The 48 laws of power can be used in several ways. By reading the book directly, you can learn more about power in general. While some of the laws may not seem like a direct part of your life, over time you`ll likely find that they all have some application and are actually interconnected. By getting an overview of the whole topic, you will be better able to evaluate your own past actions and gain a higher degree of control over your immediate affairs. A thorough reading of the book will encourage reflection and re-evaluation long after you have finished it. Love and affection are also potentially destructive, as they blind you to the often selfish interests of those you least suspect of playing a power game. You can`t suppress anger or love or avoid feeling it, and you shouldn`t try. But you need to be careful how you express them, and most importantly, they should never affect your plans and strategies in any way. Never let the presence of enemies annoy you or worry you – you`re much better off with one or two declared opponents than not knowing where your real enemies are. The man of power welcomes conflict and uses enemies to strengthen his reputation as a safe fighter to rely on in times of uncertainty. While it`s usually best not to mix work with friendship, there are times when a friend can be used with more effect than an enemy. A man of power, for example, often has a dirty job to do, but for reasons of appearance, it is usually better for other people to do it for him; Friends often do it better, because their affection for him makes them willing to take risks. Even if your plans go wrong for some reason, you can use a friend as a convenient scapegoat.

This «favorite case» was a trick often used by kings and rulers: they would drop their closest friend at court for a mistake, because the public wouldn`t believe they would intentionally sacrifice a friend for such a purpose. Of course, after playing this card, you lost your friend forever. So it`s best to reserve the role of scapegoat for someone who is close to you but not too close. Today, we are faced with a paradox similar to that of the courtier: everything must appear civilized, decent, democratic and just. But if we stick too strictly to these rules, if we take them too literally, we will be crushed by those around us who are not so stupid. As the great Renaissance diplomat and courtier Niccolò Machiavelli wrote: «Any man who tries to be good all the time will come to ruin among the great number of people who are not good.» The dish imagined the peak of sophistication, but beneath its glittering surface, a cauldron of dark boiled and simmered emotions – greed, envy, lust, hatred. Our world today also envisions the pinnacle of fairness, but the same ugly emotions still drive us as they always have been. The game is the same. Externally, you must seem to respect the subtleties, but internally, if you are not a fool, you will quickly learn to pay attention and do what Napoleon advised you: put your iron hand in a velvet glove.

If, like the courtier of yesteryear, you master the arts of indirection and learn to seduce, charm, deceive and subtly outsmart your opponents, you will reach the heights of power. You will be able to get people to bend to your will without them realizing what you have done. And if they don`t realize what you`ve done, they won`t bore you and resist you. He had allowed a man to see power up close– a man who then wanted more, who asked for everything and got it, who felt overwhelmed by the charity he had received and simply did what many people do in such a situation: they forget the favors they received and imagine, that they have earned their success on their own merits. Now Basil`s power and wealth were only growing, and a few years later, in financial trouble because of his own extravagance, Michael asked him to repay some of the money he had borrowed over the years. To Michael`s shock and astonishment, Basil refused, with a look of such impudence that the emperor suddenly realized his predicament: the former stable boy had more money, more allies in the army and senate, and in the end more power than the emperor himself. A few weeks later, after a night of heavy drinking, Michael woke up and found himself surrounded by soldiers. Basil looked as they stabbed the emperor. Then, after proclaiming himself emperor, he rode a horse through the streets of Byzantium, waving the head of his former benefactor and best friend at the end of a long pike. Another way to avoid gambling would be perfect honesty and frankness, as one of the main techniques of those seeking power is deception and secrecy.

But being completely honest will inevitably hurt and offend many people, some of whom will choose to hurt you in return. No one will consider your honest statement to be completely objective and free of self-motivation. And they will be right: in truth, the use of honesty is indeed a strategy of power aimed at convincing people of their noble, benevolent and selfless character. It is a form of persuasion, even a subtle form of coercion. Power is essentially amoral and one of the most important skills to acquire is the ability to see circumstances rather than good or evil. Power is a game – it can never be repeated enough – and in games you judge your opponents not by their intentions, but by the effect of their actions. They measure their strategy and power by what you can see and feel. How often someone`s intentions are made to obscure and deceive the problem! What does it matter if another player, your friend or rival, intended good things and had only your interests in their hearts, while the effects of their plot lead to so much ruin and confusion? It is natural for people to cover their actions with all sorts of justifications, always assuming that they acted out of kindness. You have to learn to laugh inwardly every time you hear this and never be caught measuring someone`s intentions and actions through a series of moral judgments that are really an excuse for the accumulation of power. Scientists are not spared the whims of courteous life and patronage. They, too, must serve the masters who hold the wallets. And their great intellectual powers can make Master feel unsafe, as if he were only there to provide the funds – an ugly and unworthy job.

The producer of a great work wants to feel like he is more than just a provider of financing.