Tuesday, July 29, 2008
So, it's to no surprise that one of the laws of power involves shaking things up a bit. Spontaneity, imagination, originality, capriciousness. These are all things that welcome power in a person. How do you think did Bobby Fischer beat Boris Spassky for the World Chess Championship? Certainly not by subscribing to a single strategy, because Spassky was an anticipator; he bases his strategy on his opponent's. Fischer understood this, and knew then on that the way to beat Spassky was to be spontaneous. How can a reactive opponent beat you when there's nothing to react upon?
But one must be careful. As Aristotle will lecture us about the virtue of the mean, anything in excess will always be wrong. Become too spontaneous and you may be mistaken to be indecisive or worse, mentally ill. That's what we get for living in a society bereft of imagination, after all. In lieu of things we do not understand, we turn to the expert positivists to provide an immediate answer.
The point is this: People today have a need to understand things. In a way, that's the only thing they worry about. Somehow, we have all come to this illusion of positivism (that everything has a purpose). People today need to KNOW, otherwise they panic. And when they panic, it's people like Bobby Fischer who suddenly shine, because they know that there are certain things that just need to be DONE.
It's a lot like what the Joker mentions to Harvey Dent in the hospital. "Introduce a little Anarchy". In a way, the Joker is an embodiment of the 17th law of power. Because of his volatile nature, his unpredictability, and his lack of a true "nature", the Batman could never anticipate the Joker's next move, because the Batman was someone who deduced someone's nature or purpose first, then acted. Meanwhile, the Joker simply wanted to see the world burn.
"See, this is what happens when an unstoppable force meets an immovable object."
Leiron Conrad T. Martija
Do not let other people see the sweat and hard work you have put in a specific task. Some people believe that such an exposure will be proof of their greatness, but this action really entails the weakness of the person. This will only make other people realize that what you have accomplished is something that they, too, can do. Keeping your clever tricks under wraps will make you very admirably, if not godly. "Keep your effort and your tricks to yourself and you seem to have the grace and ease of a god. One never sees the source of a god's power revealed; one only sees its effects."
In my opinion, it is a demonstration of a very Filipino trait when we expose to others the hard work that we had exerted into a specific task. We need so much the recognition of our peers, for us to be well-known and renowned for something that we had done. But such an action could lead to our very own downfall, or our seeming "not powerful" at all--this will result into other people knowing what we are capable of doing, and this will entail their knowing of what they can do as well. With such an event, our hopes of seeming powerful in our own right has its sole purpose defeated.
As a student, which do you prefer: revealing everything you're capable of doing, as well as all the hard work that you have so exerted in the hopes of completing them? Or do you prefer to just "hide" behind an air of mystery that will just make other people want to anticipate what your next action will be? :)
*end of blog entry*
Kiara Faye B. Lagrisola
But then again, powerful people are STILL people. Therefore, they definitely aren’t excluded from major lapses of judgment which, if revealed to the public, would easily lead to the downfall of a once powerful people.
Don’t fret, people. There is a way to keep an untarnished and God-like reputation even if we all make mistakes. It’s just as simple as using others to your advantage, making them your scapegoats and cat’s paws.
Before we move on, let us first define what scapegoats and cat’s paws are. Scapegoats are people to whom the blame is given to whenever you commit a mistake. On the other hand, cat’s paws are people who are manipulated to do the dirty work, just so you would still be the kind and peaceful ruler of the people.
One of the people who used the tactic of using people as cat’s paws is Cleopatra, probably the most famous ruler of Egypt. Contrary to popular thought, Cleopatra didn’t really seduce both Julius Caesar and Marc Antony. Instead, she cleverly manipulated the two men to her advantage, making them her cat’s paws. Her seductive charms may have been part of the package, but her wit eventually made her achieve what she wanted.
This tactic may be a useful tool, but, when overused, will have negative repercussions on you. Remember, subtlety is key. As cliché as it may seem, anything in excess is bad. Therefore, we have to remember that apology is the best way to go at times, don’t you think?
Jose Antonio Lopez
The sixteenth Law of Power emphasizes the use of absence to increase respect and honor. When a person has become too present, feelings of suffocation may arise, as in a relationship. Constantly being around stifles the imagination and excitement—there is no room to grow, nothing new to look forward to. Your loved one knowing everything about you early in the relationship might not be something to be happy about. What do you think? If so, how should one go about a relationship then?
This law also states that value can be created through scarcity. A rare jewel is priceless because of the fact that it is difficult to obtain. It’s the same with people. When one is constantly around, he becomes common, even something to resent.
However, one does not create absence at just anytime. This law can only be successfully realized when one’s presence has already been established. After all, you can’t miss something you don’t even know about, right? Deioces of Medea had realized this by first making a name for himself as an honorable, wise and just judge. It was at the height of his power that he completely withdrew from the justice scene. He made himself scarce, and because his skills were suddenly no longer available to people, they came begging for his rule. Had he withdrawn himself sooner, he would have only been forgotten, even resented. But what happens after that? What ways can you think of to keep interest or respect after the whole disappearing act?
There is an art of knowing when to retire. Observance of this law is like creating a kind of death before death and a kind of resurrection upon return. Establish your presence then, to avoid becoming someone common or taken for granted, know when to withdraw.
Yay, or nay? What are your thoughts? :D
<3 Patty Geollegue
Finding one's weakness is easier said than done however. Everyone develops a psychological defense as they grow up to cover-up their weak points. It would take sly tactics and a strong set of nerves to break that defense.
Carefully examining the unconscious signals sent by your enemy is vital in finding a weak point. Pay attention to your victim's actions and see if anything can be used to your advantage. If your foe is an emotionless rock and doesn't give anything away, pretend to open up to him or her and hope that he or she opens up to you. Remember that most weaknesses develop during childhood, so try to go as far back as possible when talking to your victim.
When dealing with a group of people, make sure to go for the weakest member first, or as most call it: the weak link. Again, search for any insecurities or uncontrollable fear, and take advantage of it.
The trickery an art dealer named Joseph Duveen performed is a perfect example for this law. There was this humble woman named Arabella Huntington who was branded as a gold digger for marrying a very wealthy man. Realizing her insecurity for being wrongly perceived by society, he began courting her and getting to know her for who she really is. She loved the way Duveen treated her, so when her husband eventually passed away and left her all his riches, she used the money to buy his paintings. Duveen's plan worked perfectly. Instead of simply selling her his paintings right away, he first found her soft spot then capitalized on it.
Now before you run off and begin looking for your nemesis' thumbscrew, remember that you're doing this for power, not for the pleasure of toying with your enemy. Danger lies in losing control when pushing the wrong buttons.
So... What's your weakness? I'll tell you mine if you tell me yours!
There are three ways to gather or spy for information. One of which is to pretend to have a friendly front and do the spying while having the friendship. One has to suppress the intentions so the other does not doubt nor notice something weird through the duration of the relationship. If done successfully, you will have not only gain access to information; you will gain allies as well. Talleyrand, a French politician, practiced this method. He has a way of getting secrets out of people in conversations. He has the talent of hiding his thoughts and plans while making others talk about themselves and their secrets.
Another way to gather information is to have others spy for you. For this method, it is best to get people who are close to the person you are spying on and pay them to spy for you. This powerful tool can backfire when the person you are paying to spy might reveal your spying and double-cross you. In 1944, the Germans felt the reversal effect against the English when they were bombing wrong targets. The Germans relied on their spies they planted in England but the agents have been discovered and that the English-controlled agents were giving them false and deceptive information to test people. Chosroes II, king of the Persians in the seventh-century, gave a fake secret to his courtiers. If he noticed that the courtiers have been acting differently after knowing the secret, he would know the secret has been revealed and told. He then banished both courtiers for disloyalty and distrust.
With this law, you should ask yourself, if you are a true friend. Do you trust your friends? Do you think your friends trust you? Are you keeping secrets from the people around you? Why is this so?
What if you can read minds? Will you use it to check if what they say is true? Will you read the minds of your friends, family, loved ones and enemies to your advantage?
