It's not bad to study how to manipulate people.
We study plenty of things that you shouldn't do: war, crime, genocide.
Understanding how these things happen is key to avoiding them in the future.
We need to study manipulation to make sure others cannot wield that power over us.
That is why no information should be off limits. Learning how to accomplish evil deeds allows us to prevent ourselves from becoming the victims, or tools, of evildoers.
There's a reason rulers banned the printing press and burned books. They considered knowledge dangerous… because it is. It is dangerous to those who would keep us ignorant of their tactics to hold power over us.
We can protect ourselves by understanding how to use the enemy's weapons. We can build ourselves an armor against their attacks by understanding where, when, how, and why they strike.
The 48 Laws of Power by Robert Greene causes the simple-minded to protest.
They think no one should have access to information about how to attain and keep power. But this is impossible.
Therefore everyone should have access to that information, to avoid becoming the victim of the power hungry.
This is essentially a history book, with countless interesting examples of how people have gained and lost power over the years.
Laws of power include such gems as:
Learn to keep people dependent on you
Pose as a friend, work as a spy
Do not commit to anyone
Play to people's fantasies
But there is also some great advice which we can use without scruples:
Win through your actions, never through argument
When asking for help, appeal to people's self -interest, never to their mercy or gratitude
Know who you're dealing with, do not offend the wrong person
Plan all the way to the end
In Rules for Radicals, Saul Alinsky provided the blueprint for such power-hungry sociopaths like Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama.