“People are more complicated than the masks they wear in society.”
– Robert Greene, The Art of Seduction
When it was published for the first time back in 1998 the book was embraced by rappers, movie moguls, CEO's and criminals alike.
In prisons around the world it remains one of the most requested books.
Even the famous Cuban dictator Fidel Castro read the book and loved it.
The book was first noticed in the mainstream when rappers started talking about it.
Rappers like Kanye West started singing about the 48 laws of power.
Another rapper 50 Cent was very impressed with the 48 laws of power.
In fact, he was so impressed that he wanted to meet Greene.
For those of you who don't know 50 Cent let me tell you a little about him.
Before he became a rapper he had a hardcore upbringing on the streets of Queens ,New York and started dealing drugs when he was 12.
So 50 Cent had to learn to be smart on the streets to survive.
He had to learn how to stay alive and make enough money to eat.
So he knew a lot about street smarts but when he entered the ruthless world of music he learned that those music executives were more cutthroat than many gangsters on the street.
They were wearing suits but they were ruthless and cunning.
The Machiavellian nature of the music industry woke him up and the book 48 laws of power helped him to navigate the brutal world of the music industry.
A few years later Robert Greene and 50 Cent collaborated and wrote the 50th Law.
The 50th law is a tactical guide to success based on the principle of “fear nothing”.
After 50 Cent and Kanye embraced the book it quickly started becoming a must-read for rappers and other power players.
A Brief Overview of Robert Greene's 48 Laws of Power
“48 Laws of Power,” by Robert Greene, is a book that has earned the reputation of being an essential guidebook for men seeking power and success.
In this book, Greene outlines 48 laws derived from a variety of sources including history, philosophy, and psychology.
The first law is “Never Outshine the Master.” This means that one should never draw too much attention to themselves as it can cause resentment from those in authority.
Instead, one should show respect for their superiors by allowing them to shine brighter than you do.
The second law is “Always Say Less Than Necessary.” This means that one should never reveal more than what is necessary in order to maintain a certain level of power.
The third law is “Conceal Your Intentions.”
This means that one should always have an air of mystery about them when dealing with others in order to keep them guessing.
The fourth law is “Always Play A Sucker To Catch A Sucker.”
This means that you need to be able to recognize when someone else has ulterior motives and use their own tactics against them.
The fifth law is “Use Selective Honesty And Generosity To Disarm Your Victim.”
This means that you should use selective honesty and generosity to make your victim feel comfortable enough to let down their guard so you can take advantage of them.
The sixth law is “Appear Weak When You Are Strong, And Strong When You Are Weak.”
This means that you need to make sure that your adversaries never know which side holds the upper hand at any given time.
Robert Greene’s “48 Laws of Power” offers invaluable advice on how men can gain power and success in life by leveraging certain laws derived from history, philosophy, and psychology.
These laws are not meant to be taken lightly; rather they should be studied carefully in order to gain a better understanding of how power works in society today.
Ultimately, these laws offer valuable insight into how men can navigate the complexities of modern day life by utilizing strategies used by some of the most successful people throughout history.
How Was The Book Received In the Mainstream?
In the mainstream, the reaction to the book was very different.
The book has been referred to as a “bible for atheists” and textbook for gangsters.
Many people said the book was created for assholes, sociopaths.
Others said it was written for narcissists and for people who don't want to make friends.
Some even said the book is for people who have no morals, no empathy, those who live a life of deceit, treat people like chess pieces, or have no care for humanity.
But these harsh criticisms of the book miss the importance of the book.
The problem with these criticisms is that they are naive and next I will tell you why these criticism are naive.
I will also tell you why you have to read this book and why you need to study power.
The World In Not What We Want It To Be.
The critics of this book forget the true nature of the world we live in.
They want the world to be a place where we all are in perfect harmony and a world where no predators are present.
Let's say for a moment you listen to those critics.
You take their advice.
So imagine you don't read that book and you don't study power.
Do you think people who are real assholes, sociopaths, psychopaths and other power-hungry players are going to stop fucking people over?
No, they are going to keep doing what they do.
They don't give a fuck.
And the people encouraging you to live in a dreamworld fairy tales where everything is a safe space deny the reality of the planet.
And by denying the reality you expose yourself to the predators with masterful Machiavellian tactics.
Why You Should Study Power.
“Understand: as an individual you cannot stop the tide of fantasy and escapism sweeping a culture. But you can stand as an individual bulwark to this trend and create power for yourself. You were born with the greatest weapon in all of nature—the rational, conscious mind. It has the power to expand your vision far and wide, giving you the unique capacity to distinguish patterns in events, learn from the past, glimpse into the future, see through appearances. Circumstances are conspiring to dull that weapon and render it useless by turning you inward and making you afraid of reality.” – 50 Cent ,The 50th Law
The answer is obvious.
If you don't want to be fucked over and outmaneuvered then you better study power and tactics.
If you want to build you own influence and power then you need to understand the reality of the planet.
Whether you agree with the brutal nature of how some people play the game of life is irrelevant.
They are going to do what they do.
Your only defense is the understand what they are doing and being conscious of their tactics.
“To succeed in the game of power, you have to master your emotions. But even if you succeed in gaining such self-control, you can never control the temperamental dispositions of those around you. And this presents a great danger.”
-Robert Greene, The 48 Laws of Power
Building Your Own Power.
Many don't like talking about building their own power.
What is wrong with building your personal power?
Having power gives you options and allows you to control your environment.
It's a lie that power makes you an asshole.
Being an asshole is a choice.
You can have power and be a decent human being.
And you can have power and be a dick.
The choice is yours.
But the reality stays the same.
You need to study and understand power.
If you don't then those with the skills and tactics of power will use it against you.
This doesn't mean you have to approach everything you do out of the lens of your power playbook.
But it means you have the toolbox and tactical know-how inside of you to use it when necessary and also to notice when others are trying to fuck you over.
My view about power is the same view I have about the right to carry a weapon.
You carry your weapon to defend yourself and to repel potential predators.
The same reality applies.
Think about it.
If you decide to give away your weapon do you think the criminals and other bad guys are going to give up theirs?
Of course not.
The logic is clear.
Understand power and know when and how to use it.
Understand That Power Is Being Used Everywhere.
Don't think that because your job or profession is not in a specific area that you are now free from people using power against you.
Power players happen in most environments at different levels.
Therefore you need to understand it to be able to notice how the masters play the game.
The chances are that by studying Power you will notice things you haven't noticed before.
You might even notice how power has already been used against you but you didn't even notice.
So when someone gets critical of you reading the book and asks you “Are you trying to live your life according to the 48 laws of power?” Tell them this:
“No, I'm living my life conscious of the 48 laws of power”.
So study power or be overpowered
Until next time my brothers….