48 Laws of Power is a book by Robert Greene about how to obtain and hold onto power. It covers a wide variety of power types, from business and personal relationships to political and military power. 48 Laws of Power is an excellent read and interesting book, but the lessons can seem a manipulative and terrifying at times. It should, however, be helpful for all of those who seek to influence others or obtain power.
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Summary of 48 Laws of Power:
As the title implies, Green broke this book into 48 separate lessons, or “laws of power”. Each lesson contains numerous quotes and anecdotes from historically important figures, along with more focused stories that show exemplifications or transgressions of the laws being discussed.
After each of those focused stories, Greene gives his analysis of what the story shows, how it relates to the law, and how the reader can apply it to their lives. Each chapter is very well organized and strikes a good balance of being informational, helpful and historically proven, while also being interesting enough to hold the reader’s attention.
The 48 laws of power that Greene writes about all relate to how individuals can become powerful in some aspect of their lives. That power could be related to any aspect, but Greene mainly sticks to personal relationships and political power. Ways that you can get people to think one way. Or view you in a certain light. Or act in a way that is beneficial to you without their even recognizing that they are doing so. Much of it is about the art of personal manipulation, which Greene and his examples from the Italian Renaissance in 48 Laws of Power make seem as important as it is sleazy and uncomfortable.
Greene’s historical examples of people that have exemplified or transgressed these laws come from all time periods and walks of life, but are mainly historical actors from the Chinese Civil War, Renaissance-era Italy, or 18th Century France. Given that those eras were full of backstabbing, treachery, and wily characters, they are full of evidence for Greene, who uses only the choicest cuts of evidence to prove his points about manipulation in 48 Laws of Power.
I found the most interesting examples to come from the Italian city-states of the Renaissance. Some stories are mentioned in multiple different laws so that the reader can see how to apply different laws across their lives. I thought that was a helpful touch that made the book much more instructive, as it covers a broad swathe of potential situations.
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Analysis of 48 Laws of Power:
I loved 48 Laws of Power. At times, I felt a bit uncomfortable reading it because of how manipulative some of the laws seemed. However, it is an incredibly interesting book. Despite being a long book, it held my attention quite well. The historical lessons, especially the ones about Cesare Borgia, are great to read because of how instructive they are. They show the reader what living out a life exemplified by the laws of power is like, and how leaders seem to have an instinctual understanding of those laws.
Furthermore, I liked this book because of its wide focus. Rather than being hyper-focused on a small area of life, like political power, it has a wide breadth of content. That makes it useful to everyone, and widely useful rather than narrowly useful.
Like Meditations by Marcus Aurelius, it is useful for everyone from political leaders to business leaders to the average person. It has been compared to Machiavelli’s The Prince because of how the author advocates for the purely self-interested obtainment and holding of power. And Greene does mention The Prince at some points.
However, 48 Laws of Power is not
This book, on the other hand, is useful to everyone. It has applications to personal relationships, business, politics, sales, or even historians looking to understand the motivations of historical characters. One man that it is particularly useful for understanding it is Otto von Bismarck, who seemed to understand every point in it innately and act in the ways Greene would advocate.
And he shows the importance of knowing history, which we seem to have forgotten in the West. Bismarck was successful at implementing the ideas in 48 Laws of Power because although he did not ever read the book, he did likely know many of the historical lessons in it. He knew about the French Aristocracy. He knew about the Borgias and other characters in the Italian Renaissance. He knew how past politicians had succeeded, so he was able to succeed.
But he’s just a politician. Does 48 Laws of Power apply to other positions too? Well, as I already said, yes. Businessmen could use it to learn how to be manipulative and get the best deal. Investors could use it in the same way, especially if they are in private equity, mergers and acquisitions, or venture capital. And there are of course ample opportunities where students could use the art of manipulation to get better grades, people in various other positions could use it to attain a desirable outcome, or the general historical lessons could be useful when making decisions in the present.
Finally, I think I need to address the morality of the book. 48 Laws of Power does feel sleazy at times. No one (other than, perhaps, a sociopath) likes to think that they are manipulative. But we need people like that.
How can we beat the media, the Big Tech giants, and various other enemies, such as the (manipulative) Biden Crime Family, if we don’t use the same tactics, or at least the most effective tactics at our disposal? Sure, it doesn’t feel good to be manipulative and use the lessons in 48 Laws of Power, but I’d rather occasionally feel like a bad person than have to live under a socialist government that would grind American society into nothing. I’d rather occasionally have to do a bad thing than have to live a miserable life and always lose to those that have no such compunctions.
Conservatives need to remember how to fight to win. That’s something Trump certainly knows; he fights every fight he needs to as hard as he possibly can. More conservatives need to act like that. It’s better to temporarily be a Borgia than to forever be a loser.
Read 48 Laws of Power. You will love it, even if you are, at times, somewhat disturbed or offended by it. Hopefully, you can find ways to apply its lessons to your life. I think I will be able to, especially in the realm of personal relationships. However, even if you can’t apply it, you should be interested by it. The historical examples given cover all areas and are interesting stories about important historical figures. It will teach you things about men like Napoleon and Churchill that you never would have known otherwise.
Additionally, the short parables and anecdotes provided are helpful for understanding humanity. They are short, simple, and to the point. Because of that, they are highly useful. While some people might wish that each chapter was longer and full of more detail, I thought that Greene did an excellent job of creating a concise work that is both fun to read and very useful, especially for people like me that want to go into the type of jobs described in Lobbyists At Work, which require being able to handle people.
I cannot praise this book highly enough, you should definitely read it! That is especially true if you are the type of person that needs to know how to “work people.” Whether you have to convince them to do something or not to do something, to think one way or not to think one way, to think of you one way or another, and so on and so forth, 48 Laws of Power by Robert Greene contains many lessons and historical examples of just how you can do so.
By: Gen Z Conservative
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Read more about Cesare Borgia here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cesare_Borgia
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