things that he does can be attributed to his desire to protect his "fiefdom" from the powerful stranger--his father. The biggest example of this is Lex's desire to purchase the crap factory from his father, in order that he can give the people of his fiefdom their jobs back.
4) For Time, driving all things before it, may bring with it evil as well as good.
This is an articulation of Lex's greatest fear; that in time, he will become as dark and evil as his father, Lionel. That unspoken fear is reinforced especially by Jonathan Kent, as the man continues to throw his low opinion of Lex back into Lex's face.
5) ...you ought never to suffer your designs to be crossed in order to avoid war, since war is not so to be avoided but only deferred to your disadvantage.
This is Lionel Luthor's belief that there is no situation which he cannot overcome and control, including his son. Lex does often try to avoid war, especially in honor of his mother's memory, and yet Lionel constantly brings the battle to his son in the hopes of forcing Lex to rise to the challenge and to prove his worthiness as the next Luthor dynastic heir.
Chapter V--How Cities or Provinces Which Before Their Acquisition Have Lived Under Their Own Laws are To Be Governed
1) For, in truth, there is no sure way of holding other than by destroying, and whoever becomes master of a City accustomed to live in freedom and does not destroy it may reckon on being destroyed by it.
This is Lionel's opinion of Smallville. Lex will either be forced to "destroy" the city and raise it again in his own image, or Lex himself will be destroyed in the process. Either way, Lionel knows that Smallville is truly Lex's proving ground, one way or the other.
Also, in the long term, this will become Lex's destiny as well, because as he moves through his life, he will be forced to destroy a great many things--people, businesses, buildings, homes, lives, etc. to achieve his ultimate goal. He will not allow himself to be destroyed by the world; hence he will be forced to destroy it and raise it again in his image. As he once said to an old blind woman, I don't want to do good things, I want to do great things.
Chapter VI--Of New Princedoms Which A Prince Acquires With His Own Arms And By Merit
1) And yet, he who is less beholden to Fortune has often in the end the better success.
This is perhaps one of the only pieces of philosophy that Lionel and Lex share. "God/The Universe helps those who helps themselves" is an outbranch of this ideal, but Machiavelli puts forth that the less that a Prince is dependant on Fortune the greater he will become because everything is won by his own means. I believe that Lionel and Lex both share this philosophy, and that is why Lionel is constantly challenging Lex and Lex is constantly overcoming his father's challenges by new and different methods. Fortune will have nothing to do with Lex's future successes; he will make his way all by himself, and he knows this even now; "We could have been great together," said one of his ex-girlfriends. Lex's reply? "I plan on being great all by myself." He will not be dependant on anyone for his own ascension and his own power.
2) And let it be noted that there is no more delicate matter to take in hand nor more dangerous to conduct, nor more doubtful in its success than to set up as a leader in the introduction of changes. For he who innovates will have for his enemies all those who are well off under the existing order of things, and only lukewarm supporters in those who might be better off under the new.
This is a warning that Lex would do well to heed. Lex has been trying to change things since his arrival in Smallville. Not just his destiny, but his reputation and everything else in his life. For each time he's tried, he's been slapped in the face by the community in general by their not changing their opinion of him despite his every attempt, and by Jonathan Kent, again, in particular, who goes out of his way at times to show his disdain for the young Luthor. And yet, Lex still has to try. The key example of this is when Lex attempts to purchase the crap factory from his father, and he goes to the managers of the plant for assistance in his plan. Despite the fact that Lex is trying to help them regain their plant and their jobs, their support for him is flimsy at best, despite the fact that Lex is taking all of the risk and shouldering nearly 90% of the financial burden.
3) For, besides what has been said, it should be borne in mind that the temper of the multitude is fickle, and that while it is easy to persuade them of a thing, it is hard to fix them in that persuasion.
This is the unfortunate truth that Lex is finding in Smallville. For brief moments, people in Smallville might think that he is capable of good things, but at the drop of a hat, the pendulum swings firmly back into the realm of Luthor-hatred, despite Lex's attempts to prove otherwise. It is this truth that will eventually begin to wear Lex down.
Chapter VII--Of New Princedoms Acquired By The Aid Of Others And By Good Fortune
1) They who from a private station become Princes by mere good fortune, do so with little trouble, but have much trouble to maintain themselves. They meet with no hindrance on their way, being carried as it were on wings to their destination, but all their difficulties overtake them when they alight.
