If you’ve never read or heard about the book, The 48 Laws of Power, written by Robert Greene, you should definitely check it out sometime. The book is about Machiavellianism, or high machs and can be viewed in two different ways.
It can be offensive, in which it has the ability to cause people to conjure up ideas on how to be a Machiavellian. Or it can be helpful by exposing machiavellians and protecting themselves against them.
Although most would think the book is how to be a Machiavellian, the latter is the main intention of the book.
As much as I want to get into detail about how awesome this book is, I’ll just keep it simple by saying it’s a phenomenally enlightening book, but can somewhat be dangerous to read.
In fact, it’s one of the most requested books in prison. Go figure!
I like to pick it up from time to time just to see if I’ve picked up any Machiavellian habits since I last read it so I know when to slow my roll. And I also think the stories are really historically fascinating. It will make you think, “Oh shit, these people were really fucking clever. They were deviant little bastards, but clever.” It may also make you think, “Damn, why are people so fucked up?”
In my opinion, I think The 48 Laws of Power is a dark version of Dale Carnegie’s How to Win Friends and Influence People. Both really great books to read and pretty much say the same thing but I like Robert’s book better because it’s less sugar coated and the stories are just intriguing.
Machiavellianism was named after Niccolo Machiavelli, but he himself was not a Machiavellian. He was actually the complete opposite. The majority of people during his time viewed him as a con but only few knew he was just an honest dude who was not trying to explain what “ought to be” but rather laying down the truth people can’t seem to handle (people are greedy, strive for power and only see what they want to see).
Machiavellianism = An iron fist inside a velvet glove