48 Laws VS Power University: What’s Best to Advance In Life?

the 48 laws of power VS power university book cover

The 48 Laws of Power is a popular book for those who end up on this website.

And for good reasons.
It’s the most popular book on power dynamics, social strategies, and Machiavellianism.

So some people may wonder:

Should I get The 48 Laws of Power , or should I get Power University?

We will answer this difficult question.

the 48 laws of power VS power university book cover

INTRO

The 48 Laws of Power is a popular book around here.

It’s one of our endorsed resources.
And many people who end up here have already read The 48 Laws of Power.

There are certainly parallels between TPM, Power University, and Robert Greene’s most famous book.

Similarities:

  • Eye-opening for many. Both resources can open a new world to some people who have been a bit too naive, too “good” or too simple-minded
  • Machiavellian: both resources tackle (social) Machiavellianism
  • Red pill: albeit we don’t necessarily consider neither the book ourselves “red pill”, some people do

And some may certainly see both as cynical.
I don’t see TPM as cynical at all because anything sharing truth, by definition, cannot be cynical -maybe “positively cynical” at most-.
I do see The 48 Laws of Power as more cynical though because it focuses only on the darker, more selfish, and more predatory side of human nature.

48 Laws VS Power University

In brief:

The main difference between The 48 Laws of Power and Power University is that Robert Greene provides a list of interesting and potentially eye-opening principles.
Power University also shares high-level guiding principles but provides a whole system for self-development and life-effectiveness.

The scope is different.

The 48 Laws of Power is a book.
With all the advantages and disadvantages that a book format includes.

Power University is a course.
To help students internalize the information Power University leverages videos, real-life examples, self-assessments, quizzes, and assignments.
Power University isn’t built to share information or entertain. Power University is built to deliver real-life results such as higher status, increased confidence, and higher baseline attraction from women.

Ultimately, a successful student of Power University becomes a high-value man.

a videogame inspired fun book cover of the 48 laws of power VS Power University

48 Laws of Power Pros & Cons

PROS:

  • Cheaper
  • Briefer
  • Entertaining

CONS:

  • Potentially ineffective to grow skills
  • Potentially confusing: see a review below. And we’ve seen this so often that we made an article on the limitations of The 48 Laws of Power
  • Unscientific and potentially untrue. Especially when it goes for marketing and over-generalizing “laws” that instead present too many exceptions

For example:

Lucio: while “talking little” can come across as high-power in many situations, there is no real law of “talking less than necessary”. For example, research says that in new groups people who talk more gain more status.
Lucio experienced as much and talks more in forming groups.
And many gurus of high-dialectical skills develop their following -and power- by talking far more than necessary. See for example Jordan Peterson, Jay Shetty, etc.
Unnecessary flowery language can also be an effective seduction tool

Power University Pros & Cons

CONS:

  • More expensive, it can be a proper investment for some
  • Intensive, not for lazy asses, it’s for driven and ambitious men
  • May take longer than an audiobook, albeit the ROI may be higher since results stick for a lifetime

And… Can’t look erudite reading it in public 🙂

PROS:

  • Clearer, telling you when and how to apply what strategy or technique
  • Scientific, built upon thousands of studies and textbooks
  • Proven to deliver results, skills, and raise a man’s value

What People Say

I’m biased.

I love Greene, but I’m a lot more invested in TPM.

So best of all is to let others speak.

We have a few people who tried BOTH The 48 Laws of Power and Power University.
There is still obviously a self-selection bias. They wrote in the community forum, which means they probably loved TPM and PU.

But still, it can be an instructive read.

So let’s see what they say:

1. The 48 Laws of Power Didn’t Improve My Life, TPM & Power University Did

review of the 48 laws of power compared to TPM and power university

I had read lots of books by Robert Greene (…) and while I enjoyed them very much, the improvement in my life was essentially insignificant.
They are more of a historical/literature review on themes of power, and contain little actionable material.
(…)
In the end, The Power Moves and Power University is simply the best source on how to become aware of power dynamics and use them to protect yourself and advance in life.
(…)
TPM on the other hand taught me (and is continuing to teach me) how to interact with these bad people from a position of power

– PU Alumnus, discussing JP and Greene

I enjoyed those books very much as well.

