1) I believe some of what Machiavelli testified to in The Prince, which was based on his own personal observations of great leaders, holds true and likely always will. To demonstrate, I will refer to The Way Princes Should Keep Their Word (1613-1615). Here, Machiavelli claims that “the masses are always impressed by the superficial appearance of things, and by the outcome of an enterprise … [and] the few have no influence when the many feel secure” (1615). In present day politics, this mentality plays itself out all the time. Most people are happy for instance when their current and near-term needs are being met by government. This is why many are not disturbed by significant national debt which each year continues to grow and translate into IOU’s that will one day need to be repaid. People would rather not see their services cut than think about how they are going to deal with them down the road. And many politicians cater to this mentality of short-term gratification because it is what most of the people want. Not many politicians step forward and say that they are willing to run on a platform of cutting spending drastically or significantly raising taxes to pay for the level of services that the public demands. This is an easy way for politicians to avoid big issues and get elected, whereby they receive handsome salaries and perks that many in the public could only dream of.
2) I honestly cannot recall women’s hair being a key topic of discussion in many of the books or stories that I have read. I am going to go out on a educated limb however and speculate that what women’s hair represents is beauty and power. We see all over modern popular culture women who are very powerful, and a significant degree of their power is derived from a female star’s appearance; consistent with most of these stars is long, beautiful hair. If we are to take a part of the world where women notoriously have little or no power outside of the household, we will see also barely any female hair at all. I spent a year of my life in Iraq, and rarely did I ever see a woman who was not concealing all or the majority of her hair underneath traditional garb. And I spent an entire year of my life in Afghanistan without hardly seeing a single Afghan woman at all from the local area.
3) It would appear to me that the flowers which are to be desired are acquired only where the Aztec Warriors go to battle with their enemies. The flowers which are not desired are found only where those that do not seek battle tend to gather. As far as songs, I believe this is the spirit which describes the warrior clad with many of the “good” flowers which have been obtained as booty during prior successful battles.