Review: The 48 Laws of Power

48I first noticed The 48 Laws of Power sitting on the desk of a person who works deep in the bowels of a large insurance company. In an idle moment, not having the faintest clue what the book was about, I picked it up and flipped it open to a random page where I began to read an interesting retelling of the story of Pancho Villa that paints the man as a brilliant tactician that defeated the United States military with a ragtag band.

Having a pretty strong familiarity with American history, I was simultaneously amused with the angle taken by this historical tale and baffled as to why this was found on a desk between a book on leadership and Getting Things Done, so I stepped back and took a broader look at the book – and I was rather appalled.

The 48 Laws of Power is a collection of “laws” based on historical and philosophical anecdotes. These laws are amoral, meaning that they themselves don’t take into account any sense of right or wrong. Instead, the laws focus on how one can increase their influence over any situation, regardless of the moral consequences of doing so. In other words, this book focuses on how to gain power in any situation, regardless of whether it’s morally right or wrong, and it uses specific anecdotes from history to illustrate these “rules of power.”

My initial reaction to the book was just to write it off – after all, I’ve found time and time again that following my moral compass has served me far better in life than following any set of amoral rules. Stepping on someone else’s throat to raise myself six inches higher holds no appeal to me at all – and the sight of someone else doing that raises disgust in me. I tend to believe that this is how the majority of the professional world works; people are fundamentally honest and realize that lifting others often lifts themselves.

Then I began to see the book pop up in several surprising places, from the bookshelves of various people I knew to a surprising feature-length article in The New Yorker detailing the book and its author, Robert Greene. At first, this annoyed me – why would anyone pay special attention to this nonsense? Were there really that many amoral people out there, operating cloak-and-dagger style?

I had to figure this whole thing out, so I picked up a copy of The 48 Laws of Power and gave it a read-through. I’ll leave my conclusions to the “Buy or Don’t Buy?” section below, but let’s first take a look at some of these 48 rules.

Wandering Through The 48 Laws of Power

Rather than going through all 48 laws and boring you to sleep, I selected ten of them worth commenting on. The other 38 rules are similar in nature; if you want to read them all, just pick up a paperback copy of the book and look at the back cover, as they’re all listed there.

2. Never put too much trust in friends, learn how to use enemies
Here, Greene advises that people should not trust their friends in any significant way, using the story of Michael III‘s assassination by his former friend Basil I as an example. In general, you should never mix friendship and work – good advice. Instead, he advises that you place enemies in positions of power around you, as they have a lot to prove and can also provide great insight – I immediately thought of Abraham Lincoln’s inclusion of his political enemies in the Cabinet during the Civil War, a tactic outlined in the fascinating Team of Rivals.

My thoughts? I agree that it’s generally a good idea to not mix friendship and work – I have avoided making deep friendships with my coworkers. As for enemies, I tend to feel that working out conflicts with other people and actually working with them on projects can be beneficial to everyone involved – you can often come up with some great solutions and really set a good example of teamwork if you make an effort to work with your enemy. I essentially agree with this rule.

4. Always say less than necessary
Greene uses a myth about Coriolanus speaking too much (and thus ruining his reputation) and then holds up Louis XIV as a paragon of the virtue of speaking in brief. Both, actually, are completely mythological – very little is actually known about Coriolanus and the quote he uses from Louis XIV – L’État, c’est moi – was actually conceived by his opponents to make him seem egotistical.

This rule is a little strong for my taste – I generally believe in saying just what’s necessary because saying more than that is usually a detriment. Every time I’ve underplayed my knowledge, it’s actually ended up being a detriment to me as I’ve later been accused of hiding information. I think a philosophy of giving the relevant information but keeping it brief is the best route to follow.

7. Get others to do the work for you, but always take the credit
This is a pretty blunt one. Greene backs it up by retelling the classic tale of Nikola Tesla and Thomas Edison – Tesla may have been the better scientist, but Edison knew how to find others, employ them in his labs, and then take broader credit for the inventions.

