48 LAWS OF POWER: About & Full List

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Being without power is a horrible experience. Since power is an essential component of our communities and lifestyles, everyone would choose more power over less if they had the option. Yet it’s critical to understand that power lacks morality; it is neither good nor bad. Once you have power, you can decide how to use it. You must be deceptive, democratic, and clever in order to get power. Hence, in his controversial book, “The 48 Laws of Power,” best-selling author Robert Greene distills 3,000 years of history into 48 laws to assist us in comprehending how we might expertly acquire power, avoiding being misled or destroyed by others. According to him, you will grow to be a better friend, lover, and person as you get better at managing power. In this detailed guide, we’ll briefly talk about the 48 laws of power and list them out. 


Whether you like it or not, according to Greene, you’re a player in a never-ending power struggle. Either you’re pursuing and using power, or someone who is more powerful than you is using you as a pawn in their game. You decide where you stand.

How do you apply the 48 Laws of Power? What are they? These laws are basically for those who would rather be active participants in a game than passive bystanders. The 48 laws of power have been formalized by Greene to transform you from a novice to a master player based on historical instances of people who have succeeded or failed at using power, with either magnificent or bloody outcomes (or both). ” Utilize your enemies”, “keep people dependent on you”, “speak as little as possible”, “claim credit for other people’s efforts”, “control all the options”, “don’t take sides, cultivate a cult following”, and “don’t get your hands filthy” are some of the essential concepts you’ll learn.

According to Greene, developing skills in delegating authority leads to improvement and helps you become a better friend, lover, and person. The reason is, when you know how to boost the confidence of those around you, you become an irreplaceable source of happiness for them.

These guidelines are optional, and you can choose to ignore them if you choose. The truth however is, you can’t avoid them.

About 48 Laws of Power

The 48 Laws of Power (1998) is basically a non-fiction book written by American author Robert Greene. The book is a huge success, with over 1.2 million copies sold in the United States alone, making it a New York Times bestseller. Celebrities and inmates alike are its favorites custodian.

Whilst working as a scriptwriter in Hollywood, Greene developed some of the concepts that would later become The 48 Laws of Power. He came to the conclusion that the current power elite had characteristics with influential people all over history. Greene encountered book packager Joost Elffers while working as a writer at Fabrica, an art and media institute, in 1995. Elffers was pitched a book by Greene about power, and shortly thereafter Elffers asked him to write a treatment.

Although Greene was somewhat dissatisfied with his job, he was at ease and thought it would be risky to take the time to create a standard book proposal. However, Greene draws inspiration from Caesar’s course of action to cross the Rubicon River and battle Pompey, starting the Great Roman Civil War, during the period he was reading his iconic biography of Julius Caesar. The treatment by Greene would eventually become The 48 Laws of Power.

Power is immoral in Greene’s eyes. It is a social game. Hence, you need to be capable of researching and comprehending people in order to perfect it. But nonetheless, you must always choose the most devious path to authority.

In “The 48 Laws of Power,” 48 nuggets of knowledge from people from 48 different foreign civilizations, spanning more than 3,000 years, are collected. This knowledge has been condensed into Greene’s book, which is a comprehensive how-to manual on how to increase one’s strength. It is an invaluable source of information for anyone trying to advance.

List the 48 Laws of Power

The format of “The 48 Laws of Power” is a thorough list that explores each law in depth. In sequential order below you is the list of the 48 laws of power;

