Machiavellianism Q&A Summary + Download

Three Modern Machiavellians

 

To my magnificent readers! As requested, a condensed version of the Triple Question & Answer Session by IllimitableMan, Illacertus and Modern Machiavelli including a pdf to download. You can download the pdf below:

 

Modern Machiavelli – Triple QA of Power

 

Feel free to share the pdf, the whole article or parts of it, as long as you refrain from editing it. You also are required to link to the following article to avoid confusion: http://modernmachiavelli.com/q-a-power-machiavellianism/

 

Workplace

Question: What is the best & fastest way to get ahead and promoted at work?

Answer (MM): You won’t like this answer but “it depends”. Since you didn’t give us much to work with, here are the basics:

Get accustomed to the specific workspace politics, know what is looked upon with favour or disfavour. Find out who the important people are and learn about their character, strengths, needs and weaknesses.

As soon as you have a basic overview, you want to web a net of allies. Especially but not limited to the bosses. Adhere the law 1 of never outshining your master. It is important to stroke the ego of your boss and present him in a good light. Yes, he is sometimes going to steal your credit, but this must not concern you. You must also make sure that your co-workers are on your side and not actively working against you behind your back. Don’t put too much trust into them though, and try to keep your private and professional life separated. Don’t believe that you are all loyal friends when you are going out, getting drunk and acting out of order.

This especially applies to company parties. Never get too drunk and make a clown out of yourself. Unfortunately many people break this rule.

You need to make sure that your reputation stays untainted from such mistakes. Guard your reputation with your life.

When shooting for the promotion, it is a wise move to conceal your intentions to not arouse envy in your co-workers who might sabotage you. Unless you are certain that they are allies on your side and most likely going to help you. Again keep in mind that it is good to trust people, but not doing so is better.

Lear to keep people depend on you, yes, but do not become the person who does his job so great that he cannot be promoted without a significant hit to the department’s productivity.

A thing I pay attention to is to court attention at all costs. Try to get a desk as near to your boss as possible. Make your name brand itself into the conscious mind and be associated with positive traits.

 

Creativity

Question: How do you put yourself in a good mindset in order to boost your creativity when there is social pressure against it?

 

Answer (MM): Creativity is snake oil and does not exist.

Creativity is a function of knowledge, experience, intelligence, mindset and your current mood.

How do you get comfortable? Stoicism & Confidence

 

Politics

Question: What is the best way to get started in Politics and to gain power, maintain power and survive in this environment?

Answer (IM): Learn Machiavellianism and become likeable, or someone people love to hate due to reprehensible behaviour but find absolutely charming. Charm does a lot to mitigate the adverse effects of dubiousness, and will allow you to get away with murder should you be sufficiently charming. Charm makes you likeable regardless of your ethics, remember this and incorporate it into your persona, it will do much for your personal power.

There are no “wikihow” style bullet points you can rote memorise to get power, if it were that easy, everybody would have power. Power is a cut throat game where only the most cunning thrive. Deciding to study power is taking the first step from pawn to player, but the rest is ultimately up to you. Study, learn charm, fuck up, and learn from your failures. Fuck up some more, then tell everybody about your fucks up one day so your enemies can’t use them against you. Do it with charm, and those who feel betrayed won’t be able to stay mad for long – many will forgive you. “It is easier to ask for forgiveness than permission.” The game is a dirty yet beautiful thing, the shades of grey within it surpass more than a mere fifty.

Most of the senior politicians have read Machiavelli, you should too.

Answer (MM): Starting in politics is unbelievably easy. I didn’t start getting (seriously) involved with politics until my mid-twenties and am constantly moving up in the food scale, with the highlight of recently having been promoted to the speaker for something.

You need to be aware of the skillset required to become successful as a politician. Without the following most important skill to possess as a politician, you are lost. No reason to even try. It is:

Be able to drink at least 2 bottles of wine without getting drunk.

You will probably believe that this is a joke. Well, 50/50. I want to stress the importance of networking.

There is not a single skill more important for rising the ranks. Study Social Interactions, know what types ofCharisma exist and which one is best suited for you. Learn to speak well. With authority, demanding respect. Confidence & Narcissism are beneficial and you should try to look your best.

I can not stress the importance of networking enough. Find out what activities your party has planned and do everything. Hand out flyers, sit in the voting booth, attend speeches, help prepare events, etc.

This brings me to another topic. Clothing style. I am in a “worker” party where the grunts dress casually. How do the ministers, parliament members & chancellor dress? They wear suits. Even if I wouldn’t trade in my own mother for Zegna suits, I would still make sure to dress like a king, to be treated like a king.

Of the utmost importance is a proper knowledge of the human psyche. 90% of everyone is out to prison rape you, given the chance. Maybe not at first, but the higher you move up, the more political schemes are involved. Master the art of strategic thinking and again, trust nobody.

In every party there are recruitment sections. My party for example has 5 different ones and they are all eagerly looking for fresh blood. Do some research about which party currently is in power and about the expected trends and choose your party based upon it. Or go with your “principles” or whatever that is and choose a bad party that aligns with your interests. Cognitive dissonance is overrated and it is a good exercise defending a point of view that goes against everything you stand for. Write them, phone them or show up at a meeting and introduce yourself to everyone. Remember their names, be likeable, connect with them on facebook and especially important, a mistake that many newcomers make: open your mouth. Too many newbies are too scared to voice their opinions and therefore never stand out. Of course, I know, at first it might be intimidating if some people who have been in the party their whole life speak without points and commas, but you need to give your input and if someone tries to interrupt you, don’t let them.

 

Cooperation

QuestionHow can you convince socially unprotected workers, in the care for the elderly, to cooperate for their own good and work together to fight getting exploited. They are suspicious of each other and their reaction is to defend themselves aggregating according to nationality, family, religion, bit many are isolated and there is an entire culture of acceptance of a miserable life which nourishes sentiments of despair, hatred, depression, self-abuse, victim-like mentality, sometimes delinquent.

Note: there is no money to pay them for it, no promise of power over them, no immediate reward.

Answer (MM + IL): Sounds like you don’t need manipulation, but leadership skills. Obviously, you want them to work together as a team, but they’re unmotivated. Have you tried explaining to them how and why it’s in their own best interest to work together? In other words, do they fully grasp the mission at hand and what lies in it for them? I’m afraid we do need more insight to give more precise answers.

How do you convince people to work together?

Either you create an outside enemy. Tell them that they must work against a common enemy and for a shared goal.

Or you find out what they want and let it dangle in front of them like the carrot on a stick.

You win some; you lose some. People with such a fatalistic attitude are difficult to motivate. Them forming groups is an obvious reaction since this is human behaviour 101.

I would try to create the vision of a beautiful goal in their heads and tell them that to achieve said goal, they will need to work together. Or do the same with negative disaster scenarios. Fear is an excellent motivator.

Then your leadership and mediation come into play. Organize events where you make sure that they come in contact and realise that they share a lot in common.

Over emphasise the commonalities and ignore the differences.

Maybe thinking about what motivates people will lead you to achieve your goal. The biggest factors are:

  • The possibility of benefits & recognition
  • The fear of loss & pain

 

Cult of Personality

Question: How would one go into building a cult of personality?

Answer (IL): Study Apple (the cult) & Steve Jobs (the personality).

Also read;

You’re better off building a “cult-like” following instead of a cult. One is building a personal brand with an audience – the other is creating a new religion. Basically, learn how to build a business.

It’s about entrepreneurship & your best bet is creating something valuable that will add to people’s lives. Be a great leader and people will follow you based on your actions.

Answer (MM):

Step 1) Unde Venis?

Where do you come from? Analyse your strengths and weaknesses. Do an SW Analysis

Step 2) Analyse the Terrain

Do an TO Analysis. Carefully evaluate the threats and opportunities, both on the micro- as also in the macro- environment

Step 3) Quo Vadis?

Where are you going? Decide exactly how you wish to be perceived.

Men in general judge more by the sense of sight than by the sense of touch, because everyone can see, but only a few can test by feeling. Everyone sees what you seem to be, few know what you really are.

Perception is reality

Step 4) Craft your Backstory

It has to be appealing to the public and give them a reason to like you. Terrific examples of background stories (you can combine them) are:

  • Reluctant Hero (Actually you do not want to be famous or have responsibility, but it was forced upon you nevertheless. You reluctantly agreed to accept the call of duty)
  • The Underdog (Everyone hates you, nobody gave you a chance)
  • Us vs. Them Dynamic (You have a mutual enemy and only you can save them)

Step 5) Spread your Message

Start the engine of the propaganda machine and spread your message via Marketing & PR channels and techniques.

Step 6) Evoke Emotions

  • Social Proof – Show that other people love you. Especially influential people
  • Trust – Bond and connect with others
  • Credibility & Expertise – If you don’t have it, borrow it from others
  • Repetition – Repeat that you are the greatest and soon both you and others will believe it. Repeat it often enough and you will be the double greatest

 

Evoke Fear

Question: One of the important points of Law 24 (Play the perfect courtier) is to make others fear your power. How do you make others fear your power while maintaining a friendly vibe with others?

