“Everyone sees what you appear to be, few experience what you really are.” – Niccolò Machiavelli
What is Machiavellianism? Machiavellianism is predominantly an art form, keenness for strategy and personal characteristic. As a psychological phenomenon, it is the strategy that takes place in the realm of subtext, a label for the battleground on which psychic warfare is conducted. Mental gymnastics, mind games, charm and subliminal subtleties that alter and influence through the psyche are all components of interpersonal Machiavellianism.
As a term, Machiavellianism is etymologically derived from historic political philosopher and Italian statesman Niccolo Machiavelli. As such, for all intent and purpose Machiavellianism should be interpreted as a synonym for cunning.
What machiavellianism does is create uncertainty, usually via the utilisation of secrecy and selective honesty so once sufficiently confused, the target of the manipulation can be controlled, influenced or led to believe/disbelieve a specific element, an element which you can then build upon, some people would call it “a seed” in order to nurture your agenda, it can otherwise be used to give you wiggle room by being non-committal to any expectation people may try to place on you and thus not held to any specific course of action.
Machiavellianism is the shit that you were hoping that crappy psychology class would teach you at school, the ability to mind fuck with and influence people, to walk like a king, talk like a king and be respected like a king. Instead you found it was a weird amalgamation between biology and sociology.
Let’s be honest, world governments don’t want to encourage machiavellianism and foster its adoption en masse via training their own populace’s to be more cunning, it’s not just powerful knowledge but an indispensable tool, inherently academic and vocational, machiavellianism is the weapon of choice and common domain of the powerful and the elite so it’s “certainly not to be used by peasants!”, the downtrodden and those otherwise required to maintain the pyramid structure which essentially makes up the social class system of each and every country on the planet (except in Scandinavia where they rape you to death for taxes, but that’s an entirely different tangent!) You can bet your ass any rags to riches tale you know of which doesn’t involve some perverse unexpected 3rd cousin inheritance (EG: 50 Cent) are individuals who possess great machiavellianism to drive forward the rise in their quality of life and had to influence the individuals standing in their way, along the way, to make their ambitions a tangible reality.
Where there is uncertainty there is always an opportunity for a power grab and convincingly rationalise post-power grab that the grab was a necessary move, if people begin to doubt your new-found position you pander to their whims by utilising your new position to reinforce the belief that you’re right for said position.
For example, let’s say you just got promoted at work because the old supervisor left, you’re the new supervisor now, however the group of 5 office bitches don’t respect you enough and are constantly challenging your authority, making your job hard and wearing on your psyche – if you let this continue you will probably lose your job or get demoted as you’re not popular, so what do you do?
Firstly you need to make them (not request they) respect you, as respect is inherently a choice, respect is always given by choice and requesting it only makes one disrespect you more by symptom of your tenacity to express entitlement to that which the person in question has not deemed you to be worthy of yet, thus only serving to further reduce your value in their eyes.
You don’t get respect by pleading to a persons “better side” you earn a person’s respect by being powerful and being manipulative is being powerful, they are synonymous. You need to control these women and make them fall in to line so again, what do you do? You weaken their power, you turn them against each other (divide and conquer) by manipulating the fuck out of them until they all segregate themselves for you thus removing the power vacuum they all maintain by bouncing off one another and feeding into each others disrespect and bullshit festering. Allow me to exemplify further on this:
Say in our hypothetical scenarios there’s 5 bitches, pick 2 of them, make it the 2 hottest girls as the uglier girls will already have a predisposition for being jealous of the hotter girls, so your manipulation can buy into this insecurity of theirs and add further fuel to the flames of jealousy. Tell each girl in private that they could have a 10 minute longer break than the other girls, you’d say something to each of them one-on-one, something like “you’re a woman that’s been doing a special job lately, so I’m going to let you have an extra 10 minutes when you go for break, keep it hush, don’t tell the other girls, because if they find out they’ll get jealous of you and I won’t be able to keep letting you have these longer breaks which I feel you frankly deserve.”