At first glance, this is a deeply underhanded method of gaining power – it seems to warrant cheating, paying others to complete your papers, and so forth. Think of it this way, though – how often has your manager presented work you’ve done to demonstrate the work of the group – in other words, to make your manager look good? It’s generally accepted that a person receives more respect if he acknowledges the hard work of individual team members – I’ve seen this from the perspective of the team member, the person doing the reporting, and the person being reported to.

11. Learn to keep people dependent on you
Many people feel that the way to safety is to be a sycophant to a powerful boss. This isn’t true; as soon as you make a mis-step, they can easily get rid of you and replace you with another. Instead, Greene urges you to ally yourself with a weak boss and then focus on making yourself indispensable – create a situation where without you, their power would collapse. At that point, who has the power?

Greene uses the story of Otto von Bismarck and his relationship with the various Kaisers of Germany to illustrate the point. Bismarck was able to work tightly with some of the late Kaisers and push them into unifying Germany, making himself the first Chancellor in the process. A strong Kaiser could have tossed Bismarck aside for these moves, but the weak ones were so reliant on Bismarck that they let him lead.

12. Use selective honesty and generosity to disarm your victim
I believe the appropriate term for this is “sucking up,” though it takes the interesting twist of viewing the person you’re sucking up to as the victim. One could also view this as building a fake relationship with someone in order to exploit them. Either way, it’s a behavior that doesn’t win you much respect from others.

Greene uses several anecdotes in this chapter, most interestingly one actually involving a rather clever con man. Of course, that just illustrates the dishonesty of this approach – you’re basically being a confidence man when you cultivate relationships like this just to manipulate people.

14. Pose as a friend, work as a spy
This rule encourages the reader to use social situations to spy on the “enemy.” In other words, you should act friendly towards people you view as adversaries at social gatherings, hopefully disarming them, and then use this vague trust to probe them for information. I immediately thought of a person I know who will make small talk for a minute, then immediately start asking me questions about my computer consulting business.

To illustrate the point, Greene tells about the techniques Joseph Duveen, arguably the most successful art dealer of all time, and the techniques he used for finding clients. Basically, he used social situations to find out tons of details about prospective clients, then utilized these details to wow them.

16. Use absence to increase respect and honor
The discussion of this law involves the tale of Deioces, a highly respected judge who withdrew from public life; when the public realized how valuable he was as a judge to their society, they made him king.

Greene proposes that this same philosophy is often true. If you provide a valuable service for people, making yourself absent for a period will make them really appreciate the service that you provide. While this is true, it is extremely easy for this to backfire on you – people can discover that you’re not as valuable as you might hope, for instance. One way to do this effectively is to utilize your vacation time and go on a “no-contact” vacation.

20. Do not commit to anyone
The idea here is that by not strictly committing to anything, when you do produce it creates the impression of coming off as a grand favor. Greene uses Elizabeth I as one example here – she never married or bore children, but used hints of potential courtship to get exactly what she wanted.

While this can be a great tactic to use if you have value that others want – think of a skilled plumber in a city, for example – if you don’t, not committing and trying to play people off of each other will merely earn you enemies.

34. Be royal in your own fashion: Act like a king to be treated by one
This is one of the best pieces of advice in the entire book and one that I wholeheartedly agree with. There are few things you can do to improve yourself in the eyes of others than to appear mature and respectable and to value your personal appearance. If you act vulgar and crude, people will simply treat you with less respect.

Greene uses the example of Louis-Philippe to show the value of carrying yourself well, arguing that a big piece of his downfall was his attempts at appearing as a common man and not as a leader. An interesting take, though it was his increasingly ultraconservative governance that eventually brought him down.

41. Avoid stepping into a great man’s shoes
Generally, it is extremely difficult to follow a person who has done a tremendous job. People have come to expect excellence from the position, and as a replacement, you’re not only expected to uphold that excellence but also learn all of the trappings of the job very quickly. Greene basically says that one should not do this – the risks are too high. Instead, if you must fill that role, make it your own.