-Juan Luis A. Faylon, HI 18-N
–-Richard M. Nixon1
HI 18 N
Sunday, July 27, 2008
In events, decisions and actions man must know what limits he has. To limit what outcome he would want to achieve and understand what things may happen, both desired and undesired outcomes. Man must be able to look at both of these occurrences to be able to respond properly or act accordingly to them. For if an undesired outcome occurs and he fails to comprehend in time, act accordingly to the situation or think of the possible solutions to it he would most definitely fail in which he has planned for.
Planning to the very end does not only mean to think of it and simply have hopes for it. Planning does not only involve seeing the desired outcome but also the steps in which one must take to get to it. To plan would be the processing of an action towards a purpose. A purpose or goal or dream or desire to achieve whatever it is one wants. In order for man to do that he must plan for it in all aspects.
Man must desire something concrete something that when man has achieved, he would be satisfied. It is not so much to say that man must dream or aspire for little, but man must aspire for what he knows he can do and he will be willing to do. Bismarck of Germany aspired and planned for what he knew he would be willing to do and what he knew he was capable of doing. He planned on uniting Germany and that is exactly just what he did. He did not get lost in his pride which most men have fallen to when they accomplish something. This is when, when man achieves something, he shall aim for the next bigger thing. This may become what we may call hubris that has led to the down fall of many great men.
Ram C Hidalgo
Golden Rule: “Always make those above you feel comfortably superior and brilliant”
1.) Always flatter, compliment and praise your master discreetly.
***Be careful of overdoing this since the master could eventually sense your deceitfulness
Make it seem that you need his/her help. Intentionally commit harmless mistakes which would enable you to ask for his/her assistance.
Make it seem that he/she is the ultimate source of your amusement and laughter.
2.) Keep in mind that you can unintentionally outshine a master by merely being your charming, pleasant, charismatic and graceful self. Do not go too far in displaying your talents – you might cause and draw insecurities and fear from the master. Learn effective strategies so that they would not be insecure of your exceptional qualities.
3.) If the master already respects you and treats you as a special person, do not think that you can already do anything you want. Have a sense of your limits.
4.) If the superior is already on the process of falling, do not be afraid of surpassing him. You don’t have to be merciful. Hasten his/her downfall. Estimate his power and from there, find ways to outwit him. But, if the master is already very weak, do not do anything, be patient, and let nature take its course.
Following the observance of Galileo:
Galileo, an astronomer and mathematician in the 1600s, gained support for his researches by following Law 1. He used his discovery of the 4 moons of Jupiter as a tool for honouring the Medicis’ greatness. First he made Jupiter, the mightiest of the gods, as the Medici symbol. Furthermore, he connected the reign of the Medicis to the shining and the ascending of the stars. He told them that Cosimo I was like Jupiter and his 4 brothers were the moons which were revolving around him. Because the family was greatly pleased with what they heard from Galileo, they made him his official court philosopher and mathematician with a full salary.
Avoiding the mistake of Fouqet:
After the death of the prime minister of France in 1661, Nicolas Fouqet expected to be the successor. In order to assure his victory among the others, he planned suck up to King Louis XIV by honouring him as a guest in his extravagant party. Unfortunately, his plan backfired. His huge palace, money, popularity and magnificence intimidated the King and caused him to be insecure. As a result, the King framed him. Fouqet was arrested the next day and was accused for stealing from the country’s treasury. In the end, he was found guilty by the court and spent the rest of his life imprisoned.
Explanation and basis of Golden Rule and Reminders:
Masters and superiors often want to be the center of all attention. They want to be seen as more brilliant, intelligent, creative and powerful than others. Obviously, they always want to have a great reputation. More often than not, they want to have control and supremacy over their followers. Moreover, they want to be glorified all the time.
Of course, even masters have insecurities. People can’t help to be envious and resentful on the things don’t possess. As for these superiors, they always want to have a sense security in their position and qualities.
It is in the course of nature that power will eventually fade. I am sure that you will in the future be in the shoes and exceed the powers of your master. When the time comes…..
Remember that with great power. comes great responsibility.
2 BS MGT-H
History 18 Section N
Just as a crown creates an aura around a king, if you believe that you are a king, this belief will radiate outward and will affect people. This belief will then make people think that you have some kind of reason to feel so confident like a king with no limits on what he can ask or accomplish. This same strategy was also used by the famous and “noble” explorer named Christopher Columbus to finance his explorations.
According to the biography written by Columbus’ son, their family was of noble lineage that even traces back to Constantinople. However none of this illustrious background is true. Columbus made up his own background just to raise his social rank and meet the kings and nobles who would potentially help him in his explorations. Eventually with the help of queen Isabella of Spain, Columbus was able to start his journey.
Now, how could a son of a cheese vendor who knew nothing of navigation was able to persuade the queen of Spain to start his own voyage across the sea? Well, for one thing Columbus is good at the way he carries himself. With the way he projected his confidence, he was able to charm the nobles thinking that Columbus is also a noble.
However, this is only half and of the whole process. You may have the confidence of a king, but do you have the ability to support it? In the end, if you fail, you will end up much less of a man you originally were. If you treat yourself as a king even if you’re not, then you’re a king, wielding a double edged sword.
A good example of this is the Trojan horse in the Trojan war. The Trojans thought that they were the winner because they saw the Greek's ships sail away. Also, there was a big wooden horse left behind by the Greeks. The Trojans, believing that the wooden horse was some sort of peace offering to them, took it into the city. Well, we all know what happens next. By the time night fell, the Greeks sneaked out of the wooden horse and killed the unprepared Trojans. Thus ends the Trojan war.
Because the Trojans believed that the Greeks gave up, they were not cautious in bringing the wooden horse to the city. They let their guards down, and the Greeks used this opportunity to attack the city.
Law 21 can also work in reverse. Sometimes showing a display of intelligence can be used to cover up a deception. For example:
There was this art dealer art dealer named Joseph Duveen who sold a Durer painting for a large sum of money. He attended the soiree of the man he sold the painting to, and there was an art critic who believed that the painting was a fake. When the critic told this to Mr. Duveen, the latter merely laughed and said in a confident tone, "How very amusing. Do you realize, young man, that at least twenty other art experts here and in Europe had been taken in too, and have said that painting isn't genuine? And now you've made the same mistake." Because of Mr. Duveen's impressive show of confidence and authority, the critic felt intimidated and backed down. In truth, Mr. Duveen himself is not sure whether the painting is authentic or not. However, since he is the seller, his priorities would be to sell the painting, and to convince other people that the painting is genuine. This shows us how pretending to be knowledgeable in a matter can become an asset, as long as it is convincing.
That being said, what are your opinions about this law? Have you ever tried it before? Do you think using such tactics is okay?
LEARN TO GIVE, OR SO THEY THINK.
This key to power was used in Ancient China and was called “giving before you take”. Just taking something from someone is dangerous. It is also dangerous to simple ask for what you need so you “give before you take” because the giving makes it hard for your victim to notice the taking. It distracts them, softens their ground and gives you the time and space to make your attack.
HELLO, I WANT TO (TAKE YOUR MONEY) BE YOUR FRIEND J
This law of power will work best on your first encounter with your victim. First impressions last so if someone believes you are honest at the start, they won’t readily think otherwise. But a single act of honesty is often not enough. You have to build a reputation of honesty through series of acts. Once this reputation is established, it’s going to be hard to shake.
IMAGE: THE TROJAN HORSE
…your guile is hidden inside a magnificent gift that proves irresistible to your opponent. Once inside, WREAK HAVOOOC!
We all know the story. Over 3 thousand years ago, the ancient Greek traveled across the sea to recapture Helen and to destroy Troy. The war lasted ten years but no one had come close to victory. Then the clever Greek leader, Odysseus came up with the idea of building a giant wooden horse, hiding their men inside it, then offering it to the Trojans as a gift. Once inside the Trojan army, they attacked. The trick was successful and Troy fell. *evil laugh*
PRACTICE WITH CAUTION
This tactic must be done with caution. If your victim sees through it, they will be disappointed and their feelings of gratitude will turn into violent hatred. If you cant make your act seem sincere and heartfelt, try a different law of power.
Ena Escañan HI18-N
II – BFA ID
Oftentimes, we do things just because we want to, or maybe because we are too carried away by the moment. If we achieve what we want, it’s just luck. If not, then you know you have more to learn.
