Law #6 – Court Attention at all Costs

Law 6 - Court Attention at all Costs

Court Attention at all Costs Meaning:

Everything is judged by its appearance; what is unseen counts for nothing. Never let yourself get lost in the crowd, then, or buried in oblivion. Stand out. Be conspicuous, at all cost. Make yourself a magnet of attention by appearing larger, more colorful, more mysterious than the bland and timid masses.



Contents of the 6th Summary of the 48 Laws of Power (by Robert Greene)

Part 1: Video Summary

Part 2: Real Life Applications

Part 3: Negative Example

Part 4: Spirit of the Law

Part 5: Most Important Learnings



Video Summary of the 6th Law of Power



Real Life Application #1)


One of the best-known inventors of all time is undoubtely Thomas Edison. He coined the famous quote:

“I have not failed, I have only found 10.000 ways that don’t work.”

Persistence & dedication were one of the driving factors of his success, but this wouldn’t have brought him a reputation for being the biggest genius the world has seen up to that date if it hadn’t been for his business sense and marketing skills. Edison spared no expenses to court attention at all costs, whenever possible. He knew the power behind marketing and how important it was, even at that time. Thomas Edison was a ruthless individual only out for himself and the glory of making his name go down in history, instead of trying to be a valuable human being and valuable asset to his society.

His biggest rival, the Austrian (a common misconception is that he was Serbian) inventor Nikola Tesla was quite the opposite of Edison, trumping him in every technical aspect. In an intellectual battle, Edison would have fared as well against Tesla, as an infant would have fared against a Mike Tyson in his prime. Once Tesla worked for Edison, and was promised to be given a huge sum of money, if he indeed managed to find a solution for that problem. Tesla, the driven genius that he was, managed to achieve this feat that was believed to be unachieveable by Edison. Being the sneaky egoist that Thomas Edison was, he decided to break his promise and only offer a minor sum of money to his most precious employee. This naturally opened a chasm between the Austrian with a strong code of honor and the treacherous egoist, abusing and squeezing everyone who worked for him.

Some time later, both men were chosen to be awarded with the Nobel Prize, but now being enemies, Thomas Edison decided that he would not trade a little reputation boost for himself, for the opportunity for his enemy to court attention. He decided that the best course of action was to decline the price.

What you can learn from this example is, that not allowing your adversary to court attention, is sometimes worth not receiving a Nobel Prize.



Real Life Application #2)


Pietro Arentino the Italian author, satirist and poet, inventor of modern literate pornography, managed to amass fame by courting attention at all costs, in a bold way. He wrote many slanderous satirical letters, attacking influental people, including the pope and Vatican’s favorite elephant, called Hanno. He wrote “The Last Will & Testament of the Elephant Hanno”. On one side, this angered many people but also resonated well with a lot of his readers, making his name publically known almost overnight and kickstarting his career. It is a wise decision to find the tallest Goliat, in this case the pope, if you yourself are a David. Careful though to not go aboard and become a repetitive troll, for people will grow tired of your act and start to resent you.



Real Life Application #3)


I want to congratulate you on taking the initiative, reading my article, watching Illacertus’ video and reflecting upon it. To be honest, you could almost extract the same value, you get by reading this article, from watching Donald Trump in action.

He is the epitome of the law in action. An enthusiastic, loud peacock, who knows how to mobilize the masses and polarize with every action he takes. Every speech he gives. Trump might be a natural who doesn’t strike me one bit as overcoached. Some high class politicians are known to not take advice and consulting on rethoric, body language, public speaking and topics alike, and Trump might be one of them. Everything he does, comes from heart and I consider him one of the best self-marketers with an unbelievable ability to mobilize the masses.

Think of him what you will, but you can’t stump the Trump. I highly recommend you to study his PR stunts and listen to his speeches. Trump is “Court attention at all Costs” on two legs.



Negative Example)


Roosh V, also known as Daryush Valizadeh, is the founder of a movement called neo-masculinity. A professional provocateur, who managed to amass a huge following by courting attention at all cost. He teaches men how to supposedly act masculine in a consistently more feminized world. His articles are provocative and full of bad taste at best, while not offering much applicable content.

Despite not being blessed with either the intelligence, charisma nor the writing skills to make a dent in our world, he managed to draw attention upon him and earn huge sums of money, by doing what he does best, trolling. He is a known Pickup Coach and teaches people who can not get laid, how to travel the world, flash their dollar bills and lull Asians into giving away some love. His own forum is a desolate place, populated with loser whose Sexual Market Value is too low for decent local women, having to utilize the fact that women from poor countries are programmed to be attracted to wealth, or the appearance of wealth.

Once he wrote an article, demanding that rape should be legal inside the four walls of your home. I have not read the article, nor am I interested in changing this, but its content does not matter one bit. He now claimed it was a satire, but again, maybe he did demand rape to be legalized, maybe it only came across this way. What matters is not reality but appearance. And the article struck enough people as a realistic brain fart. What happened is that the media picked up on this movement and slandered him publically. Recently (06.02.2016) he called for international meetings of his followers in every major city, both domestic and foreign. What happened was that basically every single country dedicated a news story to him, resulting in a public outrage, while referring to it as a “Christian rape mob”. Of course, it would be highly undoubtful, that many of the participants would run the risk of becoming rapists, but again, appearance is key.

Within days of his announcement and the media attacking him, his follower base exploded. But you can’t expect to only make friends with such a tactic and even for a boy, raised by wolves, living in the jungle his whole life and only having come to a city in the past month, it should be clear that you can expect to experience some kind of a backlash and repercussions.

It is important to know what you are going to do with the newfound fame while courting attention at all cost. Have a plan on how you are going to leverage it and how you are going to deal with the negativity you will create.

Roosh V bit off more than he could chew and completely crushed his reputation and credibility in the course. While I in no way am a fan of the false prophet called Roosh, I can’t condemn the actions his enemies took. Just kidding, if it works, it is great, no morals should hold one back. His adversaries started sending him death threats. Our poor false prophet got scared, he got scared that someone who is not all-talk would search for him and hurt him. So he did two things. The first one was to cancel the meetings all over the world.

Some people claim this to have been a marketing gag all along, but couldn’t come up with the reason why he would cancel the meetings. There is no harm in having people all over the world meet up in his name, and draw much more attention to him, than by simply cancelling the meetings. He claims that he cancelled the event because he could no longer guarantee for the safety of his followers. Even if you are blind and oblivious to basic rational thinking, you would be able to translate his sentence and grasp the real meaning behind it. He never could guarantee the safety of the people responsible for his fame and financial well-being and he actually meant: “I can no longer guarantee my own safety.”

This was the first pathetic step the coward Roosh took, tarnishing his reputation in the eyes of his followers and the public and the second misstep is going to make you laugh.

Apparently he got so scared that he is going to choke on the chunk he had bitten off, that he called the police, who visited him in his home. Did I say his home? I meant his mother’s home. Roosh does indeed live with his mother. In her basement. Really. Read the articles.

Now we have an excellent self-marketer who should visit the Wizard of Oz and ask both for brain & courage, who was exposed as the false prophet he is, only because of two mistakes. If it hadn’t been for them, he would have pulled off the biggest PR stunt in his career. What remains is him having lost all credibility.

A very similar example would be the Pickup Artist Julien Blanc, who too had no idea how to cope with the new-found attention and acted like an obedient dog when attacked by the media.


