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Sunday, April 1, 2012

The 48 Laws of Power 11 - 25


Continuation of The 48 Laws of Power

The 48 Laws of Power
Law 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't do without you.

Law 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.

Law 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.

Law 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.

Law 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 smoulder, 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.

Law 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.

Law 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.  Behaviour 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.

Law 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.

Law 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.

Law 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.

Law 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.

Law 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.

Law 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.

Law 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.

Law 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.


To be continue 26 - 48...



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