Answer (MM):Always be nice, until it is time to stop being nice. I am certain that you are aware of the old saying “an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth” and I guess you agree with it?

I don’t. If someone takes my eye, it take both of his. Always be friendly and easy going, praise, approach people in a sycophant way, be suave, be the perfect gentleman and courtier but hone the reputation of being a fear-inducing enemy.

Be aggressive, even if you fake it. Studies have shown that even if you fake being angry & aggressive and people are aware that you fake it, they will still get scared.

If someone cuts you off, cut his tongue off. Never allow yourself to be interrupted by equals and inferiors (please don’t use these techniques with your superiors, unless they are lying on the ground).

If someone starts an ad hominem attack against you, stare into his eyes. Open your eyes as wide as possible, don’t blink and never for one second look away. Here is an example of a perfect stare and keep in mind… the Duce is happy in this picture. Imagine the soul draining stare he gave his enemies. Also make sure that you are facing him in a straight line and not from an angle.

Also, use sugar bread and whip. Reward and punishment. Condition people like Pavlov conditioned his dog. Related Law: http://modernmachiavelli.com/law-12-use-selective-honesty-and-generosity-to-disarm-your-victim/

 

Question: What if you want to take both the eyes of your enemy but your enemy is not trying to take yours?

Answer (MM): Convince yourself and the public that he is secretly planning to take your eye. -> Take his eyes.

 

Reading People

Question: If you’re just starting out. What training system for learning to read people, channel emotion, become more mindful and present. Do you recommend?

Answer (IL): Study people in real life like you would observing a lab rat. Micromovements in the face, body posture and tone give away everything. I believe most of it is in the eyes, no matter what circumstance a person is in. You could read What everyBODY is saying, but there’s plenty of other good books on the subject. Tbh, I haven’t learnt any of this through books, rather through silent observation.

For full control of your emotions & for mindfulness read & practice stoic philosophy. For presence meditate & read Eckhart Tolle. I’d apologize for a short answer, but I do think it’s that simple.

Still, let me add to your question on emotions. Emotions can be so powerful that we just can’t suppress them at times. You can use this to your advantage and add it to the list of things that make people easily readable. At the same time, you want to practice your poker face. When you play a prank on someone and can’t keep yourself from laughing you’re fairly bad at it. The victim of the prank will sense that something’s up since you’re acting weird. It does not matter what you’re feeling on the inside, a good poker face handles all emotions.

I used to get angry a lot at my old job, sometimes to the point where I could feel my temperature going up to fiever-like symptoms, where I feared my head would look pepper-red on the outside. I also learnt to avoid making fists & have my hands open instead. I could’ve blown up and it would’ve felt good at that moment, but you remind yourself that the temporary satisfaction you get from releasing that tension would have consequences. If someone fucks you over, calm yourself down with the thought of taking revenge or sort things out in the future on your own terms. Same thing with emails. Never write them in anger or atleast save them as a draft in order to review them at a later date. Most often you will find that you were too emotional and thankful you didn’t click send.

I once reached a moment where I was ready to quit my job right then and there. I decided to give my decision another three days & things turned around. My problem was solved for me and I had nothing to do with it.

Answer (MM): I highly recommend you to read this book. It gives you an excellent overview of the body language signals and non-verbal communication. While humorously written it is a science based, no bullshit approach to the topic, backed by many examples and pictures to properly understand the dynamics behind body movements. We learn how to detect our own body language missteps and also why Hitler liked to cover his crown jewels with his hat, as well as cultural differences.

The Full Facts of Cold Reading is another great book, unfortunately I don’t have it listed in the books Machiavelli would read, so I can’t provide you with a link.

 

Charme

Question: What is charm, and how can you develop it? Any good resources?

Answer (MM): Charme and Charisma are closely tied together but there still are a few differences, though so minor that we are going to ignore them for the sake of this post.

Charme is important to charm your opposite, be it male or female, into agreeing with you. One could say that charme makes people say yes. Even if you didn’t ask a question.

There are a few things that play together:

  • Your attractiveness level, including grooming, odor, clothing.
  • Your power & status, but also knowledge and expertise fall under this category.
  • Authority & calmness
  • Your body language & confidence.
  • Your humour.
  • Empathy & your presence in the here and now. Ergo listening without becoming distracted.
  • Your agreeability and likableness.

There is no denying that a powerful person always has more charme than his inferiors. There have been studies where actors assumed the same body language and were equally attractive, were paired up against a powerful person. The effects of charme and humour were measured and it turned out that the powerful person scored much better.

Now how can you learn to be more charming? My book recommendations that cover every important aspect would be:

This covers everything except for humour but I fear I can not help you with that. In my opinion, you either have humour, or you don’t but many people claim that humour is a learnable skill. Anyway, it was never of interest to me but I am sure that you will find some sources teaching the art of humour.

 

Question: What is a good resource for learning the different types of charisma?

Answer (MM): They are all explained in The Charisma Myth. I didn’t get a lot out of reading it and in my opinion, it is a little hyped, but still makes for a good read since there are few reliable sources (not talking about 7 step self-help hippie bullshit gurus) about Charisma.

 

Books about Manipulation

Question: What books about Power & Manipulation can you recommend?

Answer (IM): The Craft of Power, The Prince & 33 Strategies of War are great texts for this purpose. Also, check out my reading list and Illimitable’s to find an abundance of suggestions.

Answer (IL): I’d add to IllimitableMan’s great picks;

 

Game Theory

Question: How do you decide when your attempts at attacking/ defending someone should stop? 

Answer (MM): Base your calculations on experience and possible outcomes. Assess the risk and decide.

Read up on Game Theory and visit /r/gametheory/ as well as /r/gamesandtheory and of course master strategy while reading http://reddit.com/r/the48lawsofpower

Also follow /u/ridik_ulass who is an excellent game theorist and strategist as well as a mod for multiple useful subreddits.

 

The 48 Laws of Power

Question: What so you think is the motive for law # 1 in Greene’s book to be Don’t outshine the master?

When he wrote the book he surely didn’t let some random function dictate the order of the laws. They say the first and the last elements of a list are those that are more remembered.

Answer (IL): As you rightfully point out the author starts and ends his book with much thought. Law #1 is the first law almost everyone seems to break. We get into the business world with much euphoria and the attitude that we’re going to prove ourselves one of the best employees available on the market. We’re going to rise up the ranks fast and have a career our parents can be proud of. We’re naive and to a certain extent arrogant.

We don’t realize that many authorities rise to their ranks for the thrill of control, which they falsely belive is power. They’re managers, they’re not leaders. Either way, they have fragile egos, lots of insecurities, failed dreams and here you come – the greenhorn. The young adult who always has a positive attitude, who outworks everyone and learns fast. You’re a threat and you will be dealt with. It’s our ignorance and belief in the lies we’ve been fed that makes most of us walk right into outshining our masters, may that be superiors or merely colleagues. You’ll face resentment without understanding it. It’s pathetic.

Greene finished with Law 48 Assume Formlessness, which basically lets you understand not everything is set in stone and you have to know when to adapt to change and go with the tide, reforming instead of letting your rigidity be your downfall as we’ve seen with the Spartans. Simply put, you’re almost done reading the book and Greene tells you they’re different strategic moves on the chessboard. The experienced chess player will know the right move to make at the right time against the right opponent and alter his playstyle when necessary. You develop that ability through mastery.

Difference between Leader & Manager: One difference that will make you fill in the blanks would be that a manager will order a job to be done and the employee will obey, because he has to, out of fear and anxiety, always relying on his next paycheck. The leader inspires his followership to do something, because they want to do it. He does not micromanage, but lets them free under his guidance. They pursue goals based on their own will to do it. One forces you, the other does not decide for you and offers a take it or leave it approach. Leadership in the office is difficult to pull off, because of the structure one is in. You’re surrounded by people who don’t like their job, but depend on it. It does not matter what way you’d try to frame it. They can tell the difference between honey and salt.

The greatest enemy of knowledge is not ignorance, it is the illusion of knowledge.

If you can pull off to demonstrate to your victim that he in fact is delusional, then that would work. Normally they’re so deep into their own reality that one cannot reach them. Imagine telling Kanye West he’s an idiot by showcasing his failures to him. He wouldn’t fall out of the clouds, because of that.

 

QuestionHow have you applied these laws to your personal life?

Answer (IL): I’m careful not to step on anyone’s ego, be that a colleague or especially someone with authority, who prides himself with his status/position. I stopped trusting most people. I talk less & let akward silences sit without feeling the need to fill it with unmeaning words. I’m not as kind anymore. Many see it as a weakness. You basically invite them to believe you’re a “nice guy” they can step on. I stopped talking about future plans or things I haven’t done yet. It eliminates the possibility of sabotage. Once they notice your actions / accomplishments, e.g. that you’ve successfully outworked them / gone about improving yourself beyond their skills, they’re powerless, no matter how much insecurities you stepped on.