To illustrate, he uses the examples of Alexander the Great and Napoleon III. Alexander took what his father, Phillip of Macedonia, had built and used it as the foundation for much greater things. Napoleon III, on the other hand, stepped into his role as leader of France and took the nation in many unexpected directions, quickly stepping away from the shadow of his namesake.

Buy or Don’t Buy?

If you work in a large office environment, you’ve probably met people who do most of the things above. Consider what you think of these people. Do you like that person who seems to always skip out on meetings where they’re needed? What about the person that puts up a false front to everyone, acting generous and honest, but then behaves very coldly when push comes to shove? What about the guy who marches around like he’s God’s gift to the company, but rarely steps up to the plate when it’s really needed?

If you’re like me, you can’t stand these people and you’re much more likely to help out the straight shooter down the hall when he needs a hand than the person playing these games. The 48 Laws of Power is basically a litany of all of these various power games that people like to play. Playing them yourself is likely to have two effects: you’ll gain some power over some people and get a lot of resentment from the rest of them.

Obviously, a few of these rules do make sense for most – making your job your own, for example – but the nuggets of usefulness are surrounded by a deep mist of questionable behavior.

So why read this book? It does a brilliant job of explaining the logic and mindset of people who play such games to get power. If you want to understand why people play these games, this is a book well worth reading. It is interestingly written as well, with a lot of somewhat biased historical anecdotes (don’t take them as fact, as many are myths or are somewhat inaccurate) to support each of the points. The book itself is also laid out quite impressively, giving it a particular weightiness that’s also somehow inviting for browsing.

My belief is that real power comes from earning respect, and this is just a list of shortcuts that will easily fall apart under scrutiny. This book is useful for no other reason than it clues you in to how some people tend to think, particularly those that are overly power hungry. For that reason alone, if you work in a competitive office environment, this book is worth reading just to understand the logic behind some of these games. Of course, playing these games yourself is highly likely to get you labelled as the office scumbag, so tread lightly on this stuff – use it to understand the behavior of others, not to try to gain power yourself.

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42 thoughts on “Review: The 48 Laws of Power

  1. jake says:

    I read this book awhile back and it completely changed the way I look at the work place. If you are into work place politics this book will be a very good read not to mention eye opening.

    One of the best books I’ve ever read. I use a lot of the concepts told in this book and you’d be surprise at how effective they can be.

  2. Marsha says:

    This sounds like a very depressing book. I’m glad to have enough info to choose not to read it. :(

  3. JD says:

    Greene would point out that everyone plays the “game”, and that deciding not to play is simply another form of strategy, and often not the most advisable one. For whatever that is worth, not sure if I agree with him either.

  4. JD says:

    But I’ll also add that it’s a great book to read because of the insight it will give you into human nature if nothing else. You really will understand more about other people after reading it.

  5. !wanda says:

    Power law: f(x)=a*x^k+o(x^k)

  6. UltraRob says:

    Unfortunately I’ve seen most of them and had several of them used on me. Most of them I couldn’t feel good using.

  7. Steve W says:

    Here’s what I’ve found in my work life — if you work in an industry or company or department where those kinds of tactics are commonly and effectively used, then you’re in a crap situation with game-players who collectively and ultimately will achieve little.

    For their opposite, read the book **Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap… and Others Don’t** by Jim Collins (//www.amazon.com/Good-Great-Companies-Leap-Others/dp/0066620996 ). This book describes the kind of people who make up a great company culture.

  8. mark says:

    I own a copy of this book and it does make me depressed and sick every time I open it (it’s not that often). People who play power games are really a sad bunch.

  9. daydreamr says:

    It reminds me of the saying: Keep your friends close and your enemies closer.

    It’s all just a game. The one who’s flexible and does good quality work gets walked on. I think using some of these strategies (but not getting too carried away) will get someone ahead more than being nice will. It’s also a good way to gain insight into human nature. Having morals is admirable but there is a time and a place for everything. You have to learn to beat others at their game.