This is Lex before he is sent to Smallville. The lesson that Lionel attempts to grind into Lex is that he must learn to stand on his own. In Metropolis, he is nothing but Daddy's Little Boy who needs Lionel's money and Lionel's connections to get him out of the trouble that he deliberately sought out. Lionel is trying to burn this lesson out of Lex's consciousness.
It is only when Lex gets to Smallville and begins to try and do things on his own that he realizes the truth to this statement.
2) Whoever, therefore, on entering a new Princedom, judges it necessary to rid himself of enemies, to conciliate friends, to prevail by force or fraud, to make himself feared yet not hated by his subjects, respected and obeyed by his soldiers, to crush those who can or ought to injure him, to introduce changes in the old order of things, to be at once severe and affable, magnanimous and liberal, to do away with a mutinous army and create a new one, to maintain relations with Kings and Princes on such a footing that they must see it for their interest to aid him, and dangerous to offend.
This, eventually, will be what Lex becomes without Clark's gentling influence on him. The seeds of this are planted already, thanks to Lionel's upbringing, and without the calming influence of Clark Kent, this will be the ultimate creature that Lex evolves into.
Chapter VIII--Of Those Who By Their Crimes Come To Be Princes
1) Still, to slaughter fellow-citizens, to betray friends, to be devoid of honor, pity and religion, cannot be counted as merits, for these are means which may lead to power but which confer no glory.
This is quite obviously Lex's opinion of his father. We know this is how Lionel Luthor conducts his business, and we know that Lex emphatically does not approve of it.
Chapter IX--Of The Civil Princedom
1) But he who against the will of the people is made a Prince by the favor of the nobles, must, above all things, seek to conciliate the people, which he readily may by taking them under his protection. For since men who are well treated by one whom they expect to treat them ill feel more beholden to their benefactor, the people will at once become better disposed to such a Prince when he protects them than if he owed his Princedom to them.
This is Lex's position at the crap factory in Smallville. He has been put in the position as plant manager over other deserving candidates--such as Gabe Sullivan, most likely--and he has worked at the plant to take these people into his protection--saving their jobs from his father's drones, buying the plant from his father to again save their jobs--and slowly he is working his way into their confidences, at least in the case of Gabe Sullivan, who has been mostly supportive of Lex since the Level Three fiasco.
Chapter XII--How Many Different Kinds of Soldiers There Are, And Of Mercenaries
1) Mercenaries and auxiliaries are at once useless and dangerous, and he who holds his State by means of mercenary troops can never be solidly or securely seated.
Roger Nixon. Victoria Hardwick. Keri Castle. All three were mercenary/auxiliary people that Lex used for his own dirty work. All three have tried to screw him over, all three very nearly succeeded, and Roger was still causing Lex problems until his death.
Chapter XIII--Of Auxiliary, Mixed, and National Arms
1) Wise Princes, therefore, have always eschewed these arms, and trusted rather to their own, and have preferred defeat with the latter to victory with the former, counting that as no true victory which is gained by foreign aid.
Lex has established this as his guideline since becoming to Smallville. Everything he does must be done on his own, without reliance on others. He funds his own meteor rock research, embezzles from LuthorCorp to fund his own secret projects involving particle accelerators, and even when friends are injured--such as Chloe Sullivan--he takes it upon himself to avenge the wrongs done instead of allowing the police to track the criminals down. He is learning, through these incidents, that it's not possible to trust anyone but himself. Roger Nixon has broken his trust, as has Clark Kent, and almost everyone else that he has trusted in his life. In what is possibly the greatest irony , the only person who has not broken trust with Lex is his father, Lionel. Lionel--despite his bad treatment of Lex--has never once pretended to be anything other than what he is. The man that Lex hates the most is ironically the only man he can trust.
2) In a word, the armor of others is too wide, or too strait for us; it falls off us or weighs us down.
This is a universal belief that Lex holds; we cannot fit into the footsteps of others; we must make our own destiny. He states this to Clark at different points in his life. "I believe we make our own destiny," in fact, is something he tells Clark after meeting Cassandra.
Chapter XIV--Of The Duty Of A Prince In Respect of Military Affairs
1) A Prince, therefore, should have no care or thought but for war, and for the regulations and training it requires, and should apply himself exclusively to this as his peculiar province; for war is the sole art looked for in one who rules, and is of such efficacy that it not merely maintains those who are born Princes, but often enables men to rise to that eminence from private station; while, on the other hand, we often see that when Princes devote themselves rather to pleasure than to arms, they lose their dominions.