Notice how you’ve addressed her as a woman but all the other women as girls, you’re basically informing her she’s the alpha woman of the group, you’re feeding into the sense of entitlement that feminist society has taught her she has by merit of being alive, effectively you’re feeding her narcissism and its this which is granting you power over her on a more personal level as she eats up your validation; this is of course further amplified by the fact it comes from a position of authority (you, by being higher in the company) said women would most likely (in most cases, very few women would ignore the opportunity to get ahead and fight for the reputation of their colleagues) get incredibly fucking tingly off the validation of a superior and would thus be more than happy to indulge in the extra leisure time awarded to her by you, that’s the bait and the silly self-interested bitches are going to take it. This is step 1 of turning one of your office enemies into an instrumental peon.
The other women will begin to notice that the 2 hotter chicks keep coming in late from their breaks unexplained without visible punishment and would get upset quite quickly, however unless there is one particular woman who is masculine in energy (usually old non-sexual undesirable battle axes or ghetto chicks), it would take them awhile to come forward and contest the covert privilege these other 2 women are enjoying under the guise of what seems like “favoritism” to the unprivileged but “an entitlement” to the women enjoying said privilege, because hey you validated them as being superior workers and so superior people deserve superior treatment, right? I’ll bet my asshole in a gay bar that the women in this hypothetical scenario would tend to think so, you can have the rationalisation hamster do it’s work for you.
When any of the 3 girls you’re not giving longer breaks brings it to your attention that these 2 chicks keep taking longer breaks and they tell you that apparently “it was ok with you.” not only are you going to openly deny that, but there’s something for you to pay heed to here.
The girls getting longer breaks shouldn’t have said “it was ok with the boss to take longer breaks” to the girls not getting longer breaks as you instructed their pretty little asses not to do so (and to be less crude, it was a violation of your trust in them) as you didn’t want to create discord through visible favouritism, so if they used that as a defence to the “non-privileged chicks” in our hypothetical scenario here, you’ve now as a side bonus learnt that you cannot trust these specific women as they have essentially betrayed you to defend the privileges that you gave them to begin with – Maxim: “Don’t bite the hand that feeds.” Sure you had motives behind “giving them a free lunch” (if you’ll pardon the pun) but at the end of the day, you still gave them freedom and privilege that their colleagues weren’t having and they foolishly sold you out to try to save their own reputations, rather than honour the agreement they had with you.
Never let people who do this get too much power on your watch and punish them for their indiscretions how you see fit, overtly or covertly, the choice is yours to make. Relevant here is the 48 laws maxim “Crush Your Enemy Totally”
Anyhow, once confronted, you’d say to the chick(s) approaching you who are not getting longer breaks that you didn’t authorise it, otherwise by seeming openly unfair you’d earn their scorn and they’d become a bigger social threat, which runs counter to what your agenda is actually trying to establish, lowering the threat level and earning the respect of your peons.
If you really wanted to crush the power of the female herd in your office and break them up so they’re more manageable or even eating out of your hand, you would always need to create a power imbalance among the women, once they no longer see as each other as equals or as “a team”, but as competitors (and women are generally naturally competitive among each other and catty as fuck anyway) you can divide and conquer them and run them more efficiently for the benefits of your own sanity.
The best way to do this would be to actually subtly encourage the power imbalance by means of a guiding hand, a further example of this to exemplify this already very long example is that you would start giving the 2 girls who both think they’re the individual beneficiaries of the longer break their breaks together at the same time, both taking the extra 10 minutes and both seeming to “come back later” together at the same time to the other women, plus by giving them their breaks at the same time they’re quite likely to share the break together and thus become closer to each other.
The perceived privilege imbalance between the 3 girls getting standard breaks and the 2 girls getting longer breaks would create segregation and would cause the 2 girls to bond more closely and form their own offshoot group as the other girls start to seem more hostile towards them. You could encourage it by telling them both to go for their breaks at the same time to really rub it in the face of the 3 girls on standard breaks. This would covertly solidify your desire for the other 2 girls to get on better and form their own group so that you can thus have the group of 5 harpies split up into 2 smaller more manageable groups. A 3 group and a 2 group who are not only a more manageable size now due to less power, but may even weaken each others power by attacking each other with catty snide remarks and defensive body language, making themselves that much more manageable for you.