  10. plonkee says:

    If its a game that everyone else is playing and knows the rules to, then you are playing it whether you like it or not. Therefore it makes sense to know the rules, even if you decide not to use a winning strategy.

  11. Jeff says:

    If you want to be a blood-sucking power whore, just read “The Prince” by Machiavelli. All of these clowns borrow from him.

  12. Jon says:

    I haven’t read the book, but based on your summary it sounds like an anti-power book. I think most people would agree that the presented laws make very bad character traits. By casting them as the “laws” of power, the book implies that anybody who achieves power or status is by necessity a bad person. Sounds like pinko anti-elitism to me ;) or more likely just a bit of sensationalism.

  13. Amy says:

    Or, you could just read Machiavelli.

  14. Rachel says:

    Oh, this book messed me up horribly for a very long time. It is not a pleasant view of looking at the world. Everytime I see someone reading it I go up and tell them to stop. I wish I had never read it!!!

  15. Brian says:

    Like it or not, society and the workplace are filled with people using these tactis so I agree that the best way to deal with them is to understand just what they are doing. Although I agree with Trent on a couple of points that make sense such as limiting what you say and working with your enemies.

    Anyone who adopts these dishonorable principles in order to get ahead has no principles at all…

  16. Ibrahim says:

    A “power-hungry” colleague at work bought this book. I flipped quickly through it and decided to buy it, not as a personal guide but as an eye opener to the colleague view of the corporate world.
    I agree with finding one’s own “gutsy” systems, and living by it. Nevertheless it does pay to be aware of others and deal with them accordingly.

  17. Jesse Heath says:

    I agree with your conclusion – these tactics are used by people who cannot rise on their own merits and thus are forced to engage in ‘office politics’. If these kinds of tactics work in your office, then perhaps your time would be better spent looking for a new job rather than reading this book

  18. Mrs. Micah says:

    It sounds interesting. I wouldn’t want to be the sort of person who used it. Not in the least. To skim through in a bookstore? Sure.

  19. Padre Bawo Jossy says:

    I haven’t read the book, but based on your summary of it, I like the book. I think most people like me would agree that the book make you and give you, who you want to be in life.

  20. Harvey Jacobs says:

    Like it or Not, Its life and just like Greene states, You cant opt out of it, so be the best player you can be. A scared man never wins!

  21. Natasha Thornton says:

    I bought this book for my Fiance who owns his own business verse me, I work for the government. I believe this book is more like a use guide to get ahead, I dont believe its a depressing book, its the truth. Today ike is about getting ahead of everyone else, not with just work, but in real life situations as well. We read it together and discuss better tatics to better ourselves in Corprate America, what you wont do, best believe the next man will. Law 1. Never outshine your master.

    Natasha.

  22. Yelena Walden says:

    These “laws” made me laughing… The fact it was pulled out of Macciavelli’s trunk speaks for itself: it’s so moldy, rotten and covered with maggots…Totally immoral, makes you think: does really worth it? “What does it profit a man to gain the whole world but to loose his soul?”(Mark 8:36)

    I think, Frank Zappa said once “There is a big difference between kneeling down and bending over”
    This book is ultimate “guide for bending over” so you can get “a better power”! Well, from my personal experience, people who are actually HAVE dignity and self-respect , usually aren’t the ones who have deficit of power…

  23. Jacob Bloom says:

    I totally agree. I read the 48 Laws of Power and it disgusted me. Anyone who decides to use these ideas as a blueprint on how to live life will lead a miserable existence. Obviously, there are some people out there who will read this book and try to incorporate these laws into their lives. I’m happy to know, then, that I will be prepared to deal with these immoral people.

  24. Nick says:

    I just got this book as a present from my girlfriend (similar to how she gave me The Prince about a year ago). I’ve only just begun to read it, but so far I like it.