Spirit of the Law


I have provided a couple of excellent examples about courting attention at all costs, but the best examples can be found all around us in the business world. PR, politics and marketing are the perfect examples of this law at work.

If you don’t stand out by establishing a distinct reputation (see Law #5), and people don’t hear of it, you might as well not exist. Hard Work is a waste of time if nobody hears of it or someone else takes the credit. Read Law 1 & Law 7.

Harness the tools to court attention & be colorful often and decisively, people love mystery and will want to peek behind the mask. If you only have one course of action and your modus operandi only involves doing one thing to court attention, people are going to predict your every move and will start to become bored. You want to abide to Law 25, Re-Create yourself, from time to time to change things up.

You want to be seen. Place yourself in a visible spot. If the CEO of your company sees you every time he goes to lunch or even when he goes to the toilet or water dispenser, he is going to remember you. Repetition of courting attention is key.


Always have a Plan

Always have a plan laid out what you are going to do with the new found attention and how to best make use of it. Attention is like fire. It can be both used to make yourself warm and cosy if you control it, but if you lose control of the fire, it is going to consume you.

If you lead a company, and are just starting out, any type of attention makes for a good publicity. Don’t go overboard and get yourself into more trouble than you can deal with. Take for example Abraham Lincoln. He anonymously wrote offensive letters, insulting his enemies or even people he had no ties with, which were published in a news paper. One day the target of his slander found out who is responsible, called out Lincoln and challenged him to a duel. Lincoln is no fan of the credo: Acta non verba, but instead follows the motto of Verba, non acta. All talk and not prepared to stand up and take responsibility. He was scared senseless when he was challenged to the duel, knowing that he was going to die. Shortly before the duel took place, it was cancelled, for reasons unknown. Maybe he dropped into the dust, kissed his enemies feet and begged for his life. We do not know; what we do know is that you always need to have a backup plan and be prepared to deal with possible repercussions, when courting attention at all costs by attacking people/companies.

Don’t force yourself into the Limelight all the time

Sometimes it makes sense to think twice if you want to don’t draw attention and become most visible neck to chop at. The highest grass stalk is the first to be cut down. If you are not known for achieving results or have made mistakes, it makes sense to lie low and wait for the right time to shine.

Don’t be melodramatic and force yourself into the limelight all the time. People will resent you for it. Be subtle, be sneaky. Court attention when beneficial, but don’t appear to do so.



Most Important Learnings

  • If you are invisible, you are expendable. Being attacked is better than being ignored
  • There is (almost) no bad press when you are at the bottom. Careful when you are on the top
  • Careful to not draw unwarranted attention towards yourself. The nail that sticks out when he shouldn’t, gets hammered in.
  • Don’t alienate people by pushing yourself into the limelight every occasion possible
  • Court attention and constantly remind people of your reputation
  • Don’t court attention if you have no idea what you are going to do with your new-found attention
  • Hard Work is a waste of time, if nobody hears of it or someone else takes the credit
  • If you are small like David, find your Goliath to attack


I hope you enjoyed reading my interpretation of the law and if you have more examples of the possible applications or questions of any kind or wish to share your thoughts and experiences, please feel free to do so. Grab the book here and support the author if you don’t already own it.

Go ahead and share it with your friends & on social media. Until next time, fellow Machiavellians.

Law #5 – So Much Depends on Reputation – Guard it with your Life

Law 5 - Reputation

Reputation is the cornerstone of power. Through reputation alone you can intimidate and win; once you slip, however, you are vulnerable, and will be attacked on all sides. Make your reputation unassailable. Always be alert to potential attacks and thwart them before they happen. Meanwhile, learn to destroy your enemies by opening holes in their own reputations. Then stand aside and let public opinion hang them.

Contents of the 5th Summary of the 48 Laws of Power (by Robert Greene)

Part 1: Video Summary

Part 2: Examples

Part 3: Negative Examples

Part 4: Spirit of the Law

Part 5: Most Important Learnings



Video Summary of the 5th Law of Power



Example #1)

During the War of the Three Kingdoms, a General called Liang managed to establish a fearsome reputation for himself, as being an almost invincible leader and master strategian. Having to face him in battle was an unthankful task for every commander, for it meant an almost certain defeat. One reason was Liang’s masterfully crafted battle plans but also the psychological effect of his fierce reputation, which could single-handedly win battles by demoralizing the enemy.

In one particular case, his reputation saved both his and his men’s lives. His enemy, Sima Yi led a huge army against a city Liang was defending, outnumbering his enemy by such a huge margin, that victory was certain. Liang knew that his army didn’t stand a chance, no matter how desperate and vicious they fought, so he had to revert to deception and reverse psychology.

He put on a Taoist robe and took a seat on the platform over the gates, playing a guqin (similar to a flute) with all the calmness in the world. When approaching the city, Sima Yi saw his arch enemy playing an instrument, mocking him and showing no signs of fear. Believing this to be a trap, he decided to abandon the attack and ordered his vast army to retreat. While it did cross his mind, that Liang was indeed outnumbered and defenseless, his opponent’s reputation got the better of him and put his army to flight.

This trick is also known as the Empty Fort Strategy. The 32nd Stratagem of the legendary 36 Stratagems.


Example #2)


During the invasion of Poland in 1939, Erwin Rommel, the Desert Fox, was assigned to protect Adolf Hitler, an ungrateful assignment that he loathed. Since he was known as a magnificent commander of troops – pushing deep into enemy territory and outflanking his enemies, easily dealing crushing blows to the treacherous Italians (who decided to turn on their German and Austrian friends, out of the fucking blue, because they were promised Austrian territory) – he managed to convince Hitler to put him in charge of one of the 10 panzer divisions and leading the tanks in Africa.

Building upon his reputation of a genius infantry commander, he now became known as the Desert Fox, for outmaneuvering his opponents and crushing his enemies on the battlefield. Even when British or French forces outnumbered his army, whole cities were abandoned when the news, Rommel ante Portas, reached the commanding general.

Not only did he have the reputation as the most fearsome general, but also as a very humane victor. He disobeyed the madman with the two-finger-mustache and never killed prisoners or jews, but spared their lives. Because of his reputation as a national war hero, he was ordered to commit suicide in private, after a plot to assassinate Hitler was uncovered, instead of being publically hanged.


Negative Example #1)

Doris Bures president of the Austrian National Council and puppy dog of the current chancellor Werner Failmann, tried to please her master by attacking the reputation of her former good friend Christian Kern, CEO of the biggest company, ÖBB, chairman of the Community of European Railway and Infrastructure Companies (CER), most powerful manager and best-connected person in the country, and hot candidate for the position of the chancellor.

A little back story, Doris Bures was the former minister of Infrastructure and hence had close ties to the railway company ÖBB. When the former loved Austrian National Council president died of cancer, she was promoted to take over, because she proved herself to be a loyal member of the SPÖ (Socialist Party), despite some bad tongues claiming her to be about as useful as a cock devoid of its glans. Never was she known for achieving results but this new promotion angered many people even more, because she was nothing but a quota woman, and everyone knew it.

You won’t find many individuals who hate achieving something worthwhile more than her. Maybe except for chancellor Werner Faymann, who hates results and change as much as the devil hates holy water.

The people resent the current chancellor, who is undoubtedly the worst chancellor in the history of the young republic, and many voices called for the election of a new chancellor and new elections. One of the preferred candidates being Mag. Christian Kern, an excellent speaker and Modern Machiavelli who studied communication studies and managed to turn around a mess of a company by 180° within 2 years. He did receive death threats and made a lot of enemies, by cleaning out house, with the biggest layoff the company has ever seen, but won even more friends and supporters by doing so.

