“Many receive advice, only the wise profit from it.” – Harper Lee
1.) The Birth of a Machiavellian
1a.) Machiavellian Scale
2.) The Socialised Machiavellian – “The Advisor”
3.) Stages of Influence
4.) An Untamed Psychopath – “The King”
5.) Master Machiavellian – “The General”
6.) Relevant Reading
1.) The Birth of a Machiavellian:
Some demonstrate manipulative tendency from a young age, be it a pronounced desire to manipulate, a natural aptitude for it, or in exceptional cases, both. For the sake of classification, I characterise individuals who convey both behaviours as “naturals”.
The naturals fall into what I distinguish as two subgroups: kings and generals, with the remainder of Machiavellians designated advisers. Advisers consciously learn to become Machiavellian due to trauma or hardship, but for all intent and purpose were not naturally predisposed to Machiavellian thinking. These people are socialised Machiavellians, the Machiavellians of struggle and necessity, and it is they who make up the final archetype which completes my trifecta of theorised Machiavellian subtypes.
Like most things learned in childhood and to a lesser extent, adolescence, there is a certain intuitive competence acquired from one’s early life experiences. With all the impressionableness and raw aptitude embodied by the cognitive fluidity of youth, the ferocity of necessity clashes with the adaptiveness of trial to give rise to Machiavellian prowess.
This is a universal premise which applies to all crafts, hobbies and arts. The younger the person, the more pronounced the effect of their exposure to an idea; for the young are infinitely more malleable than the old, and unlike the old, need not deprogram and reprogram to learn; the young are tabula rasa, a clean slate. Machiavellianism is in this regard, by no means different from any other field, art or influence. The younger an individual adopts Machiavellian as a philosophy and a vocation, the more likely the art is to seem instinctual rather than abstract.
The development of Machiavellianism often coincides with the redevelopment of “the self.” In childhood, adolescence and early adulthood this process is rather simply “the development of the self.” For older folks, the formation of personality is preceded by deprogramming (unlearning previously learned behaviours and beliefs) which are then supplanted by mental models one believes conducive to their environment.
The strategic framework that takes hold in the mind of a budding Machiavellian causes something of a personality shift. This shift occurs as part of the internalisation of a new and rapidly evolving mental schema, and thus it is upon the back of an internalised Machiavellian framework that social competencies like profound incisive analysis and charismatic persuasion manifest as authentic proficiencies. These are not skills learned for their own sake, but rather, are symptomatic products of one honing their Machiavellianism.
Of course what is being described here is the birth of cunning in all its natural glory, a Machiavellian in the truest sense of the word was always manipulative, however typically it is only with age and experience that one’s rhetoric, sophistry, insight and planning becomes elaborate, nuanced and effective. Machiavellians are in a sense, everything the majority of psychologists fail to be – architects of the mind.
1a.) Machiavellian Scale:
For self-aware Machiavellians, the development of their manipulatory prowess is not just a lifestyle choice, but likewise a hobby. To strategise and manipulate is an expression of their creativity, and they enjoy this craft, refining it as the level they play on inevitably rises.
For example, getting a sibling to go to the shop for you is at the bottom of the scale, getting a tired girlfriend to fellate you is a little higher, securing a 6 or 8 figure business contract is even higher, yet even that casts no shadow on what’s in play when the Russian and American presidents sit down to discuss each other’s foreign policy.
A Machiavellian that can cajole people into performing simple errands or making a purchase is not necessarily competent enough to compete at the highest levels, for average people are easily dealt with when one puts even a mild amount of effort into developing their wit. The real test begins when one’s competition is neither average nor gullible, but where battle is with those who are just as, if not more shrewd than they.
Not everybody is “a natural Machiavellian”. Everybody is, to some extent, subconsciously manipulative to one degree or another, capable of disparate Machiavellian gambits such as a guilt trip here or a ploy for sympathy there. However, to behave manipulatively is not the same as being Machiavellian, just as selling an old item of clothing on Ebay hardly makes one an elite salesman.
