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We have taken ten excerpts from a book called “48 Laws of Power.” These “rules” are disturbing to many, but contain a lot of food for thought.

LAW #1

Know Who You Are Dealing With


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 #2

Master the Art of Timing


Never seem to be in a hurry – hurry betrays a lack of control over yourself, and over time.  Always seem patient, as though 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 strike fiercely when it has reached its fruition.



LAW #3

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 kink in their vanity through which you can rattle them and you hold the strings.




LAW #4

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. 


LAW #5

Always Say Less than Necessary


          When you are trying to impress people with words, the more you say, the more common you appear, and less in control.  Even if you are saying something banal, it will seem original if you make it vague, open-ended, and sphinx like.  Powerful people impress and intimidate by saying less.  The more you say, the more likely you are to say something foolish.


LAW #6

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 all out of proportion.  He will respond enthusiastically when he sees something to be gained for himself.



LAW #7

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.


LAW #8

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.



LAW #9

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 destine to wear a crown.



LAW #10

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, when you reach it, stop.

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