During an interview, Doris Bures was asked, if Christian Kern (who actually was a politician in early years) would make a great politician and chancellor. She put on a sarcastic bitchface and her answer was: “Just like I would not make a great railway CEO, he would not make a good politician.(1/2)” A very unwise thing to say, because as the minister of infrastructure, you indeed should be able to also lead an infrastructure company. “Christian Kern would be smart enough to come to the same realization (2/2).”

The current chancellor is a former taxi driver, who didn’t even go to university and Doris told the interviewer, that both she and the chancellor would make better politicians than the most successful manager and former successful politician.

This was the stone that kicked off an avalanche. Thousands and thousands of people were pissed at her stupidity and saw right through the schemes of Werner Faymann and Doris Bures to guard and secure their position. Both of their polls took a massive hit, while Christian Kern’s popularity rose sharply and he now is indeed a possible candidate to clean up the pile of rubble, produced by Faymann’s reign.

People even commented that Doris Bures needs to read Niccoló Machiavelli, and since this incidence took place a few days before Christmas, I honestly hope that someone gave her a copy of The Prince as a present.


Guess who is who
The expression of not knowing what the hell you are actually being paid for


Negative Example #2)

Dumbo Pretendiavelli was the son of a business magnate, known by everyone is his city. Everybody admired his family and what they had accomplished. The reputation of his father carried over and was attributed to him. One day he met a couple of friends and made it known, that he was late because his mother made him clean up his room and told him to change his clothes, because he seemingly looked funny in her eyes. After giving an explanation for being late, in this case acting like an obedient dog, he sharply fell from grace.

He managed to taint his honor by saying too much and looking weak. This was not enough though, since he managed to hammer the last nail into the coffin that was his formerly outstanding reputation.

Being an avid follower of The Red Pill (a misogynist, sexist, racist, devil-worshipping, shitlording cult of bitter losers who have never been loved by their mothers and are 40-year-old neckbeard virgins; according to the general opinion) he wanted to look sly and regain his reputation as the cool rich kid. Thus he opened his mouth too wide, completely violating Law 4 and the biblical Proverb 13:3. “He that keepeth his mouth, keepeth his life. He that opens his lips too wide shall bring on his own destruction”. He let his seemingly sexist views about pick up and treating women be known in the presence of his friends and their friends, believing that he could regain their favor, but in the process, he brought destruction upon the pathetic chunk of what remained of his reputation. He got the reputation as a pro-rape xenophobe, was bullied by everyone inside and even outside his social circle and bullied into suicide, all because of his negative reputation. May god have mercy on his soul.



Spirit of the Law


Why Reputation is important

We judge others on their reputation, not only when we first meet them but also if we already know them, because many people are unfathomable to us. There is a reason that a psychoanalysis takes around 7 years, thus we have to not only rely on our instincts and the appearance of the other person, but we look towards others opinion of him (also known as reputation) since we are unable to read thoughts – only appearances.

Your reputation will always precede you, be it a good or a bad reputation. Either exaggerating your strengths or weaknesses. Hence, you need to ensure a strong, untarnished reputation.

You get through with things others could not, if you have an untainted reputation. Many a battle has been won, before it was even fought on the battlefield. Psychological warfare and intimidation are tools almost as powerful as meticulous analyzation of the enemy & planning.

A good example would be the infamous Casanova, who had the reputation for being a womanizer, despite looking as ugly as the night is dark. His reputation preceded him and many women were open to meet him, because of the adventurous feeling he aroused in them, solely based on his reputation.


Building up Reputation

The first act of business should be to decide for what particular trait you wish to build a reputation. Be it honesty, generosity, god faring ness, achieving results, being quick & reliable, being a master strategos or even minor but still beneficial traits like being punctual and always well groomed.

A good step is to sit down, brainstorm and write down every single trait you want to be associated with and subsequently working on establishing a reputation for those traits.

Make sure to work on building a solid foundation for the chosen traits and try to let it be known to as many people as possible, either via word of mouth or other subtle means. If you try to make it happen too quickly, acting too aggressive in the process, people will catch on and will believe you to be a try-hard. Humor is a rubber sword, it draws no blood when making a point.

One of the best book about personal branding is Career Warfare by a highly successful business man, who has written a couple of other books (Executive & Brand Warfare) who are decent but in no way as useful as Career Warfare for our purpose of learning to build a solid reputation.


Defending Reputation

An attack on one’s reputation is immensely effective and you need to know how to properly protect yourself against such. Often people who try to attack you, want to bait you into reacting. If you “feed the troll” and defend against his slander, many people are going to believe that the original accusations ring true, since you would otherwise have not bothered responding.

When faced with retarded accusations by an imbecile trying to bait you into reacting, it can often be a wise move to stay calm and let the storm subside.

A hostile attack is only one threat for your reputation, but the bigger threat are you yourself. I have witnessed countless people, companies and politicians, actively working towards destroying their own reputation. Always watch your tongue and abide to Law 3 & Law 4.

Another mistake often made is not being careful about who you are seen with or where you are seen. Try not attending a skinhead conferences when you want a reputation as a liberal thinker.

Turning around tarnished reputation is hard. It always is easier (not necessarily smarter though) to start all over again in a new social/business circle.

Other option: constant effort. Prove them wrong in their opinion of you. Will improve slowly. Some deeds can never be forgotten. Try to borrow credibility from a person of influence. His reputation is going to rub off onto you and soon you will be associated with the positive traits he possesses.

Another use for people whose opinion of you is positive, is to make them your loyal allies who are going to defend you and your reputation. Not only befriend the people with the most influence, but also those who are lower on the ladder of power. Even if they do not defend your reputation, your new found friends are unlikely to actively undermine your reputation either. Though remember Law 2.

A favored tactic of mine is attacking someone because of a trait that could be attributed to me, with the intention of disarming him preemptively. For example calling him a ruthless Machiavel. Even if the facts speak against that statement, many people are likely to accept it as the truth, since I made that claim first. If he now defends himself by saying: “No I am not, you are.” imagine how childish and implausible he sounds. This technique only makes sense, if you are not known as literally Hitler and try to impose that frame on Mother Theresa.


Attacking Reputation

A power play involving mutual attacks on reputations could be found during the Occupy Wallstreet movement. Both sides participated in forms of it, while one being much more successful than the other. The Occupy Wallstreet movement undertook an overt attack against the hated 1%, scratching their reputation in the course of the demonstration.

A good plan but it fades when compared to what the 1% did. Not surprisingly because there is a reason, like it or not, why the 1% is the 1%. And that is not luck, but superior Machiavellian qualities. They decided the best course of action was to attack the movement’s reputation by infiltrating it within and making a joke out of them. They hired hippies who turned the movement into a circus and soon after, everybody believed that the 99% are bums who want to relive Woodstock. Leading to the devastation of their credibility.

Though one thing they did right and that is to attack the reputation of big institutions. Everyone has a major interest in protecting his reputation, and an attack of his most valuable asset will bother him, forcing him to act and make mistakes. In this case, the enemy outsmarted the actually pretty big Occupy movement and showed their superiority once more.

To kill a man you need to kill his reputation. If you merely kill his physical hull, he is going down in history as a martyr. If your reputation is meagre and your enemy’s is strong but not untouchable, a slanderous attack on him is a good course of action, for he has much more to lose than you do.

