48 Laws of Power: four

Since bringing this to the table, there has been much conversation as to whether these are laws or simply a method toward manipulation. I would say they are both, since power is often corrupt in it's presentation. Nevertheless, I won't defend Mr. Greene's work, I will let it speak for itself and let him speak for himself.


It was in the scheming world of Fabrika that Joost and I saw the timelessness of Machiavelli and from our discussions in Venice, Italy, this book was born.

To those people in my life who have so skillfully used the game of power to manipulate, torture, and cause me pain over the years, I bear you no grudges and I thank you for supplying me with inspiration for The 48 laws of Power!

PREFACE (pxvii-xxiii)

The feeling of having no power over people and events is generally unbearable to us. And when we feel helpless we feel miserable. No one wants less power. Everyone wants more!

However, it is dangerous to seem too power hungry or to be overt with your power moves. You must seem fair and decent. So you need to be subtle --- congenial yet cunning! Democratic yet devious.

The laws have a simple premise, namely, that certain actions will almost always certainly increase your power --- the observance of the "LAW," while others decrease it and even ruin us --- the transgression of the "LAW." These observances and transgressions are illustrated by historical examples. The "LAWS" are timeless and definitive! (pxxii)

This book can be used in several ways. By reading the book straight through you can learn about power in general. By getting such an overview of the entire subject you will best be able to evaluate your own past actions and gain a greater degree of control over your immediate affairs. It is hoped that a thorough reading of this book will inspire thinking and reevaluation long after you finish it! (pxxii-pxxiii)

Also, this book has been designed for browsing and for examining the "LAW" that seems at a particular moment most pertinent to you. Several of the "LAWS" specifically address the "master-underling" or supervisor-subordinate relationship. (pxxiii)

Law 4

Always Say Less than Necessary

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

Silence is power. It gives you the ability to move things in a direction favorable to you without you saying a word. In sales there is a saying, the one who speaks first loses. I have seen this first hand. In times of bargaining the one speaking less usually gets what they want because the other person is too busy trying to sell their point. The more disinterest you show (silence) in what they are selling, the more they are apt to give you the very thing you want. Now that's power.

We got our game from our women, got our name from our women.

Tupac Shakur

When I was making my transition from high school to college I was in search of sexual power. Most dudes think having a good "rap" is the thing that gets them in the door, but that is not always true. Sometimes the greatest power you can wield is silence. Having a bit of mystery about yourself will get you further than a host of words. I learned this little nugget at the age of 17 from this sister named T.

T was about four years older than me and she was also the Resident Assistant in charge of the young ladies in our Upward Bound program. At the time I was in the "Bridge" program - high school graduates doing their first semester of college under the eye of the Upward Bound staff. Anyway, one day T was breaking me and several of my partners off on the error of our ways having witnessed us trying to put the mack game down in the preceding weeks. Now understand, T was fine, smart, and either one of us would have been more than happy to get our stripes by "pledging" her class. However, she told us if it were her choosing, only one of us would even have a shot. That one would have been the quieter of us four, my man Tony. She said it was because he never tried to sell himself. His quiet presence is what helped him "own" the room. Interestingly enough, Tony always had his choice. We thought it was because he played basketball. I guess it was but it wasn't, because while we would run off trying to hit chicks up for some conversation, Tony would lay back in the cut. And wouldn't you know, quite a few of the bigger catches fell his way.

Silence is golden, but the tongue can be a beast of its own.

About the host:
Rich Fitzgerald is the author of the short story "One to Remember" featured in Love and Redemption (Bloggers' Delight Vol. 1), a collection of short stories by authors who blog. To read excerpts or to order a copy of the title, visit i-Lit. The book is also available on Amazon.


The True Urban Queen aka Sharon said...

I haven't read it in a while but, the Bible warns us about the power of our tongues. They can be worse than a two edged sword.

Society is full of examples of people who would have been better off if they just bridled their tongue.

Some of the most intelligent people have seemed so stupid cause they can control their tongue. And all you can do is shake your head and think you should have stopped at hello.

The F$%K it List said...

Found you by way of Dreamy! I just wanted to say quickly that the 48 laws of power is an awesome book. I have read it almost cover to cover twice in my life, and each time learned a new lesson.

I will be back to visit!

CapCity said...

Silence is TRULY golden - but when u DO open that trap - have SOMETHING worthy coming out;-).

One of my favorite bits of wisdom from an elder: Better Quiet & thought a fool than open your mouth & remove all doubt! LOL!

Dreamy said...

I am so happy that you did not link my post to this,lol

Anywho Rich, it is true what they say about being quiet. I am first hand living proof of that,lol

Aunt Jackie said...

I used to always check for the quiet guy in the corner as a personality type when I was younger, until recently when i realized that a grown man playing shy boy is not really my flavor.

In business I have been known to be a pitbull in a skirt when it comes to negotiation and that's because I learned early how to put an offer and out and quietly await a response..

If I weren't so busy reading the power of intention right now I'd pick up this book just to chat about it.

12kyle said...

took me back with that story Rich. Sometimes it aint whutcha say...or if you say anything at all.

Mizrepresent said...

Silence is golden, that is what i always remember and hold dear. Listening is so much better, in listening you can learn so much, discern so much...that's all i know, that's how i operate. My MO... to listen.

Torrance Stephens bka All-Mi-T said...

love how u intergrate real life experiences folk

Big Momma Pimpalishisness said...

I love men who don't talk too much.

Just take out the trash and kill the spiders. No words necessary. I'm all yours :P

Darius T. Williams said...

LOL @ big momma

But for real, I've never heard of this book. I'm not sure why. I'm putting it on my to buy list.

James Tubman said...

good stuff my bother

I've said so many stupid things in my life because I've talked so much

i.can't.complain. said...

i've noticed the power of silence recently.

now that i'm speaking less

and in turn softer

i guess all i need now is a big stick


sista gp said...

Silence, is much more than a tool to gain power over others. It is an excellent tool for learning. By listening and watching others, enormous insight in character can be attained.