B1 Intermediate US 448 Folder Collection
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Let me just start off by saying that I'm not recommending anything
I'm about to say in this video. I've simply taken one of the most influential
books ever written and I will try to break down some of the ideas
with hopefully relevant examples. So I'm simply presenting information here,
and it is completely up to the viewer to decide what he wants to do with that information...
“How we live is so different from how we ought to live
that he who studies what ought to be done rather than what is done
will learn the way to his downfall rather than to his preservation.”
What Machiavelli is saying here is, "Look, we all have these visions
of how society should be and what we should all do,
but the truth is what happens in reality
just doesn't correspond to that at all!" So what he's basically saying is,
"Get real!"
If I asked most people watching this, "Do you want to see Kim Kardashian's ass
from 20 different angles every single day on your computer screen?"
What are most people going to say? "No... No, that's not what we want..."
"You shouldn't be clicking on that stuff, you should be educating yourself."
"You know, you should be reading Voltaire."
Now here's what Machiavelli is saying, "Look, that might be how we ought to live,
but it's just not what's really going on." So if you're a marketer,
don't cater Voltaire to people's Facebook feed,
they don't care about Voltaire. Instead, show them Kim Kardashian ass
from 20 different angles, and the 10 celebrities this week
who got drunk and threw up. You'll get all the clicks you want,
and you'll make a lot of money.
And this makes people genuinely angry! "Machiavelli, don't say that!
How could you say something like that!" Well, because that's just how it is.
If you don't understand that this is how it is,
you either don't know anything about marketing, or you're some well-intentioned wannabe marketer
who hasn't had his dreams completely shattered yet.
And the same thing applies to politics and any other field of power...
You can't be a good honest politician. You just can't!
People say all the time, "Well, why can't we just have honest politicians?"
Cause honest politicians are like the marketer who markets Voltaire to you.
You don't click on Voltaire, You click on Kim Kardashian's ass,
so just like a marketer who markets Voltaire will never get any clicks,
the honest politician will never get any votes.
“Any man who tries to be good all the time is bound to come to ruin
among the great number who are not good. Hence a prince who wants to keep his authority
must learn HOW NOT TO BE GOOD, and use that knowledge,
or refrain from using it, as necessity requires.”
Again, a politician needs to learn how not to be good.
I know that might sound crazy, but that's the only way he'll ever have a
chance. What are you going to do,
go up there on the stage, be honest, and say, "Well, if you don't want to be broke,
stop sitting in front of the TV all day, and pick up a book. And in the long run,
granted you also work hard and smart, you will start to see results."
Is that really what you're going to do? You can, but you'll never get elected.
No... Don't do that... Go up there and tell them how
you're going to just change this one thing about the economy,
and all of a sudden we're all going to have more money.
Money is just going to be magically generated out nowhere,
and you will then hand out this magic money to everyone.
And yes, as stupid as that sounds, you will actually get all the votes
and your honest competitor will get none...
I also love people who have absolutely no idea about how business works,
and in their mind they'd be so good only if they were in power,
"If I was in charge of that, I would pay people three times as much!"
Oh really? Would you? Would you really do that?
Because that's probably why you're not in charge of anything.
If you were in charge and you did that, you would be out of business in two weeks.
“The vulgar crowd always is taken by appearances, and the world consists chiefly of the vulgar.”
Machiavelli says, "Now that you know that a lot of times you
can't be a good guy, don't make the mistake of not appearing like
one." All you have to do is appear to be the good
guy, you're dealing with people who constantly
click on the top 10 celebrities who puked this week,
they're not going to know the difference, don't worry.
I love when people look at all these philanthropists and think,
"Uh, what a nice guy!" "He's just the paragon of goodness!"
Oh is he really? Are they really? Is that how they built multi-billion dollar
businesses? By being a nice guy to their competition,
and sharing their revenues equally and generously with their employees?
No! They built it by following another one of Machiavelli's principles...