The difference between the Machiavellian and the average person’s manipulation is the average person’s manipulations are manifestations of innate desire that are primitive, unrefined and predictable in nature. They do not purposely set out to scheme, deceive, dissimulate or ascertain power, they simply act underhandedly reactively and out of instinct.
A Machiavellian on the other hand is consciously tactical in nature. A Machiavellian enjoys manipulating, the development of their lives, business deals and relationships is based on the philosophies of salesmanship, charm, controlling the flow of information and personal self-awareness. Socially acquired Machiavellianism is referred to by academia as a “maladaptive coping mechanism” but in truth is no more than shrewdness.
Essentially, those who are not naturally duplicitous become so in order to thrive in a world where blanket honesty and dishonesty are mutually expensive, whilst masterful executions of both are profitable.
2.) The Socialised Machiavellian – “The Advisor”:
Advisers are more defensive, indirect and tempered rather than aggressive or violent in their schemes. Advisers tend to use aggressive gambits as defensive measures, typically when a king or general calls the bluff of an advisor having noted in analysis of the advisor a lack of psychopathy. Natural Machiavellians fitness test socialised ones to see what mettle lies behind all those well-placed words, well met glances and astute deductions.
The advisor Machiavellian archetype is characterised by those such as myself and the infamous Robert Greene. The advisor, unlike the brutish king or cold general is not a coloniser, but rather a complementer of minds. Advisers are sought out for their strategic cunning, incisive psychological insight, powers of deduction and understanding of the mechanisms of power. They do not lead and they do not conquer, they attract and infect for self-preservation, profit and self-gain.
One could say in the absence of brotherly loyalty an advisor is a Machiavellian mercenary, a strategist for sale. Invaluable as they are, this is why they are often in the employ of those more psychopathic in their grasp of power, the kings and the generals; for it is better to have an advisor whispering into your ear rather than your enemies. Likewise being learned, a conscious practitioner and well read on matters of strategy, an advisor’s ability to articulate nuance and explains the mechanisms of power are typically greater than that of the natural.
Kings and generals must form transactional yet emotionally substantive friendships with advisers to ensure loyalty and prevent defection. Advisers are high value assets that provide continuous value to kings and generals if treated accordingly. If a friendship can blossom between any two such Machiavellians, the advisor becomes more than a mental mercenary but instead a trusted friend. Of course trust is delicate and such relations are rare, however I would rate the likelihood of such things as improbable rather than impossible.
Advisers are usually granted a lofty position, considered family, and closely protected, partially out of affinity/respect and partially due to the value of the secrets they possess. Advisers are the most passive of the Machiavellian subtypes due to their lack of direct aggression and absence in executing the elaborately crafted strategies they devise.
The advisor is not a natural Machiavellian, the advisor is a self-taught product of their environment, oft motivated by dire social circumstances eliciting pain and powerlessness. Whilst personal turmoil may cause the amplification and refinement of Machiavellian tendency within naturals, in the case of the advisor it is fundamentally responsible for the emergence of such behaviour to begin with. Where Machiavellianism is not natural, but rather, socialised: the laws of individualised necessity clash with the trial and error of pragmatism to form a new framework for the basis of personality.
Although Machiavellianism doesn’t completely define personality in matters of preference, it largely governs perception and behavioural pattern. Machiavellianism fixates on the transactionality of interaction, thus eliciting awareness of one’s self-interest whilst simultaneously acting as an antenna toward the tastes and needs of others.
When you understand what makes people tick, you can manipulate them, when you understand what makes you tick, you know how you can be manipulated. Machiavellianism is both sword and shield, it can be a reflexively improvised defence, or the core mechanism on which meticulously elaborate schemes are devised. There is not a single war nor battle that escapes the purview of Machiavellianism, for the relevance of Machiavellianism is omnipresent.
