illacertus here, I obsessively study Robert Greene and his works, currently animating ‘The 48 Laws of Power’ summaries. ( Let's talk about the core chapter ‘Law 24: Play the Perfect Courtier’ in other words “Be Perfectly Machiavellian (even if you’re not a prince)."


It’s astonishing how little has changed. An excerpt from a 500 years old book;

“The aim of the perfect courtier is so to win for himself the favor and mind of the prince whom he serves that he may be able to tell him, and always will tell him, the truth about everything he needs to know, without fear or risk of displeasing him; and that when he sees the mind of his prince inclined to a wrong action, he may dare to oppose him and in a gentle manner avail himself of the favor acquired by his good accomplishments, so as to dissuade him of every evil intent and bring him to the path of virtue. –Baldesar Castiglione (The Book of the Courtier, 1516)

Greene’s next book “The Laws of Human Nature” will go deep with why history is repeating itself over and over again, where our human behavior comes from and why it’s still much the same (to add to that; Friedrich Nietzsche will be a great star in the book).

To my luck I made my major mistakes in courtier ship with teachers who didn’t have as much power over me as my authorities today. Disregarding the master and pupil relationship I’d argue about everything, ask questions that made the teacher insecure and defensive, I’d be arrogant and feeling to have to play a certain dominant role in the classroom. I would probably not be enjoying such a good status in the office now, if I hadn’t made the majority of my teachers dislike me. 500 years ago I would’ve been beheaded in the court no doubt.

It should go without saying that being a skilled courtier, someone who knows how to further their own agenda while not offending the wrong people, but pleasing the right people, is an essential attribute everyone interested in power (or a roof over their head) should spend time attaining. And to the contrary of subjects on accumulating power there are quite a lot of books on being a courtier. How to deal with a difficult boss, coworker, customer, whatever it is. I’m getting very general here, but influencing people is probably the most important of a courtier’s skills. I feel that this is overlooked by a lot of people. From what I’ve seen so far we redpillers greatly concern ourselves with these topics, so I’m asking you “How do you play the perfect courtier in the world of business suits, ties, polished shoes & overpriced watches? Mind sharing an example?”

Greene’s insights on how to apply his book would make a great addition, a 2nd book (that I’m guessing he could never publish), but as there is none – I and many other readers of the laws want to see & discuss modern-day examples. It's not that we lack creativity, but as it's applicaple everywhere, we'd like to hear specific situations in different fields. Please state your observations.

Here’s the piece of work

Conclusion (1 of many):

A lot of being a courtier comes down to handling people, influencing/controlling them (whatever words you want to use). So books on persuasion and avoiding falling into pitfalls are indeed a good source to help becoming a great courtier. To not list the mandatory Dale Carnegie, I shall recommend ‘Secrets to Winning at Office Politics’ by Marie McIntyre (I’ve got a Part II up on Greene’s “15 Laws of Court Politics”), ‘Thinking, Fast and Slow’ by Daniel Kahneman and ‘Predictably Irrational’ by Dan Ariely. I reread these on a yearly basis.