사람이 둘 이상 모이면 사회를 이루고, 사회에는 정치가 있고, 정치의 결과는 권력입니다. 그 권력의 48가지 법칙을 다룬 책이라.. 슬슬 눈길이 가게 되지요.
(원제) The 48 laws of Power
'전쟁의 기술'의 저자이자, 'The Game'
에서 PUA의 바이블인 '유혹의 기술'을 저술한 로버트 그린인지라 사실 이름만 보고 냉큼 읽었습니다. 하지만, 전반적으로 '전쟁의
기술'과 사례가 아주 많이 겹칩니다. 이로써 그린씨의 내공은 파악이 되었군요. 대작을 두 개 연달아 쓸 역량은 아니라고
물론, '전쟁의 기술'이 후작이며 음험한 권력 이슈에서 전쟁으로 확장, re-packaging한 책입니다. '권력의 법칙'은 예전에 '권력을 경영하는 48 법칙'으로 나온 책을 다시 펴냈으니까요.
단지 작가로서의 능력만 아니라, 이 책을 읽다보면 다른 아쉬움이 많습니다. 그린씨도 스스로 밝히듯, 권력에 대해 아픔이 있고, 환상을
갖고 있는 저자입니다. 결과로, 이 책은 진지하게 해부하면 권력을 가져보지 못한 자가 열심히 모아 놓은 심각한 오해와 꼼수입니다.
일단 권력을 테크닉으로 쟁취가능하다고 생각한다면 큰 오산입니다. 물론 역사상 유명한 권력자는 독특한 스타일이 있었지요. 하지만,
일반적이지 않고 상황에 따른 기법을 권력에의 첩경처럼 확대해석한다면 문제가 있습니다. 결국, 독자는 목표로서의 권력을 생각하며 책을
읽지만, 저자가 이야기 해주는 것은 결과로서의 권력이지요. 가장 중요한 부분인, 지속 가능한 권력에 대해서는 일체
함구합니다. 사례는 역사에서 동적인 장면만 보여주기 때문이지요.
그래서 사례 중심이 주는 큰 오류를 그대로 답습합니다. 유사한 구조하에서 공격측이 이긴 사례와 진 사례가 공존합니다.
그럴 수 밖에 없지요. 예를 들어, 적을 오게 하고 기다리는 사례와 기습으로 적의 혼을 빼는 사례가 상충하는 식이지요. 또,
승리할 때는 완전히 굴복시키는 사례와 적절한 시점에서 그치지 못해 실패하는 사례가 병존합니다. 다른 예로 카이사르는 연극적
기질로 권력을 쟁취했고, 그를 승한 아우구스투스는 소박하고 사나이다운 위엄으로 권력을 공고히 하잖습니까. 결국, 재미난 읽을 거리임에는 분명하지만, 실제 응용은 다른 이야기라고 보면 맞습니다. 마치 '회사가 당신에게 알려주지 않는 50가지 비밀'과도 비슷합니다. 뭔가 꼭 있는듯 보이나, 막상 열어 보면 평범하고 그럴듯한 이야기일 뿐이지요.
그런 면에서 이 책은 군주론을 자꾸 떠올리게 합니다. 하지만, 마씨의 엄밀한 형식 논증에 비하면 그린씨는 입담 좋은 소설 수준입니다.
물론, 권력은 필요악이고, 원하든 원하지 않든 겪어야할 과정이며, 알아채든 모르든 이미 당신 주위에서 진행 중인 사건입니다.
따라서, 권력을 백안시 할 필요는 당연히 없지만, 그렇다고 권력을 따로 공부하는 것도 우습습니다. 권력에 다가가기 위한 기본
전제 조건이 선결이니까요. 당신의 인망, 실력, 인맥, 지지, 평판, 타이밍 말입니다.
사실 이름이 거창해서 무언가
배울까 하는 생각했다면 아깝겠지만, 역사소설 읽듯 보기엔 재미가 있습니다. 따라서 이 책은 상업적인 목적에 맞게 가벼운 마음으로
읽어주면 됩니다. 그리고 그린씨, 그 정도의 재능은 분명있습니다. 수 백가지 사례를 48개로 범주화하고 이리저리 궤변을 꿰어
맞추는 능력은 범상을 분명 넘지요. 책이 워낙 방대하다보니, 재미난 표현이 많습니다.