This is the way that Lionel has tried to raise Lex. He has tried to raise Lex to see that everything is a war, everything is a battle to be one, and everyone he meets is to be sized up as a potential opponent. Hence gifting his son with the Trojan battle recreation on his ninth birthday. Even Lex's "toys" were "strategic tools" that would indoctrinate him into the "life is war" outlook. This can be seen in Lionel Luthor even today, for whenever he speaks to Lex, he speaks to Lex of Alexander the Great, of battles fought and won, and in clichés from writers such as Machiavelli who wrote of nothing but.
2) As to the mental training of which we have spoken, a Prince should read histories, and in these should note the actions of great men, observe how they conducted themselves in their wars, and examine the causes of their victories and defeats so as to avoid the latter and imitate them in the former. And above all, he should, as many great men of past ages have done, assume for his models those persons who before his time have been renowned and celebrated, whose deeds and achievements he should constantly keep in mind, as it is related that Alexander the Great sought to resemble Achilles, Caesar Alexander, and Scipio Cyrus.
Do I even have to explain this one? The way Lionel lectures Lex constantly on Alexander the Great, I believe this passage explains itself.
Chapter XV--Of The Qualities In Respect Of Which Men, And Most Of All Princes, Are Praised Or Blamed
1) Every one, I know, will admit that it would be most laudable for a Prince to be endowed with all of the above qualities that are reckoned good; but since it is impossible for him to possess or currently practice them all, the conditions of human nature not allowing it, he must be discreet enough to know how to avoid the infamy of those vices that would deprive him of his government.
This was chosen specifically for those of us who believe in the CLex; Clark/Lex. Lex realizes that if he wants Clark in his life--and he does--he must be discreet, not just with the possibly questionable things that he does, but he must also be discreet with his and Clark's relationship, as Clark is still possibly underage and homosexuality is something that is frowned upon in Kansas.
Chapter XVII--Of Cruelty and Clemency, And Whether It Is Better To Be Loved Or Feared
1) Passing to the other qualities above referred to, I say that every Prince should desire to be accounted merciful and not cruel.
I believe this to be Lex's aim. He wants to be considered different from his father, and since his father and his family name has the heritage of cruelty, Lex is trying to differentiate himself from their situation.
2) For he who quells disorder by a very few signal examples will in the end be more merciful than he who from too great leniency permits things to take their course and so to result in rapine and bloodshed; for these hurt the whole State, whereas the severities of the Prince injure individuals only.
This is another example of the differentiation between Lionel Luthor and Lex Luthor. Lionel has no problems with taking actions that will scar the whole for his own gain--shutting down the crap factory in his efforts to force Lex back to Metropolis. Lex, on the other hand, goes nearly out of his way to punish on the single wrong-doers that trespass against him--the Kryptocrips, Amy and Jeff Palmer, Roger Nixon, Keri Castle, Victoria and Sir Harry Hardwick while not harming the innocents in the way. The only time he seems to abandon that policy is when he finds that Whitney has joined the Kryptocrips. He says that “A man is measured by the quality of his friends,” and goes on to say that if Whitney will be punished along with the ’Crips.
3) And here comes in the question whether it is better to be loved rather than feared, or feared rather than loved. It might perhaps be answered that we should wish to be both; but since love and fear can hardly exist together, it is far safer to be feared than loved. For of men it may generally be affirmed that they are thankless, fickle, false, studious to avoid danger, greedy of gain, devoted to you while you are able to confer benefits upon them, and ready, as I said before, while danger is distant to shed their blood, and sacrifice their properties, their lives and their children for you; but in the hour of need they turn against you. The Prince, therefore, who without otherwise securing himself builds wholly on their professions is undone. For the friendships which we buy with a price and do not gain by greatness and nobility of character though they be fairly earned are not made good, but fail us when we have occasion to use them. Moreover, men are less careful how they offend him who makes himself loved than him who makes himself feared. For love is held by the tie of obligation, which, because men are a sorry breed, is broken on every whisper of private interest, but fear is bound by the apprehension of a punishment which never relaxes its grasp.
I don't believe that Lex believes in this yet; he will not believe in it until the day comes when he finds himself betrayed by Clark Kent, the one person that he did allow himself to trust and love. Once that betrayal happens, I don't think that Lex will ever be able to forget that, and he will not dare to trust anyone else, because Clark was so close to him and hurt him so deeply. I also believe it is that betrayal of Lex's trust and love that will turn Lex into the man his father has been molding him into. Ironically, I believe that Lex could have been great all by himself, but when he did allow himself to love and care for someone, it is that person and the love of that person which will lead to his downfall.
