The 48 Laws of Power - Deepstash

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Volume 1

LAW 1 - NEVER OUTSHINE THE MASTER

LAW 2 - NEVER PUT TOO MUCH TRUST IN FRIENDS, LEARN HOW TO USE ENEMIES

LAW 3 - CONCEAL YOUR INTENTIONS

LAW 4 - ALWAYS SAY LESS THAN NECESSARY

LAW 5 - SREPUTATION—GUARD IT WITH YOUR LIFE

LAW 6 - COURT ATTENTION AT ALL COST

LAW 7 - GET OTHERS TO DO THE WORK FOR YOU, BUT ALWAYS TAKE THE CREDIT

LAW 8 - MAKE OTHER PEOPLE COME TO YOU—USE BAIT IF NECESSARY

LAW 9 - WIN THROUGH YOUR ACTIONS, NEVER THROUGH ARGUMENT

LAW 10 - INFECTION: AVOID THE UNHAPPY AND UNLUCKY

LAW 11 - LEARN TO KEEP PEOPLE DEPENDENT ON YOU

LAW 12 - USE SELECTIVE HONESTY AND GENEROSITY TO DISARM YOUR VICTIM 

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632 reads

LAW 1

LAW 1

NEVER OUTSHINE THE MASTER

Always make those above you feel comfortably superior. In your desire to please and impress them, do not go too far in displaying your talents or you might accomplish the opposite—inspire fear and insecurity. Make your masters appear morebrilliant than they are and you will attain the heights of power.

186

701 reads

LAW 2

LAW 2

NEVER PUT TOO MUCH TRUST IN FRIENDS, LEARN HOW TO USE ENEMIES.

Be wary of friends—they will betray you more quickly, for they are easily aroused to envy. They also become spoiled and tyrannical. But hire a former enemy and he will be more loyal than a friend, because he has more to prove. In fact, you have more to fear from friends than from enemies. If you have no enemies, find a way to make them.

190

552 reads

To have a good enemy, choose a friend: He knows where tostrike.

DIANF DE POITIERS, 1499-1566, MISTRESS OF HENRI II OF FRANCE

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624 reads

LAW 3

LAW 3

CONCEAL YOUR INTENTIONS

Keep people of-balance and in the dark by never revealing the purpose behind your actions. If they have no clue what you are up to, they cannot prepare a defense. Guide them far enough down the wrong path, envelop them in enough smoke, and by the time they realize your intentions, it will be too late.

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482 reads

LAW 4

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 yousay, the more likely you are to say something foolish.

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432 reads

Oysters open completely when the moon is full; and when the crab sees one it throws a piece of stone or seaweed into it and the oyster cannot close again so that it serves the crab for meat. Such is the fate of him who opens his mouth too much and thereby puts himself at the mercy of the listener.

LEONARDO DA VINCI, 1452-1519

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358 reads

LAW 5

LAW 5

SO MUCH DEPENDS ON REPUTATION — GUARD IT WITH YOUR LIFE

Reputation is the cornerstone of power. Through reputationalone you can intimidate and win; once it slips, however, you are vulnerable, and will be attacked on all sides. Make your reputation unassailable. Always be alert to potential attacks and thwart them before they happen. Meanwhile, learn to destroy your enemies by opening holes in their own reputations. Then stand aside and let public opinion hang them.

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363 reads

LAW 6

LAW 6

COURT ATTENTION AT ALL COST

Everything is judged by its appearance; what is unseen counts for nothing. Never let yourself get lost in the crowd, then, or buried in oblivion. Stand out. Be conspicuous, at all cost. Make yourself a magnet of attention by appearing larger, more colorful, more mysterious than the bland and timid masses.

178

343 reads

It is easier to cope with a bad conscience than with a badreputation.

FRIEDRICH NIETZSCHE, 1844-1900

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356 reads

LAW 7

LAW 7

GET OTHERS TO DO THE WORK FOR YOU, BUT ALWAYS TAKE THE CREDIT

Use the wisdom, knowledge, and legwork of other people to further your own cause. Not only will such assistance save you valuable time and energy, it will give you a godlike aura of efficiency and speed. In the end your helpers will be forgotten and you will be remembered. Never do yourself what others can do for you.