You’d think something so small wouldn’t piss off women or fuck up their “relationships” however it does and it can, they’re incredibly petty creatures and impulsive to the point of self-sabotage, really they do a lot of the work for you once you’ve planted the seeds of doubt and started guiding them in the direction you want them to go in as long as they think they’re doing what they’re doing for their own interest and not because they’re being exploited.
Exploitation, real or imagined is synonymous with oppression to women (feminism just changed the pimp from the husband to the CEO/store manager), and this activates their victim card superpowers and inherent inferiority complex that feminism has indoctrinated into their collective mentality via years of social programming and inculcation. Western women today tend to be very selfish, self-centered and independence orientated so this is what you’re buying into, their need to prove themselves to you by doing exactly what you want because proving themselves to you is exactly what they want to do for themselves, so they confuse proving themselves to you as proving themselves to themselves – I hope that made fucking sense to you – you may need a moment to get your head around that one.
Ironically the hypothetical women would end up doing a lot of the work for you because they’re forced to work with the cards you’ve handed them, if they think it’s for themselves and they think the cards that are handed to them are for their benefit they’re more than happy to instigate your agendas for you. It’s simple, you sell what you delegate to them as being for their own personal benefit (appeal to self-interest) and can do it with a reward (like the women lapping up the longer breaks and “taking the free lunch“) or as a punishment (you’re going to have to stay behind an extra 10 minutes, I’ve noticed lower productivity from you and I’m concerned about your performance!) as long as you put some semblance of benevolence into the delivery of your punishment, you can socially ostracise a person without ostracising yourself thus removing the target of their power and weakening their frame. Punishment in this manner stops others devaluing their perception of you, although you should use this sparingly. This is also a great thing to use on AMOGs, backhanded compliments and devaluing them in the eyes of others by essentially questioning their capabilities with faux concern, but that’s a topic for another article!
If that’s enough, it’s enough. However if you’ve read The 48 Laws of Power and believe in Law 15, crushing your enemies totally, then listen up, we’re now going to completely tear shit up here.
In our sensually hypothetical situation you’d eventually call a staff meeting and address that there were some complaints about the 2 pretty girls getting longer breaks than everyone else (tell them in private you didn’t really want to have to do this to them but the other girls were kicking up a fuss – blame shift that shit, you’re the good guy, it’s the girls fault for getting jealous of the hot girls inherent superiority – those hot girls were entitled to that longer break!) now you say to make up for this indiscretion, the 2 hottest chicks will stop getting longer breaks and this will be justified “as only being fair” that 2 of the girls who didn’t get longer breaks before should now enjoy longer breaks for the same duration the original 2 did (in some perverse attempt at displaying your love for equality and democracy, which will earn you brownie points with all the angry leftists no less.)
What about the leftover chick you’re wondering? She’ll get her longer breaks later, unfortunately you cannot allow 3 girls to all have longer breaks as you wouldn’t get all the work needed done so that forces that leftover girl in our hypothetical scenario to accept this bullshit, pissed off as she is, she has no power to do anything about it except walk out – if she walks out she’s an eliminated threat. If she stays, she’s felt so isolated for so long that she’s the most malleable out of all of them, she’ll do whatever it takes just to feel accepted again.
What this will do is invert the jealousy, so now the 2 hotter chicks are pissed off they lost their privilege whilst simultaneously envious that 2 of the other girls are now enjoying it in their place, whilst the girl who still hasn’t had longer breaks is jealous of fucking everyone and by merit of that is feeling entirely excluded herself and probably far more prone to cathartically bitch at random “well I haven’t had any extended breaks yet!!!” I can already hear our hypothetical loner proclaim.
You tell the 2 new girls on longer breaks that they are deserving of it, one-on-one, to boost your own personal relationships with them, you’re also a man of your word – you’re backing up your claim that you think they deserve it because they are being rewarded, they’ll see the immediate dynamic – not the bigger game at play (abstract logic is not your forte ladies who may be reading!) so the women in question see you as credible here as after all, you’re following through.
Eventually the last girl gets her solitary break and everyone hates on her for doing less work for a month or however long it was these “longer break cycles” were lasting. Plus she was hating on everyone beforehand because she felt left out. Voila. As if by magic, you’ve completely culled the herds union, they’re nothing now and they’ll all answer to your authority.
