The 48 Laws of Power by Robert Greene
Law Number Eleven… Learn To Keep People Dependent on You
To maintain your independence you must always be needed and wanted. The more you are relied
on, the more freedom you have. Make people depend on you for their happiness and prosperity
and you have nothing to fear. Never teach them enough so that they can do without you.
Necessity rules the world. People rarely act unless compelled to. If you create no need
for yourself, then you will be done away with at first opportunity. If, on the other hand,
you understand the Laws of Power and make others depend on you for their welfare, if
you can counteract their weakness with your own “iron and blood,” as Bismarck said. Then
you will survive your masters just as he did. You will have all the benefits of power without
the thorns that come from being a master. Bismarck understood the importance of keeping
people dependent. He sought out a weak ruler, Frederick William IV, king of Prussia and
created a relationship of dependency. He was a key player in restoring the king’s power
so much so that when the king died, his brother who preceded him depended on Bismarck as well.
Bismarck became their strength, their intelligence and their spine and in the process, he became
a powerful force to reckon with, he was the man behind the throne, calling the shots.
10 Ways to Manipulate Power 1. Do seek out weak people in power
Seeking out those already in power is foolish. They will swallow you up and spit you out.
They do not need anything from you 2. Get people to do as you wish without force
or hurt. If you have to bully someone into doing what
you want, that is not power. The key is making the person believe that your services are
needed and without you they will be completely lost.
3. Enmesh yourself in the work of your superior By doing this your superior knows that to
get rid of you is futile. They can not afford to train another without losing time and a
lot of money. 4. Possess a talent and creative skill that
simply cannot be replaced. People will think twice before getting rid
of you because to get rid of you may spell disaster or even death.
5. Create a situation in which you can always latch on to another patron
This just simply means you have other places that will welcome your skills and talents
in your sights. Your employer knows that they cannot easily find another worker with your
particular talent so they will jump hoops to keep you in their employ.
6. Have the appearance of specialized knowledge and skill
This gives you leeway in your ability to deceive those above you into thinking they cannot
do without you. It is always in your power to make your skills indispensible.
7. Wrap yourself around the source of power You have placed yourself in a position that
to cut you away would cause great trauma. You do not necessarily have to entwine yourself
around the superior; another person will do, as long as he or she too is indispensable
in the chain. 8. Use the secret intelligence tactic
By knowing people’s secrets, you seal your position with them. The downside to this is
that the paranoia and insecurity that the power that it provides cancels itself out.
What good is power without peace? 9. Do not imagine your superior’s dependence
on you will make them love you It is more than likely that they resent and
fear you, which is better that they fear the consequences of losing you rather than out
of love for your company. 10. Better to place yourself in a position
of mutual dependence The weakness of making others depend on you
is that you are in some measure dependent on them. Although this is true, you will not
have the unbearable pressure of being on top, and your superior will in essence be your
slave, for he will depend on you. Louis XI (1423-1483) the great Spider King
of France once asked his astrologer to tell of his own fate and how long he had to live.
The astrologer replied, “I shall die just three days before Your Majesty.” The king
was vexed because he had planned to kill the astrologer that day fearing the astrologer
had killed people to prove his forcasting or that his might in astrology was real and
therefore dangerous in of itself. The king spared his life, looked after him, gave him
gifts and even had several doctors check his health to ensure he would live as long as
possible. The astrologer actually survived the king by several years, proving his mastery