Use subtle ways to attack your enemy, don’t go out guns blazing and hurt yourself more than you do your adversary. Keep the example of Doris Bures in mind, who tried to overtly attack the reputation of her former friend, but massively failed at disguising her seemingly subtle attack, hence arousing resentment.

An example of a subtle attack would be to sow doubt. Even if proven innocent, the doubt will remain. For example, if someone is accused of rape, but not convicted for it by a court, people will never look at the person in the same way.



Most Important Learnings

  • Your reputation will always precede you; always live up to it
  • Build a reputation for a positive or negative trait by constantly working on it
  • The biggest threat for your reputation is not the competition, but you yourself
  • Be careful where you are seen and whom you are seen with
  • Don’t put fire under the cattle of your reputation; wait for it to diminish
  • When slandering your enemy, don’t appear reckless, hurt or only out for revenge
  • Try to make as many allies as possible, who are willing to defend your reputation



I hope you enjoyed reading my interpretation of the law and if you have more examples of the possible applications or questions of any kind or wish to share your thoughts and experiences, please feel free to do so. Grab the book here and support the author if you don’t already own it.

Law #4 – Always Say Less Than Necessary

always say less than necessary - law 4 of power


When you are trying to impress people with words, the more you say, the more common you appear, and the less in control. Even if you are saying something banal, it will seem original if you make it vague, open-ended, and sphinxlike. Powerful people impress and intimidate by saying less. The more you say, the more likely you are to say something foolish.


Contents of 4th Law of Power

  1. Video Summary

2. Most Important Learnings



Video Summary




Most Important Learnings


  • Saying less than necessary saves time, hence money. Keep e-mails short and simple
  • After you close, keep your mouth shut. The first one to talk buys
  • Keep answers short to showcase your authority & superiority
  • Use Active Listening instead of bombarding people with your voice
  • If you conceal too much and talk too little, people will become suspicious and start to despise you
  • Don’t draw unnecessary attention to mistakes; it often makes sense to remain silent and let the storm to subside
  • Better say nothing than to promise something that you can’t/won’t deliver
  • Let your body, not your mouth, do the talking
  • The more you say, the more susceptible to attacks you become


Always say less than necessary 🙂


I congratulate you on taking action to improve your power base and life and hope you enjoyed reading my interpretation of the law. If you have more examples of the possible applications or questions of any kind or wish to share your thoughts and experiences, please feel free to do so. Grab the book here and support the author if you don’t already own it and don’t forget to sign up on the homepage to continue learning about the power dynamics.



Law #3 – Conceal your Intentions

For my Machiavellian readers. A summary of the book by Robert Greene, the 48 Laws of Power and this time we analyze and expand upon Law #3 – Conceal your intentions.

Conceal your Intentions Law #3

Keep people off-balance and in the dark by never revealing the purpose behind your actions. If they have no clue what you are up to, they cannot prepare a defense. Guide them far enough down the wrong path, envelope them in enough smoke, and by the time they realize your intentions, it will be too late.



Contents of the 3rd Laws of Power

Part 1: Video Summary

Part 2: Examples

Part 3: Negative Examples

Part 4: Spirit of the Law

Part 5: Most Important Learnings




Video Summary



Examples & Applications


Example #1

17th century France. The Marquis de Sévigné fell in love with a young countess but was unable to win her affection. In his obsessive mission to win over the object of his desire, he turned to the infamous courtesan Ninon de Lenclos. The letters of the prostitute to the Marquis can be found here (free) and reveal many pearls of wisdom about women’s needs and desires. While aimed at a specific case hundreds of years ago, the wisdom and maxims in dealing with the ladies, still ring true today.
Ninon instructed the marquis to always appear in public with one or more beautiful women and cultivate a nonchalant attitude. This got the young countess curious since she expected the young marquis to be interested in her; female megalomania at work. The Marquis de Sévigné did an excellent job at concealing his intentions and thus arose the interest and attraction of the young countess. Reverse psychology at its’ best.
One day when they were alone, the marquis broke his frame of nonchalance and confessed his eternal love for her. The countess instantly lost interest and the relationship was doomed.


Always carry a mask to conceal your intentions and never break your frame

Have you ever heard of a skillful general, who intends to surprise a citadel, announcing his plan to his enemy? Conceal your purpose and hide your progress; do not disclose the extent of your designs until they cannot be opposed, until the combat is over. Win the victory before you declare the war. In a word, imitate those war like people whose designs are not known except by the ravaged country through which they have passed. (Ninon de Lenclos, 1623-1706)


Example #2

Otto von Bismarck, Deputy of the Prussian parliament, had a mission, and it was to loosen Austria’s grip on Prussia and reunite the empire. He couldn’t be open about that intention since the Prussian military would have been crushed by a swift Austrian counterattack, resulting in heavy reprisals for the Prussians. Bismarck had to be more subtle and use cunning & deception instead of pure force.
Therefore, Otto von Bismarck praised Austrians and slammed his fellow Prussians who wanted to go to war. This made Austria feel at ease, and Bismarck was promoted to cabinet minister.

If he had been open about his intention of modernizing and strengthening the Prussian army, and then going to war, two things would have been very likely. Number 1: The people would have called him a coward, thinking that the Prussian military was superior to the Austrian army, and the war could be won. They would have driven him out of office and waged war without him. Secondly, the Austrians, feeling the eminent threat lingering above them like the Damocles Sword, would have invaded Prussia preemptively.

After some time had passed, the Prussian military turned into a respectable army and the Austrians feeling at ease with their guard down, Prussia started the war against their Austrian brothers, loosening the grip of the Austrian empire and uniting Prussia.


Other examples

Conceal your intentions by engulfing them in a sea of lies. For example take General Schwarzkopf. Shortly before the invasion of Kuwait, he spoke about invading by sea, then when the invasion actually went down, he took the land route to invade.
Iago used fake sincerity to deceive and ultimately destroy Othello, by voicing seemingly valid concerns about the infidelity of Desdemona. He did it in a subtle way without coming off as too aggressive and hence was able to deceive Othello.

Henry Kissinger followed a simple but effective game plan of boring his enemies to death with dry facts and boring speeches, before slamming the fist on the table and hitting them with a fierce iron fist, making demands, threats and turning the tables of the negotiation in the course.

In 1711, John Churchill, Duke of Marlborough wanted to invade France during the War of the Spanish Succession and crafted a plan to achieve his goal. There was a fort in his way, and he knew that by destroying the fort, protecting the road into the heart of France, he would arouse suspicion and the French would know what he planned. Instead of destroying the fort himself, he captured and held it, leading to the fake appearance of the fort being an asset of strategic value to the Duke. The French recaptured the fort and burned it to the ground, believing that they crossed the duke’s plan of fortifying himself in that position. The Duke of Marlborough planned this all along, and now the path into France was unprotected, and the French didn’t expect him to take that path with his invasion force.

Negative Example)

Dumbo Pretendiavelli wanted to switch jobs and let that fact be known among his colleagues. His coworkers and bosses insulted that he wanted to leave them, naturally gave him bad reviews he couldn’t use looking for a new job and made his last remaining days at the company hell, prior to firing him before he could find a new job, leaving him broke in the gutter.
He also had ambitions on the throne of the prime minister, making his coup publically known, when his supporter base was too weak. This resulted in his fellow politicians plotting against him and further weaken his position which made it impossible for him to rise the ranks. If he had been smart and concealed his intentions, while subtly undermining his enemies and rallying supporters behind him, he could have dramatically improved his odds of becoming the prime minister.