Divide and conquer bitches, this is shit governments and institutions of any significant power use, we’re just applying it on a micro-level here eg: in an office, not on an entire country or a society. Of course in this example you already had company sanctioned power, you were higher up the food chain than those you were manipulating, when you are very low-level in the hierarchy the dynamic is different as you don’t have your privilege of delegation to sanction your agendas, in these situations you maintain popularity in order to receive promotion so you can then gain access to the power to delegate and thus cast influence with your personal agendas. Just like a politician, you’re everyone’s friend who you never really cared about for any reason at all other than their ability to lend you their personal power out of admiration, then once you’re independently empowered by their previous blessings and you win a majority you can shit on everyone one by one with your poker face and do whatever the fuck you like. Can’t stop you now, they shouldn’t have voted you in! Bloody naive electorate! Ah, the flaws of democracy.
Example aside, and I really didn’t want it to take up so much space because I wanted to discuss machiavellianism more in and of itself, machiavellianism gets its etymological route from the man credited with devising its tenets or at least, attempting to codify the art of manipulation into literature, Mr. Niccolo Machiavelli, a Florentine politician and philosopher of prolific prestige from the renaissance Italy period.
Every human has power to varying degrees, the potency of one’s power is gauged by their value, value is discerned by material wealth, genetic fitness (such as physical beauty and strength), “valuable skills” (which can be subjective culture to culture) and specific behavioural traits.
Skilled machiavellian’s are very good at creating the illusion of being more powerful than they are and thus regardless of their actual power, are usually perceived as more powerful/cunning than they are in reality. They don’t just possess power but they project the image of having power to those around them. A machiavellian will run rings around the average person, to the uninitiated the machiavellian’s grasp over psychology and their ability to wield manipulative cognitive tools so effectively can seem almost esoteric due to the amount of control it commands, but it’s like anything – if you can stomach the inherent amoral nature of machiavellianism and apply your intellect to study it and actualise it, you can ascertain it for yourself, it is only beyond the grasp of the incredibly un-intelligent and the morally indignant and self-righteous.
For a machiavellian, reputation maintenance means everything, and its this illusion of amplifying your power so that it works for you which is at the core of every Machiavellians agendas, examples of this are people simply not even challenging you on things of a controversial nature, or say groups of women wanting to have sex with a man because they perceive said man as so incredibly high value within the social circles they all frequent. This results in a positive feedback cycle where the Machiavellian in question almost constantly has the home-field advantage because of the insane amount of pre-selection he or she enjoys from their environment. Constant validation, constantly desired – it’s part of what fuels the narcissistic part of the dark triad.
This however is not an active deployment of machiavellianism, it is but a passive effect, a “rolling-on bonus” of a Machiavellians power manifesting.
Under red pill philosophy the term “hamster” is used a lot, it basically means “to allow people to fill in the blanks and come up with their own rationalisation regardless of whether what their minds filled the blanks in with is actually the truth or even logical” so basically, you’re letting people assume shit about you without revealing information, you guide their assumptions by being playful but refusing to confirm something because “you don’t kiss and tell” (if you’re gaming a chick) or if it’s a drug dealer on the streets “you don’t snitch.”
A Machiavellian projects power by having some semblance of credibility, but when questioned or tested deliberately allows a certain space for speculation and error, people, out of ego, like to believe their own conclusions more than they do other peoples because it makes them feel valuable or with the extremely insecure even “special” to get something right, so by allowing them to fill in the blanks for you not only can they grant power to you but they can validate themselves by proxy of discerning something about yourself.
If they fill in the blank with something that demonstrates high value you can agree with it and because the person thought that in their own mind, believing it’s their own device of thought, they are thus more likely to believe the otherwise untrue notion. This also gives one plausible deniability to rebuff any backlash “it was your idea, not mine.” Such is the power of ambiguity and mysteriousness, you can activate the cerebral human hamster which is typically far more profound in women.