I mingle with others more instead of seeking isolation. You’re better off at the front, building and guarding your reputation. I try to avoid attention, but shine in a positive light, when it is forced on me. I avoid parasitical losers. I’ve tried to help them in the past only to find myself affected negatively by their misery. I avoid gossiping / taking sides at all times. I refuse to take a side and always stay neutral. The effect is that everyone feels like they can come and talk to you, open up and within record time you accumulate so much dirt on everyone around you, you’re the most informed and up to date person at your workplace / class / group.

Through my naive, innocent behaviour when first getting into the office I nailed that. You want to have people underestimate you. I’ll have my superiors take the credit for my work. They love you for it, become dependant on you & when push comes to shove, you already know exactly how to do certain parts of your boss’s job, since there’s nothing they love more, than delegate to someone who will deliver good quality work. I try to learn as much as possible from the managers & managers’ managers higher up in the hierarchy. Most of them are vain. Appeal to their self-interest, make them feel important. Don’t mistake this for arselicking. One is pathetic and will get you enemies among your coworkers, the other is subtle and best done when grabbing lunch together. You ask them, the last thing they’ll do is ask a lower employee for lunch without a reason. I control my emotions in public settings.

Can’t allow yourself to put your guard down. When people don’t appreciate you and you’re the one running shit, demonstrate that by taking a vacation leave. It has worked perfectly for me, when I had to deal with a parasitical coworker who tried to manipulate & cross me. I was very aware of what she was doing. She underestimated me. I dealt with her as subtly as possible. Some people, like her, dig their own graves and all you have to do is wait wth a smile on your face, when everybody hates working with them. It’s not a rarity. I want people to think I’m the innocent, young, naive, uninformed, little intern. They never suspect you could be a threat & as mentioned earlier, realize you’re outdoing them by miles, when it’s too late.

Be careful with appearances. People love to pretend they’re someone they’re not. Most people’s word doesn’t mean shit. They’re thinking something completely different. Also, I don’t answer honestly to personal questiosn like “What’s your plan for the future? Are you going to study?” I used to talk openly about my dreams, only to find out, I’d get resentment for not being the average joe who gets wasted every weekend. So, now I’m the average joe & repeat average joe shit to them, because I have to. I might be a bit of a romantic & think long-term relationships are possible, but the word “commitment” ends there. There’s no way I’ll let myself be trapped & just hand over all of my power to the naturally Machiavellian sex. See, there’s plenty of historical events where men used physical strength to fight with swords, but women, out of necessity, practiced the art of persuasion. There’s a power imbalance between the genders when it comes to sex. Commit & you’ve lost.

I always liked the idea of being royal in your own fashion. When I was an intern I gave no weight to my title. You don’t need a crown or a “senior” on your business card so people see who’s killing it. People choose a leader based on their actions. Your superiors might be managers, but that is not synonymous with leading. They have paid workers, not passionate followers. When something is for “free” I don’t want it. Even when you don’t pay with money, you will be expected to pay in another way. Most often that turns out to be a bigger struggle than the price you would’ve paid for it. Work on your connections. The more people like you the better off you are, always. Don’t build a fortress & lose sense of what’s going on around you. Be adaptable. Something doesn’t work out the way I planned, accept it, come to grips with it right then and there, then move on & work it out.

 

Morals

Question: Do you have any morals you live by?

Answer (IL): Indeed, if we weren’t we wouldn’t be holding this AMA or doing the work that we do, that is beneficial to many. If it were all just about money, I would be doing something else. I began to educate people on these topics like a Kung Fu master trains his students in the hopes they would use it to protect themselves better. Maybe one of 50 will learn only to bully others, but if that means the other 49 can defend themselves I’m happy. Also, if someone needs precise instructions in order to be dangerous, they’re not a real threat to begin with.

One thing I know the three of us share is loyalty. Quite contradictory to Machiavellian beliefs, but what is a man worth, when he speaks unmeaning words even to his own brethren?

Answer (MM):

Politics have no relations to morals

  • Niccolò Machiavelli

Question: How would you describe how your perspective on life in general differs from what most other people believe?

Answer (IL): I’m quick to sense when someone’s trying to manipulate me, even when it isn’t obvious. It’s essential to one’s success in the office, where the other is always trying to advance and thus sees you as a viable threat, when you’re doing a good job. Although I’m able to read people’s actions, I’m fully aware of the fact that I can fall victim to manipulation any day.

A narcissist might at some point believe that they’re invincible and immune to the deception of others. That very sentiment blinds them & makes them so much easier to manipulate, since they don’t believe it could happen to them. We’re very fallible & biassed. There’s this great quote by Shakespeare, who himself practised Machiavellian tactics.

“The fool doth thinketh he is wise, but the wise man knows himself to be a fool.” I don’t think I’m that intelligent. However, when I take a good look around me I believe I’m a genius waiting to be discovered. I think it is a fact we’re surrounded by people who couldn’t be more incompetent and unqualified to do their jobs, many of them in authoritative positions. Plenty of them mistakenly assess their skill level to be much higher than reality suggests. The Dunning-Kruger effect is at full play. A common mistake I see people making is operating on the assumption that the first-in, last-out the office worker bee always gets their deserved promotion based on merit. It’s primarily about popularity.

Answer (MM): Realism.

Take the refugee crisis for example. Of course, I feel like that most of them are poor souls that really require help. But some of them are bringing rape, criminality and terrorism into the heart of my country and this can’t happen. If you give me a bowl of smarties and tell me that 5% are poisoned, even if I would love smarties, how many do you think I am going to eat?

There is the common misconception that Machiavellians are worse than Hitler. They are not. Sometimes maybe…

I will share a great quote of my father with you: “Life is not about whether you drink a 2€ wine or a 100€ wine, it is about having the power to change things.”

And this is not a statement made by an unsuccessful bum trying to justify his failure in life, pretending that he has achieved the enlightenment because he does good deeds while living in a 1 room toilet-in-the-bathroom flat.

Power is sexy, it feels amazing and, just like the horny college student chases hot college tail, I chase power.

I am always looking out for my friends and family. Loyalty is my honour. This doesn’t mean that I am not prepared to cut off dead bodies dragging me down.

Some people are to be used as fuel in the furnace of power. That’s the way of life and having regrets or second thoughts only holds you back. You need to be realistic and pragmatic, no matter who you are or what you points of view are.

 

Self-Improvement

Question: How does one get their mind in shape. Controlling their emotions, becoming mindful, mentally acute and self-disciplined. How do you control your facial expressions, body language and talkativeness.

Answer (user Seducer4Real):

Here are 3 things I do to achieve the above:

  1. Read books everyday. I do about 20-30 minutes daily. Sometimes more on other days. The key here is to keep it consistent. Even if you do 10 minutes a day, keep it consistent. Don’t try to start reading 1 book a day/week. Build it up.
  2. Work out. If your body is in shape, your mind will benefit from it as well. I recommend you workout at least 3 times a week. If you’re not the type that wants to build muscle, then look into doing other sports such as boxing/martial arts that will also keep you in shape.
  3. This is a tip I learned from one of the greatest copywriters and business strategist – Gary Halbert. Essentially, you walk 1 hour a day at least 5 days a week. First few weeks will be hard but once you are used to it you will crave it like a cigarette, and unlike a cigarette, it is healthy for you.

You should get started with the above 3 for now to achieve mental clarity. Once you have those 3 in place, you will come up with your own techniques. Also, don’t replace working out with walking or vice versa, you do BOTH. 1 Hour walking per day plus working out 3-5 times a week.

Facial Expressions: Look at yourself in the mirror. Have an imaginary conversation and see what facial expressions you produce. You’ll learn a lot this way.

Body language: Don’t fidget when talking to someone. When talking use your hands to emphasise what you are saying. This makes you look more attractive and can create more trust between you and the other person. Make eye contact when talking. Try not to touch your neck/face/hair as it makes you look nervous. Don’t be reaching to your phone/pockets every few seconds.

Talkativeness: Don’t overdo it and don’t underdo it. Realise when it is a good time to speak, when to stfu & listen and when to give short replies. Most people are not interested in hearing your voice so you should be asking specific questions to get them talking. In other words, be a good listener and use wha they tell you to create conversation. Don’t always make them the centre of the conversation, instead relate your own knowledge/stories of that topic to them. If you’re with a few people you’ll have to judge when it is a good time to interject. Pro Tip: Don’t be quiet when you are in a group of people, you’ll just look weird/antisocial.

Dangers of Academic Papers – Machiavellianism in Politics – a Review

Academic Research Machiavellianism Power in Politics

 

As you know I am an advocate of academic research papers about the Dark Triad, Power, Machiavellianism & Psychology, and in this article I outline the dangers of said academic papers.

