Law 22: Use The Surrender Tactic: Transform Weakens Into Power

48 Laws Of Power Summary Series

Alexander Emmanual Sandalis

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Judgement

“When you are weaker, never fight for honors 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 the fighting and defeating you — surrender first. By turning the other cheek you infuriate and unsettle him. Make surrender a tool of power.”

The concept of this law may prove challenging for many ‘Type A personalities’ who identify heavily the ‘masculine energy’. Especially because surrender is typically associated as a sign of weakness so it’s often hard to see how surrendering can be used as an intelligent tactic. The following story exemplifies how one can fall due to honor and pride getting in the way of a tactful surrender.

Transgression Of The Law

In classical times, the city of Athens dominated the sea and coastal areas around Greece. The island of Melos was situated in the heart of the Mediterranean which the Athenians wanted to conquer. The Melians refused to ally themselves with Athens and remained loyal to their original colonizer, Sparta. In 416 B.C. the Athenians sent an expedition against Melos. Before launching an all-out attack, however, they dispatched a delegation to pursued the Melians to surrender and become an ally rather than suffer defeat.

The Melians argued how authority belonged to the gods, not to mortals and exclaimed their assurances that Sparta would come to their defense. The Athenians insisted Sparta would not come to their defense. The Athenians countered that the Spartans were a conservative, practical people, and would not help Melos because they had nothing to gain and a lot to lose by doing so. Finally the Melians began to talk of honor…

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Alexander Emmanual Sandalis

Self-reflective writings & book summaries on philosophy, psychology and human behaviour. Video’s + podcast → youtube.com/emmanualalexander