But also to me they felt more like historical reviews than actionable advice to advance in life.

To some people who lacked any power awareness though, it may still be eye-opening.

I’ve met some of those folks, and they were making silly mistakes like disempowering their bosses or giving too harsh criticism.

2. Robert Greene Led Me To Power University

Some people did find Greene transforming though:

feedback on the 48 laws of power VS Power University

I became obsessed with reading books on Philosophy, Psychology, Finance, and History. To this day, I’ve read over a hundred books on these topics which completely changed the way I see and perceive people, society, and the world as a whole. I have read all of Robert Greene’s books after discovering 48 Laws of Power. His books are the most impactful and led me to join The Power University.

M. PU alumnus introduction

That was his intro before starting PU.
So he hadn’t properly experienced PU yet.
It would be interesting to hear what he thought of PU as he went through it.

3. Something was missing and TPM and Power University are actionable

comparison of self-help famous resources and power university

I landed here amidst my journey to improve social effectiveness whilst searching for resources on the topic. Like many here I’ve been through the usual. Think Dale Carnegie, Robert Greene, Charisma related videos on YT etc. before finding this site.
And whilst the resources I used were helpful in different ways, I still felt I was missing something foundational. Namely, what to do when someone doesn’t “play by the rules” e.g. trying to undermine you, cut you out of a group etc.
Most guides don’t even mention the possibility that people won’t always reciprocate kindness and other pro-social behaviour, and when they do, the advice rarely expands past just staying calm. 
“Okay I’m calm, now what?”
Fortunately, this site exists.
The best thing I can say about this site is that when I found it, I ended up reading non-stop for almost all of 2 days. It seemed to make so much sense.
Probably because the examples are based on the real situations that actually happen day to day that add up over time to cement our position in whatever environment we are in at the time.
Along with the exact responses and mindsets that one could use to deal with them. As opposed to something like the 48 laws where the stories are too abstract/far removed from daily life to truly be actionable, especially for a beginner. Good book, very tough to implement (and easy to misinterpret).
It honestly seemed a little too good to be true at first, so (….)

PU alumnus, review here

In that same thread, I share that I had the same experience.

The 48 Laws of Power is good self-help -in contrast to much naive self-help-.
But it’s challenging for any book to develop skills, get results, and transform lives.

The idea for TPM was born when I realized that it wasn’t just an issue with The 48 Laws of Power.
There just wasn’t such a resource.
And I took it upon myself to create it.

And to conclude:

4. PU is unbeatably practical and superior to becoming a high-quality, value-adding individual

customer comparison of Robert Greene work and Power University

Like most people I started by reading Robert Greene’s books 48 laws.., 33 strategies.., etc. which albeit gave me a good mindset didn’t really help me in my day-to-day as much, and I made a lot of social mistakes trying to apply these laws such as becoming way to quiet (to say less than necessary) and trying to seek too much attention (court attention at all cost). For me, PU has been unbeatable in its practicality of power dynamics and learning how to be an overall high quality value-adding individual. The information is so good sometimes I laugh out loud – the self-defense section on going meta (the analogy of leaving them naked cracked me up).

PU alumnus introduction

So, Which One Should You Get?

We love Robert Greene.

His books are fantastic, and not just The 48 Laws of Power.
Since I have built PU, my Greene’s favorite is actually The Laws of Human Nature.
And second is The Art of Seduction.

So if you’re like me and have already devoured The 48 Laws, Power University is a no-brainer.
If you’re driven and can afford it, get Power University because it’s more complete, and adds a lot of nuances and more advanced applications of strategies and techniques.

If you can’t afford Power University yet, get The 48 Laws of Power.

But most of all, if you can afford it, get both The 48 Laws and Power University.
Most people here have gone for both anyway, and so did I.

And I’ll keep getting any new book Robert Greene writes as well.

P.S.:
Robert, if you’re reading here, we should definitely catch up one day.

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