There’s always a right time for everything. Knowing when to act is equally important as knowing how to act. Just like Joseph Fouche, the French commoner-turned-revolutionary, it took him almost 30 years from being a school teacher to a revolutionary, from being a moderate to a radical and back to being a radical, from siding with Napoleon to siding with the next government and back to serving Napoleon, all done with perfect timing. The upshot? He was able to remain safe and at most times, in power, amidst this great turmoil caused by political instability in French history.
And the lesson? Be patient at the same time, be sensitive to time while waiting for the right moment, and know how to act according to the spirit of the times or the trend. Yet be careful not to wait too long, don’t be afraid to take your chance when the time is ripe, and respond before getting yourself drowned on a sinking ship!
We must learn to manipulate time and play tricks with it, and not the other way around.
What about the tricks?
1. Never do things against the clock.
Always give yourself ample amount of time. Rushing will only make you look unprofessional, and more importantly, you’ll make with stupid decisions.
2. Never panic when you’re given insufficient time.
Panicking will only make things worse. It might create more problems requiring fixing, and you’ll end up using up more time. While fluttering will only reveal your anxiety to your enemies, making them more confident.
3. Upset the timing of others.
Make them hurry and lose their pace, make them wait and lose their perception of time. Magicians are experts of this trick. They alter our perception of time by slowing down the pace. They intentionally move slowly to create the illusion of speed, making people think the rabbit has appeared instantaneously.
Time is irreplaceable, once gone, forever lost. Know how to play the tricks and be the Most Valuable Player in the game of time.
II AB MEC
HI 18 - Section N
Thursday, July 24, 2008
A simple analysis of this can be made using a theory of Jean Jacques Rousseau which states, “Man by nature is good.” A study of this was made in the United States; the situation was as follows: a group of more than 10 people, of both genders and varying age groups, were placed in a room together and observed. The experiment gave the impression of man having the nature to help others when capable to do so, without any immediate or noticeable ill-effects.
Taking this given into account, the likelihood of getting “drown in another’s misfortune” is brought to light. This usually starts out with helping the other person and getting so engrossed in it without achieving much change for them that you end up using too much resource bringing you to a similar situation or worse than the person you intended to help.
So does not this law, then seem very inhumane; dictating you to leave others in need when you might have the capability to help? Those deemed unlucky and unfortunate would forever remain that way with nobody to help sort out their problems.
I believe a realistic application of this law would go something along the lines of ‘avoiding the unlucky and unfortunate, whose condition has been caused directly by them’. I see no harm in trying to help those in need when they really have no ability or resource to get them out of such situations; as for those others, their misfortune has themselves as the culprit. Helping out such people will really drag you down; since in a way you are helping the source of their problems, in such cases only they can solve the misfortunes they face.
This law gives a very realistic reason for not helping others who’s undoing have been caused by their own actions. Doing so will only entail upon you the burden they are carrying. Better to place yourself with others in good fortune to maintain a positive aura.
Wednesday, July 23, 2008
Law #37 answers this question. It states that striking imagery and grand symbolic gestures create the aura of power—everyone responds to them.
Diane de Poitier, wife of King Henri II of France knew perfectly well this law. In order to maintain her grandeur as the queen, she took the symbol of a goddess very much close to her own name, Diana, the Roman Goddess of hunting. By doing so, she was able to establish a very close relationship with the King because every time the king would hunt, which is his favorite past time, he would remember Diana who would guide him in his hunting and, eventually, to his own queen Diane, who took the symbol of Diana as her own. More than that, choosing the symbol of the roman goddess, Queen Dianne also associated herself to chastity and purity, which are some dominant characteristics of Diana. So every time the people would see the queen, what they will picture in mind is not the queen herself but the image of Diana, the faithful, the pure goddess. Therefore in the end, because of the symbol she associated with herself, Queen Diane was able to gain attention and respect, not just from the people but more than that to the King Henri II himself, thus her more power than before.
So now, why does religion create aura of power? From what we have learned from Queen Diane, the most probable answer is that, religion uses and has a lot of symbolisms. Christianity has the cross, Islam has the crescent, Buddhism has the Buddha and many more.
Every time we see the cross for example (which we will always see not just in churches but to many other places especially that we are here in the Philippines), we will be reminded that God id watching you, that Christianity is there, that Christianity is omnipresent, therefore Christianity is powerful.
To maintain your aura of power, take your own symbol and rule!
2 BS ECE
Hi 18 O
One word: Focus.
F - Find your FORTE
It's a matter of locating and harnessing one's skill; therefore, having the consciousness of succeeding and the notion of excellence within the self. For instance, the book retells the fable of the horse and the goose wherein the latter brags about its ability to manipulate three elements: land, water and air in favor of its mobility while the horse only has the capability to move upon terrestrial domain. The horse makes a very interesting argument in the story; it claims that although he could only move on solid ground, no other creature can glide as gracefully as it can. In contrast, the goose could not locate its forte amidst its multiple capabilities. Sure, it can move through these three mediums, but it doesn't resemble the superiority of a fish, a bird, or a horse in doing so. The goose, therefore, is an epitome of the mockery of the multiple abilities combined. Simply put, if one cannot find his forte, there is no precision and accuracy in achieving his goal – and is least likely to succeed.
O – Override others by attacking their weakness
The concentration of power does not only require an understanding of oneself, but also an analysis of the enemy. Greene encourages us to locate the enemy's fragile spot and start the relentless assault through this point. In fact, Napoleon's secret of success on the battlefield was to concentrate his potential in order to penetrate his opponent's weaknesses (174). Doing this, one could obliterate his enemies easily, for the distracted person's mindset is upon elongation. This precisely happened to the kingdom of Wu. Their emperor, distracted by his desire to extend his territory, exposed their weakness in specific regions, because the concentration of military power was no longer present. The diffusion of forces disabled them in having control over their vast territory and caused the entrance of the barbaric Yueh army, which later dominated their kingdom. Hence, not only does expansion reveal one's weaknesses, it also makes one an easier target.
C – Converge your strength within your clan
The essence of concentrating one's forces is safeguarding his skill and passing it on to further generations. Preservation is the key term here. Specifically, this is the dogma of Mayer Amschel in making his banking company in Germany flourish. He was the first of the Rothschilds to accumulate wealth by lending money in Frankfurt. He preserved their culture by not trusting anyone other than his own family and close relatives. As a result, he was able to perpetuate his techniques only to his kin – this is very advantageous for he disclosed his secrets only to people he shares blood with, lessening the chances of betrayal. It is evident that the notion of kinship and blood is vital in this aspect. They even take it into an extreme level wherein they selected spouses within their family only (e.g. James, Mayer Amschel's son, married his brother's daughter.) All in all, concentration is valuable in realizing power.
U – Undertake intensity rather than extensity
A person must be aware that intensity is most advantageous in acquiring power. Relating this to the earlier example of the goose and the horse, the latter was more concentrated and more perfect in his mobility; therefore, it is more effective in achieving a goal. The Rothschild family also illustrated this idea when they concentrated their business inside the ghetto, since it was forbidden for Jews to mingle outside it. They centered their forces and waited for it to flourish before expanding their territory. Besides, expanding their territory posed threats of division and dissention among their family. As Baltasar Gracian said, “perfection sides with quality, not quantity.”
S – Sustain an idea of single-mindedness
Of course, perseverance is critical to single-mindedness. One must not only be able to keep one goal in mind, but also sustain and prolong his concentration to it. Therefore, he is able to save precious time and energy in is quest of attaining an objective.
Having trouble in possessing power? Again, focus.
Marie Adoracion P. Dacquel
II AB POS HI18 – O
By playing the seller, being uncertain, and being unpredictable, I got the seller to lower his price. By being unpredictable, the seller rushed to change his price to strike up a deal. In other words and in other cases, we see that nothing is more terrifying than the sudden and unpredictable.
This law simply states that unpredictability keeps others in suspended terror. People fear things or situations where they do not know what to expect. During the American Civil War in 1862, A general with a small army continually defeated armies of larger size. He did this by moving back and forth from one place to another and back. This inexplicable move confused the general of the larger army, delaying his tactics, and giving the general with the smaller army time to send in for reinforcements. The general of that small army, General Stonewall Jackson, then said, “Always mystify, mislead, and surprise the enemy, if possible. Such tactics will win every time and a small army may thus destroy a large one.”