Spirit of Conceal your Intentions

Conceal your intentions by deception

Conceal your intentions via information overload. An old banking saying tells us to push the background to the front and the facts underground. You want to send out signals and let your false or futile intentions be known to the public, providing them with an abundance of useless information. If you constantly talk about your seemingly genuine goals and believes, people will start to believe them and can be suspectable to your power plays.

Likewise as a sales person, you don’t want to rush things by being upfront about wanting so sell your potential clients something. Violating this, gives them a chance to shoot your offer down before you even had the proper opportunity to present your product/ideas. Frame it as wanting to discuss important developments/achievements/time-/money-savers with them. Soften them up first and sell second.

Netflix & Chill is another – though not that subtle – example of concealing one’s intentions. Invite a woman over to your place to watch a movie or took cook dinner, as means to offer her a way out of feeling like a slut. You know what Netflix & Chill means, as does she, but there still is the element of plausible deniability that permits her to rationalize her behavior.

Bait your opponent by concealing your intentions and acting disinterested. When others feel like
you want a piece of information and could benefit from it, they are likely to restrict it. Act like you do not care about that information and they are going to bombard you with it.

Another thing to keep in mind is that by always being open about your intentions, you lose the air of mystery and unpredictability that should engulf you. People won’t respect you for being too open, and they will never consider you a master strategist if you are always upfront about your plans.
Begin as readable as a closed book will make enemies despair and pull people towards your persona. If people don’t know your intentions, you appear mysterious, and they want to obsessively take a peek behind your mask.


Conceal your intentions by acting like a harmless friend

When you are in a situation where a fight seems inevitable, pretend like you don’t want to fight, show that you are scared and pose no threat to your enemy. When he drops his guard, drop him on the ground.

Another effective way to put enemies at ease is to use noble gestures to disarm them and trick them into believing that you are their friend or at least a stranger with no malicious intentions. Praise them, temporarily ally yourself with them and mock their enemies, ask them for advice, use any means necessary to make them lower their guard. When they are distracted by your friendly appearance, take out the big stick and club them with it, as soon as they are not looking.

Alway carry a mask, blend in, be like a social chameleon to deceive your adversaries. Rule number 1 in the spy playbook. If you act like you belong, most people will trust the initial appearance and believe you to be just like them; an ally.

As people grow up, they start adapting to the treacherous environment, that is our modern business world, by showing less and less emotion and facial expressions. Also known as keeping a poker face. The poker face is as useful in poker as it is in negotiations and when lying, and we all know the power of it. Kids aged around six are extremely easy to catch when they are lying. Teenagers are better at concealing their lies, but usually also show clear indicators of deception. Most young adults are adapt at having a poker face, and you will barely find any high-level executive without an almost constant poker face, only showing emotions when it benefits him and to trick others.
Behind a poker face, many a deception can be hidden. Don’t openly show your cards, neither to friend nor foe.



Most Important Learnings


  • Always carry a mask and never drop it. Act like a social chameleon
  • Push the background to the front and the facts underground
  • Conceal your real intention by engulfing them in a sea of lies
  • Only drop your poker face to express emotions when beneficial
  • All warfare is based on deception
  • Trick your enemy into undertaking a wild-goose chase
  • Never openly show your cards, neither to friend nor foe



I congratulate you on taking action to improve your power base and life, and hope you enjoyed reading my interpretation of the law. If you have more examples of the possible applications or questions of any kind or wish to share your thoughts and experiences, please feel free to do so. Grab the book here and support the author if you don’t already own it and don’t forget to sign up on the homepage to continue learning about the power dynamics.

Law #2 – Never put too Much Trust in Friends, Learn how to use Enemies

Vincenzo Camuccini, "Morte di Cesare", 1798,

Be wary of friends – they will betray you more quickly, for they are easily aroused to envy. They also become spoiled and tyrannical. But hire a former enemy and he will be more loyal than a friend, because he has more to prove. In fact, you have more to fear from friends than from enemies. If you have no enemies, find a way to make them.


Contents of the 2nd Summary of the 48 Laws of Power (by Robert Greene)

Part 1: Video Summary

Part 2: Examples

Part 3: Negative Examples

Part 4: Spirit of the Law

Part 5: Most Important Learnings



Video Summary of the Law



Examples on how to apply the 48 Laws of Power


Example #1)

Michael III emperor of the Byzantine Empire (840-867) is a prime example of naive trust leading to one’s downfall. One day he visited a steed where a horse went loose and threatened the physical integrity of the king. Basil I came to his aid, pacifying the horse and thus saving the king. This was the beginning of a bond between the king and the peasant, that lasted a lifetime, Michael’s lifetime to be excact.

Michael showed limitless gratitude and took young Basil under his wings, providing him with the finest education and showering him with gifts. The emperor trusted his new mentee so much that he promoted him to the highest ranks of power, thinking that Basil was his loyal friend. He had to, because of all the opportunities the emperor opened for him, didn’t he? Unfortunately Basil, just like most people, developed feelings of grandeur and soon believed that everything he had achieved was his own doing. That he didn’t owe his success to anyone.

The former peasant tricked the emperor into killing his most loyal servant, Bardas, effectively cutting off his support. As soon as Basil was strong enough and held the majority of support in the empire, he decided to ursulp the title of emperor from Michael, by murdering his former mentor, friend and benefactor in his bed, cutting off both of his hands before thrusting a sword through his heart.

After this coup d’etat, Basil rose to become one of the most powerful and highly regarded emperors of the glorious Byzantine empire and helped her foritfy her power in the 9th century. In the aftermath, one could say that everyone benefited from Michael’s disobeyance of the law to never put too much into his friends. Except for Michael of course.


Example #2)

Ancient China, also known as the Wild Wild East, managed to establish one of the most treacherous environment history has ever seen, after the fall of the Han Dynasty in the year 220, which was referred to as the golden age of China. What followed was a reign by the Three Kingdoms which can be summed up as the “Eat and be Eaten Empire” because every soul that ascended the Dragon Throne was guaranteed to meet his demise by fellow generals or politicians. A toxic environment that claimed the life of many a naive wanna-be emperor.

A viscious cycle that repeated itself until general Zhao Kuangyin took his unrightful seat on the Dragon Throne and changed the modus operandi of dealing with the numerous enemies.

Instead of doing tabula rasa, killing his fellow generals and slaughtering their families; he instead decided to gain the support of his enemies by showering them with lavish gifts, sending them into a retirement in luxury. The plan worked out in his favour and his Song Dynasty managed to keep the Dragon Throne in family property for hundreds of years.

Maybe his enemies were weak or the times changed and the people had seen enough blood, we do not know. Arguably he could have achieved the same by killing everyone who had ambitions on his throne, burn their mansions and sprinkle salt on their lands so that for the next thousand years not even a single lizard could survive. Undertaking research in this area would probably contradict Greene’s claim, that you should make enemies your friends, hence you won’t find any details in the book.


Example #3)

In modern politics, you will find a couple of good examples for making enemies your friends, since we live in a god-less society where everyone is a mercenary for the right price, and it is much harder to murder important personalities (unless you are the Russian government of course).

Abraham Lincoln did so in his cabinet, outlined in Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln

John F. Kennedy chose his former bitter rival Lyndon Johnson for the position of vice-president, despite the Kennedy and Johnson clans having a huge faud, leaving no ill word unspoken.

