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Behave like others?! Doesn’t this contradict the very fabric of The 48 Laws of Power, a book designed to reveal the mechanistic, unreflective ways in which most people act and then give us the tools to escape the imaginary cage this seems to confine us in? How can we Create Compelling Spectacles or Keep Others In Suspended Terror without acting in ways markedly different from the norm?
But Law 38 is a complex affair, offering both a slap in the face to the idea of ‘just being yourself’ and expecting everything to work out, and simultaneously providing a nuanced way to retain your internal compass while navigating your way to greater power. It also vividly demonstrates why you shouldn’t go round telling everyone they should be reading The 48 Laws of Power – for reasons we explore in depth in our E-Book, The 48 Laws of Power in Practice, free for a limited time HERE.
As ever, we relate the Law to real life: it explains precisely where professional provocateur Milo Yiannopoulos went wrong this month in his comments about underage sex; how we can and must stay closely in touch with the spirit of the times before making our move, as we explored in Law 35; and how to deal with the friction we all feel around people who hold views to which we strongly object. In so doing, we debate the complexity of whether true-believers really live out their values, be that militant vegans or evangelical Christians, and what happens when logical models encounter real life thinking.
Jon’s made a career out of calling bullshit – but at what cost? And what of his tendency to cast his pearls before swine: why should we care at all what unimportant people think about us and our work? Dre recalls the times he’s been thrown out of teams and groups for not following this Law, and we contemplate how it’s possible to remain ourselves while being formless and flowing.
Is it truly to compromise your views if you keep quiet about them? And what about during times of authoritarian rule: can you be powerful if you’re silent, or powerful if you speak out? Jon reflects on the experience of being gay in Putin’s Russia and how he did – or should have – acted there.
And we sign off with the least-well advised invitation ever. Hit subscribe and let’s get going!
This episode includes:
- When and how to keep your cards close to your chest
- Tying your beliefs into your identity
- How the brain constantly creates a simulation of reality and how this must impact on how we make decisions
- Congruent people – are they powerful or not?
- The power of the Campanella Method
- The dangers of ‘tunnelling’
- Casting your pearls before swine
- Pushing beyond your comfort-group: the virtues of spending time with people whose views you dislike
- How to avoid hypocrisy while being all things to all people
Mentioned in the episode:
- Jesse Bering’s book, Perv: The Sexual Deviant in All of Us
- Robert Colvile’s The Great Acceleration – check out our Exclusive Interview with Robert
- Robert Greene’s book, Mastery
- Darwin’s The Origin of Species
- The ever-disturbing, BoJack the Horseman
Challenge: Adopt the Campanella Method: give voice to a view you don’t hold in front of those who hold it… but in a way that deftly highlights its flaws. What happened next? Let us know!
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).