The 48 Laws of Power
Robert Greene
Contributed by Jack Shields
Chapter 40

Law Forty: Despise the Free Lunch


Free things are normally dangerous. For the most part, free things are tied to a hidden obligation or a form of trickery. Something that is valuable, needs to be paid for. Where a person pays for something he considers valuable to him, he has the chance to stay away from deceit, gratitude, and guilt (Greene 333). He, therefore, retains his independence and holds power to control others. Instances are given of great holders of power, Medicis, Queen Elizabeths and Michelangelos (Greene 334). All of them are not poor and do not need to rely on free things to attain the form of power they want.

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