Barack Obama did the same with Hillary Clinton.

Donald Trump hired college professor Sam Colvins, who insulted him, his strategy and viewpoints a mere 35 days before his promotion, and is now praising his new master, like a good puppy does.

Their main reasons for doing so was to remove their enemies from their former position, which made it almost mandatory for the enemies to work against them, and thus eliminiting the threat emitting from them. People close to you, working for you, can be grasped by a firmer grip and hence you are able to better control them and their actions. A seemingly positive promotion can actually serve your interests much more than theirs.

Usually, enemies of a high quality and caliber also bring a lot of experience as well as expertise to the table. The friends of your new friend, are probably your friends as well (That’s why Hillary is talking about “the legacy of Barack Obama must be saved” etc.)

Always keep in mind that most of these arrangements were benificial to both parties, otherwise it would have never worked. It is not easy to create such a situation, where you are able to use your enemies as your pawns.

  •  Ally yourself with former enemies, if the arrangement is beneficial to both of you


Negative Example)

Once upon a time, Dumbo Pretendiavelli had a friend called Brutus. Brutus was a pothead without drive and with a very dark and unpromising future ahead of him. What was the deciding factor that led to form this bond of friendship between them? Maybe it was because of their relatively small social circles and a friendship for the friendships’ sake and nothing more.

Brutus and Dumbo Pretendiavelli shared a lot together and whenever Brutus found himself in financial trouble, Dumbo was there to help. They even sold drugs together, with Dumbo being the main culprint, but trusting Brutus.

One day Dumbo told Brutus that he was out of town to visit his dying grandmother for 2 days. When he came back, someone had broken into his house and robbed him of everything of value.

Of course, Dumbo Pretendiavelli didn’t dare to suspect Brutus and continued to be his friend. He even decided to pay for his education, since he wanted his best friend to become a success; completly failing to notice, that Brutus didn’t feel alike and only had his own interests in mind.

Their lifes changed, Dumbo accepted a job and started working, while Brutus was still sitting on his lazy butt, dealing drugs. Despite the now obvious differences in their belief-system and environment, it didn’t hurt their friendship one bit, and Dumbo continued to trust him.

One day when Pretendiavelli came back home to his girlfriend, he caught his best friend with his girlfriend in flagranti. He felt shocked, betrayed and didn’t understand one bit how the most important people in his life could act in such a manner, despite his other friends and family warning him of the obvious warning signals.

While still being in shock and disbelief, thinking about where he had gone wrong and imagining that it could not get any worse, Brutus & Dumbos’ girlfriend stabbed him 23 times.

  •  Drop dead weight, pay attention to warning signals



Spirit of the Law


On Friends

Friends tend to expect favour and prefered treatment while enemies or strangers are more inclined to prove something and work harder. This law is not set into stone, and you need to be extra careful when dealing with former enemies.

Friends can easily be aroused by envy and greed and act against you as soon as you are vulnerable.

They won’t hesitate to play you for a fool and not have a single negative objection against doing so, for they will demonize you and rationalize their betrayal.

One rule rings true for both trust and gambling. Never put in more than you can afford to lose. It is good to trust friends, but not doing so, is much, much better!

On Enemies

The proverb tells us to keep our friends close but out enemies even closer. De facto one of the worst advices you can adhere to. If you keep your enemies too close, they will crush you and subtely undermine you at every opporunity that presents itself.

You only want to turn enemies into friends, if they would otherwise work against your on a bigger scale than the to-be-expected backstabbing during their false friendship.

Only make enemies into your friends as long as you are 100% certain, that they are dependend on you. As soon as you lose that power, the birds are going to try to break free and fly away, dropping a pile of bird shit onto your plans in the course.

On the other hand, what is there to lose? If the enemy is actively working against you, he might be able to cause more harm than subtely working against you as your friend. Always decide on a case-to-case basis.

Enemies are much more predictable than friends, and from time to time it makes sense to ally yourself with them. The enemy of your enemy, despite being you enemy as well, is sometimes your friend for a limited time. A good example would be “Eisern Wien” [Iron Vienna], a temporary alliance between the arch rivals of the football clubs “SK Rapid Wien” and “FK Austria Wien”, seen on rare occasions where a football club or a nation, hated by both clubs, comes to Vienna. For a day, the hooligans of both clubs join up and face the common enemy shoulder-to-shoulder and instantly revert back to being rivals the day after.

In a business setting, you want to use enemies and make them your subordinates in order to stop them dead in their tracks on the way to power. That’s why big companies buy smaller companies and people hover their ambitious adversaries into positions of seeming power, where they actually become a marionette in the big scheme of things.

While it might go against common sense to employ and utilize your enemies, as a Modern Machiavelli you need to analyze the most beneficial way to disarm and use your enemies. I have to repeat myself and say once again, that you must have something very beneficial to offer to your former enemy.


Using enemies to sporn you

Use enemies to sporn you, to push you forward by funneling your hate. They do an excellent job at keeping you at the top of your game. Mao Zedong, as well as others, did an excellent job at using their enemies to strengthen and refine his armys’ battle skills. Despite losing a few men, the gather experience outweighted his losses by a huge margin.

Find nay sayers who are vocal about your „unattainable goal“, then prove them wrong. Anger is one of the most powerful motivators. Some atheletes have been known to be extra rude to journalists, who then wrote articles attacking the athelete. Remember that hate & anger are among the best motivators one can have. Living means being angry, if you stop being angry, you start becoming lethargic.

Another great way to use enemies is to abuse them for great PR. You have heard the saying that bad news is better than no news, and it rings true in most cases.

Back in the day, when you had an enemy, he would attack you by burning down your estate and bashing your skull in with a branch. Or he would take out his silk glove, slap you in the face and challenge you to a duel, where he would put a bullet through your heart. Which would leave you pretty dead.

In our modern world, attacks are often carried out via subtle behind-the-back talk and attacks via the press or internet. Many people fear bad press and critics, but such attacks are antifragile by nature. They don’t harm you, but strengthen you and lead to support. This can be seen over and over again. An example would be twitter removing the verified badge from Milo Yiannopoulos, resulting in the mobilization of a huge supporter base under the twitter hashtag #JeSuisMilo

Most Important Learnings

  • It is good to trust others, but not doing so is much better
  • Never think that if you turn enemies into friends, that they cease being your enemies.
  • Never employ friends or family and do business with them
  • Use enemies as practice dummies & let them motivate you
  • Always keep a close eye on both your friends and enemies
  • Be quick to abandon dead weight & pay attention to warning signals



I congratulate you on taking action to improve your power base and life, and hope you enjoyed reading my interpretation of the law. If you have more examples of the possible applications or questions of any kind or wish to share your thoughts and experiences, please feel free to do so. Grab the book here and support the author if you don’t already own it and don’t forget to sign up on the homepage to continue learning about the power dynamics.

Sick & Gruesome German Children Songs

Evil & Gruesome German Children Songs
Evil, brutal, twisted, sick, absolutetly common German Children Songs


Did you ever wonder why the German citizens have never been known as particular peace-loving or mentally healthy people? If your guess was the Aryan Übermenschen genetics, you are only partly right. This combined with evil german children stories and songs that are worse than most horror stories in other countries.



Evil, Sick & Gruesome German Children Songs:

Just for clarification, these are not satire songs aimed at adults. This is the shit you actually sing in Kindergarten and if you ask any German speaker, he is certain to know them. Not only know them but sing along those happy tunes.