*기만이 창이라면 인내는 방패다. *권력은 게임이다. 의도가 아닌 결과로 판단해야 한다. *권력은 결국 주도권을 유지하는 능력이다. *나의 필요와 상대의 필요를 혼돈하지 마라. *예측가능성은 아랫사람의 미덕이다. *상대가 이기게 하지 말고, 차라리 항복해라. 다양한 정체성을 보유하여 보호막처럼 사용하라. *소심은 스스로 장애를 설치하고, 대범은 장애를 치운다. 대담하다는 것은 성격이 아니라 학습된 반응이다. *권력자가 부리는 심술은 무력감의 표시이다. *누가 내게 부당히/과하게 화를 낸다면, 나 때문이 아니다. 다른 종횡의 이유가 축적된 것이다. 내 탓이라고 생각하는 자체가 오만이다. *명분이 유혹을 하면, 이해관계가 일을 이룬다. *시대 정신을 읽어라. 혼란기라면 복고적 가치를, 정체기라면 개혁적 가치를 표방하라. *힘은 반발을 사고, 꾀는 패턴을 노출한다. 고로 힘과 꾀를 리듬감있게 교대하라.
정말 책의 내용이 궁금하신 분은 책 소제목만 읽어 보시면 대략 분위기가 파악됩니다. 사례가 궁금하신 분은 책을 직접 읽으시면 되겠지요.
Law 1:Never Outshine the Master
make those above you feel comfortably superior. In your desire to
please or impress them, do not go too far in displaying your talents or
you might accomplish the opposite – inspire fear and insecurity. Make
your masters appear more brilliant than they are and you will attain
the heights of power.
Law 2:Never put too Much Trust in Friends, Learn how to use Enemies
wary of friends-they will betray you more quickly, for they are easily
aroused to envy. They also become spoiled and tyrannical. But hire a
former enemy and he will be more loyal than a friend, because he has
more to prove. In fact, you have more to fear from friends than from
enemies. If you have no enemies, find a way to make them.
Law 3:Conceal your Intentions
people off-balance and in the dark by never revealing the purpose
behind your actions. If they have no clue what you are up to, they
cannot prepare a defense. Guide them far enough down the wrong path,
envelope them in enough smoke, and by the time they realize your
intentions, it will be too late.
Law 4:Always Say Less than Necessary
you are trying to impress people with words, the more you say, the more
common you appear, and the less in control. Even if you are saying
something banal, it will seem original if you make it vague,
open-ended, and sphinxlike. Powerful people impress and intimidate by
saying less. The more you say, the more likely you are to say
Law 5:So Much Depends on Reputation – Guard it with your Life
is the cornerstone of power. Through reputation alone you can
intimidate and win; once you slip, however, you are vulnerable, and
will be attacked on all sides. Make your reputation unassailable.
Always be alert to potential attacks and thwart them before they
happen. Meanwhile, learn to destroy your enemies by opening holes in
their own reputations. Then stand aside and let public opinion hang
Law 6:Court Attention at all Cost
[Spotlight / Veil dance]
is judged by its appearance; what is unseen counts for nothing. Never
let yourself get lost in the crowd, then, or buried in oblivion. Stand
out. Be conspicuous, at all cost. Make yourself a magnet of attention
by appearing larger, more colorful, more mysterious, than the bland and
Law 7:Get others to do the Work for you, but Always Take the Credit
the wisdom, knowledge, and legwork of other people to further your own
cause. Not only will such assistance save you valuable time and
energy, it will give you a godlike aura of efficiency and speed. In
the end your helpers will be forgotten and you will be remembered.
Never do yourself what others can do for you.
Law 8:Make other People come to you – use Bait if Necessary
you force the other person to act, you are the one in control. It is
always better to make your opponent come to you, abandoning his own
plans in the process. Lure him with fabulous gains – then attack. You
hold the cards.