The average person is largely unaware of the underlying subtextual dynamics present in their environment, which is why the power-hungry king appreciates the sleeping pawn. Heightened powers of observation are deemed threatening despite being inherently passive in nature. You may not wish to threaten another’s interests, but if the other is aware of your grand observational power they are hard pressed to trust you, fearful in the paranoia your skill could somehow expose them.
It is in light of this that the conscious Machiavellian quickly learns to downplay, disguise and conceal not only their power plays, but likewise their mere capacity for analysis. This is one of many reasons the ability to appear unintelligent is useful and necessary, for it serves as a most effectual form of concealment.
Highly-trained powers of deduction quickly arouse suspicion, eliciting nought but fear and paranoia. And so unless it is your intent to instil such things, one’s analytical capacities should operate invisibly rather than visibly. To employ a metaphor, much like the modern CCTV camera becomes increasingly innocuous, smaller in size with the lens concealed inside a dome, your mind’s eye must likewise conceal its lens by operating hidden in plain sight.
In the transitionary phase of development from average to Machiavellian, a budding Machiavellian is coming to grips with the nature of the game they have unwittingly played but been blind to for their entire lives. They experiment with, and refine methodologies that strengthen their capacity to psychoanalyse and hold social influence, whilst discarding inefficient methodologies. Even within this process of reflection and adaptation, a budding Machiavellian becomes intimately acquainted with the utility of pragmatism.
The Machiavellian student is in a process of learning to fine-tune their intuition and deduction to the minds around them, realising how to assess the strengths and weaknesses of said minds whilst adapting their presentation to fit or defy what is expected.
As mentioned in a paragraph prior, stealth is key. A Machiavellian must first go under the radar and appear non-threatening to the majority (eg: don’t start-up a blog discussing the dark triad) before escalating to cooption. And so it follows that regardless of the Machiavellian subtype one fits, it is imperative to be perceived innocuously, at least until one is so powerful appearing thornless weakens rather than strengthens their image.
3.) Stages of Influence:
One is never instantaneously worshipped without immense preselection or fame. In the absence of such external forces, one will go through numerous stages of favour. There are two stages which grant no power or favour with an individual; they are the stages of “rejection” and “indifference.” There are then three stages which follow on from this which bestow increasing levels of influence with said individual.
A stranger, a person who does not know of you, is for the most part, indifferent. People who know of you that behave as if they are indifferent are not actually indifferent; they have in fact rejected you. The indifference stage is populated exclusively by strangers. There is little difference between rejection and indifference if rejection is not accompanied by penalty or punishment other than the rejection in and of itself. Where rejection causes another to designate you as a threat and to seek to undermine you, they likewise become your threat. No war is one-sided, just because one has not declared it, it does not mean one is not at it. The rejection stage is populated by one’s enemies: spies, saboteurs, haranguers and haters.
Next there is acceptance, acceptance is an absence of negative sentiment or threat designation, characterised best as genuine civil cooperation. At the acceptance stage your existence is acknowledged and accepted, you do not set any alarms off, but likewise you hold little influence. The acceptance stage is populated by colleagues and acquaintances who you have neither gone to war with, nor won the favour of.
Beyond acceptance we reach cooption, cooption is when one deems you favourably to the extent that they will engage in non-consequential (small) personal sacrifices, grant you small favours and show a beyond “familiar” level of respect and admiration. The cooption stage is populated by friends, and people you may not know who are nevertheless enamoured with your reputation.
Finally, we reach the stage of worshipper: a worshipper may or may not be a sycophant, but they are individuals who see you as an incredibly important and integral character in their lives. They will be willing to make large sacrifices, lie for you, protect you, and are sensitive to your wants and needs. The worshipper stage is populated by dear friends, close family members, passionate lovers and groupies.
So how is one to traverse the sequence of stages from stranger to worshipper? By mirroring or at least complementing people well enough for them to feel at ease when you’re around of course, on this note Dale Carnegie’s “How To Make Friends & Influence People seems relevant.
4.) The King – An Untamed Psychopath:
The king is a great executer and moderate analyst, but comes up short in planning due to his impulsive nature. Kings fail in one of two ways, they either plan but fail to stick to the plan out of impulsivity, or they simply fail to plan at all. I suspect whether planning is even attempted depends on the king in question’s IQ.