  1. Ein Hund kam in die Küche


Translation: A dog came into the kitchen, and stole the cook an egg, the cook took a knife, and cut the dog in two. Many dogs came, and dug the dog a grave, and placed a tombstone, on whom was written: [Repeat]



2. Kuckuck

On a tree sat a cuckoo 

[Brain insane refrain]

On a tree a cuckoo sat

Then came a young hunter

[Brain insane refrain]

Then a young hunter came

He shot at the poor cuckoo

[Brain insane refrain]

He shot the poor cuckoo dead



3.  Hoppe, hoppe, Reiter


Hoppe, hoppe, rider

If he falls he cries

If he falls into the trench

Ravens are going to eat him

If he falls into the swamp

The rider goes flop



4. Maikäfer flieg

May bug fly

Your daddy died at war

Mother is in Pommerland

Pommerland is burned to ashes

May bug fly

May bug fly

Your brother died at war

The king fell from his horse

they took from him his fairy castle

May bug fly



5. Mariechen


Mariechen was sitting on a stone

She combed her golden hair

Mariechen watch out

There came the young huntsman

Then came an evil witch who charmed the huntsman to believe Mariechen to be a Bambi

He shot Mariechen in her heart

The blood poured to the ground



6. Fuchs du hast die Gans gestohlen

If you think that you have experienced the worst of the psychopathic German children songs already, you are wrong. Here is a song that is known and loved by virtually every single German speaker and Kindergarten teachers favourite:


Fox you stole the goose,

give her back

otherwise, the hunter is gonna get you with his thunderstick

His big, long, shotgun, shoots at you the pellets

so the red ink colors you

and then you are dead


I hope you enjoyed this little insight into the magnificent German culture and stay tuned for the most gruesome and brutal children stories. The next time you interact with a German, think about the psychopathic german children songs & stories that influenced his whole childhood and interact accordingly.

Law #1 – Never outshine the Master

Welcome my magnificent reader, this post analyzes the meaning of “Never outshine the Master”. What follows is an in-depth summary with approximately 2900 words.

Never outshine the master - law 1 of power


Always make those above you feel comfortably superior. In your desire to please or impress them, do not go too far in displaying your talents or you might accomplish the opposite – inspire fear and insecurity. Make your masters appear more brilliant than they are and you will attain the heights of power.



Contents of the 1st Laws of Power

Part 1: Video Summary

Part 2: A

Part 3: Negative Examples

Part 4: Spirit of the Law

Part 5: Most Important Learnings


Video summary 



Examples & Applications



In the 17th century during the reign of Louis XIV, his finance minister Nicolas Fouquet found himself on the verge of becoming a persona non grata. He amassed wealth by shady tactics (not all of them were in accordance with the crown) and didn’t keep quiet about it but instead made the mistake of living quite a decadent lifestyle.

Some time before ascending the throne, Louis was driven out of his palace, by the parliament, during a revolt called the “Fronde” and was forced to live like a common plebeian. An insult going so deep that he never forgot about it.

Now Nicolas Fouquet decided to build himself a palace (forgetting that you should never outshine the master, especially not if he is the king) worthy of an Egyptian pharaoh, the Chateaux Vaux-le-Vicomte and again decided to show off his wealth and style whenever possible. France at that time was troubled by financial worries and the king had to live a much less decadent lifestyle. This aroused envy in the king.

Having the Damocles Sword right above his head, he made an unforgivable mistake. Since Nicolas Fouquet wanted to secure his position in the court of the king, he decided to throw one of the biggest and most lavish parties the world had seen in the year 1661. Full of luxury goods and dishes from exotic lands that have never been tasted by even the highest regarded French nobles. Every guest loved that party, and if back then mobile phones had already existed, you could have seen the selfie-flashlights from outer space.

The metaphorical light shone bright enough to cast a huge shadow onto the king. While the 23-year-old King stood in the shadow, outshined by the magnificence of Nicolas Fouquet, even more, envy crept into his heart, and the wish for Vendetta set foot in his mind. Revenge for this disrespect was inevitable, and King Louis decided that the logical consequence of this affront was to throw his finance minister into the darkest hole in his prison, claiming that he had misappropriated state money. A subtle method compared to openly insulting Fouquet or acting hurt during the party. This incident arguably led to the construction of Versailles.

  • Nicolas Fouquet wanted his king to admire his taste, connections, wealth and impress him, but it backfired and led to his demise.


Example #2

Galileo Galilei a great mind with a pathetic pocket. His whole life he was troubled by financial shortcomings and decided to dance on one wedding exclusively. He managed to put his chosen master into the spotlight and make him appear greater than he is.

In 1610, he discovered the “Galilean Moons,” Jupiters 4 biggest moons. He dedicated this discovery to the Medici family whose symbol was the Jupiter, and after the discovery, the Galilean Moons were said to represent the 4 sons of the Medici family revolving around their patriarch.

Usually, the Galilei’s procedure was to dedicate one small part of the discovery to one patron, and receive gifts in return, rarely monetary support, but this time, he chose a different path and dedicated all of his discovery to one family, who enjoyed being put into the spotlight and praised, leading them to become Galilei’s biggest supporter and rewarding him with a steady job and constant financial support.

  • Galilei decided to stop dancing on multiple weddings and chose one ally to gain their full, undivided support, by praising them and making them appear glorious.


Example #3

In “House of Cards” the main protagonist Frank Underwood abided this law par excellence. During his position as the vice president he pulled the strings behind the president and subtly made suggestions and advised the president to take actions that aligned with Frank’s goals; framing them in such a way that made the ideas look like they were his master’s ideas all along.

Frank didn’t act too bold or too aggressive; an important part of his big scheme. Despite pulling the strings and being more powerful than the president himself, he made his master shine and feel in control.

  • Always remaining calm and in control, not being an arrogant know-it-all, pretending to be on the side of the president, making him look good while simultaneously influencing him, helped Mr. Underwood achieve his goals.


Negative Example

Dumbo Predendiavelli considered himself to be a funny and exalted person of worth and influence. Glowing with confidence, charisma, humor and of course the god given arrogance that comes with it. Pretendiavelli managed to snatch a good new job, and there was no doubt in his mind, he was going to crush it and make a killing in the new company. Assert himself as THE alpha male of his new work environment and hustle everyone he deemed inferior (including his imbecile masters). He knew every study, every guideline, every example from the history books and believed that nobody could one-up him and that he would convince his new masters and equals of his worth.

What worked with his drinking buddies, former employers and employees and girls he picked up in a bar, was sure to work in this new environment. So he thought. He came into his new job cocky as a cock can be, telling jokes, trying to show off his refined tastes and superior knowledge, believing to be on the right path to conquering the throne of the company.

Whenever someone told a joke, he followed it up with a joke of his own. Whenever someone told a compelling story, he followed it up with a more glorious story of his own. Whenever someone suggested an idea, he followed it up with an (in his mind) even better idea. Whenever someone discussed a topic, he proceeded to straighten that person out and give them the “real facts.”

Soon after his entry, shocking to him, everyone hated him. Everybody hated the arrogant know-it-all asshole who could not stand other people receiving as much or even more attention, around him and always tried to trump not only his equals and inferiors but also his masters. Problems arose because the people who hire you, want you to shine, but not too brightly and not too soon. Not having achieved anything so far and walking around like you have a 10-inch cock (how Ben Affleck put it in the marvelous movie “Boiler Room”) is a dangerous mindset to follow.