WARNING! This is very dry (I am talking Sahara-I-want-to-drink-my-own-piss-Bear-Grylls-style-dry) and if you are looking for hands-on information, applicable to real life situations, I recommend you check out my 48 laws of power summaries.

This article was written to highlight the dangers of academic research and why you need to be skeptical even when reading high quality research papers by people who dedicated their whole lives researching the topic at hand.

 

Analysis of the following academic research paper:

http://wikileakssudbury.org/WKL/E-December-14.pdf

found via the reputable academic database “Refseek.com” found within my resource list.

 

Title:

Politician personality, Machiavellianism, and political skill as predictors of performance ratings in political roles

 

Authors:

Jo Silvester (1), Madeline Wyatt (2), and Ray Randall (3)
(1) Cass Business School, City University London UK,
(2) Kent Business School UK, University of Kent, UK
(3) School of Business & Economics, University of Loughborough, UK

 

A few searches via a web search engine revealed that all three of the authors are not students but actual experts or at least self-proclaimed experts on the field, having dedicated parts of their research effort in their academic careers to the research of the topic at hand (Machiavellianism). Not a huge one though but enough to take their study into consideration and not dismiss it without a second thought. What might be a mistake if you read my conclusion.

Jo Silvester is a female chartered psychologist who attained three titles in her field (PhD; MSc; BSc), specialised in the assessment and development of leadership. Since 2002 she is a professor of Occupational Psychology. Her studies led her to develop a unique competence based personality for both the conservative party (2001-2002) and the liberal party (2009). Also a strong background of research on the valuable topic of diversity.

Dr. Madeline Wyatt is another Occupational Psychologist currently lecturing in the HR-management sector. She too is a woman with a psychology degree and an interest and background in the research of diversity.

Dr. Ray Randall, another academic who did his duty in the research of occupational psychology and helped develop various tests related to occupations in both private economy as well as politics. Unlike the other authors he never was involved with “diversity” but solely focused on skills & competence in various sectors, judging all genders equally.

The aim of the study was to make the performance of politicians tangible and quantifiable. The second objective was finding out a relation between the performance and the level of extroversion, neuroticism, conscientiousness, Machiavellianism & political skills, both self-reported of 231 politicians (n=231), 185 of them were also judged by their colleagues (n=729) and officers (n=729), of said politicians.

During the course of the study five latent factors emerged: Resilience (to be referred to as RS), Politicking, Relating to Others, Analytical Skills (AS), Representing People.

The following assumptions were made, based on the frequently explored question of the relationship between personality & politics in the field of political psychology ((Jost & Sidanius, 2004): Personality influences Political Performance (cf. Dietrich, Lasley, Mondak, Remmel, & Turner, 2012; Mondak, Hibbing, Canache, Seligson, & Anderson, 2010; Simonton, 1998; Winter, 1998).
It is a pretty good bet to assume that personality does in fact influence, well, anything, but the authors made the discovery that there has not been done any research regarding the correlation between self-rated personality traits and performance. This posed the first question to be answered by the study.

To answer this question, the authors looked towards the comprehensive studies having been done in the field of occupational psychology and employee performance from industrial organization (I/O) (e .g., Barrick & Mount, 1991; Schmidt & Hunter, 2004).

Of interest to the academics was whether politicians, from the United Kingdom, with a certain degree of performance shared a similar mental model. The second question to be answered by this study was (as mentioned above) whether self-rated personality traits may be used as a basis to predict the politician’s behaviour.

The study was done as a reaction to the request (e.g., Best, 2011; Dietrich et al., 2012; Simonton, 1998) for studies in the field of occupational psychology combined with political behaviour containing a large n-sample.

Studies about political performance ultimately lead to the problematic question of: What the actual fuck is political performance and how do you measure it? What constitutes bad performance and what good performance?
Can the poll and election results be used as a proper indicator of performance? According to a study (Lodge, Steenbergen & Braus, 1995) they can’t because they will be influenced by the performance of the party they are running for with a certainty matching irrefutable laws of physics.
This leads us to a benefit of being a politician. Unlike a manager you are not rated based on data and hard facts, (Armey & Murphy, 1998) but have the freedom to define the pillars of the performance you are measured and judged on upon yourself (March & Olsen, 1999; Morrell & Hartley, 2006; Sylvester, 2012).

Conscientiousness is said to be the most consistent factor influencing performance (Barrack & Mount, 1991; Salgado, 1997). The more conscientious a person is, the more likely he is going to be goal oriented, reliable able to wither the storm of failure. Navigating in complex ambiguous environments such as the political landscape requires self-motivation and persistence. (Morrell & Hartley, 2006; Simpson, 2008).

Extroverted individuals are more outgoing that introverts ((Costa & McCrae, 2006) what has a positive impact on the likelihood of campaigning, signing petitions and attending rallies (Anderson, 2009; Monday et al., 2010; Vecchione & Caprara, 2009)

Neuroticism is a negative trait for a politician to possess because being anxious is detrimental for political performance.

Political Skill is of importance for charming & manipulating people, webbing networks and is an important factor influencing political and managerial performance. (Andrews, Kalmar, & Harris, 2009; Gentry, Gilmore, Shuffler, & Leslie, 2012; Todd, Harris, Harris, & Wheeler, 2009)

Machiavellianism, a skill needing no further introduction but still receiving one, is the likelihood of a person to attempt to manipulate other people for his own gain (Christie & Gees, 1970, Biberman, 1985; Drory & Gluskinos, 1980; Grams & Rogers, 1990). Machiavellianism according to the definition of the word, influence political performance positively. This is not necessarily the case (Deluga, 1998; Pillai, Williams, Lowe, & Jung, 2003) for electoral results, because voters prefer a candidate who comes across as trustworthy. Hence the modern prince must at least give the impression of being honest, while concealing his true intentions (Me, 2016). A hypothesis of this study was, that Machiavellianism would most likely have a negative influence on political performance.

 

To summarise the method and research question:

1) Competency analysis of how behaviour and personality traits are affecting political performance.
2) Testing the connection between various performances constructs that politicians with a certain skill degree share.
The candidate’s questions were all politicians and employed officers in local authorities.

The numbers and claims of significance seem to check out, after controlling a bunch chosen at random.

 

Results:

Politicians share similar ideas about what constitutes political performance.
Their general hypothesis was true and personality traits as well as character did indeed influence perceived performance.
The hypothesis that conscientiousness influences political performance was partly true.
Extroversion, just like Narcissism, led the politician to estimate their performance level much higher than it actually was perceived.
A correlation between Machiavellianism and self perceived PK has been proven, as well as a negative effect on self-rated RS, RP, and RO.
Agreeableness has been shown to be beneficial for Representing people, but negative for Politicking (PK).
Openness has no influence on anything. But another result of the study “determined” the following, a little contradictory statement:
Apparently Politicking (secrecy, dishonesty and a lust for political blood sport) is a negative trait for politicians. Yeah, you absolutely should tell politicians, that they need to stop concealing their intentions and say more than necessary. That they need to avoid competition in the form of political manoeuvring, acquiring and maintaining power, as well as dishonesty…

Neuroticism, conscientiousness, and political skill correlated significantly with politician RS and AS. There also seems to be a correlation between conscientiousness, agreeableness, Machiavellianism, and PK, though not significant.
RO wasn’t influenced by any personality trait.
Extroversion did not significantly correlate with political performance (tell that to all the introverts running the country. What? Can’t find any? Tough luck… While I do agree that introversion does have various benefits regarding skills like forging alliances and projecting calmness, they are not unique to introverts and can be seen with many introverts. But hey, I do not have 3 titles in valuable fields like occupational psychology or diversity, so what do I know?)
Politicians who are deemed good performers have the following traits: More resilient (no research was done on the question if they are merely resilient or anti-fragile but it would not come as a surprise to me if the researchers are not familiar with Nazism Nicholas Taleb), able to represent others and a highly developed Analytical Skill.
The results, while superficially insightful, lead me to my criticism of this study.

 

Criticism:

Despite this being one of the most comprehensive studies, the sample was relatively small and one must not draw an eager conclusion based upon this study, presenting it as a fact. While the method used seems accurate, there is no guarantee that 1) the politicians answered and assessed themselves accurately and 2) that the observers who judged the politicians were able to give an accurate judgment.

Regarding the notion that extroversion doesn’t have a positive effect on political performance: You should totally tell that to all the introverts running the country. What? Can’t find any? Tough luck… While I do agree that introversion does have various benefits regarding skills like forging alliances and projecting calmness, they are not unique to introverts and can be seen with many introverts. But hey, I do not have 3 titles in valuable fields like occupational psychology or diversity, so what do I know? Do you know if the people who proclaimed themselves to be extroverts have been judged by others to be introverts because they appear calm and quiet? I can only recommend the authors to read up on stoicism. Meditations by Marcus Aurelius would be an excellent start.

