The 48 Laws of Power
Robert Greene
Contributed by Jack Shields
Chapter 18

Law Eighteen: Do Not Build Fortresses to Protect Yourself - Isolation Is Dangerous


Greene indicates that the world is full of danger and enemies are always lurking everywhere. Therefore, where a person isolates himself, he makes himself more vulnerable (Greene 130). He provides an opportunity to become a subject of attack from enemies. While isolation may seem to be safe, it provides little assistance in times of danger. A person needs to be around others and look for allies. A crowd normally shields a person from enemies. Ch’in Shih Huang Ti, a mighty first emperor of China, separated himself from people that no one ever saw him in the last years of his life.  His separation from the locals made him unaware of what was happening in the outside world (Greene 131). Ch’in Shih Huang Ti was later found dead, and it is suspected he was killed by one of the ministers who was encouraging his isolation.

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