Despite knowing everything there is to know and delivering great work, achieving and even surpassing all of his goals, everyone started to nitpick his every mistake. They picked the smallest deficit and blew it up to look like an unforgivable affront.

Soon after, Dumbo Pretendiavelli got fired and lived unhappily ever after, all because he violated Law 1 – Never outshine the Master. A lesson he will never forget.

  • Don’t let your ego, the size of the Grand Canyon, become your downfall. Instead, be patient, be submissive and play your cards when the time is right.



Spirit of never outshine the Master


Analyzing the Terrain

An extremely important aspect, your starting point, needs to be finding out who your masters are. Your parents, your teachers, your professors, your middle-management, your customer. Everywhere you have a social hierarchy, and you will have to find out who the master of that group is. Respect his position.

Yes, also your customer. I have a background in marketing & PR, and the best advice I can give is to always give the customer what they want. Even if their idea is about as useful as a dick without a shaft, you have to delivery as he expects. He couldn’t care less about your fancy idea if it violates his wishes. In such a situation you will want to deliver one project just like he wanted it, and maybe if you feel like your idea is a million-dollar idea, you can work it out and present it additionally.


Outshining your Master

Whenever a master takes you under his wings, by either becoming your patron or hiring you, they do want you to be a success. Just not that huge of a success so you cast such a lurking shadow that makes them disappear within.

People hire you for two reasons and two reasons only.

  1. They want you to make them money, achieve goals, use your connections.
  2. They like you and want you to stroke their egos and make them shine.
  3. Bonus reason: They hire you to take revenge on someone, or they are forced to hire you for some reason. Ignore this for it doesn’t or at least, shouldn’t apply to you.

The smart Modern Machiavellian knows this and works hard on achieving both goals. Do not let them slide or you will find yourself looking for new work or a new network sooner rather than later. Reason #2 is more important than Reason #1. If you don’t achieve results but are liked and appear to achieve results, you will run circles around those who merely work hard while ignoring the social aspect and who shine too bright in the wrong moment.

Learn to listen, learn to restrain your tongue. When your master tells a joke, he is looking for positive feedback and not for a joke that one-ups his. Your masters don’t want you to come into the company and tear it apart because you believe your ideas to be better. Even if your ideas happen to be valuable, they simply don’t want the status quo challenged too fiercely. Never should challenge your master’s ideas and make sure if you do, you do it subtly.

Make sure your ideas mimic your master’s ideas, make sure you like the same things and hate the same people like your master.

Your ego is your biggest enemy while also being your best ally. Don’t let it interfere with your grand strategy for short-term victories. Making someone feel or look bad might feel amazing that moment, but ultimately it won’t do you good. Whenever someone claims something to be true, that you know wrong; whenever someone has an idea, you believe to be inferior to your idea; do not let your ego show its’ ugly face, instead think like the Modern Machiavelli you are supposed to be and either restrain your tongue or frame your response in a way that echoes their thoughts or start by disarming them, before you present your ideas. For example, you might say: “An interesting idea, I might be wrong, but I thought that lowering the prices might actually lead to lower sales rates because we depend on being viewed as a premium product, as our analysis has pointed out. What do you think about this?” instead of “Bullshit, we are a premium priced brand and only an imbecile would even think about lowering the prices.”

I know, it is hard to be humble when you are as great as I am, you might say, but make sure that your ego doesn’t sabotage you.


Outshining your Colleagues & Hostile Superiors

Another thing you will have to keep in mind is that you will be confronted with opposition if you outshine people other than your master. Never come out guns blazing if you disagree with anyone, especially not your boss. Be submissive and meek but get a feeling for the line between being a good little asset and being a spineless pushover.


If you have a new incompetent superior, who is above you. Be careful to never outshine the master or colleague in a situation where they hold the cards. Trump them subtly. Remember that not every superior of yours is your master. Attach yourself to the boss of your superior and you shall have an easier life. Another way would be to seek this boss’ advice, flatter him and try to make an ally out of him. He might soon start asking you for advice, and as soon as he believes your advice to be of value, he is going to follow it. This opens him up for ill-advice that damages him and lures him into a trap. Always keep law #3 in mind: conceal your intentions.

Outshining your masters is a vile misstep, as is outshining your colleagues. Sometimes though it is inevitable to constantly belittle your equals, hoping to look better in the eyes of your master. The name of the game is patience. You don’t want to attack anyone who is stronger than you, has more connections and a better fortress. You do not want to outshine the master if he is stronger than you. You are supposed to wait for the right time, either if you are stronger than him, or he opened himself up for attack and revealed weaknesses. As soon as you are strong enough and have gathered enough support, you can openly challenge your master by outshining him.


If you praise your enemies in front of your real master, who gets the credit? Them. Do you think they are going to tell the boss in private that it actually was you who did such a good job?

You trade the credit for your work for a little sympathy bonus… praise and charm them in private settings and in front of coworkers, not in front of the master.


In General

Just like you should never outshine the master without a strong reason, don’t offend and belittle others either, if there is no good reason for doing so. Whenever you are confronted with a group, and your aim is to impress a woman, don’t do so by insulting and belittling your competition. They are very likely to sabotage your attempts. Instead, focus on giving value to the whole group while inflating your own value and charming them with your finesse and presence.

Self-improvement is an interesting field study. We have all been there, tightened our boots and worked on ourselves. We started lifting, learning, constantly improving and demanding the respect that is due. We changed our habits and ways and asserted dominance. One huge problem arises, though. Humans are programmed by nature to resist change in their social circle. If they believe themselves to be more alpha than you, you are going to have a very hard time.


Fact: People in general and your friends, in particular, are going to try to keep you down. They feel threatened by the new you and feel that the status quo is at peril. Therefore, they are going to try their best to prevent you from bringing a disturbance in the force of the already established group. They don’t like being outshined and therefore will lay bricks in your way.

It is much easier to become a person of influence and respect within a new group of friends/people. Know when to cut loose ties, make tabula rasa and start all over.

If you decide to change too much too quickly (see law #45 and #46) you are going to be confronted with resistance. Try to change subtly and don’t openly outshine your friends at every possible opportunity.


Most Important Learnings


  • Acta non verba. Work hard and show your skills through actions, not words.
  • Don’t challenge to status quo only to appear smart and sophisticated.
  • Keep your ego in check and swallow your pride down when you have to
  • Make sure your ideas mimic your master’s ideas, make sure you like the same things and hate the same people like your master.
  • Are you John Wayne, or is that me? Well, it certainly is not you. Don’t act like you are the brightest star in the sky, when you are not permitted to do so.
  • Never talk back to your master; subtly present your ideas
  • Make your superiors look good on every occasion possible
  • Actively give credit to your master, but don’t let him take it
  • Don’t get the reputation for crawling up your master’s ass, but do so subtly.
  • Honour your masters’ and he will reward you with power & responsibility in return
  • Discrete flattery and asking your masters opinion and feedback goes a long way



I congratulate you on taking action to improve your understanding of power and hope you enjoyed reading my interpretation of the law. If you have more examples of the possible applications or questions of any kind or wish to share your thoughts and experiences, please feel free to do so. Grab the book here and support the author if you don’t already own it and read more about modern Machiavellianism and Power Dynamics and continue your education.

Another highly recommended reading is Law 1 by IllimitableMan which is even more comprehensive than the 3000 words you just read.