Kings are ego dominated psychopaths (narcopaths), the clinical diagnosis being narcissistic personality disorder. This means although not internally emotionally flat like their psychopathic cousins, they appear so externally. A king only feels emotion for anything relevant to him, he is apathetic to anything that doesn’t personally deprive or offend him. I speculate that this again is an IQ dependent variable, with lower IQs being more easily offended, and higher IQs less so, generally speaking, higher IQ individuals exhibit superior impulse control.
The king is the most physically and mentally violent of all the Machiavellian subtypes, he has an intrinsic desire to secure power at all costs and will mercilessly impose his will, brutishly bending people to fit his plans. Kings excel at instilling fear and can even be charming, but are impatient and easily lose their capacity to charm. As such the king is more predisposed to the use of hard power than he is diplomatic soft power.
A king’s charm is built on ridicule, if he wishes to charm somebody and make them feel important, he will ridicule a member of the outgroup whilst refraining from mocking the person he wishes to include. By doing this, an implicit sense of fraternity occurs as mutual mockery of an outgroup target creates a superficial bond. The truth is the king cannot bond, and shallow as it sounds when described so plainly, this is the limit of the king’s charm. Whilst a king is capable of conveying respect where he deems it due, respect and charm are not the same entities.
The king is short on patience, often lacks finesse, and struggles without council to plan elaborately. Kings can think of the long game, but because they’re impulsive and prone to bursts of narcissistic rage they rely far too heavily on improvised short-term strategies. The king is a quick actor and performs excellently when his back is against the wall, but when the adrenaline’s not pumping he’s prone to sloppy egotism and needless perfunctory gaslighting in the pursuit of stimulation.
This is a psychopath who does not meet his potential because he does not optimise his behaviour or time, and so long as he believes he is elite and in control of the people in his life he has no incentive to escape his self-imposed ego-feeding mediocrity and become better.
Kings don’t like getting their hands dirty and often believe certain conversations or actions are beneath them, and thus delegate undesirable tasks to their groupies and pawns as they spectate and demand to be kept apprised.
By nature of their ego, the king has something of a penchant for wasting time by playing with people’s feelings and pointlessly disrupting people’s alliances rather than working towards an objective.
Fucking with people is not something the king causes inadvertently via collateral damage, no, the king indulges in fucking with people purely to create chaos and feel superior in the midst of other’s distress. Kings can be characterised as having a sadistic disposition, for schadenfreude feeds into their already gargantuan egos. From this it becomes clear just how dominant ego is within the king, and how sadism acts as a mechanism of narcissistic supply for the sustenance of self-majesty.
The king is eager to control, but actively resists the control of others. The king is capable of devising strategy, however due to limited emotional intelligence and abstraction his plans oft fall short versus those of the advisor and general.
5.) The General – Master Machiavellian:
A general dirties his hands where necessary, appearing moral and upright as and when required. Unlike the king who is too grandiose and self-important to demean himself to “the tasks of servants,” a general will do what needs to be done in order to achieve the objective at hand.
No matter how undesirable or distasteful such an action may be, a general knows in matters of necessity he is not above the game, and that should it prove more effective for him to personally dirty his hands, he shall. A general knows when he can trust somebody’s loyalty and competency enough to delegate them a task. Generals are excellent at gauging people’s value, astute in assessment of one’s expertise, reliability and sensitivity.
Generals combine the king’s ability to perform with the advisers rational astuteness, for general’s are the culmination of the other two subtypes personified. Generals are at the very epitome of Machiavellian ability and tend to occupy the apex of power, eg: Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump.
The majority of Machiavellians tend to be the neurotic king subtype or passive advisers. The general is the rarest subtype, a Machiavellian who possesses the capacity to combine the reason and cunning of planning, with the act of charming and intimidating in execution.