Say in the example of gaming a chick, you can have her frame you as being fuckable all by herself, simply as the Machiavellian, you’re mentally guiding her into that direction and rejecting all and any detrimental labels or shit tests she will inevitably subject you to whilst affirming any ideas that she comes up with which raise your value as being true; or at least, not denying/crushing them like you did with the negative labels. This allows for further assumptions on her part such as: “OMG you were with another girl that night weren’t you?” or an example from a situation I had a few weeks back…
Her: “You have money don’t you?!”
Me: “Yeah I do have money, £2.50 bitch”
Her: “OMG why won’t you just tell me?”
Me: “I’m deliberately mysterious, deal with it.”
This phenomena inverses into what I’d term “egotistical machiavellianism” if you’re willing to agree with someones incorrect poorly reasoned conclusion not because you actually agree, but because you want to appeal to their ego, win their validation or have a sense of closeness with another. Reddit call this phenomena “a circle jerk” but it happens in real life all the time EG: delusional women all band together and go out to a restaurant together to support each other in some irrationally insane session of delusional approval seeking where everyone gives out copious amounts of unwarranted and unsubstantiated validation in order to “Get everything off their chests” which is more legitimately known as “diffusing all personal responsibility onto third parties who aren’t present” in order to gouge on and embellish a tidal wave of simultaneous emotional catharsis and egotistical titillation.
If narcissism is the egotistical fuel which imbues machiavellianism with its inherently risk-taking and audacious choice of delivered behaviour, then machiavellianism is the computation of said behaviour, the solidified strategy, the psychological chess-board incarnate.
Relevant reading material for budding Machiavellians:
Office Politics: How to Thrive in a World of Lying, Backstabbing and Dirty Tricks by Oliver James – (USA) – (UK)
The 33 Strategies of War by Robert Greene – (USA) – (UK)
The 48 Laws of Power by Robert Greene – (USA) – (UK)
The Art of War by Niccolo Machiavelli – (USA) – (UK)
The Art of War by Sun Tzu – (USA) – (UK)
(The links for this book do not go to an original, but a superior edition of the book which contains annotations to explain it, this is an ancient text and thus requires academic clarification to be best enjoyed and understood.)
The Prince by Niccolo Machiavelli – (USA) – (UK)
27 thoughts on “Understanding Machiavellianism”
Brilliant post. Looking forward to future articles.
Excellent rundown, it takes a lot of discipline to leave space in your interactions if you have beta tendencies. As your frame develops, it becomes easier to keep people in suspense because you are more comfortable with yourself.
People only have an INTERPRETATION of who you are… The dark triad man is well aware that this interpretation is within his control. He is the artist of his lifestyle, the projector of his personal power. It is not always what you DO, but what you DO NOT DO that makes or breaks you.
Really brilliant, the explanations and examples are great !
It was nice and concise, as they say. Personally, I wish I could have developed somewhat of a persona like this long ago, but I was too blue-pilled and brainwashed to want to or see its benefits. Keep preaching, friend. Good advice is usually taught as unpopular statements, as you have proven.
This was an awesome article. I appreciate it when people break down stuff like this. When I read Robert Greene’s books, they had great information that was hard thou digest.
I was thinking of House of Cards the whole time. I’d highly recommend that show to any Dark Triad acolytes. You did a great breakdown of everything, a la Greene. I’m wrapping up the 48 Laws and want to get into the 33 Strategies.
Ever since 2014, I’ve been reading your articles here in Illimitable men. I’m an avid reader here in the Manosphere particularly Victor Pride’s Bold and Determined and your site. Keep on posting very helpful intellectual insights for young men like me. Kudos from Manila.
Victor Pride has a strong, unfiltered voice that I highly recommend to any man.
i have been using some machiavellian techniques even before i knew what they were. found them out trough trial and error and the need to adapt and always come up with new ways of surviving the tiny teen times.
i was always thinking of sharing my knowledge with others but as you say : ““certainly not to be used by peasants!” , i wonder if they would become more popular, people would just get used to it and be able to decipher the tactics easily.
btw, the term makeup might have it’s origins from machiavelli.
Very well done post with clinical accuracy and useful information for the aspiring student. I am impressed with the content and strongly approving of the care that IllimitableMen has taken with the topic. It’s a deep topic that deserves the exacting treatment he has approached it with.
