Monday, April 21, 2008

A Literary Aside

I performed a strategic review of the world situation over the weekend - going back over my action plans for dealing with good, muddled and bad socionomics conditions and how current events in places like Europe, Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, China, et al, could wind up directly affecting my life, family and career.

In doing so, I recalled a quote from Robert Greene's The 48 Laws of Power, a sentiment very applicable to those of us who are trying to game out what I expect will be an enormous upheaval in the "American Way of Life" in the coming years. I pass it along for your consideration:

Half of your mastery of power comes from what you do not do, what you do not allow yourself to be dragged into. For this skill you must learn to judge all things by what they cost you. As Nietzsche wrote, "The value of a thing sometimes lies not in what one attains with it, but in what one pays for it - what it costs us." Perhaps you will attain your goal, and a worthy goal at that, but at what price? Apply this standard to everything, including whether to collaborate with other people or come to their aid. In the end, life is short, opportunities are few, and you have only so much energy to draw on. And in this sense time is as important a consideration as any other. Never waste valuable time, or mental peace of mind, on the affairs of others - that is too high a price to pay.

The 48 Laws of Power, Robert Greene, pages xxi-xxii

2 comments:

judasnoose said...

The Laws of Power is an interesting book -- it reads like a modern version of the Italian Renaissance book "The Book of the Courtier."

I think the major limit to both books is that there are many situations in which courtier behavior does not lead to power, and different behaviors do. E.g. fixing a car engine.

Flagg707 said...

Great point judasnoose. It does seem to focus much more on the acquisition of power in an established setting than in creating power or seizing it.

Thanks for the comment.