Although generals do not require advisers as kings do, they possess a full appreciation for intimately analysing issues deserving of their attention, thus seeking out alternative perspectives by debating with advisers to aid in the construction and refinement of their battle strategy.
A general is the uncommon natural progression of a king who has become aware of his fallibilities, and become successful in mitigating them. A king lacks the training, self-control, experience and expertise of a general. A general is a king who has learned to shed his ego in order to deploy effective strategies, a king of higher IQ who can discipline himself enough to cease indulging his sadistic whims.
Unlike the king who indulges his ego as a matter of self-identity, the general does not see himself as his ego, but has come to realise it as an effective weapon to be selectively applied as a situation calls for it. A general adapts to his environment and slowly changes it to suit him in much the way an advisor does, whilst a king expects his environment to adapt to him, the crude obviousness of this increasing the resistance of those around him.
The general has conditioned himself to be egotistical only when necessary. In a nutshell, a general has enough IQ to discipline and thus better control the behaviours that could expose his nature to wider society. This is why academic studies of psychopathy always tend to fixate on blue-collar crime, but scarcely on white-collar. The difference between blue and white-collar psychopathy is merely a matter of IQ and thus methodology, whilst the lower IQs rob, burgle and use physical violence, the higher IQs, defraud, bribe and use mental violence.
One could characterise a general as not only a king of more disciplined ego, but likewise a more mature and learned king. A king in his 20’s, with some self-awareness, experience and the counsel of an advisor or two could flourish into a general by the time he hits his 30’s or 40’s.
Generals do not have to evolve out of kings, although from my observation it appears this is how they most frequently manifest. Aside high IQ men with NPD, I speculate high IQ men with ASPD (near emotionless psychopaths who are less egocentric) are natural generals in the sense there is no evolutionary process of channelling the ego as one matures for them, but rather they have always simply been emotionally flat.
If the ability to control one’s ego and strategise well is present from a young age, then as unlearned as that Machiavellian may be, he is a young general. If said man cannot strategise as well as an advisor, then he is not a general, but a king in need of an advisor. A general in all simplicity is a fully dark triad man who has learned to curb his lust for sadism as well as mitigate ineffectual narcissism in order to get results. He prioritises the mechanics of the game above his own quirks, he is the ultimate pragmatist, a disciplined hand of amoral efficiency.
6.) Relevant Reading:
Machiavellian Social Competencies
Machiavellian Thinking Vs. Conventional Logic
Malignant Self-Love: Narcissism Revisited
The 48 Laws of Power
The 33 Strategies of War
The Craft of Power
24 thoughts on “Nuance In Manipulative Style: The Machiavellian Trifecta”
Very astute. Having seen myself recently shifting from The King, and relying on an intuitive sense of how to manipulate, to a more tangible and pragmatic understanding of Machiavellianism, especially in the way in which I sooth my ego, your analysis is spot on.
What interests me is that though my venture into a better understanding of my power was instinctive and naturally stems from my genetic make-up (Read: Low activity in amygdyla), it seems that you imply The Strategist needs a trigger. What did they do to you Illimitable, what did they do? 🙂
While reading this article, I realize now that there is a word for how I grew up and that I am not as isolated in my personality as I once thought. If I could classify myself as one of these, I would say I belong in the general category. I was always too disliked until I was 16 to develop any sort of ego and it is only this year, at age 19 that I have worked towards it enough that I can afford to flaunt any sort of ego.
Many people saw me as someone they could trust within minutes of talking to me, and many more saw me as dangerous. I stayed away from my peers until grade 7, when two schools combined and I was exposed to new kids from a foreign environment. I studied the way other children interacted, and became extremely adept at mimicing it, to the point where there was never a conversation I wasn’t entirely in control of, and I thought that was just normal interaction. By the end of the year, I disrupted and tore apart the groups of the kids who were mean to me for the past 5 years.