  • LAW 1:  Never Outshine the Master
  • LAW 2: Never Put Too Much Trust in Friends, Learn How to Use Enemies
  • LAW 3: Conceal Your Intentions
  • LAW 4: Always Say Less Than Necessary
  • LAW 5: So Much Depends on Reputation – Guard It With Your Life
  • LAW 6: Court Attention at All Costs
  • LAW 7: Get Others to Do the Work for You, but Always Take the Credit
  • LAW 8: Make Other People Come to You – Use Bait if Necessary
  • LAW 9:  Win Through Your Actions, Never Through Argument
  • LAW 10:  Infection: Avoid the Unhappy and the Unlucky
  • LAW 11: Learn to Keep People Dependent on You
  • LAW 12:  Use Selective Honesty and Generosity to Disarm Your Victim
  • LAW 13:  When Asking for Help, Appeal to the Self-interests of Others, Never to Their Mercy or Gratitude
  • LAW 14:  Pose as a Friend, Work as a Spy
  • LAW 15: Crush Your Enemy Totally
  • LAW 16: Use Absence to Increase Respect and Honor
  • LAW 17:  Keep Others in Suspended Terror: Cultivate an Air of Unpredictability
  • LAW 18:  Do Not Build Fortresses to Protect Yourself – Isolation is Dangerous
  • LAW 19: Know Who You’re Dealing With – Don’t Offend the Wrong Person
  • LAW 20:  Don’t Commit to Anyone
  • LAW 21:  Play a Sucker to Catch a Sucker – Appear Dumber Than Your Mark
  • LAW 22: Use the Surrender Tactic: Transform Weakness Into Power
  • LAW 23:  Concentrate Your Forces
  • LAW 24:  Play the Perfect Courtier
  • LAW 25: Recreate Yourself
  • LAW 26: Keep Your Hands Clean
  • LAW 27: Create a Cult-like Following by Playing on People’s Need to Believe
  • LAW 28: Enter Action With Boldness
  • LAW 29: Plan All the Way to the End
  • LAW 30: Make Your Accomplishments Seem Effortless
  • LAW 31: Control the Options: Get Others to Play With the Cards You Deal
  • LAW 32: Play Into People’s Fantasies
  • LAW 33: Discover Each Man’s Thumbscrew
  • LAW 34: Be Royal in Your Own Fashion: Act Like a King to Be Treated Like One
  • LAW 35: Master the Art of Timing
  • LAW 36: Disdain Things You Cannot Have: Ignoring Them is the Best Revenge
  • LAW 37: Create Compelling Spectacles
  • LAW 38: Think as You Like, but Behave Like Others
  • LAW 39: Stir Up Waters to Catch Fish
  • LAW 40: Despise the Free Lunch
  • LAW 41: Avoid Stepping Into a Great Man’s Shoes
  • LAW 42: Strike the Shepherd, and the Sheep Will Scatter
  • LAW 43: Work on the Hearts and Minds of Others
  • LAW 44: Disarm and Infuriate With the Mirror Effect
  • LAW 45: Preach the Need for Change, but Never Reform Too Much at Once
  • LAW 46: Never Appear Too Perfect
  • LAW 47: Don’t Go Past the Mark You Aimed For: In Victory, Learn When to Stop
  • LAW 48: Assume Formlessness

Law 12 48 Laws of Power

  • Law 12 of The 48 Laws of Power: Use Selective Honesty and Generosity to Disarm Your Victim

A single sincere deed can help hide the evidence of numerous dishonest ones. Even the most cynical people can be won over by generosity. Hence, once you have disarmed them, you can control them as you choose. Distraction is basically the secret to a good lie. You can fool people by distracting them with kindness, thereby turning them into submissive children who are delighted by the kind deed.

A skillful method to achieve what you want is to learn to give before you take. While selective honesty can be used to neutralize your adversaries. A single fact will not be sufficient, though. To establish trust, you must create a façade of honesty based on a sequence of actions, however, these actions may seem insignificant at first. A single sincere and honest action will triumph over numerous unethical ones. Even the most skeptical individuals let their guard down in response to open-hearted acts of honesty and kindness. You can lie to them and control them at will after your selective honesty pierces their defenses. A timed gift can act as a Trojan horse and accomplish the same thing.

On the other hand, any act of generosity will be looked at with mistrust if there is a history of dishonesty. Hence, you can respond by openly embracing your reputation for dishonesty.

What Are the 48 Laws of Power Used For?

The 48 Laws of Power uses many of history’s most well-known power struggles as examples of what power is, how to achieve it, how to protect oneself from other people’s power, and most crucially, how to utilize power effectively and maintain it for yourself.

