Bad apples, shit-stirrers and fifth-columnists. It only takes one to disrupt and destroy your power, but how can you spot and remove them before it’s too late?
Purging, banishment, shame and rebellion – Law 42 explores the enormous power of isolation and exile, but it’s frequently more complicated than it seems to put into practice. How can you keep people on side without pandering to their whims, and how can you dethrone a power-player without fostering an eventual counterstrike?
This episode we get controversial. We get into a tense debate about whether mercy can ever be a tool of power; why prison systems always undermine their own goals; and why democracy means representation, but not the rule of the people.
Jon’s got plenty of examples from authoritarian Russia, but just how distant are they from our own ‘democratic’ systems? He rants about why he left his union while simultaneously thinking unions are a Very Good Thing; Dre reveals his grand plan for redesigning government from the ground up, before promoting strike action… and saying he would’ve crushed Gandhi. Are you ready for this one?
This episode includes:
- Do events have their own momentum, or can we exert power over them?
- The power of exile
- How to identify and destroy the shit-stirrers
- Why punishment simply doesn’t work… except when it does
- Who should have political power?
- Making and breaking unions
- When to burn your bridges
Mentioned in the episode:
- Tom Hughes’s mission to write a whole book in one year Starts Here
- Max Weber and charisma
- Isaac Asimov’s Foundation Trilogy
- Chris Ryan’s podcast, Tangentially Speaking, and his book, Sex At Dawn
- Daniel Beer’s superb book, The House of the Dead: Siberian Exile Under the Tsars
- Our interview with Robert Colvile about The Great Acceleration in our lives
- The idea of ‘Working Towards The Führer’
Challenge: Push the negative person out of your group; don’t invite them to the party and see just how much of a better time everyone has. Allow others to realise the benefits of that person’s absence… and see their toxic power diminish. Let us know what happened next…!
Be silly. Be kind. Be weird.
Join us as we continue our 48 Laws of Power review, exploring Robert Greene’s provocative and compelling book, in which he lays bare the history, practice, psychology, and philosophies of power that ultimately shape all human relations. Often seen as a handbook for the ‘modern Machiavelli’, we take a closer look, beyond the hyperbole, and discuss how understanding and implementing these Laws can actually enrich your life personally, professionally and spiritually.
Jon and Dre aim to get to the heart of each of the Laws, grapple with their sometimes disturbingly amoral nature, and discuss what the Laws mean in everyday life (often revealing their own experiences – good and bad – when they’ve either observed or transgressed them).