Law 9:Win through your Actions, Never through Argument
momentary triumph you think gained through argument is really a Pyrrhic
victory: The resentment and ill will you stir up is stronger and lasts
longer than any momentary change of opinion. It is much more powerful
to get others to agree with you through your actions, without saying a
word. Demonstrate, do not explicate.
Law 10:Infection: Avoid the Unhappy and Unlucky
can die from someone else’s misery – emotional states are as infectious
as disease. You may feel you are helping the drowning man but you are
only precipitating your own disaster. The unfortunate sometimes draw
misfortune on themselves; they will also draw it on you. Associate
with the happy and fortunate instead.
Law 11:Learn to Keep People Dependent on You
maintain your independence you must always be needed and wanted. The
more you are relied on, the more freedom you have. Make people depend
on you for their happiness and prosperity and you have nothing to
fear. Never teach them enough so that they can do without you.
Law 12:Use Selective Honesty and Generosity to Disarm your Victim
sincere and honest move will cover over dozens of dishonest ones.
Open-hearted gestures of honesty and generosity bring down the guard of
even the most suspicious people. Once your selective honesty opens a
hole in their armor, you can deceive and manipulate them at will. A
timely gift – a Trojan horse – will serve the same purpose.
Law 13:When Asking for Help, Appeal to People’s Self-Interest,Never to their Mercy or Gratitude
you need to turn to an ally for help, do not bother to remind him of
your past assistance and good deeds. He will find a way to ignore
you. Instead, uncover something in your request, or in your alliance
with him, that will benefit him, and emphasize it out of all
proportion. He will respond enthusiastically when he sees something to
be gained for himself.
Law 14:Pose as a Friend, Work as a Spy
about your rival is critical. Use spies to gather valuable information
that will keep you a step ahead. Better still: Play the spy yourself.
In polite social encounters, learn to probe. Ask indirect questions to
get people to reveal their weaknesses and intentions. There is no
occasion that is not an opportunity for artful spying.
Law 15:Crush your Enemy Totally
great leaders since Moses have known that a feared enemy must be
crushed completely. (Sometimes they have learned this the hard way.)
If one ember is left alight, no matter how dimly it smolders, a fire
will eventually break out. More is lost through stopping halfway than
through total annihilation: The enemy will recover, and will seek
revenge. Crush him, not only in body but in spirit.
Law 16:Use Absence to Increase Respect and Honor
much circulation makes the price go down: The more you are seen and
heard from, the more common you appear. If you are already established
in a group, temporary withdrawal from it will make you more talked
about, even more admired. You must learn when to leave. Create value
Law 17:Keep Others in Suspended Terror: Cultivate an Air of Unpredictability
are creatures of habit with an insatiable need to see familiarity in
other people’s actions. Your predictability gives them a sense of
control. Turn the tables: Be deliberately unpredictable. Behavior
that seems to have no consistency or purpose will keep them
off-balance, and they will wear themselves out trying to explain your
moves. Taken to an extreme, this strategy can intimidate and terrorize.
Law 18:Do Not Build Fortresses to Protect Yourself – Isolation is Dangerous
world is dangerous and enemies are everywhere – everyone has to protect
themselves. A fortress seems the safest. But isolation exposes you to
more dangers than it protects you from – it cuts you off from valuable
information, it makes you conspicuous and an easy target. Better to
circulate among people find allies, mingle. You are shielded from your
enemies by the crowd.
Law 19:Know Who You’re Dealing with – Do Not Offend the Wrong Person
are many different kinds of people in the world, and you can never
assume that everyone will react to your strategies in the same way.
Deceive or outmaneuver some people and they will spend the rest of
their lives seeking revenge. They are wolves in lambs’ clothing.
Choose your victims and opponents carefully, then – never offend or
deceive the wrong person.