To strike fear and to weaken an opponent, lead them to try to predict your way, and then strike the other way.
The perfect way to rule is simply to seem imperfect. Simple? Not really, since it is a person’s nature to bask his self in fame, glory and success. But what could perfection seem to do to a person? People can never be satisfied with themselves. That’s why seeing other people reach the top, whether naturally or by sheer luck, makes the Green Demon in them grow. Why do you think Blair Waldorf is struggling with her status as Queen Bee in the show Gossip Girl? Girls just HAVE to be a part of her clique, or rather, dethrone her.
Take for example Sir Walter Raleigh, Queen Elizabeth’s favorite, who was considered “perfect” in all aspects. Anyone can gain money and power, but superior intelligence, good looks and charm was what he had from the beginning. Because of this supremacy and power he attained from being himself, people from the opposition never stopped trying to bring him down. Eventually, Raleigh was accused of treason, facing imprisonment and then execution. Where did he go wrong? He was a master of almost all trades from the sciences to poetry to business and just plain all-around charm. This “perfection” made him think he gained friends, when in fact, he actually made silent enemies. Being naïve to this caused his downfall, as he became vulnerable to the evil lurking around him, more commonly known as Envy.
So, how should powerful people deal with this? For one, do not to make the inferior feel like charity like what the famous playwright Joe Orton did to his lover, Kenneth Halliwell. Orton decided to put up a gallery for Halliwell to help him, but this only caused Halliwell to feel worse. From what started as a loving relationship turned into a competitive one. Orton was bludgeoned to death by Halliwell due to extreme inferiority and pressure.
Second, like the great banker Cosimo de’ Medici, don’t flaunt wealth or power. He reflected this through his home, keeping it plain and simple on the outside, but grand and luxurious on the inside. He understood from the beginning how envy works in a democratic society, so he made a play of appearances. It’s not about suffocating greatness. Instead, play with how one appears to the people.
Third, make your position of power seem like a burden. George Washington made this strategy evident by first, refusing the position of Commander-In-Chief of the American army. Second, by resisting presidency. This made him more popular than ever. How can people envy you when they themselves have given you that power? The last and the most extreme strategy of all is to actually flaunt what one has, as long as he/she is in an unimpeachable place of power, like Michelangelo. He had a god-like talent in art and his enemy wanted to bring him down. Instead, he took on every challenge his competitor had for him, and succeeded. Since talent can’t actually be revoked, his competitor drowned in envy.
We can’t help but adore those celebrities we see on the red carpet. But we’re also twice as glad to hear about the downfalls and flaws of great people, as it gives us a reassurance that these people aren’t gods. We’re all just human beings, after all.
We all know that nobody’s perfect, though, so why become envious? Does the play of appearance mean living a lie? Is living the truth, being naturally great, a sin?
First of all, what is a courtier? A courtier is a person who attends the court of a monarch, or other powerful person. And since, historically, the court was the centre of the government, we can well imagine how significant a court is. Though, being a courtier was a dangerous game. In the past, courtiers did what their masters did. When the master falls of a horse, they, too, are expected to fall of their horses. Mimicry like this one appeared in courts all over the world. But even more dangerous is displeasing the ruler or master. One false move by the courtier, and they are sentenced to death or exile. A successful courtier knew how to be pleasing, but not too much, obeying, but somehow standing out among other courtiers, but never so outstanding that it makes the ruler insecure.
There are several laws of court politics:
1. Avoid Ostentation
Do not talk about your deeds too much because this will attract attention and suspicion. Be careful when talking about your own achievements, and always talk less about yourself. Modesty is a great asset.
2. Practice Nonchalance
Do not appear to be working so hard. Make it seem that your talent is flowing naturally, and you achieve things because they are natural to you, not because you worked hard. Be graceful in achieving your accomplishments.
3. Be Frugal with Flattery
Those that are in a higher position than you never seem to get enough flattery, but be careful, because too much of a good thing loses its value. Also, this might cause suspicion among other people.
4. Arrange to be Noticed
This law is actually a paradox. You cannot boast yourself around, yet you have to be noticed. This is done by paying attention to your own physical appearance, and then, find a way to create a distinctive, yet subtle, style.
5. Alter Your Style and Language According to the Person You Are dealing With
Whenever speaking with different levels of people, you must change your style to suit each person. When talking to a teacher, for example, you need to exercise politeness. On the other hand, you talk normally when with your peers. This is not lying, it is acting, and acting is an art. Learn the art.
6. Never Be the Bearer of Bad News
You must do everything in your power to make sure that the lot of bearer of bad news falls on a colleague, and never on you. Bring only good news and your approach will gladden your master.
7. Never Affect Friendliness and Intimacy with Your Master
Your master does not want a friend, but a subordinate. Make sure there is a distance between you and your master. Keep the professionalism.
8. Never Criticize Those Above You Directly
Though there are times that criticism is needed, say nothing directly, or give no advice. Learn, however, to say your criticism indirectly and as politely as possible.
9. Be Frugal in Asking Those Above You for Favors
Do not ask for favors from your master. Rather, earn these favors, so that the ruler gives them willingly.
10. Never Joke About Appearances or Taste
Though being lively and humorous is important in being a courtier, avoid joking about appearance or taste with those above you. Do not even try it when you are away from them.
11. Do Not Be the Court Cynic
Admire other peoples’ good work and achievements, rather than criticizing them. You will also attract attention to your own good work and accomplishments without seeming boastful.
12. Be Self-observant
You must be a mirror, knowing how you appear to others. Are you trying too hard to please? Do you seem desperate for attention? Be conscious of yourself, and you will avoid mistakes.
13. Master Your Emotions
Like an actor, you must learn to laugh or cry on your own command. You must know how to hide your anger, or frustration, and fake your agreement, or pleasure. Even though its lying, but you will prefer it over being honest and be called arrogant.
14. Fit The Spirit of the Times
Affectation of a past era can be charming, so long as you choose a period at least 20 years back. Though, it is never a good idea to stand out too much, you’re better off at least being able to mimic the spirit of the times.
15. Be Source of Pleasure
This is both obvious and critical. Charm and delight will draw people like moths to a flame. Be the flame, and you will draw the moths. Be the source of fun, and you will be as indispensible as food or drink.
Jean de La Bruyere, 1645-1696
Courtiership is a delicate game, play the perfect Courtier.
Carlo Emmanuel F. De Guzman
According to the law, the initial step is to be aware of the image one projects to society; consequently, one should be cautious of becoming a sleeping prawn that ebbs with the water's tide. However, this passive aspect must be responded to- without action, awareness is a lost cause.
Armadine Dudevant, French feminist, encompassed this wakefulness by pursuing writing in seventeenth century Paris despite society's demand for her to "make babies and not literature."
In response to self-consciousness, this law invokes the artist in every individual to creatively discard the ready-made role that society has already cooked for him/her.
As a painter (and thus director of the image of what he paints), Diego Velazquez acknowledged having control not only over the image of the royalty he painted in Las Meninas, but also over his and that of the commoners. Accordingly, we all are painters of our own images.
By recognizing life's theatricality, Julius Caesar likened society to a stage, where actors owned the stage and freely portrayed the roles that they wished to exemplify. Dudevant, for example, published novels and granted her place as a writer by effectively playing the role of a man under the pseudonym, "George Sand." Even Hatshepsut had that appeal by proclaiming herself "King of Upper and Lower Egypt."
The key is to be conscious of one's self as an artist who, through dramatic devices, actively controls one's actions, emotions, and appearance in the light of an audience. By being an artist, one manipulates the unfolding of events, using the timing of every event to his/her gain. By being an artist – by being "all things to all men" – one embodies the flexibility required to adapt to shifting situations. By being an artist, one creates for his/her self an unforgettable identity that dazzles the most.
The dignity in this technique can be seen in the intense difficulty of clashing with the flow that everybody else has surrendered and settled for conformity and uniformity. How, then, should one mold/remake one's self in lieu of being different and still being desirable(to one's self and to other people)?
"You are the pilot of your own life."