4) Returning to the question of being loved or feared, I sum up by saying, that since being loved depends upon his subjects, while his being feared depends upon himself, a wise Prince should build on what is his own and not on what rests with others. Only, as I have said, he must do his utmost to escape hatred.
This is simply another reiteration of Lex's self-reliance. He relies on no one but himself to help him build, but his single mistake comes when he begins to depend on Clark's feelings for him--friendship and more--for a kind of validation for his actions, because if Clark believes in what Lex is doing, then that is the single best reason for doing it.
Chapter XIX--That A Prince Should Seek To Escape Contempt And Hatred
1) To be brief, a Prince has little to fear from conspiracies when his subjects are well disposed towards him; but when they are hostile and hold him in detestation, he has then reason to fear everything and everyone.
This is another facet of the situation that Lex finds himself in as he lives in Smallville; however, he hides from us the true extent that he is affected by it. He pretends to care nothing for this overwhelming dislike of him for no reason, but he is always on the watch for betrayal and detestation, whether from Clark's father, or Pete Ross, or the town at large. I believe that Lex is well aware of this quote and the possibilities it raises.
Chapter XX--Whether Fortresses, And Certain Other Expedients To Which Princes Often Have Recourse, Are Profitable Or Hurtful
1) This only I will say, that those men who at the beginning of a reign have been hostile, if of a sort requiring support to maintain them, may always be won over by the Prince with much ease, and are the more bound to serve him faithfully because they know they have to efface by their conduct the unfavorable impression he had formed of them; and in this way a Prince always obtains better help from them, than from those who serving him in too complete security neglect his affairs.
I've mentioned Gabe Sullivan before, and I believe that this is the quote that will fit him the most. Gabe is a truly minor character, and yet, his impact on Lex is possibly quite important. I have always believed that Sullivan would have been the plant manager, had Lex not been put in that position by Lionel. And yet, it's not until the Level Three fiasco that you see Sullivan--or anyone else--believing in Lex until Lex has risked his life. There is still very little support for Lex along the way, and it's not until Tempest that we see that Sullivan is chief among the men Lex looks to for support, and he appears to be the spokesman for the group. Additionally, if you hack into Lex's LuthorCorp email account, you can see that Gabe has emailed Lex, voicing his support and belief in the young man.
Having opposed Lex in the beginning, once Sullivan has been won over, not just by the Level Three fiasco but likely also by Lex's care of Chloe after her fall, he has become one of Lex's most staunch, even though silent, supporters.
2) Carefully considering the cause of this, with the aid of examples taken from times ancient and modern, he will perceive that it is far easier to secure the friendship of those who being satisfied with things as they stood, were for that very reason his enemies, than of those who sided with him and aided him in his usurpation only because they were discontented.
This can be seen in the situation with the crap factory, and again I will mention Gabe Sullivan, as he is the only one we have seen who will act in support of Lex. Gabe could have opposed Lex's appointment as plant manager, and I am sure that he did, and yet despite that, he became one of the people that Lex goes to when he is trying to acquire the factory for himself, because he knows that he and Sullivan have come to a tacit agreement of mutual respect for one another, through the actions of both parties.
Chapter XXI--How A Prince Should Bear Himself So As To Acquire Reputation
1) Nothing makes a Prince so well thought of as to undertake great enterprises and give striking proofs of his capacity.
This situation has only turned out to be half true in Smallville. Lex has tried repeatedly to undertake great enterprises, and yet nothing that he does has changed the way that the people of his fiefdom--Smallville--think of him. They still see him as a spoiled son of a tyrant, a rich brat who is barely worth his weight in the crap his factory doles out.
2) Again, it greatly profits a Prince in conducting the internal government of his State, to follow striking methods, such as are recorded of Messer Bernabo of Milan, whenever the remarkable actions of anyone in civil life, whether for good or for evil, afford him occasion; and to choose such ways of rewarding and punishing as cannot fail to be much spoken of. But above all, he should strive by all his actions to inspire a sense of his greatness and goodness.
Level Three. This is the situation of Level Three. A remarkable action--Lex going in to trade his life for the lives of the school children inside the factory--and once he came out alive, with all the lives of the children intact, including Clark’s, that should have given him quite a boost in the status of Smallville. Instead, it has subjected him to nothing but criticism and ridicule, most notably from his father, but from other sources as well, like Jonathan Kent.