What about different countries? Different social background? Parties they belong to? Other personality traits like being proactive or the IQ? These questions have not been answered but in my opinion are a huge indicator for political effectiveness.
Ergo one can conclude that this study offers valuable insight into a small, specialised segment of British politicians that may or may not be applied to other slightly different environments. Further research is required and this study is unable to give a definite answer to the questions asked by the occupational psychology & diversity researchers.
So can we conclude that this study was a failure? Yes and no. Yes for mankind, no for the researchers since in the last paragraph before the acknowledgements they give the real reason for their study. The aim was not necessarily to answer the call for bigger, more expression ate studies in this sector it actually was, and I quote the researchers:
“to increase awareness of the importance of political work. Classical political theorists and historians, such as Aristotle, Plato, and Machiavelli, devoted considerable attention to what constitutes good democratic leadership and how it might be achieved (Glad, 2002). By continuing this work and studying politicians as political workers, we argue that I/O psychologists could bring a unique perspective to one of the most important questions for the 21st century, namely how can elected representatives deliver good government?”

What does this tell us, what can we take away from this study? It is not a study one can look towards hoping his questions to be answered in a satisfactory way but we can draw an irrefutable connection between this study and the work – of Florentine strategist and father of political science as well as Realpolitik- The Prince. Its main purpose is a job application.
Now some individuals may argue that despite this commonality there also are a lot of differences, one being that The Prince already prepares the magnificent Lorenzo Di Medici that The Prince must not only to be seen as a manual for a ruler who wants to both acquire and maintain power, but also a job application. This study doesn’t reveal its real purpose, the attempt to increase the value of their current jobs, until the very last page.
Now this obvious fact doesn’t make the results of the study untrue, though the criticism I gave does devalue it and the study must be read while taking into account all of my posed questions.

 

Congratulations, you now know why to not trust everything someone with a couple of fancy titles says and you really belong to the elite inner circle of Machiavellians, since digging through such an article demands dedication and highlights your interest for the art of power.

The 48 Laws of Power Summary

The 48 Laws of Power Summary by Robert Greene

 

 The 48 Laws of Power Summary by Robert Greene and Modern Machiavelli

 

Currently you are on the 48 Laws of Power Summary page. You can either start here, read my about page, return to the homepage or take a peek into my ever expanding archive.

 


The 48 Laws of Power Summary is a post about a book with the same name, written by author Robert Green who dedicated a lot of time on research to deliver an astonishing piece of art that is going to stand the test of time.

 

Practical Examples and Comprehensive Summaries

 

Welcome to the current main focus of this blog. The 48 Laws of Power, summarized, simplified and containing more real life stories and applications. Brought to you by the Modern Machiavelli. I want to thank you in advance for every topic suggestions, feedback or comment you might have and for those I have already received.

This post is structured in the following manner:

  1. The 48 Laws of Power List
  2. The 48 Laws of Power Summary
  3. Internalising the tools
  4. On Morals & Power
  5. The most important Rule of Power
  6. Review of the book and conclusio
  7. Books like the 48 Laws of Power

 

The 48 Laws of Power List

 

1. Never Outshine the Master

Envy is a strong emotion that may turn not only your masters but also your closest friends or colleagues against you. Ensure that you don’t shine so bright that your boss and peers have to hide in the shadows, because they will sneak up on you and strike you where it hurts most, for the mere sake of protecting their ego. 

 

2. Never put too Much Trust in Friends, Learn how to use Enemies

Remember the words of one of the brightest Modern Machiavellians, Benito Mussolini. The Duce’s credo was:

It is good to trust people, but not doing so is much better.

If you decide to turn an enemy into a friend, pay meticulous attention for an enemy turned friend might be an enemy still.

 

3. Conceal your Intentions

Put on a mask and wear it so long that the mask melds into your face and you become one. Under no circumstance must you let people peek behind your mask, be it friend or foe. Conceal your Intentions but subtely reveal fake Intentions for the sole purpose of pointing them into a dead-end.

 

4. Always Say Less than Necessary

The more one speaks, the higher the chance that the Prince violated Law #3 and unveils his intentions. Silence has a powerful effect when used in the right situation. Make silence your ally, not your foe and one thing you must not forget: You don’t learn anything new by talking. Use talk to lull your victim into false security and squeeze information out of him; otherwise say no more than you have to.

 

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

Your reputation acts as a messenger delivering a letter to whoever you are dealing with. Whether this is beneficial for you or not is up to you to decide. Determine the favoured reputation you want to accomplish and obsessively work on obtaining it. Pay attention to always be on the lookout and never to let emotion trump reason, for this may spell disaster for your reputation. Quell attacks against your good name decisively as soon as they emerge.

 

6. Court Attention at all Cost

Men in general judge more by the sense of sight than by the sense of touch, because everyone can see but few can test by feeling. Everyone sees what you seem to be, few know what you really are; and those few do not dare take a stand against the general opinion. If you are not seen and are not the puppeteer, you will become invisible at best and treated like rubbish at worst. Avoid this at all cost and ensure to belong to “the gang” and to be seen.

 

7. Get others to do the Work for you, but Always Take the Credit

Why would you send your heavy troops into the heart of the battle while you still have mercenaries & auxillery troops at your disposal, willing to do your work? Save your resources, send them forward and ultimately walk over their dead bodies to collect the spoils. Avoid being deceived by your colleagues in the same turn.

 

8. Make other People come to you – use Bait if Necessary

To catch an animal you need to know where the animal sleeps, how it moves, if the beast owns superior skills and especially what it eats. After you have gathered the information, the Prince can lay the bait and patiently wait for his unsuspecting victim to run right into it. Even if the trap fails, your victim will be thrown off balance and desoriented, ripe for destruction.

 

9. Win through your Actions, Never through Argument

Any momentary triumph you think gained through argument is really a Pyrrhic victory:  The resentment and ill will you stir up is stronger and lasts longer than any momentary change of opinion.  It is much more powerful to get others to agree with you through your actions, without saying a word.  Demonstrate, do not explicate.

 

10. Infection: Avoid the Unhappy and Unlucky

You can die from someone else’s misery – emotional states are as infectious as disease.  You may feel you are helping the drowning man but you are only precipitating your own disaster.  The unfortunate sometimes draw misfortune on themselves; they will also draw it on you.  Associate with the happy and fortunate instead.

 

11. Learn to Keep People Dependent on You

To maintain your independence you must always be needed and wanted.  The more you are relied on, the more freedom you have.  Make people depend on you for their happiness and prosperity and you have nothing to fear.  Never teach them enough so that they can do without you.

 

12. Use Selective Honesty and Generosity to Disarm your Victim

One sincere and honest move will cover over dozens of dishonest ones.  Open-hearted gestures of honesty and generosity bring down the guard of even the most suspicious people.  Once your selective honesty opens a hole in their armor, you can deceive and manipulate them at will.  A timely gift – a Trojan horse – will serve the same purpose.

This is the last 48 laws of power summary so far but more are in the works, stay tuned and in the meanwhile feel free to read the short summaries by Robert Greene himself.

13. When Asking for Help, Appeal to People’s Self-Interest, Never to their Mercy or Gratitude

If you need to turn to an ally for help, do not bother to remind him of your past assistance and good deeds.  He will find a way to ignore you.  Instead, uncover something in your request, or in your alliance with him, that will benefit him, and emphasize it out of all proportion.  He will respond enthusiastically when he sees something to be gained for himself.

 

14. Pose as a Friend, Work as a Spy

Knowing about your rival is critical.  Use spies to gather valuable information that will keep you a step ahead.  Better still: Play the spy yourself.  In polite social encounters, learn to probe.  Ask indirect questions to get people to reveal their weaknesses and intentions.  There is no occasion that is not an opportunity for artful spying.

 

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.

 

16. Use Absence to Increase Respect and Honor

Too much circulation makes the price go down:  The more you are seen and heard from, the more common you appear.  If you are already established in a group, temporary withdrawal from it will make you more talked about, even more admired.  You must learn when to leave.  Create value through scarcity.

 

17. Keep Others in Suspended Terror: Cultivate an Air of Unpredictability

Humans are creatures of habit with an insatiable need to see familiarity in other people’s actions.  Your predictability gives them a sense of control.  Turn the tables: Be deliberately unpredictable.  Behavior that seems to have no consistency or purpose will keep them off-balance, and they will wear themselves out trying to explain your moves.  Taken to an extreme, this strategy can intimidate and terrorize.

 

18. Do Not Build Fortresses to Protect Yourself – Isolation is Dangerous

The world is dangerous and enemies are everywhere – everyone has to protect themselves.  A fortress seems the safest. But isolation exposes you to more dangers than it protects you from – it cuts you off from valuable information, it makes you conspicuous and an easy target.  Better to circulate among people find allies, mingle.  You are shielded from your enemies by the crowd.

 

19. Know Who You’re Dealing with – Do Not Offend the Wrong Person

There are many different kinds of people in the world, and you can never assume that everyone will react to your strategies in the same way.  Deceive or outmaneuver some people and they will spend the rest of their lives seeking revenge.  They are wolves in lambs’ clothing.  Choose your victims and opponents carefully, then – never offend or deceive the wrong person.