    Those of you who say it disgusts you and do not want to read it are at a disadvantage. Even if you do not plan on using the ideas yourself, it would do you some good to educate yourself on what others do. These tactics are used by everyone around you and for you to play dumb to it is ignorant. Your essentially living in a warzone of these games and it’s up to you whether or not you want to arm yourself or otherwise get caught in the crossfire.

    In addition, the people who you see and dislike because they use these ideas are clearly not using them properly because to effectively practice these laws is to not be detected of doing so.

    If power is not your goal, then continue living without it but there is no need in looking down on those who strive for it.

    The thing that amazes me most is that those who are appalled by the book think that anyone who lives by its rules will live a sad life. What you don’t consider is that this person is on the track to achieving their goals and is probably completely happy doing so. Not everyone can say that. It’s quite possible for someone to be happy living a different lifestyle than your own.

  25. Katie says:

    I agree with Nick above. It’s good to know what tactics other people are using to manipulate you (especially in the workplace), even if you choose not to practice the ‘laws’ yourself.

    For those who are disgusted by this book, ask yourself whether you are happy in your job or when you are around manipulative family members and friends? My guess is that some of the people who use these tactics are making you unhappy and miserable and calling them ‘bad’ people is not going to make them ‘see the light’ and change their wicked ways.

    Ultimately, ‘knowledge IS power;’ arm yourself with knowledge of the tactics other people use, even if you don’t want to practice them yourself – it’s very diffuclt to manipulate someone who knows that they are being manipulated (no matter what strategy they try to use against you, it won’t work because you can read their mind and have learnt how they think..this will disarm them and they will be less likely to make your life, especially at work, a misery).

    I have read parts of the book, but have never reached the end because I am trying to digest all of the information …I will be the first to admit that I am not sophisticated enough yet to practice these rules subtly – if I tried to implement these tactics now, it would be sooo obvious. So at the moment I am using it to know what makes other people tick. I don’t strive to have supreme power over others, but I am ambitious and want to have a successful life and career….

    …Like everything else in life, this book is about taking the advice in moderation. If you are not a naturally power hungry, ruthless person, this book is unlikely to make you that way over night..but it will show you what others do to get the upper hand and you can use that knowledge to stop their manipulative ways dead in their tracks if they try to use it against you and the people that you care about!

  26. LL says:

    I have just finished listening to this book in the audio version. I recognised many of the techniques put to brilliant use in the British contemporary TV series, ‘Hustle’.

    While the immoral (not amoral) nature of the book bothered me, I found it an interesting insight into the heart of a craven, grabastic culture. After reading it, you may want to detox with ‘Getting to Yes’ (an excellent book about win-win negotiating) or the classic, ‘How to Win Friends & Influence People.’

  27. Mohammad Mustafa says:

    what we are and what we are not……….it totaly depends on our circumstances and abilities…..every person can not follow these roles accordingly…it is god gifted ability…you must know people who uses these rules without reading this book….what does it mean?…it is personel ability…..and the alpha people who have balities , they use thier abilities in favour of evil or for humanity, uses these rules…..atlast i may conclude that .this book just increase our knowldge about , how the people use these rules to achiev thier goals

  28. Dave says:

    I read the book when it was first published and slowly incorporated several of the ideas into my life i.e. aligning myself with a weak boss and making my work life very, very comfortable is one tactic that works. Seems to me that the book is good for people on both sides of the fence….if you despise the advice, read it to protect yourself against those who would use it against you. If you like the advice, use to to the best of your advantage. As the book says, life is a game and we don’t have the option to opt out of life. (Well, you do and its called suicide.) Better to be able to live life on your own terms than be abused by others more clever than you!

  29. Scott says:

    I find many of the negative comments perplexing. I for one have a strong moral compass and nothing I read will make that change. This book however provides an insight into the laws of power (whether or not some of the examples are sensationalized).

