May 26, 2013
Students at British Prime Minister David Cameron’s alma mater, Eton College, were asked if they would shoot protesters.
The question was posed as part of an exam to win one of fourteen King’s Scholarships at the prestigious boarding school in 2011.
In addition to Cameron, past alumni include generations of British and foreign aristocracy and members of the Royal family, most recently Prince William and his brother Prince Harry.
Other former pupils at Eon include nineteen former prime ministers spanning from Sir Robert Walpole to Harold Macmillan.
Eton was founded in 1440 by King Henry VI. The college is situated next to Windsor Castle, the longest-occupied palace in Europe, built by William the Conqueror in the decade after the Norman conquest of 1066.
The exam question appeared as follows:
According to Huffington Post, the exam topic concerned “cruelty and clemency, and whether it is better to be loved than feared.”
“The question starts with that well-known section from Machiavelli’s The Prince about whether it is better to be feared than loved as a ruler, and then asks candidates to imagine a situation where law and order is breaking down, oil crisis, troops on the streets have killed protestors,” Tony Little, headmaster of Eton College, told the Huffington Post.
Earlier this year, a 2009 Nobel Peace Prize nominee, Jim Garrow, was told by a top military veteran that the Obama administration’s “litmus test” for new military leaders is whether or not they will obey an order to fire on U.S. citizens.