Are 48 Laws of Power a Must-Read?

You shouldn’t read “The 48 Laws of Power” if you’re looking for an authentic guide to honest self-improvement. There’s a lot of negativity and inconsistency in there.

The book is excellent reading for anyone with a passion for history, politics, or sociology. If you are an individualist like a born-again Christian, you should not read it. This book is for those who seek to see and comprehend the world as it actually is.

Remarkably, the 48 Laws of Power is a must-read for everyone who wants more control over their life or a deeper awareness of the factors that contribute to the outcomes they experience.

What Are the Best 48 Laws of Power?

The most powerful law in the above list of the “48 Laws of Power” is;

  • Law 1: Never Outshine The Master

This is the reason Greene himself referred to it as the most crucial power law. Never outshining the master can generally help you avoid needless attacks and accelerate the process of power growth.

What Is the 45th Law of the 48 Laws of Power?

  • Preach the Need for Change, but Never Reform Too Much at Once

Respect the way people have been living up until this moment regardless of whether you’ve recently ascended to a position of power or whether you’re an outsider attempting to stake a claim for it. An uprising will result from the excessive change. Make a change appear to be a moderate and progressive improvement over the previous in order to introduce it.

48 Laws of Power Audiobook

This incisive treatise distills three thousand years of the history of power into 48 clearly explained laws and is amoral, crafty, brutal, and instructive. The principles of Machiavelli, Sun-Tzu, Carl von Clausewitz, and other illustrious strategists are combined in this audacious book, which lays out the laws of power in all their unadorned simplicity. Every reader who is interested in acquiring, observing, or guarding against absolute power will find The 48 Laws of Power to be fascinating.

How Long Is the Audiobook Version of “The 48 Laws of Power”?

The full version of “The 48 Laws of Power” audiobook lasts 23 hours and 11 minutes, compared to the abbreviated version’s 9 hours and 52 minutes.

Should I Read “The 48 Laws of Power” or Listen to It?

The audiobook version of “The 48 Laws of Power” is recommended since it provides a more engaging listening experience.

What Is the First Rule of Power?

  • Law 1: Never Outshine the Master

Try not to show off your skills too much in your attempt to impress those in positions of authority. Your superiors will look for opportunities to replace you should they feel uneasy. Do not however take your popularity for granted, regardless of whether you’re currently enjoying it. If you make the wrong choices, you could quickly lose it.

Make people above you appear brighter and superior by, for example, soliciting their assistance and attributing your ideas to their excellent counsel. Instead of shining brighter than them, let them shine.

What Celebrities Read 48 Laws of Power?

Fidel Castro purportedly read the book, and it has also been mentioned in songs by Jay Z, Kanye West, and UGCK. The laws in the book most substantially inspired Curtis Jackson (now known as rapper 50 Cent), who approached Greene about working together.

How Do You Remember the 48 Laws of Power?

When you have a long list of things to remember, you can recall each item by naming the list and associating the word for each number with the substance of the list. Hence, for the 48 Laws of Power, all that is required is to write down a list of the rules along with an example of each law, then associate each law with its corresponding mnemonic phrase. The keyword can then be linked to the law and also the law’s exemplar in your mind by forming a clear mental image.


Our society and daily lives depend on power. Robert Greene condenses 3,000 years of history into 48 laws in “The 48 Laws of Power” to explain how we might expertly achieve power while avoiding being misled or crushed by others.

In Greene’s view, power play should be viewed as a game. You may employ this work to gain a general understanding of power, or probably, you can choose to study and seriously consider the concepts to comprehend people and the environment you live in.

Instead of basing your judgment on someone’s stated intentions, look at the results of their real behavior. Individuals who assert that they reject authority because of moral principles are frequently the real manipulators.

You should therefore significantly change your perspective in to successfully master and succeed in the game of power. You also need to acquire and hone new skills, such as how to control your emotions so they don’t affect your judgment, look at the past as well as the future with objectivity in order to learn about and address problems, and concede the fact that human interaction often involves deception and masquerade.


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