    Though these laws may be black and white and I agree often very amoral, nothing says you need to practice them 100%. I for one break Law 4 repeatedly (Always say less than necessary) but Greenes book alerts me to what can and in my life has happened as a result. Being aware causes me to pause.

    I also bought 33 Laws of War by Greene; that along with Sun Tzu’s The Art of War does not mean I will wage war against men or nations. I will simply learn and understand broad concepts based (at least in part) on history. If I can adapt some of the insights therein and work them into my morals, great. If not at least I will recognize what others are doing.

  30. glenn says:

    this book express the nature of the world system.
    these laws were used by popes and monks like the dali lama.any one who has something negative to say about the book, is not willing to look into the nature of self let alone humanity.no one does anything for the sake of just doing. they have motives that most are not willing to admit. all of life is about survival and you need power to navagate through what seems to be life.

  31. darhlyn says:

    i’m having this book as my book review in class and i didn’t know why i chose this book in the first place. it’s stressing me too much, i have this intrapersonal conflict. i sometimes agree to what robert greene is saying but on the other hand my morality is in question. well at least it stimulates my brain cells to think critically.

    anyways, this book is very much applicable in business and politics. i’m not suggesting to use the laws which are brutes (because some are) but instead to protect yourself from those who will use it against you. as written in the book that was said by machiavelli “any man who tries to be good all the time is bound to come to ruin among the great number who is not good”.

    for those people that has a strong moral inclination, i suggest not to read this book because you’ll end up hating it. while for those are open these kinds of ideas , this is a must read book.

  32. brian m says:

    Look how many posts about this book are just on this one website and all the different views and takes it inspires. I do not believe this book was literally intended to use as a manual for living life, but more as a insight into the “game” itself. I think viewing most situations and life in general as a “game” will help you to succeed. In some cases, opting not to play, is part of it (as someone has mentioned earlier here). However, in most cases I believe the “game” is happening whether you like it or not and the better you know the ins and outs and strategy of others, the more beneficial it will be for you in the end.

    Even if Robert Greene’s intentions for this book was to make it as a straight up guide for success, it is for each individual to decipher and use as it best fits your personal situations. If you are someone who simply reads anything and holds it to be the absolute truth is probably not wise enough to be reading this anyway. It amazes me the number of individuals who would simply disregard this book after reading through the initial laws. If nothing else I would want to keep reading to get an explanation of what is being presented to further understand that point of view and then be able to decide at the end if this is something I agree with, disagree with, or hold partly true. Also the readers who said this book is depressing is quite funny to me. If this book depresses you, maybe you are just living in a fantasy world and this is probably a little too deep for you to begin with. This is one of the first times I have ever written a blog/message board post of this sort but felt it was important to give additional insight on this book. If you gain absolutely nothing away after reading this (which would be almost impossible, in one way or another), it is a very intriguing read. Take what you will from it, but this is a must-read.

  33. Reginald says:

    Good book to read. Everyone needs to read this book who wants power!

  34. Hiral says:

    Judging by the posts on this site, I have come to the conclusion to purchase this book. The decision was based not on that fact that this book is supposed to dictate the way you live your life, but on how you can learn from the tactics that other people use to get ahead. Knowing everything about your enemy is different from stepping on your enemy to get ahead.

    You can still have self-respect in the morning by noticing the behaviors in other people that are described in this book as long as YOU choose not to act in the same manner.

    For those of you who choose not to live that way, I commend you. But why wouldn’t you at least give the book its integrity and see how others might cheat you. For that, it may make you a better person.

  35. Jose A. Rodriguez says:

    You obviously didn’t read this book well enough. You didn’t mention the reversals-when he warns to use a particular law sparingly or only in certain occasions. He didn’t advocate using the laws all the time or for every situation.

    Nonetheless, you are right. I do think that it’s a great book. At the very least, you’ll become familiar with the intricacies of some of these powerplays and hope to mount some sort of defense. At the very “worst,” you might use them to your benefit.