By the time High school started, many people were wary of me and I had become the most infamous person in the school. My name was thrown around by students and teachers alike, with 70% of the students saying I was going to shoot up the school for sure, 27-28% saying there was just something a little off about me and 2-3% or so who would gladly take a bullet if I were the one to shoot it at them. But none of the teachers understood it at all, I always played both sides. I was called into the principals office to give my views on multiple situations because I was reported by teachers to be a trusted source. I was actually once called into the office to face an officer, the principal and a teacher that I had stirred up an issue with. That is the last time I remember being stressed out, because I figured that the jig was up and they finally caught me. It was no secret throughout the school that I was the one behind the whole scandal, I showed the wrong person the wrong thing that amused me and it spread like wild fire. However, I maintained composure and throughout the meeting realized they were interrogating me because they thought it couldn’t be me.
It was at that moment I realized the true power that Machiavellianism brings. All the people who hated me and constantly made high school a living hell for me wouldn’t say a word against me. Within a year, I became one of the most well liked people in the school, by the staff and students solely because there’s not a single thing I won’t say to have my way. And almost as important as that is knowing when to say nothing at all to speak louder than anything I could tell them.
Sounds like you’ve had some invaluable experience playing chess master. Playing both sides of the field whilst keeping your hands clean without any official book or vocational training at such a young age demonstrates a natural Machiavellian aptitude.
The fact you had to learn to mimic other’s behaviour to fit in suggests you could be a psychopath. Which likewise, makes you an effective Machiavellian. It’s easier to be proficiently manipulative when you don’t care about how other people feel, ruthlessness makes you more effective.
Regardless, the label I use is to guide you rather than stereotype you. Maybe you are, maybe you aren’t. You can do your own research and come to your own conclusions about yourself. Perhaps this site will (or already is) helping you do exactly that.
Love the series.
Why did you use “infamous” to describe Robert Greene though?
I personally do not think Robert Greene is a bad or wicked person. I think he’s great. However, The 48 Laws of Power has a certain reputation, and he wrote it, so it seemed apt.
“Justification is for the weak. In the game of power nobody respects he who justifies himself. “
This is a blog. I discuss deep topics (like a teacher) so people ask me things all the time. It’s like a classroom. A good teacher always justifies when teaching. You cannot teach without saying “the why” and hence, justifying. So if someone asks “why?” I’m going to tell them. That’s the entire point of this blog.
How am I to know your question is less than genuine? That you’re not in the classroom to learn, but merely to shit test the teacher? I have to assume my readers are serious students who possess genuine questions because they want to learn. As such I am not going to sit here and “game play” with my readers. Why would I? There is no reason to. You must have a reason for your tactics. If this was a social event and not a place of learning, I could easily gauge if you were trying to make me look deliberately stupid so I’d just say “because he is.” Or something equally as terse. The context there isn’t to learn, but to been seen powerfully. The context here is to learn.
And quite ironically, if I were not to justify anything, you wouldn’t be learning from this comment. Because I would have ignored you for being insolent, deleted your comments and banned you for violating law 1.
Realise the context of what you read and apply it as necessary, not liberally as an absolute. NEVER justifying yourself in any situation is TERRIBLE. Especially if you’re in a position of authority where people ask you questions all the time. In fact, refusing to justify yourself in such a circumstance could make you circumspect. If you’ve read the 48 laws, you know everything has a reversal.
Food for thought. Also, if you have any respect, don’t shit test me on my blog.
You are right.
My original question was a passive-agressive way of asking “Do you know the difference between famous and infamous?”
This was self serving as it made me feel more powerful than you.
I felt like your response to that question read a little sheepish so it brought out the lion in me and I decided to go in for the kill with the justification quote to gauge your reaction.
I guess you could call it a shit test, but I was viewing it as Powertalk between two sociopaths.
I have great respect for the work you have done here and I continue to learn from your postings.