Law 20:Do Not Commit to Anyone
[Virgin Queen / 관목덤불]
is the fool who always rushes to take sides. Do not commit to any side
or cause but yourself. By maintaining your independence, you become
the master of others – playing people against one another, making them
Law 21:Play a Sucker to Catch a Sucker – Seem Dumber than your Mark
one likes feeling stupider than the next persons. The trick, is to
make your victims feel smart – and not just smart, but smarter than you
are. Once convinced of this, they will never suspect that you may have
Law 22:Use the Surrender Tactic: Transform Weakness into Power
you are weaker, never fight for honor’s sake; choose surrender
instead. Surrender gives you time to recover, time to torment and
irritate your conqueror, time to wait for his power to wane. Do not
give him the satisfaction of fighting and defeating you – surrender
first. By turning the other check you infuriate and unsettle him.
Make surrender a tool of power.
Law 23:Concentrate Your Forces
your forces and energies by keeping them concentrated at their
strongest point. You gain more by finding a rich mine and mining it
deeper, than by flitting from one shallow mine to another – intensity
defeats extensity every time. When looking for sources of power to
elevate you, find the one key patron, the fat cow who will give you
milk for a long time to come.
Law 24:Play the Perfect Courtier
perfect courtier thrives in a world where everything revolves around
power and political dexterity. He has mastered the art of indirection;
he flatters, yields to superiors, and asserts power over others in the
mot oblique and graceful manner. Learn and apply the laws of
courtiership and there will be no limit to how far you can rise in the
Law 25:Re-Create Yourself
not accept the roles that society foists on you. Re-create yourself by
forging a new identity, one that commands attention and never bores the
audience. Be the master of your own image rather than letting others
define if for you. Incorporate dramatic devices into your public
gestures and actions – your power will be enhanced and your character
will seem larger than life.
Law 26:Keep Your Hands Clean
[순진한 염소 / 고양이 발]
must seem a paragon of civility and efficiency: Your hands are never
soiled by mistakes and nasty deeds. Maintain such a spotless
appearance by using others as scapegoats and cat’s-paws to disguise
Law 27:Play on People’s Need to Believe to Create a Cultlike Following
have an overwhelming desire to believe in something. Become the focal
point of such desire by offering them a cause, a new faith to follow.
Keep your words vague but full of promise; emphasize enthusiasm over
rationality and clear thinking. Give your new disciples rituals to
perform, ask them to make sacrifices on your behalf. In the absence of
organized religion and grand causes, your new belief system will bring
you untold power.
Law 28:Enter Action with Boldness
you are unsure of a course of action, do not attempt it. Your doubts
and hesitations will infect your execution. Timidity is dangerous:
Better to enter with boldness. Any mistakes you commit through
audacity are easily corrected with more audacity. Everyone admires the
bold; no one honors the timid.
Law 29:Plan All the Way to the End
ending is everything. Plan all the way to it, taking into account all
the possible consequences, obstacles, and twists of fortune that might
reverse your hard work and give the glory to others. By planning to
the end you will not be overwhelmed by circumstances and you will know
when to stop. Gently guide fortune and help determine the future by
thinking far ahead.
Law 30:Make your Accomplishments Seem Effortless
actions must seem natural and executed with ease. All the toil and
practice that go into them, and also all the clever tricks, must be
concealed. When you act, act effortlessly, as if you could do much
more. Avoid the temptation of revealing how hard you work – it only
raises questions. Teach no one your tricks or they will be used
Law 31:Control the Options: Get Others to Play with the Cards you Deal
best deceptions are the ones that seem to give the other person a
choice: Your victims feel they are in control, but are actually your
puppets. Give people options that come out in your favor whichever one
they choose. Force them to make choices between the lesser of two
evils, both of which serve your purpose. Put them on the horns of a
dilemma: They are gored wherever they turn.
Law 32:Play to People’s Fantasies
truth is often avoided because it is ugly and unpleasant. Never appeal
to truth and reality unless you are prepared for the anger that comes
for disenchantment. Life is so harsh and distressing that people who
can manufacture romance or conjure up fantasy are like oases in the
desert: Everyone flocks to them. There is great power in tapping into
the fantasies of the masses.
Law 33:Discover Each Man’s Thumbscrew
has a weakness, a gap in the castle wall. That weakness is usual y an
insecurity, an uncontrollable emotion or need; it can also be a small
secret pleasure. Either way, once found, it is a thumbscrew you can
turn to your advantage.