–Cody Martin from the Suite Life of Zack and Cody
Marcy Leonora V. Pilar
Those who do not contemplate their actions inevitably come across undesirable consequences. A frog that jumps into a deep well, seeking water, will die when the well dries up; it had not thought about how to get out. The frog, however, could not think for itself. We, as creatures of reason, do not have that excuse.
Those, on the other hand, who plan only halfway, are almost as foolish as those who do not plan at all. When Louis-Adoplhe Thiers found himself losing during the elections of 1848, he decided to make use of Louis Bonaparte, grand-nephew of Napoleon, whose name alone might sway the masses to their cause. However, he had not planned for when this puppet of his finally turned on them and dissolved the parliament and crowned himself Emperor of France. In this case, perhaps it would have been better had Thiers done nothing; at least then, a parliament would still exist and he would, maybe, stand a chance in the next elections.
Finally, when a plan is fully enacted, stick to it. Had Napoleon contented himself with being the Emperor of France and had not expanded his empire so aggressively, perhaps all of Europe would not have united against him. Learn to plan ahead and stick to the plan at all times, even at the very end.
There is an old military saying: no battle plan survives first contact with an enemy. Should your plan go awry, you should be ready to adapt on the fly. Do not allow yourself confusion or surprise. Generally speaking though, more is lost from not planning enough compared to when planning too much.
Monday, July 21, 2008
One example of this law coming into play is of the war between Corcya and Corinth. Both sides needed the support of Athens to ensure victory. Corinth had a strong relationship with Athens and Corcya has once allied itself with the enemies of Athens. Corinth appealed to the many years of loyalty, good deeds and services it has offered Athens while Corcya offered Athens the control of their superior navy which would be a strong weapon against the Spartans (Athens’ rivals). Athens in the end decided to support Corcya.
Another example of this law is between Cleopatra and Caius Julius Caesar Octavianus. When Octavian (consul of Rome) arrived in Egypt to kill Cleopatra and her lover Mark Anthony, Octavian offered to spare Cleopatra’s life and her dignity if she gave him Mark Anthony. Octavian appealed to the Cleopatra’s self interest and got what he wanted. Cleopatra in the other hand appealed to the mercy of Octavian and after tricking Mark Anthony into killing himself, Cleopatra find out that Octavian wants to bring her back to Rome to make a fool out of her.
Human beings are by nature greedy and anyone can be hooked in when appealing to their self interest, even someone as holy as the pope.
This law stresses the value of hiring one’s enemies over one’s friends. Although a friend can be easy to rely on, a friend who has your trust is capable of using it against you. A friend can easily betray you when their judgment is clouded by the prestige of power, rank, and position. It can be said that to hire a friend would entail gaining a liability rather than an asset, for a friend will undoubtedly expect special treatment. Friends feel less inclined to work harder, thinking that their connections will be enough to keep the job. Because of all these expectations, the relationship can become oppressive; the friend will become lazy, ambitious, want more power, do less work, and will eventually do something drastic, (like overthrow you).
LEARN TO EXPLOIT YOUR ENEMIES. THEY HAVE SOMETHING TO PROVE.
To hire an enemy, on the other hand, is a different case altogether. Hiring an enemy, someone you loathe and who loathes you just the same, would take the enemy by surprise. Giving him a job to do will make him feel the need to prove himself worthy of the job, the need to work a level higher than what is expected of him. Enemies will always feel the need to prove that they are better than those they loathe, and, given an opportunity, will prove to be an excellent worker. So, to hire an enemy (in a way, a form of reverse psychology), use would mean to use his hatred to your advantage. Hire an enemy and gain a competent worker who will continue working hard so as long as you two remain enemies. Make the enemy be a part of your side, and see how much more work will get done, rather than if he had stayed as just an enemy. As the old saying goes, keep your friends close, and your enemies closer. It wouldn’t hurt you either, nothing better than an enemy working alongside you to keep you always on your toes, right?
EVEN THE CLOSEST FRIENDS CAN BECOME THE WORST OF ENEMIES.
What it all comes down to is the ability to judge a person’s character. The question is, how much do we really know are friends? How do we know who to trust? There is a risk either way. Naturally, most people would choose to trust a friend rather than an enemy. But we have years and years of historical evidence telling us to do otherwise.
Take Michael III, a young inexperienced ruler who had just been enthroned to the Byzantine Empire. His mother was murdered, and it was his ambitious and skilled uncle who conspired the murder in order for Michael III to gain the throne. During his reign, Michael III then had to choose whom to hire as chamberlain and chief councilor. He chose Basilius, his closest friend, over his competent uncle. Basilius was a mere peasant who by chance had saved Michael III’s life. Michael III trained him and spoiled him and loved him like a brother. Over time, Basilius gained power, money, and allies greater than Michael III, and it was not long until wealth and power took over and clouded Basilius’ judgment. Basilius betrayed his friend. He had Michael III killed, and took his power. What could have happened if Michael III only chose his uncle over his friend?
In China, after the fall of the Han Dynasty, there was an age of instability. Overthrowing emperors, coups, violence, and treachery were prevalent. Everyone wanted power, and they would stop at nothing to gain it. It was said that to be an emperor during this time was a dangerous thing, because as an emperor, one must always be ready to be killed by an ambitious general.
Emperor Sung knew that, and so what he did was to keep his enemies on his side. He had all the generals sit down and spoke with them, offering them all the wealth and riches they wanted, as long as they were willing to give up their commands. They accepted, and at that instant, he had created loyal followers out of his enemies. He was able to do the same with other adversaries. When King Liu of the Southern Han family surrendered to him, Emperor Sung gave him a position in his palace. He did this numerous times, always doing something that the enemy wouldn’t expect in order to gain his respect and loyalty. Emperor Sung’s practices ended the age of violence and assassinations in China, and because of this, the Sung Dynasty ruled for almost three hundred years.
Mao Tse-tung also used this tactic by using the enemy as a form of training for his army. When the Japanese invaded China, Mao simply let it be, thinking of the battle as practice, a way to make his troops stronger. And it worked. Mao used his enemies as enemies, to train and to improve his army. “Without a worthy opponent, a group cannot grow stronger,” he had said. Mao believed in the existence of enemies in order to develop and grow. He even believed in making enemies out of friends when the need arose.
Remember to use your judgment wisely in choosing whom to trust. Learn form Michael III and hire only those who are skilled enough for the job, and trust only a few. Delight in your enemies for they are the keys to survival and success. Do not be disheartened by the number of enemies you have made in the past. Instead, do as Mao Tse-tung and Emperor Sung had done. Use your enemies to serve your own personal interest, and you will not go wrong.
You are brave, dependable and dauntless. You are strong, in mind and in spirit; honored by your peers, feared by your enemies. There is absolutely nothing that can break the walls you have tried so hard to build. Battle after batlle, you emerge victorious. Argument after argument, your opponents end up concurring to your point of view.
And you congratulate yourself, celebrate with a delectable bar of dark chocolate. This delightful blend of almonds, cherries and cocoa might as well be your Achilles' heel – your weakness – and admittedly so.
However, is it really a weakness, or but the illusion of a weakness?
No matter, it is a thumbscrew the observant, the manipulative, and the all-powerful can put their thumb in, and turn you with at will. At her call, your walls will crumble, and you will be a great monument turned lap dog, doing anything and everything she commands.
Pity. All she had to do was pay attention to gestures and unconscious signals. Once she disclosed a fairly insignificant secret to you, there you were pouring your heart out, revealing the helpless child within, going on and on about how your mother never loved you and how your father did not care. Once she got close to your lover, little did you know she has already taken control of your life by finding the weak link, by getting to the persons closest to you. Once she trained herself to be more attentive, she discovered that you boast about your achievements, no matter how little they are, and you host high society parties often because you are a sucker for social validation.
Despite the dangers in playing on your weaknesses – that is, stirring up actions she cannot control – by planning several steps ahead and anticipating the consequences of exploiting your vulnerabilities, she will have you bend at her will until she is satisfied with the power she has achieved and not simply the thrill of control.
In the end, she will give you what you need, what you crave for. She will embrace you like a mother embraces her child. She will compliment you endlessly (knowing that your ears are clapping and your heart skips a beat every time), and she will spoil you, pleasure after pleasure, be it for the soul, the mind, or the body.