  36. Clarense says:

    Actually, it’s not so much Machiavelli whom Robert Greene borrows from but Baltasar Gracian.

  37. Finesse says:

    At the end of the day, were all playing a game called life. You might as well understand how people operate around you, even if you yourself choose not to use any of the laws. As stated by Robert Greeen and others here, even that’s a game. I’ve seen people use that “i’m better than thou” attitude and turn out to be worse than others. This is an extremely good book that draws on real history to prove that these laws really work.

  38. pawan says:

    I bought this book just to look out if there is any shortcut to success,in my case ‘studies’.at first felt being rude,cunning w’l make us to live agianst our moral.felt very depressing at once. but its quite convincing.well machiavelli’s principles aim directly being bad but greene’s collection being smart.it feels like studying psychology or may be it is.but its better to mindset before reading it.your self interpretation matters.

  39. Eric says:

    I am not naive; I understand that this book is very realistic in its detail about the way most people work. (I own a copy myself) But it is upsetting that there aren’t stronger people out there who won’t accept that this is the way life must be (judging by the comments in this blog post). I know Greene argues that claiming higher moral ground is a power tactic. Yes, it is. But that is not what I am writing; hear me out.

    The truth is, a world in which nobody can be trusted is a world not worth living in. Does anybody NOT agree? Even the very most powerful people are eventually swindled; kings can’t rule forever (unless they are righteous, and their kingdom is as well). So why do people WANT to live a life like this by embracing these dog-eat-dog tactics and promoting them to others (ironically, at the expense of themselves)? There are many people (usually religious) who avoid these tactics to the best of their ability (of course not all the time… nobody is perfect… and usually these people are taken advantage of by others who do use these tactics, unfortunately). But the truth is… these same people often only associate themselves with others of the same kind who don’t use these tactics. And these small-knit communities of like-minded people are usually very happy. And at the very LEAST, this is evidence that the world CAN be changed.

    It seems what has really happened is that we humans have given up on a better way of life. We’ve said it’s utterly impossible, so might as well join them. We had this idealistic mindset not too long ago… people were at least *trying*, and then we regressed because a few bad people spoiled the bunch. Now everybody is after each other; I don’t think corporate greed and corruption has ever been higher. Neither has crime, etc.

    Anyway, my point is we DON’T have to live like this, and I for one do not participate. (That does not mean I am better than you; hear me out. And I will stand up to / fight somebody who does). But whenever I think about acting completely amoral as this book suggests, it makes me sick to my stomach to think that I am participating in the very reason this world is such a terrible place.

    Unfortunately, it seems that I am in a very small minority in thinking… but I hope to eventually find others like me.

  40. Blackstone says:

    Eric, it’s a catch-22. For no matter what your personal feelings are on these definitive laws, your above text is just an example of using public unacceptance of the laws as a power tactic. by making yourself appear moral, above something powerful, different. Your personal feelings don’t affect the weather.

  41. Allen says:

    I bought this book years ago and only started reading it a few days ago. I find that a great deal goes against what I believe to be moral also.
    However I must admit that a few discrepencies I have had in my life were clearly outlined in some of his examples. And in changing my actions to accomadate a few points as to just how humans really seem to be, it has changed my life for the better.
    I did not by this book seeking power, I simply bought it seeking knowledge. It definately has lots of that to offer. I definately recommend reading this book.

  42. RK says:

    I have not read this book yet, nor have i really read too much in the past 10 years. But intend to start reading often by starting with this book. I’m going to assume most people hear are 40+ in age? Could be inaccurate but just a guess on the comments that were left. I think most of the older people hear have never experienced the ‘real world’ and the way people are now a days. I bet just about all of you don’t know what its like to have your own family turn on you. Or to have people say they are your best friends and how much they love you then the day after you have cops knocking on your door. And this is after you put your but on the line to keep them safe. Also to add I’m guessing none of you have taken the fall for ‘friends’ and lost something special because of it. Its the way people are now, times have changed from the good ol’ ‘back in the day’.

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