ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel
  • »
  • Books, Literature, and Writing»
  • Books & Novels

Moral Critique of Law #2: The 48 Laws of Power

Updated on January 24, 2014
Source

I read the book The 48 Laws of Power out of a curiosity and a hunger for something greater for myself. What I found was a book that could be seen as ruthless and manipulative in it's principles. I have decided to write a series of critiques of each of the laws. I will discuss the good and the bad of the law as well as a key that I've found to upholding the law without losing your morality.

Now, I will discuss 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."

-Robert Greene, The 48 Laws of Power

The Good

Finding the good in this law is rather difficult. On face value this law sounds very manipulative and coniving. How can one feel comfortable using their friends and allies as chess pieces? However, there is a redemptive quality hidden within. If you thorougly read the chapter on this law you will see the author speak in detail about human behavior. Often times when a friend becomes rich, powerful and/or successful, those closest to him become his biggest problem. They are the ones who often become jealous or antagonistic. They often feel like since they "know" him they can take certain liberties. Often times friends fall into two categories: yes men and jokesters. Either way, they are not the type of people you want to surround yourself with when doing business.

Your enemies, on the other hand, walk on egg shells around you. They wouldn't dare over step their boundaries with you for fear that you may be watching and waiting to strike against them. In this way, the law is a helpful tool in business and politics.

The Bad

I have said that the law is a helpful tool in business and politics, but I must say that in general every day life, you may not want to live this way. That is why it is called the "48 Laws of Power". Power is a force with which you use to control people. For power to be had by someone, there must be others who are subject to them. In everyday life, most people are just interested in living their life and having fun. This is not a fun way to live. To use your friends like pawns and control your enemies like puppets is a terribly lonely lifestyle, because with this as your mantra who exactly do you confide in? Not your friends, because you can't "trust" them. Your enemies? Of course not! Essentially this law seems to be saying that you can't have "friends". Friends are people you have fun with. You are silly with. There is no silly in the game of power apparently.

The Key

The key is to find the balance. If you are indeed hungry for power, you have to work hard for it. It is not a simple matter of, I want this. I have this. It's mine. You will have to work hard to maintain it. This requires making certain sacrifices. So, the key is to know that power is not for everyone and also to know that you can duck out and live a normal life at any time.

Another key is to finding the balance in understanding the importance of boundaries. Don't tell your friends things that are too "heavy". That is to say, save your "heavy" information for your advisors and those whose "job" it is to handle that. Don't trust your friends with financial information and other important things. Save them for parties and good times. This is a great opportunity for you to practice boundary control which is important to EVERYONE. Not just the powerful. Also, making your enemies in-debted to you is not manipulative. It's smart! It's better than making them even more angry and eventually causing them to lash out at you. It's actually many times more humane than the alternative. So, it's all in the way you look at it.


Have you read The 48 Laws of Power? What did you think of Law #2?

You can probably get this book on Amazon.com for less than $15 or bid on it on eBay, but read it with a compassionate heart and watch the Laws of Power work magic in your business, relationship and life! Then, join the conversation in the comment box below!

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: "https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr"

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)