 

20. Do Not Commit to Anyone

It is the fool who always rushes to take sides.  Do not commit to any side or cause but yourself.  By maintaining your independence, you become the master of others – playing people against one another, making them pursue you.

 

21. Play a Sucker to Catch a Sucker – Seem Dumber than your Mark

No one likes feeling stupider than the next persons.  The trick, is to make your victims feel smart – and not just smart, but smarter than you are.  Once convinced of this, they will never suspect that you may have ulterior motives.

 

22. Use the Surrender Tactic: Transform Weakness into Power

When you are weaker, never fight for honor’s sake; choose surrender instead.  Surrender gives you time to recover, time to torment and irritate your conqueror, time to wait for his power to wane.  Do not give him the satisfaction of fighting and defeating you – surrender first.  By turning the other check you infuriate and unsettle him.  Make surrender a tool of power.

 

23. Concentrate Your Forces

Conserve your forces and energies by keeping them concentrated at their strongest point.  You gain more by finding a rich mine and mining it deeper, than by flitting from one shallow mine to another – intensity defeats extensity every time.  When looking for sources of power to elevate you, find the one key patron, the fat cow who will give you milk for a long time to come.

 

24. Play the Perfect Courtier

The perfect courtier thrives in a world where everything revolves around power and political dexterity.  He has mastered the art of indirection; he flatters, yields to superiors, and asserts power over others in the mot oblique and graceful manner.  Learn and apply the laws of courtiership and there will be no limit to how far you can rise in the court.

 

25. Re-Create Yourself

Do not accept the roles that society foists on you.  Re-create yourself by forging a new identity, one that commands attention and never bores the audience. Be the master of your own image rather than letting others define if for you.  Incorporate dramatic devices into your public gestures and actions – your power will be enhanced and your character will seem larger than life.

 

26. Keep Your Hands Clean

You must seem a paragon of civility and efficiency: Your hands are never soiled by mistakes and nasty deeds.  Maintain such a spotless appearance by using others as scapegoats and cat’s-paws to disguise your involvement.

 

27. Play on People’s Need to Believe to Create a Cult-like Following

People have an overwhelming desire to believe in something.  Become the focal point of such desire by offering them a cause, a new faith to follow.  Keep your words vague but full of promise; emphasize enthusiasm over rationality and clear thinking.  Give your new disciples rituals to perform, ask them to make sacrifices on your behalf.  In the absence of organized religion and grand causes, your new belief system will bring you untold power.

 

28. Enter Action with Boldness

If you are unsure of a course of action, do not attempt it.  Your doubts and hesitations will infect your execution.  Timidity is dangerous:  Better to enter with boldness.  Any mistakes you commit through audacity are easily corrected with more audacity.  Everyone admires the bold; no one honors the timid.

 

29. Plan All the Way to the End

The ending is everything.  Plan all the way to it, taking into account all the possible consequences, obstacles, and twists of fortune that might reverse your hard work and give the glory to others.  By planning to the end you will not be overwhelmed by circumstances and you will know when to stop.  Gently guide fortune and help determine the future by thinking far ahead.

 

30. Make your Accomplishments Seem Effortless

Your actions must seem natural and executed with ease.  All the toil and practice that go into them, and also all the clever tricks, must be concealed.  When you act, act effortlessly, as if you could do much more.  Avoid the temptation of revealing how hard you work – it only raises questions.  Teach no one your tricks or they will be used against you.

 

31. Control the Options: Get Others to Play with the Cards you Deal

The best deceptions are the ones that seem to give the other person a choice:  Your victims feel they are in control, but are actually your puppets.  Give people options that come out in your favor whichever one they choose.  Force them to make choices between the lesser of two evils, both of which serve your purpose.  Put them on the horns of a dilemma:  They are gored wherever they turn.

 

32. Play to People’s Fantasies

The truth is often avoided because it is ugly and unpleasant.  Never appeal to truth and reality unless you are prepared for the anger that comes for disenchantment.  Life is so harsh and distressing that people who can manufacture romance or conjure up fantasy are like oases in the desert:  Everyone flocks to them. There is great power in tapping into the fantasies of the masses.

 

33. Discover Each Man’s Thumbscrew

Everyone has a weakness, a gap in the castle wall.  That weakness is usual y an insecurity, an uncontrollable emotion or need; it can also be a small secret pleasure.  Either way, once found, it is a thumbscrew you can turn to your advantage.

 

34. Be Royal in your Own Fashion: Act like a King to be treated like one

The way you carry yourself will often determine how you are treated; In the long run, appearing vulgar or common will make people disrespect you.  For a king respects himself and inspires the same sentiment in others.  By acting regally and confident of your powers, you make yourself seem destined to wear a crown.

 

35. Master the Art of Timing

Never seem to be in a hurry – hurrying betrays a lack of control over yourself, and over time.  Always seem patient, as if you know that everything will come to you eventually.  Become a detective of the right moment; sniff out the spirit of the times, the trends that will carry you to power.  Learn to stand back when the time is not yet ripe, and to strike fiercely when it has reached fruition.

 

36. Disdain Things you cannot have: Ignoring them is the best Revenge

By acknowledging a petty problem you give it existence and credibility.  The more attention you pay an enemy, the stronger you make him; and a small mistake is often made worse and more visible when you try to fix it.  It is sometimes best to leave things alone.  If there is something you want but cannot have, show contempt for it.  The less interest you reveal, the more superior you seem.

 

37. Create Compelling Spectacles

Striking imagery and grand symbolic gestures create the aura of power – everyone responds to them.  Stage spectacles for those around you, then full of arresting visuals and radiant symbols that heighten your presence.  Dazzled by appearances, no one will notice what you are really doing.

 

38. Think as you like but Behave like others

If you make a show of going against the times, flaunting your unconventional ideas and unorthodox ways, people will think that you only want attention and that you look down upon them.  They will find a way to punish you for making them feel inferior.  It is far safer to blend in and nurture the common touch. Share your originality only with tolerant friends and those who are sure to appreciate your uniqueness.

 

39. Stir up Waters to Catch Fish

Anger and emotion are strategically counterproductive.  You must always stay calm and objective.  But if you can make your enemies angry while staying calm yourself, you gain a decided advantage.  Put your enemies off-balance: Find the chink in their vanity through which you can rattle them and you hold the strings.

 

40. Despise the Free Lunch

What is offered for free is dangerous – it usually involves either a trick or a hidden obligation.  What has worth is worth paying for.  By paying your own way you stay clear of gratitude, guilt, and deceit.  It is also often wise to pay the full price – there is no cutting corners with excellence.  Be lavish with your money and keep it circulating, for generosity is a sign and a magnet for power.

 

41. Avoid Stepping into a Great Man’s Shoes

What happens first always appears better and more original than what comes after.  If you succeed a great man or have a famous parent, you will have to accomplish double their achievements to outshine them.  Do not get lost in their shadow, or stuck in a past not of your own making:  Establish your own name and identity by changing course.  Slay the overbearing father, disparage his legacy, and gain power by shining in your own way.

 

42. Strike the Shepherd and the Sheep will Scatter

Trouble can often be traced to a single strong individual – the stirrer, the arrogant underling, the poisoned of goodwill.  If you allow such people room to operate, others will succumb to their influence.  Do not wait for the troubles they cause to multiply, do not try to negotiate with them – they are irredeemable. Neutralize their influence by isolating or banishing them.  Strike at the source of the trouble and the sheep will scatter.

 

43. Work on the Hearts and Minds of Others

Coercion creates a reaction that will eventually work against you.  You must seduce others into wanting to move in your direction.  A person you have seduced becomes your loyal pawn.  And the way to seduce others is to operate on their individual psychologies and weaknesses.  Soften up the resistant by working on their emotions, playing on what they hold dear and what they fear.  Ignore the hearts and minds of others and they will grow to hate you.

 

44. Disarm and Infuriate with the Mirror Effect

The mirror reflects reality, but it is also the perfect tool for deception: When you mirror your enemies, doing exactly as they do, they cannot figure out your strategy.  The Mirror Effect mocks and humiliates them, making them overreact.  By holding up a mirror to their psyches, you seduce them with the illusion that you share their values; by holding up a mirror to their actions, you teach them a lesson.  Few can resist the power of Mirror Effect.

 

45. Preach the Need for Change, but Never Reform too much at Once

Everyone understands the need for change in the abstract, but on the day-to-day level people are creatures of habit.  Too much innovation is traumatic, and will lead to revolt.  If you are new to a position of power, or an outsider trying to build a power base, make a show of respecting the old way of doing things. If change is necessary, make it feel like a gentle improvement on the past.

 

46. Never appear too Perfect

Appearing better than others is always dangerous, but most dangerous of all is to appear to have no faults or weaknesses.  Envy creates silent enemies.  It is smart to occasionally display defects, and admit to harmless vices, in order to deflect envy and appear more human and approachable.  Only gods and the dead can seem perfect with impunity.