Love this rework, your writing has become much more effective, concise, nuanced, and you do a much more detailed job of describing the King and General. Your first piece, although an interesting exploration into the various Machiavellian sub types, failed to “strike a chord” with me so intimately as other DT works (Psychopathic Paradigm, Game of Power, and Second Overview specifically). Your last paragraph describing how a General can manifest from an individual with ASPD and high IQ is how I feel my personality has developed. I suspect that the development of a General is tied to his intellectual maturity, as I have seen my very intelligent, albeit immature, psychopathic friend fail to shed his ego where necessary and ruin any hope of complex manipulations with a lack of self control. Nonetheless, fascinating piece once again and I look forward to the opening of the forum and further works of writing.
I love your material. However, I have a hard time figuring out where I fall within these categories. At this point, it’s important for me to figure out where I stand and above everything, figuring out my weaknesses. I won’t say that I’m completely emotionally dead inside (I do have feelings of love for my family), but outside of that realm I am completely indifferent to everyone around me. If I can help someone, I will.
For example: more often than not, I opt out of giving people advice when they are “struggling” because I know it’s meaningless and those individuals just want to hear themselves talk. In this respect, you could say I have a reputation as a good listener; I know just the right amount of input to give so that they feel as though I’ve given them something. All I have done though is reflect exactly what they’ve shit out of their mouths.
I feel like I do have emotions – I feel a small sense of hurt and loneliness because at the end of the day, no one cares about my own shit – it’s just me. There’s the occasional need to confide in someone, but I know better and never act out. It doesn’t get me anywhere.
The strongest emotion I feel though is disgust. Disgust for the people I deal with on a day to day basis. All of their “struggles” are self created and to the trained eye, it’s easy to see what it is: an obsessive need for validation. These people drain the life force out of everyone around them because they demand this validation, or else they have a melt down. The problem with these meltdowns is that these individuals have enough social clout to make your life miserable if you do not give them energy they seek. I would say that these individuals are “low level kings” – they hold no real influence outside of their social circles, but it’s still enough that if I don’t act accordingly, I’m fucked socially. They have NO emotional control. I try to operate as a faux advisor, but I occasionally find myself in a situation that I need to dig myself out of gracefully.
I feel nothing for these people. I care nothing for these people. I hate them. What’s more, I feel nothing towards these groups of people, but I do make my appearances so as not to ostracize myself. I’ve gone from being emotionally flat, to being able to smile, laugh, occasionally engage these people to build some sort of social influence (it fucking hurts to do it. I feel like I’m dying when I put on this face). I’ve realized that this mask is necessary though. At the end of the day, I have my own goals and I recognize that it will be much hard to realize them if I project my indifference.
My biggest problem at this point is figuring out how to gain power so that I may no longer feel like I’m at the mercy of these “low level kings”. They have more power than I do and that combined with their fickle nature constantly has me on edge about my actions. I’m afraid of being outed. If I break it down, it doesn’t really matter if they black list me, but I need to move past this plateau I’ve hit.
Most people have nothing bad to say about me and would consider me one of the “good people”. However, I do come across the people who “see” me. Nothing needs to be said and I don’t believe that they fall into any of the categories listed above, but beneath my exterior, they know something is off. These are my problem people. I’ve had some success winning them over, but they see me and they don’t like whatever it is they’re picking up on.
I’m not sure how to move on from where I’m at. I constantly strategize ways of eliminating these problem people, but I recognize they I do not have enough clout to see these plans through to fruition.
I’m scared it will backfire.
How to learn Machiavellian effectively when you do not posses all the traits? I’m pretty sure i need some guidance.
Hi IM, I have been reading your posts for about 6 months now (18 months of being introduced to TRP) and since there is no point in hiding my intentions here I want to ask, how does the idea of mentoring a young Machiavellian appeal to you? I am 20 years old and will soon be applying for the reddit forum you have created.
As an inspiring Machievelian , I see the benefits of being The General. However, being The King is a much easier endeavor. The former requires much more planning and patience then I’m comfortable indulging in. I understand the need to be highly deceitful to achieve greater gains but it is much easier to change the playing field to suit my needs then to accommodate to the environment continuously.