Catherine de' Médicis, wife of French king Henri II, knew exactly how this is done. By unleashing her 'flying squadron', composed of the loveliest women in the court, she was able to spy on her detractors, and keep them too occupied to plot against her. She knew that the stronger the passion, the more vulnerable the person. The stronger the weakness for women, for example, the more likely a man would play victim in her ploy. What secret pleasure they cannot control, Catherine controlled for them.
By example, Catherine de' Médicis of France played on the weaknesses of the males close to the throne and illustrated exactly how it is she can play with the strong desires, strong pleasure, and strong emotions you cannot conceal. Catherine turned men's susceptibility to give in to their carnal desires to her advantage – and that is the way to do it.
That is how you stick it to the man
-Napoleon Bonaparte 1769-1821
“Those who seek to achieve things should show no mercy.”
-Kautilya, Indian philosopher third century B.C.
In fighting a battle, one must make sure that the enemy is annihilated in order to ensure a lasting victory. Thoroughness is critical in any dispute; it is necessary to exterminate foes. Throughout history, there have been many accounts concerning an unfinished rival taking revenge to the person who tried to exterminate him. By showing no mercy and pity for the enemy, retributions are impossible. According to the book The 48 Laws Of Power: “. . .the fate that faces all of us when we sympathize with our enemies, when pity, hope of reconciliation, makes us pull back from doing away with them. We only strengthen their fear and hatred of us. . . must be exterminated, crushed, denied the chance to return to haunt us. . .Reconciliation is out of the question. Only one side can win, and it must win totally.”
From good friends to bitter enemies
Hsiang Yu and Liu Pang were two celebrated leaders in Chinese history. Hsiang Yu was powerful and violent, while Liu Pang was wily and clever. In 208 B.C., the two friends had a conflict because they both wanted to get a hold of Hsien-yang, Ch’in’s capital. Hsiang Yu, with his mighty army, was able to capture Liu Pang several times, but always hesitated to have him killed. Liu Pang was able to seek revenge after some time, and slaughtered almost all of Hsiang Yu’s army. In the end, Hsiang Yu committed suicide, and Liu Pang became the founder of the Han Dynasty.
The shrewd seductress
Wu Chao was a beautiful charmer, who did everything she could to be in power. She seduced the emperor and his son, befriended the empress, and assumed high positions in the palace. But Wu Chao also devoted her life into ensuring that she stays powerful. Her rise to supremacy was bloody because she made sure that all the hindrances encountered along the way were finished off. Wu Chao knew that any sign of weakness or hesitation would result to her end. She ruled for over a decade and died at a ripe-old age of eighty.
Looking at the examples given above, and the explanation of the law, is bloodshed really necessary in order to establish victory? Are there other, more nonviolent ways to guarantee success?
Alexis Ann V. Aquino
2 AB-MA POSHI18-O
Christopher Columbus has led one of the greatest voyages in history. He was known to the nobility as a person having noble blood and high credentials, but did you know he made that up? He wasn’t of noble blood, he was a son of a weaver. He created a myth of having royal blood because he believed that he had been destined for great things. Through his wife’s connections, he charmed plenty of royalty and persuaded them to fund his expedition. His three demands were that he was to be the Grand Admiral of the Oceanic Sea, office of viceroy over any lands found, and 10 percent of the future commerce with such lands. What he was asking for was too much, considering that he didn’t even have the proper credentials to lead an expedition.
But why do you think did he earn the respect of royalty? It was because his confidence radiated outside and made people believe that he was credible. It’s the harsh reality of life; you have to believe in yourself for people to start believing in you too. Yes, it’s bad to be overconfident with yourself, but then again have you ever seen someone who lacks confidence in them succeed?
II BS LM
Man has become attatched to this concept of time, the very order of our lives depend on it. Disrupt time, and you shall disrupt the structure itself.
The book teaches us two different approaches to time, of which one should master in order to succeed.
First of all, one must realize he/she is not Piper Halliwell of Charmed who can actually freeze time and kick the demon’s ass. Time, itself, is out of our control.
What we CAN control is our perception of it.
I’d hate to use this annoying hallmark saying, but as cheezy as it sounds, it forever holds true that “time flies when you’re having fun.”
Our emotions hold the key to manipulating time.Master the art of patience, and wait for the right momment to strike. When we succumb to anger and fear, time seems short, and we lash out without proper contemplation.
Conversely, we can use time against our enemies. One powerful tool: the deadline. By forcing an opponent to act hurriedly, his actions will most likely be quick judgements instead of well-thought decisions.
The prime example given in the book is Joseph Fouche, of whom (in my personal opinion) the title of master of timing and man-whoring should be given. Probably the only reason why he survived (and actually attained great power) during the French revolution is his: knowledge of when to stand back, unwavering patience, and ability to market himself to the most powerful person at the time.
Follow his example, and you will be on your road to power.
Control your emotions to make time for yourself, disrupt the timing of others, and finally when the right time comes, pummel your opponent to the ground.
-Nico Mendiola sec O
Thursday, July 17, 2008
If we don’t change and adapt in this harsh and dynamic world, we’ll be well on our way to oblivion. We all know how much we need change. Too much change in a short span of time, however, will inevitably lead to disaster.
Let’s take Thomas Cromwell’s story as an example. Thomas Cromwell was King Henry VIII of England’s power behind the throne, and was then the most powerful man in England. He wanted to lay the foundation for Protestantism in England (for superficial reasons) by breaking up the power and wealth of the Church. He demolished churches, labeled anyone who practiced Catholicism as “heretics”, virtually changing England’s religion overnight. The sight of this was too unbearable for the people; Britons heavily associated themselves with the comforts of Catholicism’s traditions. This lead to revolt and the king ended up undoing Cromwell’s reforms to restore order.
We may not be aware of it, we may even deny it, but doing the same things over and over again is comforting. Imagine yourself going to different schools, going home to different households, seeing different faces every day. We form habits and rituals because they give us something familiar to cling on, and radically and rapidly changing these habits will create uneasiness that will ultimately lead to revolt.
Mao Tse-tung did things right. Instead of struggling against the past, he used it to his advantage, he associated Communists with romantic figures of Chinese history, and because of this, he and his ideologies were met by adoration.
Reforms should be sugarcoated by the past because the past is powerful. When you associate yourself with the past, you’re creating a comfortable presence and this is essential to power.
Using this clever trick can spark revolutions and rapid developments. But what’s stopping our leaders from utilizing this tactic for their own personal gain? Politicians are romancing us into doing what they please. Deception is all around us, but these things have grown too mundane for us to notice. I don’t know, but I’m personally insulted by this, it’s like we don’t have a say anymore. If they think that we won’t like their reforms, they’ll simply disguise it and we’ll take the bait and we end up doing what they want us to do.
Are you insulted by this?
Patrick Edward C. Reyes, Hi18-O
I like to think that this line pretty much sets the tone for the entire course of the chapter. It is, in itself, a bold statement, claiming forth that all those who hold doubt or hesitation in their hearts should cease to continue whatever task they have formulated in their minds. It is a command for all of us to realize that one must enter all situations with minds that are set and hearts that are sure. But what does it take for one to be free of doubt? How do we convince ourselves to act with confidence and show no fear?
Fear can stem from many different things – people, places, situations, even our own imaginations. I believe that boldness, the true kind, comes not from the fact that you fear nothing, but that you choose not to let such fears overcome you. This law states that one must overcome timidity and show audacity in all situations, for it is in this boldness that you shall get your way. It has been said that the bolder the lie one makes, the better, for the fact that you dare ask for something that goes far beyond what is expected or right shows that you make no hesitations about anything of the situation and of others. Such boldness will cause your prey to think that you are hiding nothing, and will make them trust you more. It is in such situations that the idea of “lions circling the hesitant prey” may also apply. People thrive on weakness. They like situations that make them feel superior, so they tend to pounce on people who are timid and seem fearful to take a stand. If a person is bold and confident from the beginning, on the other hand, other people become afraid of getting shut down by such a person and decide to just follow their lead or shy away. Such boldness then creates authority, for instilling fear into them allows one to manipulate others and get what they want from them.
