This is the final part of The Craft of Power Summaries. Credit goes to warped_mindless for his effort.
The book is rare and expensive though available on both the Internet and Amazon. You can find it here. Written by Ralph Gun Hoy Siu.
– You must be able to interpret and convert incoming data into useful information.
– Be mindful that your enemies will try to feed you false data and information. Related Law: #8 Use Bait
– Never base a major decision on a single piece of data. Always double check via multiple sources and verify it.
– Be mindful of how your perception makes you interpret data and information. Human beings are prone to make emotional decisions.
– Knowledge is power, so they say. Only the proper application of knowledge & information is power. Everything else is just coffee-house-bullshit.
– People often feel moral guilt for secretly gathering intelligence on people. Don’t be one of them.
– Rationalise these feelings away as this is an important step that must be carried out with the utmost confidence to avoid getting caught.
– Spies are useful. Place spies in enemy organisations and have them report their findings back to you.
– Spies may be recruited by the means of bribes and providing them with the information they need in return. Blackmail and other methods can also be used but should be utilised sparingly. It is best to find unhappy members of that organisation and turn them into your spies. Promise them revenge and rewards.
– Open source intelligence techniques are extremely useful. Thanks to the world wide web, this is now an easy task. People are too lazy or too dumb, hence don’t cover their tracks online. Find their emails or usernames using social engineering, use people finding sites such as Spokeo and you can often find every site and forum they post on.
-Employ hackers (can be hired cheap from over seas) hack into their emails and social networking sites, and you will learn more than you could ever imagine.
– Some things to learn about your enemies: What gives them power? Who are their allies and enemies? What are their strong and weak points? What are their goals? What are their interests? What makes an attractive bait?
– Do not let them know you are gathering intelligence about them, as they will take further steps to safeguard it and feed you false information.
– Related Law: #14: Pose as a friend, work as a spy.
– Your organisation must have stated goals to give your followers something to believe in.
– People want to feel like they are apart of something bigger than themselves. Play up that fantasy and people will follow you.
– In ancient times, sheer force and wealth were enough to control people and maintain power. That usually is not the case anymore but in some situations, it might still work. Example: if you own a business or manage one, the threat of getting fired (threat via force) and the next paycheck (threat via wealth) can be enough to keep people in line, but it certainly is not the best way. It’s better if the workers love you so they want to work for you and will, therefore, be more productive. Avoid being hated & despised at all costs and instead aim to be feared or loved, since you cannot be both. (like Niccolò Machiavelli said)
– In modern times, a tacit consent from the ruled for the ruler to rule seems necessary. I can highly recommend you to read Locke’s Philosophy.
– It is better to get people to willingly surrender freedom on the part of the people at large or at least have a relative passivity towards the encroachments on it.
– You strip freedom away slowly one little chunk at a time, until you have taken away as much as you want or as much as possible without arousing resentment.
– One great tool for this is propaganda, the purpose of which should not be sympathetic education but subtle manipulation.
– The illusion of freedom is a scintillating tactic. Example: Letting people vote for their leader but in reality the voting is rigged. If the people don’t realise this then they feel like they have freedom.
– Propaganda is a massive subject with much written about it and its suggested that you find a more comprehensive source on the subject but the following techniques will get you started:
– Controlling Media: Media is a great way to implant ideas and opinions in the publics mind. The media can present only one side of any story and hammer it in repetition until everyone understands and believes it.
– Adapting messages: Messages to the opposition should convey the advantages of joining your cause. At the same time, disparaging attacks from the opposition must be vigorously displaced. Messages to supporters of your cause should stress the “fact” that they are apart of the winning team with a good cause and led by an inspired tradition-maker, a man or woman of the times. Messages to the neutral public should stress the similarity of your positions to its traditional values and the morals and the identity of what you are trying to do what it wants in the long run.
– Employing sign stimuli: Use a symbol and define its meaning so its not misinterpreted. Properly chosen signs can trigger predictable behavior patterns. Example: A severed head as been used to invoke fear for thousands of years. What you wear also acts as a sort of sign/symbol. A rich man who dresses poor will often appear as the voice of the people. The poor man who dresses rich will have better luck mingling with the upper class. Rallying allies: People who are kindred to at least one aspect of your propaganda will usually stop to listen to the rest. Find people/groups most like yours and rally them to your cause. Don’t neglect small groups as they add up fast.
– Solidifying biases: Once well established the objective of much of your mass communication should be reinforcing favorable opinions in contrast to changing unfavorable ones. Those who are disposed to follow your lead are given rationalizations for doing so. Condition your followers to close their ears and minds to opposing messages and opinions. A good defense against opposition opinions is to alert your followers that someone is going to try and persuade them. For instance if you say to them “Our enemies will soon try to persuade you that what we are doing is wrong. They will use lies and trickery to try and confuse you. We will show them that we are not easily confused and manipulated.” People don’t like it when someone tries to persuade or manipulate them so by framing the opposition as trying to do just that your followers will naturally resist.
– Exploiting foibles: Effective propagandist know how to limn their line with attachments to some basic human susceptibilities. They appeal to emotions such as hope, shame, fear, guilt, anxiety, etc. For example, cosmetic companies arent selling makeup, they are selling hope. Trump, when running for president, used a combination of fear and hope to sell his message.
– Pettifogging truths: Suppress information that you don’t want people to know. Use disinformation to counter it. Discredit the person or people spreading it. Discredit the information itself (uisng lies if need be).
– Spreading innuendos: In concern to proaganda, the use of innuendo is highly effective. Name calling (to discredit the person), glittering generality (using vague words to envoke power emotions), plain folks (making the people feel as if you are one of them), testimonial (using authority figures to support your cause or associate evil people with your opposition), transfer (associating yourself or your cause with things people like), card stacking (manipulating information to present a bias case), and bandwagon (promotes the desirability of joining the cause and shows that everyone else is doing so).
– Remaining silent: During periods of grave uncertainities or delicate balance, you should refrain from public statements, no matter how tempting is it to reply to the thinsg being said. Do not let your own propagandist goad you into making statements against your better judgement.
– Life without ceremony is like a gift without wrapping.
– All great leaders have recognised the relationship between ceremonial reinforcement and social control.
– Example One: A leader appears calm and collected in the face of dispair.
– Example Two: A powerful Duke wanted the allegiance of a neighbouring Baron. The Baron casually mentioned he would support the Duke, but the Duke wanted to cement this promise more carefully. The Duke assembled all the nobles at a grand party and had the Baron swear an oath of allegiance to him on a sept, to a priest, in front of all the nobles in a grand ceremony.
– Example Three: When the United States Army captured Iraq’s capitol city they made sure to topple a massive statue of Saddam (the enemy leader) in a fit of a grand ceremony on live TV.
– Example Four: A leader host a massive festival filled with food, drink, and enjoyment, to keep the people happy and distracted.
– To obtain and maintain power its important to convey a sense of citizen participation. Being involved soothes the feeling of being ‘used’ by the leader.
– To accomplish that you should encourage their participation with power of decision on all small matters that do not jeopardise your power.
– Your continuation in power rest on social respectability which calls for a judicious blend of actual and ceremonial participation by your constituency.
– Your constituents (people you need to stay in power) must have faith in your credibility and not only believe what you say but must believe in you as well.
– Telling people that your honest isn’t enough. Your actions must display it (which is why its important for your underhanded deeds to go unnoticed).
I hope you enjoyed the 3 part series about The Craft of Power written by /u/warped_mindless, contributor to /r/the48lawsofpower and edited by me, Modern Machiavelli.