For Greene, power is amoral. It`s a game. A social game. To master it, you need to be able to study and understand people. Nevertheless, you must always take the most indirect path to power. “The 48 Laws of Power” is a manual on the different arts of the Directorate. Feeling helpless is a miserable experience. If everyone had a choice, they would choose more power rather than less. But being so open in attempts to gain power is frowned upon. To come to power, you have to be subtle, cunning and democratic, but sneaky.
Therefore, bestselling author Robert Greene argues in his controversial book “The 48 Laws of Power” that if you manage to seduce, charm, and deceive your opponents, you will gain the ultimate power. Law 35: Mastering the art of timingIt never seems to be in a hurry – haste betrays a lack of control over oneself and time. Always seem patient, as if you know that everything will eventually come to you. Become a detective at the right time; Sniff the zeitgeist, the trends that will bring you to power. Learn to hold back when the weather is not yet ripe and hit hard when it has paid off. Let us look at the situation. On the evening of the feast, when Fouquet presented Louis with a show greater than the previous one, he imagined the affair as proof of his loyalty and devotion to the king. Not only did he think that the party would bring him back in favor of the king, but he thought it would show his good taste, his connections and popularity, make him indispensable to the king and show that he would be an excellent prime minister. Instead, however, every new show, every smile of appreciation that the guests gave fouquet gave Louis the impression that his own friends and subjects were more enchanted by the minister of finance than by the king himself, and that Fouquet was in fact displaying his wealth and power. Instead of flattering Louis XIV, Fouquet`s elaborate party insulted the king`s vanity.
Louis, of course, wouldn`t admit it to anyone – instead, he found a convenient excuse to get rid of a man who had accidentally made him unsafe. However, by being completely dishonest and sending deceptive signals, he deceived everyone, hid his purpose and achieved everything he wanted. It is the power to hide your intentions. Power requires the ability to play with outward appearances. To this end, you need to learn how to wear a lot of masks and carry a bag full of deception tricks. Deception and masquerade should not be considered ugly or immoral. Every human interaction requires deception on many levels, and in a way, our ability to lie and deceive separates us. In greek myths, in the cycle of the Mahabharata in India, in the Middle Eastern epic of Gilga mesh, it is the privilege of the gods to use deceptive arts; a great man, Odysseus, for example, was judged on his ability to compete with the cunning of the gods and steal some of their divine power by gathering them together in spirit and deception. Deception is a developed art of civilization and the most powerful weapon in the power game. Law 45: Preach the need for change, but never reform too much at onceEveryard understands the need for change in an abstract way, but on a daily basis, humans are creatures of habit. Too much innovation is traumatic and will lead to revolt.
If you are new to a position of power or a stranger trying to build a power base, show that you respect the old way of doing things. When a change is needed, make it feel like a gentle improvement of the past. Law 37: Creating captivating shows Powerful images and great symbolic gestures create the aura of power – everyone reacts to it. Stage show for the people around you, full of captivating visuals and radiant symbols that increase your presence. Blinded by performance, no one will notice what you`re really doing. Laws have a simple premise: some actions almost always increase one`s own power (respect for the law), while others diminish it and even ruin us (violation of the law). These transgressions and observances are illustrated by historical examples. Laws are timeless and definitive. Law 24: Play the perfect courtier: Learn the rules of the society in which you play and follow them to avoid unfavorable attention. This involves appearing like a team player and taking care to criticize diplomatically. Power is a social game.
To learn and master it, you need to develop the ability to study and understand people. As the great thinker and courtier Baltasar Gracián wrote from the seventeenth century: “Many people spend time studying the properties of animals or herbs; How much more important it would be to study those of the people with whom we have to live or die! To be a master player, you must also be a master psychologist. They need to recognize motivations and see through the cloud of dust that people use to surround their actions. An understanding of people`s hidden motivations is the greatest knowledge you can have to gain power. It opens up endless possibilities of deception, seduction and manipulation. The information you gather through espionage is power because it allows you to predict how others will act in the future, and you can plan accordingly. That`s why you should pretend to be a friend and work as a spy. Powerful people know how to impress others by saying less. The more you say, the more likely you are to end up saying something stupid. Since people are constantly trying to understand what others seem to be thinking, they feel uncomfortable by the silence. By controlling what you reveal, you can wield great power.
Eventually, they are likely to fill the silence you leave behind and reveal more information about their own intentions and weaknesses. Law 40: Despise Free LunchWhat is offered for free is dangerous – it usually involves a hidden trick or commitment. What is worth paying is worth paying. By paying your way, you remain free of gratitude, guilt, and deception. It is also often advisable to pay the high price – there is no compromise in excellence. Waste your money and keep it in circulation, because generosity is a sign and magnet for power. Law 13: When asking for help, appeal to people`s self-interest, never to their mercy or gratitude: If you need the help of someone in a position of power, appeal to their personal interest. They are happy to help when they get something in return, and you get what you want without being desperate or irritating. Another way to avoid gambling would be perfect honesty and frankness, as one of the main techniques of those seeking power is deception and secrecy.