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315 reads

LAW 8

MAKE OTHER PEOPLE COME TO YOU—USE BAIT IF NECESSARY

When you force the other person to act, you are the one in control. It is always better to make your opponent come to you, abandoning his own plans in the process. Lure him with fabulous gains—then attack. You hold the cards.

180

308 reads

When I have laid bait for deer,

I don’t shoot at the first doe that comes to snif ,

but wait until the whole herd has gathered round.

OTTO VON BISMARCK, 1815-1898

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260 reads

LAW 9

LAW 9

WIN THROUGH YOUR ACTIONS, NEVER THROUGH ARGUMENT

Any momentary triumph you think you have gained through argument is really a Pyrrhic victory: The resentment and ill will you stir up is stronger and lasts longer than any momentary change of opinion. It is much more powerful to get others to agree with you through your actions, without saying a word. Demonstrate, do not explicate.

182

277 reads

LAW 10

INFECTION: AVOID THE UNHAPPY AND UNLUCKY

You can die from someone else’s misery—emotional states are as infectious as diseases. You may feel you are helping the drowning man but you are only precipitating your own disaster. The unfortunate sometimes draw misfortune on themselves; they will also draw it on you. Associate with the happy and fortunate instead.

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266 reads

Thus a wise prince will think of ways to keep his citizens of every sort and under every circumstance dependent on the state and on him; and then they will always be trustworthy

NICCOLÒ MACHIAVELLI, 1469-1527

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236 reads

LAW 11

LAW 11

LEARN TO KEEP PEOPLE DEPENDENT ON YOU

To maintain your independence you must always be needed and wanted. The more you are relied on, the more freedom you have. Make people depend on you for their happiness and prosperity and you have nothing to fear. Never teach them enough so that they can do withoutyou.

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247 reads

LAW 12

LAW 12

USE SELECTIVE HONESTY AND GENEROSITY TO DISARM YOUR VICTIM

One sincere and honest move will cover over dozens of dishonest ones. Open-hearted gestures of honesty and generosity bring down the guard of even the most suspicious people. Once your selective honesty opens a hole in their armor, you can deceive and manipulate them at will.

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236 reads

Everything turns gray when I don’t have at least one mark on the horizon. Life then seems empty and depressing. I cannot understand honest men. They lead desperate lives, full of boredom.

COUNT VICTOR LUSTIG, 1890-1947

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204 reads

Next Volume

LAW 12 - USE SELECTIVE HONESTY ANDGENEROSITY TO DISARM YOUR VICTIM

LAW 13 - WHEN ASKING FOR HELP, APPEAL TO PEOPLE’S SELF-INTEREST

LAW 14 - POSE AS A FRIEND, WORK AS A SPY

LAW 15 - CRUSH YOUR ENEMY TOTALLY

LAW 16 - USE ABSENCE TO INCREASE RESPECT AND HONOR

LAW 17 - KEEP OTHERS IN SUSPENDED TERROR

LAW 18 - DO NOT BUILD FORTRESSES TO PROTECT YOURSELF

LAW 19 - KNOW WHO YOU’RE DEALING WITH

LAW 20 - DO NOT COMMIT TO ANYONE

LAW 21 - PLAY A SUCKER TO CATCH A SUCKER

LAW 22 - USE THE SURRENDER TACTIC

LAW 23 - CONCENTRATE YOUR FORCES

LAW 24 - PLAY THE PERFECT COURTIER

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221 reads

IDEAS CURATED BY

CURATOR'S NOTE

The most important of these skills, and power’s crucial foundation, is the ability to master your emotions.

Curious about different takes? Check out our The 48 Laws of Power Summary book page to explore multiple unique summaries written by Deepstash users.

Different Perspectives Curated by Others from The 48 Laws of Power

Curious about different takes? Check out our book page to explore multiple unique summaries written by Deepstash curators:

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