“Men ought either to be well treated or crushed,
because they can avenge themselves of lighter injuries,
of more serious ones they cannot; therefore the injury that is to be done to
a man ought to be of such a kind that one does not
stand in fear of revenge.” Almost every successful organization you might
like and think of as good has engaged in the nastiest lawsuits and acquisitions
to completely crush its enemy.
And I could give endless examples of this game of appearances.
My favorite one has to be politicians who clearly don't care about religion,
but act like without Jesus they just wouldn't know what to do.
And it works... If they didn't lie they just wouldn't have a chance.
I mean if Jesus wasn't personally guiding the senator,
we all know that the state would immediately collapse,
and as a punishment, it would probably be hit with tornadoes too.
"Princes must delegate difficult tasks to others,
and keep popular ones for themselves."
Machiavelli talks about Cesare Borgia, who has this region that he needs to bring
under control. Long story short,
he appoints this guy and sends him down there to do it.
The guy makes sure the trouble makers' heads are chopped off,
and they're castrated, and all of that... Really brutal stuff,
and finally the place is under control. The problem now
is people have seen a lot of cruelty and they are pretty pissed off.
So what's Borgia's solution? He has the guy who did all his dirty work
cut in half and thrown onto the city square. Then, he makes sure to provide the citizens
with food and entertainment, and what's the result?
The dirty effective work was carried out just like Borgia wanted,
but he's not the one people are angry at.
Now that is probably one of the weirdest, most repulsive stories I've ever heard,
but people in power today constantly do basically some variation of
So I was watching one of the biggest channels on YouTube,
and this guy just has the scamiest marketing in the world.
It's just so bad... And of course some people kept calling him
out for it, but then one day he puts out this video
where he's just really honest, you know... He's really gonna be honest with you guys...
And here's what he said, "I know my marketing is scammy,
and I would basically be a piece of shit for doing it,
but it's not me guys..." "It's just the marketers who work for me man..."
"It's just how they do stuff. If it was up to me,
I wouldn't do it like that..." And I scroll down and the video has all these
likes and people are just like,
"Yeah, we know... We know you're a really good dude.
It's just the marketers."
And I remember sitting there in utter disbelief. So let me get this straight...
It's your business, but yeah, I get it...
You obviously have no say in how it's run. Yeah, that makes perfect sense...
You don't want to make more money either, yeah, I totally get that too...
And of course you couldn't tell a person who works for you
to not be a piece of shit if that's what you wanted,
otherwise you're right, you'd probably get fired
from the business that you OWN! I mean it's just so ridiculous,
but guess what? It works.
It works just like an article about celebrities who puked this weekend,
and just like dishonest politicians who will always get elected.
So there you go... Some of the biggest ideas from The Prince...
And remember this is just information. Knowledge isn't inherently right or wrong,
it depends on what you do with it. Do I think that these ideas are powerful?
Absolutely. Do I want to live a fully Machiavellian life?
No! Absolutely not! It would be the most dreadful life in the
world. Machiavelli says,
"It is safer to be feared than to be loved." Would I want to apply that to my relationship?
No! And I'll admit it...
Yes, you would probably lower your chances of being cheated on
if you threatened the woman you're with that if you caught her cheating, you would
chop her head off. Yes, that will probably make her less likely
to cheat on you than giving her freedom and a relationship based
on love, but at the same time,
I would rather get cheated on a hundred times than never cheated on because she's scared
of losing her life if she cheats.
So no, I'm not going to be some fully Machiavellian psychopath.
But at the same time, I don't want to walk into a business setting
and just get absolutely crushed by a bunch of assholes.
Neither do I want to be played by some little bullshit scam artist
who tells me that it's not his fault that he's scamming me,
and I'm supposed to just believe that and sit there like a little sheep
getting ready to be slaughtered.
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448 Folder Collection
Qianhui Rao published on February 14, 2016
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