The 48 Laws of Power
Robert Greene
Contributed by Jack Shields
Chapter 22

Law Twenty-Two: Use the Surrender Tactic: Transform Weakness into Power


Where a person realizes that he has become weak, he should not continue to fight for the sake of honor. The individual, therefore, needs to choose to surrender in such an instance. Through the process of surrender, the person has the chance to recover from the fight. He also gives the conqueror time for his power to fade (Greene 163). The conqueror should also not have the satisfaction of fighting and winning the war. Surrender can, therefore, be used as a tool for power. For example, in 416 B.C, Athenians and Spartans were engaged in some form of war. The Athenians persuaded the Spartans to surrender, but they would not budge as they maintained they were doing so for honor (Greene 164).  The Athenian, however, advised them not to be led by honor and pride. The Athenians, thereafter, invaded Melos and killed every man of military age and subdued the city.

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