The 48 Laws of Power by Robert Greene
I know people like to have or feel they have power in their hands. I get that. Power means authority. Power means respect. Power means…well, after reading the table of contents of this book, I think power means abuse, misuse, and well…everything that is scary-creepy-I-don’t-want-to-be-anywhere-around-that-kind-of-person. Or something like that, but power can be a very scary thing. On the giving and the receiving end. I doubt I need to even name some of the people who took power to that all-consuming scary level or those who suffered underneath it.
I’ll not go over all 48 Laws of Power by Robert Greene but first I want to comment that much of what he writes on is reflected by previous characters in our history. First, there is Niccolò Machiavelli who wrote The Prince in which he sanctions conducts often considered evil and immoral. Another well-known figure would be none other than Henry Kissenger who is a critical and often debated topic. Christopher Hitchens accused him in 2001 of “war crimes, for crimes against humanity, and for offences against common or customary or international law, including conspiracy to commit murder, kidnap, and torture” (The Independent, 9/13/13). But, hey, there’s a little good in everybody right? And obviously these laws have existed for quite some time. And we need powerful people. Still, these rules of power are kinda bothersome to me; but not all of them.
While some of these sound a bit unfair or cruel or burdensome, such as $2 “Never put too much trust in friends/learn how to use enemies” I have learned the truth in that. Friends will fail you, betray you, turn on you. They are human and thus imperfect and often rely on their rules emotions. However, I wouldn’t agree with the comment “if you have no enemies, find ways to make them”.
Law #7 suggests that you get other people to do all the dirty work and you make sure to take all the credit for it. That just seems…lazy and wrong. I wouldn’t want someone successful at this leading me, having power over me. Would you?
I do like #9. “Win through your actions, never through your arguments.” Behavior and actions says and means a whole lot more than words, at least to me they do.
Now, I will mention that I have not read this book. I am curious what my readers, who have read it take from it. Do you agree with everything, only some things? Do you have a hard time practicing certain laws of power? I’m very curious.