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Well here we are again. I wasn't sure at first if there was going to be an installment as for most of the morning my 'Net access was down. But here we are. Yesterday I talked about Laws 3 and 4, and now without further Apu....

<span style="font-size: large;">Law Five: So Much Depends on Reputation – Guard it with your Life</span>

"Reputation 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 them."

This law is so very important to Liberal Progressives, and it is one that I have been harping on for a while now. What it boils down to, is that perception shapes reality. It may not be fair. It may not be nice. But It is TRUE! It is an unassailable truth and if we do not learn how to deal with it then we are never going to get anywhere.

There was a time when Progressivism was seen as a populist movement. It belonged to the coal miner, as much as it belonged to the University Professor. And then slowly that started to change. Some of that change happened in the sixties. Many young people did not realize, and I suspect still don't realize the damage that many of them did to the health of Progressivism with their radicalism. When people started to protest for the sake of protest and to use violent rhetoric and action they created an image that most working class people did not want to be a part of. As a result the Right swooped in and started to say all the right things, making the working classes believe that the Right understood them and agreed with them. Suddenly a party that was increasingly about making sure the haves had more, and the have nots had only enough to keep them quiescent was viewed as the party of ordinary people. And it has only gotten worse since then. While there are still some Working Class Progressives out there, they are far fewer in number than they were during the thirties and forties. If we are to have any hope of keeping Progressivism alive, this must change and now. We must craft an image that says that you don't have to have a degree, or be from a certain kind of background. All that you have to have is a burning desire to see everyone in this country given a fair chance and a level playing field. All else is details.

<span style="font-size: large;">Reversal Of The Law:</span>

None. Allow me to quote from The 48 Laws Of Power regarding this question,

"There is no possible Reversal. Reputation is critical; there are no exceptions to this law. Since we must live in society and must depend on the opinions of others, there is nothing to be gained by neglecting your reputation. By not caring how you are perceived, you let others decide this for you. Be the master of your fate, and also of your reputation."

<span style="font-size: large;">Law Six: Court Attention at all Cost</span>

"Everything 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 timid masses."

Here again we have something that we could learn from our enemies. The Conservatives are the absolute masters of getting people to pay attention to them. The recent Conservative Political Action Conference is one of the best examples of that. Every year for a solid week they are in the news. Sure they look more than a bit silly. But here's another hard truth. Progressives are going to have to not just get comfortable with looking silly, we are going to have to learn to love it. To embrace it. We need to create our own version of CPAC, we need to be willing to be seen shouting our message at the top of our lungs. And every time someone tries to shame us for looking "silly" we can smile inside knowing that it means they are paying attention. Some of the best examples of Liberal Progressives getting this law right include, John Stewart, Keith Olbermann, and Rachel Maddow.

<span style="font-size: large;">Reversal Of The Law:</span>

While some attention is good, and more is usually better, there is indeed such a thing as too much. We need to be on the look out for when the moment comes that we should sit down and shut up. For a little bit at least. This will give people a respite, and make them look forward to hearing from us. Again CPAC is a great example. Conservatives know that if they hold such an event once a year people will pay attention. But if they held it every month quickly people would cease to give it any mind.

Well that wraps up for this week. Check back next week when I'll cover Laws 7 and 8 on Saturday, and Laws 9 and 10 on Sunday. Until then I’ll look forward to reading your thoughts on this weeks entries.

Keep The Faith My Brothers And Sisters!

Originally posted to Toriach on Sun Feb 21, 2010 at 04:18 PM PST.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Read the Prince. All you need to know about (0+ / 0-)

    power, its acquisition, protection, cultivation, and expansion was written in 1513. Nothing really new has been added. Everything that was added has been a spin off of what Machiavelli said about 500 years ago.

    Don't give a damn a/t each & every politician currently alive in the US. Last time i voted for the top part of the ballot was 1972. Never missed SB election

    by Mutual Assured Destruction on Sun Feb 21, 2010 at 04:48:03 PM PST

  •  Whoever wrote those "laws of power" (0+ / 0-)

    didn't know what he was talking about.  They're more like "laws of celebrity."  Typically shallow pop-culture drivel.  Power is about the ability to make things happen - nothing more, nothing less.  He is most powerful whose enemies don't even know he exists apart from the effect of his decisions.  

    Once you are identified, you become the dairy cow of a thousand parasitic social climbers, sunshine friends, and scheming bastards, and have to work that much harder just to maintain your position let alone get anything done.  Anyone who thinks celebrity is power has no idea what he is talking about.

    "What is great in Man is that he is a bridge and not an end." - Friedrich Nietzsche

    by Troubadour on Sun Feb 21, 2010 at 04:51:41 PM PST

  •  Just a lot of nonsense. (0+ / 0-)

    Buys nothing but the right wings view of the anti-Viet Nam-war movement.  Sure the press carried anything bad that it could make up but this is just nonsense.

    eschew obfuscation

    by jimG on Sun Feb 21, 2010 at 07:05:01 PM PST

    •  What shaped my opinion (0+ / 0-)

      Is actually the book Nixonland by Rick Perlstein.  He does an excellent job of dissecting what allowed the rise of Nixon, and one of the things that he offers up is examples of radicalism for radicalism's sake.  Whether Progressives like it or not, such things did happen and they did hurt the perception of our cause.  Especially in light of the MSM's relentlessly searching for even the least little scrap they could use to demonize the thousands of people working towards legitimate goals.

      Thanks for reading and commenting.

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