The 48 Laws of Power

I’ve recently concluded the book The 48 Laws of Power (Robert Greene, 452 pages). It was an interesting reading, and one can easily see why it is a bestseller.

To start with, this is not an average book, in the sense that it does not appeal to good moral principles and politically correct arguments. It’s almost the opposite. The author argues that power struggle is an essential part of the human experience. No way around it. Therefore, one must study examples of the past, in situations that can allow us to understand how some people acquired and maintained positions of power over their pairs.

Of course, the main assumption behind the book – that power struggle is always innevitable – can be discussed. Since most of the examples used draw on historical figures and events happening typically centuries ago, one must argue that we currently are much better than that, in our (mostly) democratic world, where old courts almost ceased to exist, or do not exert much power anymore, for those that survived.

However, it is also true that there is a multitude of organizations out there nowadays which, being for profit or not, are mostly controlled by a small number of persons. So that the courtisan experience is still a valid source of inspiration for those aiming at raising the ranks inside different organizations.

In any case, I enjoyed the book because of its historical examples, which I found mostly entertaining. In addition, it is clear that one cannot make «laws» out from few examples. At least not when we think rationally about it. And it is also the case that some of the book «laws» actually contradict others. Nevertheless, I still found the text convincing and interesting to follow.

To conclude, this is a recommendable book, that can be amusing either you take it seriously or just as anecdotal way of looking at some human interactions and disputes we all can relate to.

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