Robert Greene | The Cult
In this video we listen to Robert Greene Author of 48 Laws of Power, a 1998 cult classic…
I first heard about 48 Laws of Power in the early 200o’s while working Silicon Valley for many San Francisco startups and large corporations.
At first, as a young engineer I dismissed it thinking it sounds like cynical view of the world…
However, over time I came around to the ideal that people are very petty, power hungry, and ultimately will float in and out of your live on breeze as it is politically or functional convenient to do so.
So many people were either trying to start or join the next big startup, so people changed jobs, often, every 1-2 years as their stocks vested, or they no longer thought this startup was going anywhere, so they’d jump on the next wannabe google or facebook looking for what they called Unicorns…
As I to participated in the hunt for Unicorns, it definitely seemed like there was a rhyme and a reason for most peoples behavior… I became extremely fascinated with psychology, economics, as they effect corporations and individuals.
So, many co-workers would mention the book 48 Laws of power would every so often. While I’m not convinced the 48 Laws of Power are hard and fast laws… There is a nugget of truth to the ideal there is something guiding people’s behavior that looks or behaves like a law. This law I concluded was peoples “Emotions”. Emotion in contrast to logic or reason was the common denominator, because not everyone was logical, or was of sound reason, or sound mind, but everyone even the homeless people who slept on my front door step were extremely emotional.
In this video Robert Greene gives a lecture or a tech talk to Google Employees…
48 Laws of Power reminds me of Cult thinking, and in fact was a Cult Classic among startups engineers, and technocrats of the 2000’s, which reminded me of many religions including Mormonism, and more specifically Scientology… as the 48 Laws of Power the reminded me of L. Ron Hubbard’s Dianetics which was the book L. Ron Hubbard wrote, and because of Dianetics financial success inspired L. Ron Hubbard to go onto create a religion of his own Scientology.
Anyways, Robert Greene goes on to say we are subject to the evolution of Brain’s Biology, which create both ancient brain or the brain steam which regulates our breathing, heart rate, and hormones, which in turn create our emotions. While our Frontal Cortex is relatively new and unique to mammals, humans, great apes, monkeys ext have the largest Frontal Cortex or Frontal Lobe, Humans with the most neurons of all. This is what gives us our Language and ability to reason, or think instead of simply just react. But even Humans primarily act on emotions, but with time most people learn to control their emotions with logic and reason to varying degrees.
Because of this, even though people have Language, Logic and Reason, we are still governed by emotions, Joy, Happiness, Sadness, Envy, Greed, Lust, Gluttony, Anger, Boredom ext. I would add in many Religion’s each Emotion can be characterized by some kind of Sin we must learn to overcome, avoid and or limit or control.
In Psychology we learn how to manipulate others by understanding to manipulate other peoples emotions, or appealing to the appetites, or bribe them with creature comforts…
In technology and entertainment we’ve developed techniques to use peoples sense’s to optimize their behavior threw conditioning, and rewarding them with dopamine traps when they complete simple tasks, ie click a button, to watch a video, or buy something which is similar to a sugar high without the sugar.
In economics money stimulates the same part of the brain cocain does, so gambling or day trading can easily create adrenaline addicts, who will could lose control of their faculties as they rush to trade or gamble on everything.
So what seemed like a job in Silicon Valley, or Wall Street, Washington DC, or Hollywood quickly turns into something else, and game for, prestige, money and power.
But because People do not live alone these microcosms form larger organizations like cults, clubs, religions, corporations, industry and governments, countries, and ethnicities, each with their own unique culture filled with art, music, literature, ethics, morals and values. Which eventually create something even larger ie Generations of people, who encompass all cultures.
Robert Greene describes these generational cultures as a Zeitgeist, which each generation is composed of people born within about 22 years or so. And there is about 5 generations living at the same time, each generation/zeitgeist form a cycle, of revolution, enlightenment, stagnation, depression which results in another revolution starting the cycle all over again.
Greene concludes by saying as of 2018, the Millennial Generation or perhaps the Gen Z may be the generation to start the next Revolution, if we haven’t already. And if you want to be successful going forward you should figure out how to ride that wave of Revolution.
In sum, Maybe Greene is right.