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MachiavellianThemes

Note:  These are quotations inspired by Machiavelli but were written by psychologist Dr. Mike Abrams   Visit Dr. Mike Abrams on YouTube or Follow on Twitter @DrMikeAbrams

     

              

                   

      

 

 
  The most brutal and cruel act committed by those who truly believe it righteous cannot be called evil. Evil denotes violation of ones moral creed without rational justification. This leaves few, if any, deeds that ever be deemed evil.

 

  Morality is ultimately defined by those with superior force and sufficient time.

 

  All ethical and moral values are arbitrary artifacts from the cultures that set them forth.  All political and military greatness is derived from ignoring them.

 

  It is in the interest of the weak to design societies that encumber the strong. 

 

  Love means something different to each user of the term.  Even when sincere, your lover likely means something quite different than you.

 

  We privately crave, but publicly loathe those parts of us that we share with beasts.

 

  The person most afraid of dying is the one who has contributed the least in living.

 

  A person is a product of his past and his genes.  The adult maximizes his genes and the child blames his past.

 

 

 

If you must take strong action do it all at once. Incremental malice only gives your adversaries time to respond.
  Justice is elegant revenge. And revenge is justice for those who cannot afford elegance.

 

  All humans are very similar, but that similarity often leads to the erroneous presumption of understanding.  The small differences among us can lead to very different motives and actions.

 

  All fear and distress is a direct result of your perception.  See it differently and the anguish goes.

 

  Remind your friends often that they are indeed your friends.  You needn't remind your enemies.

 

  The most fearsome adversary is one who is willing to be destroyed for revenge.  Such an adversary rarely needs to take revenge.

 

  It is wise to cultivate friendship and loyalty in all domains.

 

  There is no evil as those that do the most harm never believe themselves to be malignant, and those that believe themselves to be bad most likely are benign.

 

  It is foolish to expect any of those relationships to withstand any hardship.

 

  It will be personally destructive to let any of these friendships bind you to your disadvantage. 

 

  If you are unhappy in your life it is largely so because you did not take the chances to do what you really want.  If you spend your life sacrificing for others you will be very disappointed.

 

There is no shame in being obsequious in the face of superior power.  In fact, it is wise to save one's most compelling charm for adversaries in power.

 

Avoid pervasive hostility, it will create numerous and subtle enemies and only saps ones focus and strength.

 

The naive and foolish condemn anger and rage.  Both are useful, if not essential tools.  Save them for carefully targeted individuals at  appropriate moments, and be prepared to get them back in kind.

 

The essential difference between the terrorist and the noble conqueror is the quality of the army.

 

  The weak and obsessive acutely contemplate decisive action but rarely take it.

 

  Superiority only exists in the situation.  A PhD does not take one far in a fight with someone fierce and brutal; but in a structured society the fierce tend to work for those who would be subjugated in difficult times. 

 

  Assertiveness towards those who have power over you will always be resented.

 

  There is nothing wrong with pride, save that it often will cause you grief. Those in power will hate you for it.  It is far smarter to be humble when you are powerless.  Be proud when you are in a position of strength.

 

  Weak and fearful people deny, and hide from, the horrors of the world, believing that the pretense of a benign world will make it so.  This self-deception ultimately creates more horror.

 

  There are great risks in being the master of one's own life, but failing to take them on leads to the most shallow of existences. Those who have chosen to be subjugated will be the most vociferous critics of your decision to be your own master.

 

  Never assume any conversation is private or confidential.

 

  The most effective way to make a threat is to present it as a secret plan to those you know to be untrustworthy.  This adds credibility and deniability.

 

  Avoid any attempts to persuade an adversary that she is wrong.  No matter what she has done, no matter how offensive you find it, you must remember she believes that it is justified.  Her response to attempts to show her that she is wrong will only reinforce her position.

 

  Apologize only if you are certain it will achieve some goal, it will rarely bring you respect or affection.  Similarly, whenever possible, avoid justifying your actions; your justifications will be perceived as apologies.

 

  Make your reactions unpredictable.  Overreact by design, respond to a slight with kindness, the next time with rage.  Unpredictability contributes to strength.   Being predictable is the first step on the path to exploitation.

 

  If you reward someone excessively, you will ultimately get more resentment than gratitude.  Those rewarded will feel that you are exploitive for having so superior a person as a subordinate.

 

  Never assume you have been forgiven. 

 

  The psychological profiles of the most effective law enforcers are generally similar to those of the most successful law breakers.

 

  The need to be liked is a self-reinforcing addiction.   Make yourself likeable when necessary, but beware the illusory emotional rewards from those yielding to your charm.

 

  All ethical and moral values are arbitrary artifacts from the cultures that set them forth.  All political and military greatness is derived from ignoring them.

 

  Avoid hurting anyone, but if necessary do it so severely that they will not be willing or able to retaliate.

 

  Either Be Diplomatic or Be Devastating.  Your adversaries will avenge minor slights.  So never leave them in a position to want to, or be able to, do so. 

 

  Punishing wrongdoers is generally futile.  Most miscreants, irrespective of their cruelty, see themselves as victims and their punishment undeserved. And those that accept it as deserved did not need to be punished.

 

 

 

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