 

47. Do not go Past the Mark you Aimed for; In Victory, Learn when to Stop

The moment of victory is often the moment of greatest peril.  In the heat of victory, arrogance and overconfidence can push you past the goal you had aimed for, and by going too far, you make more enemies than you defeat.  Do not allow success to go to your head.  There is no substitute for strategy and careful planning.  Set a goal, and when you reach it, stop.

 

48. Assume Formlessness

By taking a shape, by having a visible plan, you open yourself to attack.  Instead of taking a form for your enemy to grasp, keep yourself adaptable and on the move.  Accept the fact that nothing is certain and no law is fixed.  The best way to protect yourself is to be as fluid and formless as water; never bet on stability or lasting order.  Everything changes.

 

This concludes the 48 Laws of Power summary and list. Even if you do not find the time to carefully study every in-depth analysis, you will still be able to learn a lot from the 48 laws of power list. I recommend reading and rereading it from time to time again, to keep the laws in your awareness set.

 

Internalise the Tools of the modern Prince

The 48 Laws of Power by Robert Greene, is one of the most influential modern works on Machiavelli’s teachings. Critics and readers either love or hate it, there is no in between, with the occasional person who doesn’t understand its purpose. I hope that my 48 Laws of Power summary helps them to better understand.

There are only two kinds of people. Those who realise that you can not not play the game of power, and those who are aware that we live in a world that has the always present credo: “Eat or be Eaten”

If you internalise just one book, this should be your pick. If you have a solid understanding of each and every law of the 48 Laws of Power, you are looking at an almost unfair advantage over your competition. Not only that, but this book acts as your shield against the manipulation attempts you are confronted with, day in, day out.

Buy and read the book, listen to the audiobook, watch the animated series, listen to the podcast, read my summaries, at least 2 per day, and read the book & summaries again. Make sure these laws burn themselves right into your brain, for they might save your life in many a situation. I have to stress again how I important rereading the 48 laws of power summary list is. The modern prince can learn a lot more, if the information is beleaguering your mind, over and over again.

See the 48 Laws of Power for what they are. A useful tool in the game of power. In no way does it constitute a psychopath’s playbook. The laws are amoral and can be used for the greater good of mankind.

 

On Morals & Power

Acquisition of money & power can be very fruitful. Unless you are Mother Theresa, you do need money, power & influence to change things, to be charitable. Having no money is the root of all evil and you owe it to yourself, your family and the people who rely on you, to acquire financial assets.

If you violate every rule in the book and thus lose your business, having to layoff all of your employees, whom do you help?

There is nothing immoral at acquiring power and acting in a Machiavellian way. Do you think that the vicious bull will refrain from charging you, simply because you are a vegetarian and wish him no evil? Would you lie down and get mauled by the animal, or would you draw your gun and pacify him? It is to Eat or to be Eaten.

Sometimes you want to steal someone’s credit for their work, to further your own power, when you need the more influential position to achieve greater things than the other person ever could.

Many times you can plagiarise a work (also known as doing “research” in today’s world), improve it and add value to the lives of other people. Use evil to do good.

Don’t get me wrong. A real Machiavellian wouldn’t sneak up upon the bull and shoot it from behind, out of the fucking blue, for no reason at all. Leave this behaviour to the psychopaths & sociopaths of our world.

 

The most important Rule of All

After having read the 48 Laws of Power Summary, some people voice concerns about the belief, that many a law contradicts itself and others. Unfortunately for them, they have not understood the game of power and have a long road to travel, if they wish to ascend the throne of the Modern Machiavelli. Law #48 – Assume Formlessness is the most important law found within this book. Not only in this book but life in general.

The laws of power are situational, not contradictory. Ergo you need to be able to adjust your course of action at all times. Analyse the terrain & situation and base you next moves upon the macro- as well as micro-environment around you.

Let your morals be as fluid as your actions and rationalise them away, if you find yourself in a position where you need to use evil Machiavellian schemes, never hesitate and have no regrets.

 

Review of The 48 Laws of Power

A marvellous book that was written by condensing some of the best learnings from “The Art of Worldly Wisdom” by Balthasar Gracian, “Il Principe” by Niccolo Machiavelli and sprinkled with a little flavour of “The Art of War” by Sun Tzu as well as the wisdom of other ancient rulers and generals. Of course, it has additional influences from various other fields though one big critique point is, that the academic/scientific field is not one of the influences of the 48 laws of power.

Those above mentions three are books like the 48 Laws of Power, merely from a different time. And if you have already read them before you laid your eyes upon Robert Greene’s 48 Laws of Power, the laws are not going to shock you too much.

Now what sets this book apart from all other books about Machiavelliansim & Power, is the meticulous amount of research Robert Greene has put into his work. He is not a person who rushes a book, but finishes it “when it’s done”. So about once every 3-4 years. I really am curious about how his next book about Social & Human Behaviour is going to turn out.

Niccolò Machiavelli has always been a fan of taking bold action, just like Robert Greene is. Despite being able to find a lot of examples that can be applied to every aspect of life, in The Prince, The Art of Worldly Wisdom and The Art of War; the 48 Laws of Power trumps all of them when it comes to self-help & every-day-life-application.

Many people have a hard time relating the Laws of Power to their business conduct, since it was written with a heavy focus on isolated historical examples. Some of the teachings of Robert Greene could be called common sense and are used by almost everyone in various professions. Marketing comes to mind, where attention is absolutely necessary if you wish to survive in a noisy world.

Again, the biggest criticism of the book (even voiced by experts like Jeffrey Pfeffer (“Power“)) was that Greene cherry-picked ancient examples that only happened in isolated cases for reasons not fit to be duplicated. Hence, in my summaries, you will find more real life examples of contemporaries, that are applicable to our modern world.

If you are new to the subject of the power dynamics, this book will open your eyes to the real world, that much I can guarantee.

 

Books similar to the 48 Laws of Power

Check out the extensive list I compiled just for my loyal Machiavellians. The Top 20 books Niccolò Machiavelli would read can be found within.

I can highly recommend you my resource list if you are looking for similar blogs and free academic research databases.

Don’t forget to follow me via Twitter or Facebook or Reddit

The Craft of Power Summary #1

The Craft of Power Summary by R.G.H Siu

 

 

An excellent book, combining Machiavelli’s teachings with the knowledge of eastern cultures, creating a true masterpiece, a recipe book for power, in the process. Full of timeless quotes, wherever you lay your eyes upon. If you have yet to read it, I suggest you get your hands on it and absorb the knowledge. You can find it here. Written by Ralph Gun Hoy Siu.

 

A comprehensive guide to gaining, maintaining, and expanding personal power.

 

Presents basic techniques for the management of people and organizations. Guidelines are presented in a how-to” fashion, illustrated by real-life examples. Evaluates power posture, then spells out operational specifics. Defines power and the social setting in which power is exercised. Explains fifteen ways of measuring one’s competitive strength. Deals with techniques for harnessing people and money in the drive for power.

Props to Warped_Mindless

 

The Craft of Power Summary Part #1

You can listen to the article read by a sexy British robotic voice here:

 

 

Nature of Power

  • Power is the intentional influence over a person’s beliefs, emotions, and behaviors.
  • Power predates humans. There have always been the leaders, and those who were led.
  • It’s impossible for everyone to have the same amount of power. Someone will always rise to the top.
  • Power comes in many forms. The general with an army, a woman with her seductive looks, a boss who dangles the promise of a raise or promotion in front of his employees.

 

Minidemocracies

  • The desire to have power is a very strong one.
  • Sheep will almost always be tricked into giving up more and more of their power.

 

Executives and Persons of Power

  • Anyone with a modicum of energy, concern for others, or a drive to accomplish anything, exercises power of one kind or another.
  • To the person of power, retention of control is the highest priority.
  • Being at least decent at your assigned duties is often necessary to advance ahead and gather more power.

 

Justifications

  • Rarely has a successful act of power been found in a swamp of excuses and justifications.
  • The urge for even greater power has and will always be well lubricated with natural and good intentions.

 

Professionalism

  • All that is needed to stop you dead in your tracks on your rise to power is a single chink in a vital area.
  • The more power you wish to amass,highly disciplined and self-controlled in the ways of power you must be.
  • A person of power does not confine himself to an institution where a rise to power is nearly impossible.
  • The difference between victory and defeat is often just an inch.
  • Stay focused on the task needed to get done to accomplish your rise to power. Never let yourself become distracted.
  • Learn from mistake and setbacks. Preferably from others. Be resilient.
  • A person of power does not pass the buck, trying to evade responsibility. Except when it’s a calculated power play and serves your interests of course.