Machiavellianism, in its most evolved expression, is a manifestation of the enlightened mind. The push and pull, the truth and falsehood, the amoral clinician that becomes the master is well understood here. I encourage everyone to read this several times and consider what has been written on this page.
For practitioners, it is important to take in the entire spectrum of a topic. Mechanics such as the office girls example above are excellent to practice in the field.
I consider this page among many others at Illimitable Men to be an invaluable resource.
As a new practitioner of concious machiavellinialism, I find it strikingly odd that I have, and always had, obtained great joy of crushing my enemies completely.
It is a joy that almost goes unmatched in my life and I’m not sure why.
Since my first deliberate trial of machiavellinialism, I’ve received happiness and power beyond anything else in my entire life. Would anyone know why this is? I also feel this tool is a moral fortitude, opposite of what many are drilled to say. It helped gain back power from a system that tried to take it all away. Justice, vengeance these things I value that are received from implementation of machiavellinialism.
The Count of Monte Cristo was my favorite story! Beautiful and motivating, like a perfectly composed piece of music or parmesean crusted filet mignon, only more satisfying. And long lasting.
Sounds like you’re sadistic, you don’t do it because you have to but hate it – you do it because you want to and enjoy it. I’m not passing judgement, merely answering your question.
Thank you for the help. I concluded that it must be a mix of what you mentioned and personal power. I should mention that I am not psychopathic, I think. I find myself caring for humans and animals.
But if someone decides to make themselves an enemy, I’m sure to show them their mistake ten-fold. And it makes me feel good to know my own power to do so. I Feel good about myself, my intelligence and wit. Would it have anything to do with Pride?
More-so than their pain, although their pain can be quite funny (mostly non-physical).
It might help to know I frequently enjoy any type of trolling. My one boss would tell the other managers and workers that he “didn’t know if I was retarded or mentally running circles around him and a genius”. To me that’s joy.
May I suggest an improvement to the “Extra 10 minutes” example? This scenario will nearly always play out identically, except that instead of offering longer breaks – You simply offer all of them a free lunch on Fridays or whatever. Take lunch with those who accept, and make it a long lunch. Or even have food delivered, chances are 2 or 3 of them will have brought a sack lunch, or be on a diet, or have an allergy, etc. The point being that those who decline the invitation to go out, or don’t like pizza, will start the resentment going, immediately. They’ll sit at their desk, eating their yogurt, wondering what all the chatter and giggling is about in the break room,
Howard Bloom (@SportsBizNews) tweeted later Tuesday day that NHL acquired finalized business expansion to four new metropolitan areas: Dallas, Sin city, Quebec Locale, in addition to Toronto.
Ahh…so that’s the real reason why feminism is promoted by the governmental influences. The best possible reason I can see anyway.
Slightly off topic, what do you think is Machiavelli’s MBTI type? I’ve heard The Prince describes an INTJ but I’ve also heard that is meant for Cesare Borgia and his own Personality is different. Do you have an article on this subject?
The UK link for Sun Tzu’s The Art of War links to the wrong book (Office Politics).
How would you say “Mastery” and “The 48 Laws of Power” can be used in tandem to learn and excel in Machiavellianism?
You think too small. Who has time to waste on this office politics bullshit? Create your own business, engage the services of independent contractors rather than employees and then you are free from all this. And freedom is the goal, is it not?
Hi. What would your advice be to someone who has been increasing value going from weak to having a very good physique, the by product of which is that he became good looking in addition to building a business that is successful – all the while his earlier allies / friends somewhat ostracized him (the weaker / insecure ones at least).
What would be your advice to someone like that going forward?
What field or branches of psychology would be recommended to a Machiavellian to study and master ?
My high functioning autist ass will see straight through this bullshit and denounce it the moment I see inequality arise in the workspace. It’s actually very sad and petty that people focus so much on office work quarrels and indulge in dishonest psychological Olympics to avoid the truth like the plague.
You may step on those whom you judge as inferior to you and climb up the social ladder doing so, but when you’ll be lying on your deathbed with no one by your side, ask yourself, was it really worth it?