Law 34:Be Royal in your Own Fashion: Act like a King to be treated like one
way you carry yourself will often determine how you are treated; In the
long run, appearing vulgar or common will make people disrespect you.
For a king respects himself and inspires the same sentiment in others.
By acting regally and confident of your powers, you make yourself seem
destined to wear a crown.
Law 35:Master the Art of Timing
seem to be in a hurry – hurrying betrays a lack of control over
yourself, and over time. Always seem patient, as if you know that
everything will come to you eventually. Become a detective of the
right moment; sniff out the spirit of the times, the trends that will
carry you to power. Learn to stand back when the time is not yet ripe,
and to strike fiercely when it has reached fruition.
Law 36:Disdain Things you cannot have: Ignoring them is the best Revenge
[작은 상처 / 신포도]
acknowledging a petty problem you give it existence and credibility.
The more attention you pay an enemy, the stronger you make him; and a
small mistake is often made worse and more visible when you try to fix
it. It is sometimes best to leave things alone. If there is something
you want but cannot have, show contempt for it. The less interest you
reveal, the more superior you seem.
Law 37:Create Compelling Spectacles
imagery and grand symbolic gestures create the aura of power – everyone
responds to them. Stage spectacles for those around you, then full of
arresting visuals and radiant symbols that heighten your presence.
Dazzled by appearances, no one will notice what you are really doing.
Law 38:Think as you like but Behave like others
you make a show of going against the times, flaunting your
unconventional ideas and unorthodox ways, people will think that you
only want attention and that you look down upon them. They will find a
way to punish you for making them feel inferior. It is far safer to
blend in and nurture the common touch. Share your originality only with
tolerant friends and those who are sure to appreciate your uniqueness.
Law 39:Stir up Waters to Catch Fish
and emotion are strategically counterproductive. You must always stay
calm and objective. But if you can make your enemies angry while
staying calm yourself, you gain a decided advantage. Put your enemies
off-balance: Find the chink in their vanity through which you can
rattle them and you hold the strings.
Law 40:Despise the Free Lunch
is offered for free is dangerous – it usually involves either a trick
or a hidden obligation. What has worth is worth paying for. By paying
your own way you stay clear of gratitude, guilt, and deceit. It is
also often wise to pay the full price – there is no cutting corners
with excellence. Be lavish with your money and keep it circulating,
for generosity is a sign and a magnet for power.
Law 41:Avoid Stepping into a Great Man’s Shoes
happens first always appears better and more original than what comes
after. If you succeed a great man or have a famous parent, you will
have to accomplish double their achievements to outshine them. Do not
get lost in their shadow, or stuck in a past not of your own making:
Establish your own name and identity by changing course. Slay the
overbearing father, disparage his legacy, and gain power by shining in
your own way.
Law 42:Strike the Shepherd and the Sheep will Scatter
can often be traced to a single strong individual – the stirrer, the
arrogant underling, the poisoned of goodwill. If you allow such people
room to operate, others will succumb to their influence. Do not wait
for the troubles they cause to multiply, do not try to negotiate with
them – they are irredeemable. Neutralize their influence by isolating
or banishing them. Strike at the source of the trouble and the sheep
Law 43:Work on the Hearts and Minds of Others
creates a reaction that will eventually work against you. You must
seduce others into wanting to move in your direction. A person you
have seduced becomes your loyal pawn. And the way to seduce others is
to operate on their individual psychologies and weaknesses. Soften up
the resistant by working on their emotions, playing on what they hold
dear and what they fear. Ignore the hearts and minds of others and
they will grow to hate you.
Law 44:Disarm and Infuriate with the Mirror Effect
mirror reflects reality, but it is also the perfect tool for deception:
When you mirror your enemies, doing exactly as they do, they cannot
figure out your strategy. The Mirror Effect mocks and humiliates them,
making them overreact. By holding up a mirror to their psyches, you
seduce them with the illusion that you share their values; by holding
up a mirror to their actions, you teach them a lesson. Few can resist
the power of Mirror Effect.
