Law 32: Play To Peoples Fantasies

The 48 Laws Of Power Summary Series


“The 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 from 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.”

If we observe the phrase “play to peoples fantasies” words like ‘manipulation’ and ‘deception’ may arise. This law is not designed to promote the malevolent manipulation of others. Instead, by being aware of how others will play to peoples fantasies you better prepare yourself for the time when someone tries to deceive you.

Centuries ago alchemists would attempt to trick nobility into believing they could conjure precious materials like gold. Successful alchemists were often some of the most powerful figures in their city because of their ability to manipulate the desperate.

Modern society does’t have traditional alchemists, but our society is still plagued with ‘magician like figures’ who play to peoples delusions. Hucksters will try and sell the desperate an alluring lifestyle full of wealth and women. The reality is, anybody can theoretically achieve a degree of these tangible successes, but few do. But the huckster will have you believe you are special and are one of the “lucky ones”, that you can achieve this success. However they are telling this to everyone they come into contact with…if everyone is the “lucky few”, then no one is. Yet people still fall for this trap everyday.

Understand: This lifestyle they try and sell you is NOT easy to attain. It’s not a simple ’10 step program to success’. It’s NOT an overnight success. It’s a long process that requires a serious amount of discipline and patience towards the pursuit of excellence.

That’s not a fantasy, that’s the reality.

Keys To Power

This is one way the malevolent will try and deceive; they will play out of oppressive realities. What does this practically mean though?

In 2008 there was the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression of the 1930s. In the birth of a new struggle such as a global financial crisis you can bet there would’ve been thousands of hucksters attempting to take advantage of the desperate in the need work and wealth.

Understand: Oppressive realities is often a time where the huckster will look for their prey. They rely on a ‘scarcity mindset’ and volatile emotions. The lesson is; remain hyper vigilant in times of oppression because that’s when you are the most vulnerable to loose the most.

We will now examine a few of the oppressive realities that endure, and the opportunities for power they provide.

This is the fantasy of the charlatans who prowl among us to this day and one of the keys to an alchemists success.

How did the sixteenth-century German quack Leonhard Thurneisser become a court physician without ever studying medicine? Instead of offering amputations, leeches and fowl tasting elixirs he promised instant recovery through sweet-tasting elixirs coined as “drinkable-gold”. Who could resist such a lavish fantasy; health and well-being without sacrifice and pain.

Don’t compare your behind the scenes with someone else’s highlights.


“Never come to close to the place where you are actually expected to produce results. That place may prove extremely hazardous.”

Now you know the terrain. Don’t go where it’s slippery. Don’t get fooled.

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Originally Posted

Self reflective writings & book summaries on philosophy, psychology and human behaviour.

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