The Powers that Be

I have been reading the 48 Laws of Power, by Robert Greene. It’s filled with some fascinating observations. It is a lot like Machiavelli’s Prince, but a little more up-to-date and with practical advice for modern times.

Surrendering to a more powerful adversary will help you collect power down the line.

Maybe you have gone up against someone understanding that you’d never win? It’s not the path to power, while it’s common for individuals to fight for glory against all odds. When confronted with the adversary more powerful than you, so what do you need to do?

Give up.

This may seem an odd strategy, especially since humans instinctively fight their foes to safeguard themselves. But when a competition acts with aggression, he will expect one to respond in the exact same manner. In cases when you understand the competition has you beat, your best move is to do the reverse and surrender.


In case you give up, or at the least convince your opponent that you so, you’ll be able to ensure he won’t produce considerable damage. Not only this, but your adversary, thinking he’s won, may also let his guard down. When he does, you’ll possess a golden opportunity to regain your strength and plan your next move.

Take the case of Bertolt Brecht, a writer of radical, communist notions who immigrated to America to join other intellectuals exiled from Europe. Before the US Congress, which was investigating a supposed communist infiltration of Hollywood, his peers and Brecht were summoned after the Second World War.

While his fellow radicals challenged the power of Congress by shouting and being uncooperative and caused a disturbance, Brecht was calm and politely answered the questions.

And his obstinate pals?

They were blacklisted, struggling to release for decades!

So, do as Brecht did and make concede an instrument of self-empowerment. Build long term strength instead of earning major sacrifices for short lived bouts of glory.

If you want to be treated like a first-class, you’ve got to behave like one.

Are you up the ladder than someone else? If so, it’s critical to act the part – unless, obviously, you prefer to be seen as their equal.

He despised all of the symbols related to the throne, too as royal services. In fact, he didn’t even keep the company of royalty, mostly befriending bankers instead.

But the king’s behaviour didn’t do him any good – he was soon hated by both the wealthy and the poor. Wealthy people disapproved of the unlikely king, while the poor disliked a king who acted like the lower classes but didn’t look out for them. His banker friends turned on him when they found he could be insulted by them without the concern with being reprimanded.

Every one of this hatred built he was forced to abdicate the throne and until the people rose up against him.

In general, individuals are distrustful of higher ups who behave like their equals; doing so leads to thinking as they’ll assume your humble manners you’re dishonest individuals certainly are a sly trick to cloud your privileges.

Subsequently what’s a better strategy?

You should instead use the strategy of the crown to create people treat you. Simply put, if you think you ’re above others and behave in this manner, other individuals will start to consider you’re exceptional, also. They’ll assume there is good reason for you yourself to achieve that, when folks find you behaving superior.

For example, Christopher Columbus acted like royalty and, consequently, most people viewed him as such.

To gain power over others, seduction works better than coercion.

Imagine yourself for a moment as Chuko Liang, head strategist for the early Chinese state of Shu: King Menghuo from the south has just now declared on China War and stopping him and saving the country lies in your hands.

But before learning that which you ought to do, it’s crucial to understand what not to do.

To begin with, using force and coercive approaches is never wise, even when they’re the easiest alternative. Actually, should you exercise your power, you will be secretly resented by individuals because force breeds opposition. Liang didn’t attack with force and knew this, even though he probably might have defeated the invading army.

But if he had, Menghuo could have resented both China and Liang and the nation would have to continuously protect itself. Everyone bred and involved paranoia might have exhausted.

People tend to be commanded by their emotions, and you are able to make them do everything you want – of their own free will, by playing on their feelings.

You certainly can do this by threatening your adversary so that they anticipate pain, and after that abruptly treating them kindly. As an example, when China was assaulted by Menghuo, Liang seized his whole army and him. Menghuo anticipated the worst and was separated from his soldiers, but to his great surprise he was offered wine and delectable food instead.

He would simply let Menghuo go when the enemy king assured that if he was ever captured again, he’d bow to the Chinese king while his enemy’s soldiers were released by Liang.

And while Liang captured Menghuo several more times, he always let him go. Subsequently, on the seventh capture, Menghuo dropped to Liang’s feet, surrendering his kingdom and himself.

Despite the fact that Liang could have killed Menghuo when he was got by him, a proven fact the enemy king was aware of, he gave him plenty of chances and treated him well each time. As a result, Menghuo grew increasingly grateful and indebted to the Chinese king, until he eventually surrendered of his own volition.

Power and conquest has historically ruled the world. Of course, much has changed in the current era, but the significance of dominance and command has stayed. By learning in the failures and successes of power struggles that are historical, you also can become a force to be reckoned with.

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