It is also stated that “Going halfway with half a heart digs a deeper grave.” I personally believe in this and think that such a saying does not apply only to situations that merit recordings in the history books, but also in smaller life situations. The said situations could be about getting into a relationship, going for something you really want, or making a commitment to a group of people or to another individual. For such relationships and situations to work, you have to be sure you can commit to them wholeheartedly and fully, for hesitations breeds complication, or even worse, it could lead to you hurting a person who doesn’t deserve it. Entering all situations knowing that you are sure and completely confident allows one to succeed more in his undertakings. Making a full commitment allows you to give your best and allows little room for regret. Never hesitate, and never hold back, for going through a situation with full force and a strong heart creates opportunity. It will allow one to create his own path or direction, and will enable him to achieve things at his own pace. You are able to get everything you want, anytime you want. Also, being bold will separate one from the rest of the crowd. Acting in a bold manner will allow one to stand out and be noticed, and in this way you draw the people’s attention, and such attention will then create power. Having this power will give one the chance to manipulate a crowd and will make others see him in an authoritative light, thus ensuring that the said people will somehow be under his command.
Consider the acts of Count Victor Lustig, Ivan the Terrible, and Pietro Aretino. They had been relatively “smaller” men, those you would call underdogs, with little power and influence at their disposal. But they had taken that huge step and asked for things that, at that time, were deemed bigger than them, and whatever it was, they got it. They held no second thoughts within them, nor did they enter the situations with faint hearts and weak minds. They knew what they wanted and they took it, and sometimes they took even more. It may seem immoral to take things for yourself at the expense of others, but the fact that such people knew what they wanted and the fact that they boldly took it for themselves makes them men of power. Authority comes from that commanding presence one usually has over a crowd, and these people breathed that authority and eventually gained the power and influence they so deeply wanted. So really, it doesn’t matter where you’re from or who you are, what matters is you know what you want and you believe in yourself well enough to fight for it.
Like all things, though, boldness must be controlled. Overconfidence and holding too much authority has its own complications. One must always be practical in his undertakings. Choose your prey wisely, and make your actions timely. I believe that for boldness to work it must coexist with wisdom and timeliness – having such things and utilizing them along with this bold power will allow for the best results. So be bold, be wise, and plan your action; only then will you truly get all that your heart desires.
But this will not be easy. How does one utilize boldness? More importantly, How does one control power?
Dyan Garcia, II AB MEC, Hi 18 0
It is clear that in history anger is not the best response to any situation. Napoleon was on the verge of defeat. The conspiracy was never more than a ply, a device to put him over the edge. They used it against him, to lead him to a mistake. Napoleon got angry and through a tantrum, he lost all control for all to see, a public destruction of his image. This is the problem with the angry response. At first it may strike fear and terror, but only to some, and as the days pass and the storm clears, other responses emerge, embarrassment and uneasiness about the shouter’s capacity for going out of control. Losing your temper, you always make unfair and exaggerated accusations, being unable to say and do the right thing. Tantrums neither intimidate nor inspire loyalty. They only create doubts and uneasiness about your power. Napoleon exposed his weakness, and his enemies quickly used it against him.
Law 39 simply says, when the waters are still, your opponents have the time and space to plot actions that they will initiate and control. So stir the waters, make it uneasy for your opponent, and get them to act when they are not ready. Play on uncontrollable emotions pride, vanity, love, etc. The victory will be soon near as the opponent has no choice but to take the bait and be caught.
Luis Ramirez Hi-18-O
LAW 6: COURT ATTENTION AT ALL COST
1 whole piece of BEING
1 Yottagram of ATTENTION
Best with: spice of scandal
Shake two bottles of milk for an infant not to cry.
Add 1 spoon of toy for a toddler not to call out for his mom.
Stir ¾ cup of sharpened Crayolas for a kid not to wail.
Steam for 360 days.
Put 88 pints of Girl’s glance for a high school boy not to weep, low medium heat.
Mix a kilo of man who chooses not DOTA for a high school girl not to scream.
Lastly, turn to high heat for 39.9 seconds and pour 10 exaliters of comments in a college History student’s blog for him not to roar.
Puff! Serve hot and enjoy. J
Indeed, man has sought attention on people around him since the very day he is born. Babies cry while adults get miserable when they are being disregarded. Law 6 states then that doing such (courting one’s attention) is significant for all of us. Robert Greene even emphasized: “The worst fate in the world for a man who yearns fame, glory, and of course, power is to be ignored.” Thus, people must hunger to be noticed. Stand out! It is a man’s way of empowering himself. If it needs to be scandalous, do it. Why? It is better to be attacked, even slandered, than ignored (43).
In this world, competition arises intensely in seconds. Hence, you will never win if you never have a name and become just like the “bland and timid masses.” Controversy then is a tactic to spell your title in bold letters. This is what the great scientist Thomas Edison did to remain in the public eye. More than creating experiments and inventions, Edison was known before for the rumors that he and his great rival Nikola Tesla would be joint recipients of the 1915 Nobel Prize in physics (What an honor!). However, the prize was then given to a pair of English physicists. That is because Edison told the prize committee that he did not want to share the prize with Tesla (Huh?).
His reason: HE THOUGHT IT IS BETTER TO REFUSE THE HONOR THAN TO ALLOW HIS RIVAL ATTENTION THAT WOULD HAVE COME EVEN FROM SHARING THE PRIZE (48).
Also, to get the people’s attention, one must create an enigmatic image. Surely, mystery builds curiosity and attraction. One should not just show the others his name but to let them read in spaces. That would excite the others’ imagination and make the people eagerly watch what could happen next. This then will put others in the inferior position. Mao Tse-tung is a very good example of the cleverly cultivated mysterious people. He did not even care if he is contradicting himself. No one seems to be able to understand and read his actions, not even his own wife. Thus people paid so much attention on him, looking forward to see his next move.
Now, I think the table is set. It is all up to you if you will be indulging into the spice of this choice. Will you be like P. T. Barnum who even wrote anonymous attacks on his own work or someone like Pablo Picasso who made new series of paintings that went against all expectations?
WARNING: Attention seeking could be dangerous to your being (too). Know WHEN and WHERE to taste the luscious dish of LAW 6. J
- Joanne Atienza, HI18 - N
Tuesday, July 15, 2008
Because we are beings that co-exist with others, their opinion of who we are is highly important. We feel good when others think positively of us, and we’d rather cease to exist when others have a negative opinion of us.
Initially, people form their reputations on an exterior basis. “First impressions”, if you will, start out this way. If you put on the right clothes, wear the right hairstyle, project a sterling image that makes them the stuff of envy and instantly, you have the best reputation; the kind of reputation that people would want to be associated with. It would take something really drastic, something really grave in order for this kind of reputation to grow tarnished through time.
Others establish their reputation by means of possessing a certain quality most others would like to have. You could be the class nerd who everyone looks up to for homework advice or the one who’s paper everyone looks at to cheat off, the gossip queen who knows the juiciest scoop on everyone, or the smooth-talker who can talk his or her way out of anything. With these attributes, unknowingly, a seeming shield or force field builds up around you. An atmosphere of respect, sometimes bordering on fear, is immediately attached to you.
This is why you have to be firm in your belief of yourself. The slightest hint of self-doubt gives your potential foes the license to disarm you.
When your good reputation is slandered, the easiest thing to do would be to brush it off with good humor. Appearing to be defensive will make you seem insecure and desperate rather than confident in your reputation. Making too much of an effort to defend your name will make people start wondering whether those rumors could actually be true. When laughing off the insults or gossip thrown your way is not enough, the next course of action would be to stick to someone whose image is the opposite of that which is currently associated with you. This erases or nullifies the bad reputation attached to your name and gives you license to either stick to the newfound reputation you have or to create an entirely new one altogether.
Reputation is a strange thing. Non-conformists, in the loose sense of the term, would rather stick to the “I don’t care what others think” plan. By doing so, they neglect their reputation, leaving it open to others for judging. Their opposites, however, take extremely good care in handling their reputation, making sure to live up to people’s expectations and trying very hard not to let anything dirty their good name.
So, where do you stand? What’s your reputation?
