May 26, 2014
In 1532, an Italian diplomat and political theorist named Niccolo Machiavelli wrote a book on how best to most effectively acquire and keep power. It was called The Prince. Machiavelli argued that for a ruler “It is much safer to be feared than loved.” The idea that power is best achieved through fear, dishonesty and coercion rather than through empathy, honesty and cooperation has been argued about ever since. It’s why House of Cards is so popular. It’s also why every single one of Robert Greene’s books is a bestseller. In particular, his work have been particularly popular with two groups who deal with power acquisition at its most savage: hip hop stars and foreign policy analysts. As 50 Cent (a huge fan of Greene’s and his later collaborator on The 50th Law) noted, working as a crack dealer in South Queens could never have prepared him for the viciousness, manipulation and deception of the music industry.