48 Laws of Power: 2nd Law

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All of us manipulate the people we interact with on a daily basis to achieve certain ends. Some do it without even being aware that they’re doing it. Some know what they’re doing all too well.

From The 48 Laws of Power by Robert Greene:

Law 2: Never put too Much Trust in Friends, Learn how to use Enemies

Be wary of friends-they will betray you more quickly, for they are easily aroused to envy. They also become spoiled and tyrannical. But hire a former enemy and he will be more loyal than a friend, because he has more to prove. In fact, you have more to fear from friends than from enemies. If you have no enemies, find a way to make them.

This challenge is to write a story regarding either the observance or the transgression of this law.

  • Started February 23rd, 2012.
  • Ended March 15th, 2012.
  • Created by August 2nd

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  1. Avatar 32 ^2

    There’s a man who has made millions of dollars aggregating publicly available information. This author has done the same, aggregating over three thousand years of info from other publications, this sounds like something you would find in The Art of War.

    The “instruction” book does have great advice, but it’s the purpose behind it that most people will not have anything to do with, they don’t have it in them, and that’s a good thing.

  2. Avatar BiC

    An excellent man; he has no enemies; and none of his friends like him. – Oscar Wilde

  3. Avatar memento

    Hmm…I think this is more a question of expectations, really. The author assumes that, friends and enemies alike, everyone is inherently selfish and out for personal gain.
    If so, I wouldn’t say that a friend is more envious or loyal than an enemy. We only expect them to be. So, when a friend proves themselves to be just like any other (proposed) person and betrays us, we are surprised because our expectations were proven wrong. If an enemy stabs us in the back, we aren’t so perturbed because our expectations were not upset.
    Both parties act the same, but we assume one (friends) is somehow less prone to being selfish and self-serving than the other (enemies).
    If that’s true, then it’s not a question of not having friends and seeking to make enemies, but rather finding people about whom you can have accurate assumptions that accord with reality.

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