Law 45:Preach the Need for Change, but Never Reform too much at Once
understands the need for change in the abstract, but on the day-to-day
level people are creatures of habit. Too much innovation is traumatic,
and will lead to revolt. If you are new to a position of power, or an
outsider trying to build a power base, make a show of respecting the
old way of doing things. If change is necessary, make it feel like a
gentle improvement on the past.
Law 46:Never appear too Perfect
better than others is always dangerous, but most dangerous of all is to
appear to have no faults or weaknesses. Envy creates silent enemies.
It is smart to occasionally display defects, and admit to harmless
vices, in order to deflect envy and appear more human and
approachable. Only gods and the dead can seem perfect with impunity.
Law 47:Do not go Past the Mark you Aimed for; In Victory, Learn when to Stop
moment of victory is often the moment of greatest peril. In the heat
of victory, arrogance and overconfidence can push you past the goal you
had aimed for, and by going too far, you make more enemies than you
defeat. Do not allow success to go to your head. There is no
substitute for strategy and careful planning. Set a goal, and when you
reach it, stop.
Law 48:Assume Formlessness
taking a shape, by having a visible plan, you open yourself to attack.
Instead of taking a form for your enemy to grasp, keep yourself
adaptable and on the move. Accept the fact that nothing is certain and
no law is fixed. The best way to protect yourself is to be as fluid
and formless as water; never bet on stability or lasting order.
2007년도에 이미 소개가 되었던 책이군요. '개정완역판' 뭐 이런 부분은 못 보고 그냥 2009년 3월에 출간된 걸로 나와 있어서 처음 소개되는 책인 줄 알았습니다. ^^
'사례중심이 주는 오류'에 대한 말씀을 하셨는데요. 책의 내용을 떠나서 적절한 지적이 아닌가싶습니다. 특히 "그린씨도 스스로 밝히듯, 권력에 대해 아픔이 있고, 환상을 갖고 있는 저자입니다. 결과로, 이 책은 진지하게 해부하면 권력을 가져보지 못한 자가 열심히 모아 놓은 심각한 오해와 꼼수입니다." 하는 부분에서 공감합니다.
사실 이같은 현상은 비단 자기개발서 들에만 해당하는 건 아닐 것입니다. 예컨대, 일전에 어느 분께서 제게 새기라며 주고 간 세익스피어의 경구 하나만 보더라도 그렇습니다. 이 분은 세익스피어가 말했다는 "유혹을 하려면 누군가를 사랑하면 안된다"는 문구를 전하면서 "사기를 치거나 현혹을 할 때도 마찬가지"라는 얘기를 전했습니다.
다음은 이에 대해 제가 남긴 댓글입니다. ^^
"세익스피어의 말은 뭔 말인지 잘 모르겠습니다. 이 또한 자주 하는 말이지만, 내가 비유나 시나 뭐 이런 거에는 아주 쥐약이어서 그렇습니다. 그렇지만, 그런 전제를 깔고 굳이 한마디 한다면, 세익스피어가 저 말을 어디서 어떤 맥락으로 했는지는 모르겠지만, 내가 보기에 저 말에는 그의 소망이 깃들어 있는 게 아닌가싶습니다. 다시말해, 자기는 그렇게 못 해본 터라 저런 경구를 책 속에 남기지 않았겠느냐는 겁니다. 다른 말로 하면 세익스피어는 유혹을 하다 결국 사랑에 빠져서 실패를 했더라는 뭐 그런 의미입니다. 그래서 경구로 남겼을 거라는 얘기지요. 그러나 그렇다고 한다면, 천하의 세익스피어도 못 해 본 거를 경구랍시고 우리더러 함 해보라 하면 건 안 될 일이겠습니다. 뭐를 해서는 안 된다 혹은 뭐를 하라 따위를 말하려면 적어도 지가 성공한 거를 갖고 해야 하는 것이겠기에 말이지요. ^^ 고맙습니다. 즐거운 오후 보내세요."
제가 원래 댓글을 이래 좀 못 되게 답니다. ^^
님의 얘기를 듣다가 문득 저 댓글이 생각나서 옮겨봤습니다. 다른 얘기를 더 해본대도 역시 저 비슷한 얘기일 것같아서요. 그래서 좀 적으로 산다는 의미에서. ^^