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Moral Critique of Law #6: The 48 Laws of Power

Updated on January 24, 2014

I read the 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 #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."

-Robert Greene, The 48 Laws of Power

The Good

There is a lot of good to be said for "standing out". Being recognized, especially for your accomplishments, can give you a confidence boost and also a good reputation that encourages others to respect you. If you can garner the attention of someone in a position to elevate your status, all the more good will come to you.

Having a stand out resume or a signature brand or image can be the difference between getting the job or career you want and just being another Joe Shmoe.

The Bad

Standing out is all well and good, but this "law" continuously insists that it must be "at all cost". Doing anything "at all cost" can never be a morally good thing. In this case, there are good and bad ways to garner attention. One could write a stand apart resume, one printed on pink paper such as in the movie "Legally Blonde" or one could perfom an act of mass violence or terror to get attention. You do not want that type of attention or notoriety, because that will definitely cause others to vilify you and ruin your life.

It can be easy to get carried away with this law. One can start out thinking "OK, I must get this person's attention." For example, a person may want to get the attention of the person to which they are attracted. However, if this leads the person to start stalking their person of interest, that will no yield the desired outcome.

The Key

The key to upholding this law without losing yourself is to think about what is legal and within the moral grounds of your own personal morality and the standards of the society in which you live. Also, think about what outcome you are trying to obtain. If your desired outcome is to get the job, your action should get the (positive) attention of the decision maker. So, you may want to bake cookies for this person, or develop a stand apart personal brand. Perhaps you could include some of your more interesting pursuits in your resume. However, dressing up in a gothic outfit to the interview would set you apart, but it definitely would not get you the job. So, take precaution in following this "law".

Did you read The 48 Laws of Power? What did you think about Law #6?

You can probably get this book on 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!


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