Wow shit really hit home here. I scored 97 percentile machiavellian, and was thinking I’m a King wanting to become a General. Nek minit, ‘A king in his 20’s, with some self-awareness, experience and the counsel of an advisor or two could flourish into a general by the time he hits his 30’s or 40’s.’
Excellent thought-provoking stuff here. Thank you very much for your work.
I’m definitely a narcopath. To like a ridiculous degree. It is this single fact that has sabotaged many of my Machiavellian endeavors, even though I am a natural since childhood. So I have to thank you for this fucking article. It’s through this that I’ve been able to see my shortcomings and begin to play to my strengths while developing my weaknesses.
I’ll be the general one day soon.
Love this piece, it’s a really interesting way of dissecting Machiavellians, and showing how the different types play off one another. On that subject, you briefly mentioned how a General can be born, but how this is rare . As soon as I read that, I immediately thought of a personal hero of mine. He was raised as Gaius Octavius, but was later known as Augustus, First Emperor of Rome. Given how young he was at the start of his climb to power, plus how successful he was, I believe he was to Machiavellianism what Mozart was to music.
I was wondering, would you consider a piece on Augustus? It would be quite the undertaking, but I truly think that he personified most (if not all) of the attributes that make a god-tier player of the game. Your thoughts on him would be invaluable; mainstream historians can’t quite appreciate him in the way that a thinker like yourself could.
Thanks for all your quality work!
As a young boy, i was a very son-of-a-bitchist gasligher, specially with those whom i loved.
After taking red-pill and some maturity from age it is nonexistent by now.
Crikey i got goosebumps and all from reading that, came to me like a flashback hehe
Trump is definitely not a “General.” He is too hotheaded, clumsy, stupid, and insecure. Under different circumstances (growing up poor), he would be rotting in a cell. But he had money, and with the current political environment, he has been able to evade the hammer of justice by virtue of being obscenely rich and being born into an affluent social network. He did not rise to power, so much as it was handed to him by being born into wealth, and the incompetence and arrogance of his enemies. He himself has failed many times at the Presidential seat. He seems committed to tarnishing his name, and his family. A “General” would never be as divisive as Trump. Most of his support came out of desperation to have anything that wasn’t Hillary Clinton.
Putin on the other hand… cold, calculating. He does enough PR to win favor. Rather than impulsively firing people over Twitter, they are “erased”, “neutralized.” He started with a humble background, and rose to being — I would say — the most powerful man in the world. The most fearsome, certainly. I’ll bet he’s smart enough to keep people around that disagree with him, whereas Trump has replaced all but his most cunning support staff (Pence, Mattis) with fools that make him feel good about himself.
You wrote this in 2014, so your assessment of Trump is forgivable.
That aside, this was a very good read, and I very much agree with your main points.
To the last comment, Trump is most certainly a general. Most of his crap is an an act. Just take a look at him back in the 90’s. He was very much a Democrat.
Anywho, To He Who Writes This Site,
Your writing is far more revealing than you might realize. Hopefully you don’t have anything on here that might reveal your true identity to those you know who haven’t seen your mask come off yet. You claim to be at the advisor level, and yet clearly believe that you are a general. As I said, your words are maybe more revealing than you know. I do understand that the whole point of the blog is to be able to lecture/educate and have a place where the mask starts to come off, but it’s slipping more than you think.
Im wondering who would win in a game of manipulation, an advisor or a king, in this case a lucifer’s daughter?
I read “The King – An Untamed Psychopath:”
This is really hilarious. It is perfectly describing someone I know that is the leader of a non for profit organization… It’s a perfect depiction of this guy… It’s funny how that archetype exactly describes him word for word. Everyone in our organization hates this man and wishes he was dead… Is there any way to directly undermine him or find a way to kick him out Machiavellian style?
You hit a nail on the head so well that I’m absolutely astonished.
I’m the “I speculate high IQ men with ASPD (near emotionless psychopaths who are less egocentric) are natural generals” type who has come into my own as a General. Early 30s.
The level of value and detail in this whole article is incredible.
Thank you, Machiavellian Teacher. I feel less alone in the world.