 

Skepticism and Vigilance

  • Be skeptical of everything and everybody at all times to a calibrated degree, no matter the circumstances. Trust if you have to, but verify everything.
  • Even the smartest of people have been fooled and out-witted. Never underestimate anyone; he might be playing a sucker to catch a sucker.
  • Loyalty is fickle. Those who are loyal now may not be later.
  • Always be skeptical but never cynical. Keep a balance.

 

The Big Game

  •  The current state of our modern times has amplified the amount of attempted power seizures.
  • There is no such thing as a power vacuum where you can simply walk in take over.
  • Success in one area will often lead to success in other areas. The same goes with power.
  • “No matter how much talent you may have, or how great your fame may be, or how impressive your potential power might be, do not wait too long for the powers-to-be to beckon. After a discreetly short wait, you must push yourself forward with determination, although not without the grace appropriate to the circumstances.
  • If there are no vacancies or opportunities available, then do what you have to in order to create your own.

 

Kingmakers

  • Every king needs to be crowned, locate the kingmakers and gain their favor. Find out who can help you obtain the power you want and ally with them.
  • Do not piss off the wrong person, know what & who can slow your ascent to power. Never fight a battle if you gain nothing by winning.
  • Either by chance or design, you need to showcase and reinforce a positive reputation.
  • Be careful when trying to impress the kingmakers. You do not want to come off as try-hard, phony, or transparent.
  • Know what qualities the kingmakers are looking for in a person. Know your strengths.
  • In all your encounters with your superiors never for a moment think you are fully aware of every potential plot going on around you.

 

Capacity Limitations

  • Know yourself and don’t overestimate your abilities.
  • Try not to fight wars on multiple fronts. It’s exhausting.

 

Illicit Means

  • Thoroughly confuse your enemies with cunning and trickery before using more direct attacks.
  • Realize that your enemies may well use illicit means against you. Always keep an eye open.
  • Cover your tracks well and do not get caught. Tabula Rasa if it has to be.

 

Legal Porosity and Elasticity

  • There are three ways of escaping the pincers of the law:
  • The first way is “the blindfold” where you are friends with those who can come after you or you are important to them (such as contributing to their campaign). Get the people with the power of the law behind them on your side. The mafia is very good at doing this.
  • The second way is by placating the law. This is often done by taking cases to a court where the judge is less strict or more sympathetic towards you.
  • The third way is out-dancing the law. Always be at least half step ahead of the law. For example, corporations will often move money around to avoid taxes, abusing loopholes in the law.

 

Associated Sufferings

  • One man’s gain often rest on another man’s pain.
  • Sometimes in order to get what you want, other people have to suffer. Such is the way of life.

 

Adapt, Improvise, Overcome

  • Tell people what they want to hear.
  • Make sure that you and your allies work towards a mutual goal.
  • Tailor your actions after cultural & community traditions.
  • Never change too much at once. Do it gradually and in small steps.
  • Tailor your behavior and actions to the situation and act accordingly. Law #48 Assume formlessness.

 

Be Water My Friend - Bruce Lee Quote

The Craft of Power Review

 

Myths

  • No major power can be possibly sustained over a long period of time without an array of myths (reputation) to reinforce it.
  • Give people something to believe in and tie those beliefs to your cause.
  • To be most effective the myths must be ingeniously framed, implanted, nurtured over long periods, and revered as elements of obvious truths and hard facts.
  • They must be adapted to the disposition of the followers, to the state of their maturity and their passions, hopes, and fears. They should directly provide moral justification and the potential to rationalize guilt away.
  • Example: The Aztecs needed more warriors to join their ranks, so they told their people the myth that dying in battle is the only way to go to Valhalla.
  • Once you have found a myth that suits your purpose, you should stick with it and let it grow for a considerable amount of time.

 

Vectoring Resources

  • Economy of efforts equals the results from optimizing efficiency.
  • Change efficiency: Magnitude of change affecting those essential to your objectives. The forces at your command should not be allowed to become undisciplined and as a consequence try to enforce change. At best, this entails a waste of resources or worse, they sow the seeds of destruction from within,
  • Only the fool exercises uncalled, excessive power over others, with the sole motive of feeling powerful.
  • Gaining control of an institution without agitation is far better than leaving a trail of harsh feelings and divided management. It is always preferable to take a country as a whole, intact, instead of burning it to the ground, according to Sun Tzu.
  • Executing a smooth coup d’etat is far more desirable than a bloody revolution.
  • The second efficiency is resource efficiency: the number of resources you actually need, compared to your estimated resource requirements.
  • Save resources by knowing your objectives, having better intelligence, more fitting strategy and tactics, fewer emotional expeditions into irrelevant paths of glory, and greater managerial skill.
  • Command efficiency: how fast and well your subordinates react to your directions/commands.

 

Time Constraints

  • Keep your long term goals in mind but don’t let the effort needed to get there overwhelm you to the point where you have no energy to accomplish the smaller goals needed to get to the long term goal.
  • The longer it takes to accomplish a goal the less enthusiastic your supporters will become.
  • To keep your supporters interested, take your large long term goal and chunk it up into smaller parts, that way it provides your supporters with many mini-victories which keeps them enthused.
  • After each goal is completed, review it, think about possible improvements and then adjust your course of action to reach your next goal.

 

Levelheadedness

  • As you move up, into the big leagues of power, you must resist the temptation to panic, but remain calm, and don’t acting foolishly.
  • Every organization will go through times of ups and downs, of turmoil and chaos.
  • During the chaotic times, persons of inferior talent/intellect/skill should seek to move into a position of power and amass as much wealth and positive reputation as possible and then move on before their lack of skill is exposed.
  • The strong and Machiavellian can use the chaotic times to gather more power and further their wealth and reputation and continue to rise to greatness.

 

Mortgage Payments

  • Often times power comes with little “price tags.”
  • As you rise through the ranks of power, you will encounter continually stronger opponents. And believe me, everyone is willing to play dirty after a certain level. You must decide if you are willing to get down in the gutter with them.

 

Treatment of the Plebs

  • Your allies that can help leverage you into power, as well as being able to stab you in the back.
  • Who your allies choose to help depends on your ongoing relationship with them. Make yourself indispensable to them.
  • Without coming across as a scared kiss-ass, you should strive to make your allies life easier. Praise them and their accomplishments. Treat them with respect so they don’t feel the need to betray you. Even then, never trust anyone.
  • Secretly gather intelligence on both allies and enemies, in case they ever decide to move against you. Take caution, however, that you are not exposed while digging in the dirty laundry. Always conceal your intentions.
  • Trust but verify. Have spies approach your allies, pretending to be working for the enemy, and offer them to collaborate. If they do then you know they can’t be trusted.
  • Though your allies should respect you, they should also know in the back of their minds what happens to those who betray you. Fear is a probate life insurance.
  • Your former allies, no matter if they quit on their own terms or you get rid of them, are likely to backstab you if the opportunity is right.
  • Do not think that man will remain loyal forever. As soon as you stop being a benefactor to them, they will try trump you, while rationalizing that they deserve it. Leverage those people into a position of power, where they pose no threat to you
  • Give second chances and don’t punish draconic at every opportunity. Keep your emotions in check.
  • However, if a person is found conspiring against you, you must make an example out of him.
  • Your Second in Command, the person closest to your seat of power, always poses the greatest risk to you. Even if he doesn’t intend to conspire against you, he could be used as a pawn against you by your enemies.
  • There are a couple ways to reduce this threat. The first is to decentralize the Second in Command’s power to a team of six or more people so that the power is not concentrated. Instead of having a second in command, keep a council. Keep an eye on all members and make sure they stay loyal.
  • Always keep powerful allies that can catapult you back into power, should anyone try to usurp you.

 

Constituency

  • Three requirements must be met in order for your supporters to remain your supporters.
  • First, they must feel that you are one of them or at the very least that your heart is with them and that you understand them. Dress alike, act alike, speak alike.
  • Secondly, they must remain satisfied with the benefits you provide them with.
  • Thirdly, no more than a handful of people must hate you at a time. Make people fear you, instead of hate you.

 

 

This was The Craft of Power Summary of the Maxims Part. Now a few selected Quotes from the book, all made by RGH Siu, follow.

 

 

The Craft of Power Quotes

 

Power is neither created nor destroyed. It is only transformed or transferred.

 

People, Money, and Symbols are the basic Resources of Power

People are to be used like Fuel in the Furnace of Power

Let not the wailing and groaning of the innocent weaken your will to win

Too bad “can’t be helped’

 

No longer think about the struggle between Good & Evil, but of the conflicts of interests and interests

 

Be quick in masking yourself, and unmasking others

 

Negotiation is a simultanious Excercise in Intelligence, Bargaining, Politics, Propaganda, and Planning

 

 

 

This concludes the best Craft of Power Quotes and here ends the Craft of Power Summary Part #1. Stay tuned for part #2 & #3. I hope you could learn something valuable and I highly recommend you to get the book and acquire the full wisdom. Trust me, it is worth it. You can find it here.

 

I salute you,

Lionel Fox Machiavelli

 

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

Translation:

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.