3) 'Nothing can be less to your advantage than the course which has been recommended as the best and most useful for your State, namely, to refrain from taking any part in our war, for by standing aloof you will gain neither favor nor fame, but remain the prize of the victor.' And it will always happen that he who is not your friend will invite you to neutrality while he who is your friend will call on you to declare yourself openly in arms.
This is a frightening statement to consider, especially as to whom Lex’s friends truly are. Taken on the surface, it is saying that those who are you friends encourage you to take action no matter what, and it is those who are not your friends that ask you to stand back and merely watch. That has a terrible echo in the situation of Lex, Clark, and Lionel. Lex is the prince spoken of here, and on one hand he has Clark, whom is likely his closest friend in the world. On the other hand, he has his father, Lionel, whom he cannot stand the sight of. But if you look at their actions… Clark has, on occasion after occasion, asked Lex to stand aside and do nothing while a situation is resolved, whereas it is Lionel who goes to his son and encourages him to take action and take control of the situation. Following this logic, it only proves the inevitable future of Clark and Lex becoming enemies.
Chapter XXIII--That Flatterers Should Be Shunned
1) For there is no way to guard against flattery but by letting it be seen that you take no offense in hearing the truth: but when everyone is free to tell you the truth, respect falls short.
Another frightening statement, when looked at in the framework of the relationship between Clark and Lex. Lex knows that he is not being told the truth, but out of respect for Clark, he doesn’t press for it. He has also let Clark know, however, that the door is rapidly closing for Clark to confide in him and not destroy their relationship. “When someone has lied to me, Clark, I find it hard to give them a second chance,” Lex tells his young friend, and Clark cannot bring himself to meet Lex’s eyes. He would like the truth, but is afraid of it; afraid of what it would mean to his and Clark’s relationship.
Chapter XXV--What Fortune Can Effect In Human Affairs, And How She May Be Withstood
1) Nevertheless, that our free will be not wholly set aside, I think it may be the case that Fortune is the mistress of one half our actions, and yet leaves the control of the other half, or a little less, to ourselves.
“You have a destiny, Lex. You’re not going to get anywhere with your eyes closed.”
“We have a future, Clark… and I don’t want anything to stand in the way of our friendship.”
“I think our friendship will be the stuff of legend.”
Three quotes; one from Lionel Luthor, and two from Lex himself. Each one mentions both halves of this equation. One half of the equation--destiny. The other half--themselves. Lionel is telling Lex that he must open his eyes and work to achieve his own destiny; Lex is telling Clark much the same thing; they have a future together, either as friends or enemies, and it is up to them what they make of it.
Then another quote: “I plan on being great all by myself.”
Lex knows the importance of not being a slave to his destiny; he knows that he alone will be the one to achieve his own destiny, no matter what that may be.
2) For if one who conducts himself with caution and patience, time and circumstances are propitious, so that his method of acting is good, he goes on prospering; but if these change he is ruined, because he does not change his method of acting.
Change of circumstance. Lex has been living this ever since he came to Smallville. Before his arrival, he was nothing but the spoiled son of a rich man. Once he was sent to Smallville and given charge of the crap factory, as he calls it, he has metamorphosed from the rich brat he tells stories about to the capable business manager that efficiently runs the plant.
3) For no man is found so prudent as to know how to adapt himself to these changes, both because he cannot deviate from the course to which nature inclines him, and because, having always prospered while adhering to one path, he cannot be persuaded that it would be well for him to forsake it.
Unfortunately, I think this must refer to Lex's future. He goes down one path, always--the Luthor path. Even during his tenure in Smallville, Lex attempts to tread other paths, and yet, circumstances conspire against him to return him, over and over again, to the same path he is always on; it's an inescapable path, and eventually, Lex will be forced to give up hope of treading anywhere else, and will merely accept that the path he is on will be his path forever.
4) For Fortune is a woman who to be kept under must be beaten and roughly handled; and we see that she suffers herself to be more readily mastered by those who so treat her than by those who are more timid in their approaches. And always, like a woman, she favors the young, because they are less scrupulous and fiercer, and command her with greater audacity.
I am captain of my fate; master of my own destiny. Lex has uttered this sentiment many times, most noticeably in the first season finale, when he says that he intends to forge his own destiny, free from his father's influence. Lex is young now, as the passage points out, and he is not afraid to take his destiny and his fate by the horns and attempt to wrestle it into what he wishes it to be. Once he is older, the wrestling will be done, and Fortune will be at Lex's mercy.