The 48 Laws of Power

Every day people try to outdo each other in the military, at the workplace, and at school by showing their “power.” But did you know that there is an actual list of 48 Laws of Power as outlined by Robert Greene and Joost Elffers to help you get ahead?  My favorite is law number 15 “Crush Your Enemy Totally.”

All great leaders since Moses have known that a feared enemy must be crushed completely.  (Sometimes they have learned this the hard way.)  If one ember is left alight, no matter how dimly it smolders, a fire will eventually break out.  More is lost through stopping halfway than through total annihilation:  The enemy will recover, and will seek revenge.  Crush him, not only in body but in spirit.

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They got the use of 'power' wrong. See, the more power you have in that world, the less power you have in the real world.

The real world, I submit, consists of conscious awareness, an awareness which is qualitatively, but not quantitatively different in each human being.

Psychological processes feedback on themselves to alter future states of consciousness. When a person descends to these sociopathic thought patterns, their mind becomes tainted by them and their conscious experience evolves accordingly.

The feedback of any particular activity is generally appropriate to that activity. If one engages in lies, then one loses confidence in one's fellow man. If one engages in deception, one has to be on-guard against deception. Not only because what goes around comes around but because acting in such a way sets up an environmental pressure that ensures anyone wanting to compete must descend to the same kind of behavior.

Its like playing a board game with someone, and partway through the game they dispute the way a rule is enforced. Whatever decision comes out then will apply to all future enforecement of that rule. What's good for the goose is good for the gander. If a player attempts to gain an advantage by disputing a rule's enforcement, they may regret it later on.

This dynamic will allow an entire social system to descend into the lowest of all human behavior. As each wants to succeed and can only do so by use of those tactics which prove successful, and as we continuously witness, those tactics are generally self-centered and sociopathic.
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The book's strongest defect for forearming against sociopaths is that it leaves the most important rule silent, and that is the economy of violence.

If the rule is to do whatever you can get away with, then if violence will get you what you want and you can get away with it, then why not do it?

Speaking of this rule is forbidden - it weakens the sociopath's hand, for the victim is an easier mark if they expect every attack but that which is most final and unchangeable.

That's the great secret: murder for gain.

I have no respect for those authors. The philosophy is satanic for helping create sociopaths, and the book is so for giving non-sociopaths the comforting illusion that they understand how the game is really played.
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I think Nikoli M. got a bad rap. If you read The Prince its not all about manipulating people, its about knowing how its done and how to prevent it from happening to you. My favourite line from the book:

(from memory of twenty years ago)
'The Prince's strongest fortress is in the arms of his people.'
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