-Cecilia Ynez Araneta, HI 18-N
An example from history of giving others options as a means of deception is Ivan IV (later known as Ivan the Terrible). During his reign as czar of Russia, the country desperately needed reform but he lacked the power to push it through. This was due to the boyars, the Russian high class that dominated the country and terrorized the people. He knew that the boyars were out to get him and he could not face them for even if he would be victorious, it would lead to more destruction.
Because of this, Ivan decided to instead use "false withdrawal." He fled to a village in Moscow, leaving Russia with no czar to govern the country. This resulted in chaos and terror.
The citizens blamed the boyars for Ivan's fleeing and decided to convince their czar to return. At first, he denied their pleas of him returning to the country. But after some time, he gave them two choices: Give him absolute power and let him govern as he pleases or find a new leader.
Faced with either having civil war of accepting the rule of boyars, they opted to make Ivan have absolute power over Russia. Since they themselves gave him power, they could not complain if he behaved dictatorially. Ivan's false withdrawal was a very good way of deceiving the people and controlling the options. His abscence gave them a glimpse of what will happen without them and you give them a choice that you will clean things up but you can do as you please or you suffer the consequences. The people opted for the lesser of the two evils and because of this, Ivan was able to get what he wanted: absolute power over Russia.
There are many forms of controlling the options.
1) Color the Choices
"Coloring the choices" refers to proposing several choices and presenting the choice that you yourself prefer in such a way that it seems that it is better than all the other choices. This is a very good way to deceive the insecure and indecisive person into choosing the option you want them to take.
2) Force the Register
This is good technique to use on children and other willful people who enjoy doing the opposite of what you ask them to do. When you want to ask them to do something, tell them the opposite of what you want them to do. By doing so, your are pushing them to "choose" what you want them to do by appearing to advocate the opposite.
3) Alter the Playing Field
In this technique, you control the external factors so that you can limit the options of other people. Even though they know they are being forced to succumb, they won't be able to do anything. This is useful against people who resist at all costs.
4) The Shrinking Options
This technique is about decieving the undecisive by giving them worse options as time passes by. The late nineteenth-century art dealer Ambroise Vollard perfected this technique. He would sell paintings but he will neglect to mention a price and doze off, making his customers leave. They would return the next day but this time, less beautiful paintings are displayed. He would view different paintings every day, with each day having worse paintings than the day before. This forced the people to buy the paintings immediately, thinking that they are getting the better deal if they buy now than later.
5) The Weak Man on the Precipice
This tactic is very similar to “Color the Choices” but with a more aggressive twist: You use fear and terror to force people into picking the option that most benefits you. You give a person choices but you exaggerate and describe negatively those you do not want the person to take. This will convince the person that the best option is the choice you want him to take. This technique is best used against the weak.
6) Brothers in Crime
A classic con-artist technique, you attract victims into some criminal scheme, creating a bond of blood and guilt between you. They take part in it, commit a crime (or think they do), and are easily manipulated because the very hint of their involvement in the crime will be very harmful to them.
7) The Horns of a Dilemma
An example of this technique is a lawyer leading his witnesses to decide between two possible explanations of an event, both of which can poke a hole in their story. They have to answer the lawyer’s questions but whatever they say will harm them. The secret to this technique is striking quickly: Don’t give them a chance to escape. As they try to get out, they are digging deeper and deeper into their grave.
There are many forms of dealing options but there is no one technique that stands out. The effectivity of a technique depends on what kind of person you are dealing with and the current situation.
Although limiting other’s options is a very powerful tool, it can also be advantageous to you as you can also limit your own options while trying to deceive them. You won’t be able to spy, gather information and attempt other forms of deception. But this tactic works best when you have very little power and you want to deceive your foes by giving them a choice.
What do you think? Is it better to deceive a person by giving them choices? Or is it better to give them more freedom and be able to spy and gather info on their plans?
Alfonso S. Laviña
II AB MEC
HI 18 Section O
As I read the book, I felt enthralled at the realities that it showed to me. People who realized the need for change can only do so by “cloaking” their innovations with the sweet and secure comfort that the past can give. Influential people such as Galileo Galilee, Henry Cromwell and even Einstein preached change. Their ideals are well respected today but back then they were at some times considered to be insane, corrupt and to some extent, evil.
A humorous thing that I realized while reading this law was that it is probably being used by the people of today. It may be possible that the recent events that are conspiring are all planned and manipulated to garner the best results. For example, people became very terrified during the 9-11 incidents. People clamored that it was foretold in the Bible and that it was a sign of the end of all things. My take on it is that it was planned to adhere to that belief. Those who are responsible for the whole thing could have read the entry in the Bible and decided to use it to add to the intensity of their intentions. Perhaps everything that is a disaster was and is planned. Now that I think about it, maybe all things are manipulated in such ways to make those who did so achieve better results. Even accidents that happen, no matter how random, could be manipulated and controlled in ways that would benefit those who would use them.
It seems possible and actually logically sound right?
How would you feel, if you suddenly realized that all things occurring now, are just planned and controlled and that you’re reaction is already known because you believe in the foundations that past generations have set up for you?
Alexius John Tejedor Hi-18 O
Alexander the Great is a young man who has a famous parent – King Philip of Macedonia. Alexander knew that he had to make himself the very opposite of his overbearing father. After his father was murdered by a disgruntled courtier, he became the King of Macedonia and marched to the furthest reaches of the kingdom, suppressed the rebellious towns, and reunited the empire with brutal efficiency.
Alexander’s loathing of his father didn’t end with Philip’s death. He wanted to defeat the Persians, because in doing so, he would finally surpass Philip in glory and fame. Against astounding odds, Alexander conquered the Persians – it was a great triumph, enough to secure his fame for eternity. But his conquest of Persia represented the past, and he wanted never to rest on past triumphs, or to allow the past to outshine the present.
The bottom line here is: be merciless with the past. After all, only the weak rest on their past triumphs. Do not get lost in the shadow of your parent, or stuck in a past not of your own making. Establish your own name and identity by changing course. Slay the domineering father, belittle his legacy, and gain power by shining in your own way. Because in the game of power, there’s never time to rest.
Miriam R. Reyes
II BS LM
Hi18, Section O
1. An attendant at a royal court.
2. One who seeks favor, especially by insincere flattery or obsequious behavior. --thefreedictionary.com
Becoming the perfect courtier requires only three general rules.
First, is to please your master, so that when it is you he favors some of his power will rub off on to you. The best way to please the master, according to the 24th law, is to make the master look more talented than you. This is perfectly exhibited by the architect, Mansart, who would purposely make mistakes in his blueprints to give King Louis XIV the chance of looking exceptional as he figures out the solution to Mansart’s “mistakes.” Another, my personal fave, is the story about the two dogs. Both dogs start out as guard dogs, but in the end, the weaker dog ends up being the master’s playdog. When the guard dog asks his ex fellow guard dog, “how did you, so small and weak, get taken into favor, while I jump out of my skin to no purpose?” the other dog replies “I walk upon my hind legs” meaning that he did not merely stick to his basic duties, but managed to charm the master by entertaining him.
Second, to manipulate the people around you in the way that is most beneficiary to you, like what the landscape artist, J.M.W Turner did. His works has this unique fluorescence so that when the works of other artist are put next to his, they pale in comparison. So in one occasion, when his colleague, Sir Thomas Lawrence, made a fuss about why his work was put next to Turner’s, Turner darkened his painting so that it was as dull as Lawrence’s (but he only used lampblack, a kind of natural pigment from burned animal fat, which he intended to wash off after the exhibit). He downplayed himself because he didn’t want to fan the flames of envy among his colleagues thus making them his allies instead of bitter rivals.
And third, to look as good as possible doing the mentioned two and as you display your talents at the same time. One example is the story of the painter, Fra Filippo Lippi, who was one day caught by Moors and sold into slavery, but has saved himself by getting the attention of his master by sketching a full-length likeness of him which impressed his master so much that he gave Filippo his freedom.
Having said these, couldn’t it be said that it is only these attributes which the entirety of the book discusses, but only in greater detail as it breaks it down to the rest of the laws? Doesn’t it seem that the very embodiment of all of the 48 laws of powers is the perfect courtier?
-- Kamille Mercado Hi18 sec: N