What House Of Cards Tells Us About Money And Power

There aren’t a lot of shows on television today that have won more popular and critical acclaim than Netflix’s “House of Cards”. Available to all Netflix subscribers, the political drama focuses on the exploits of power-hungry congressman Frank Underwood as he cunningly manipulates his way to ever greater amounts of influence within the American political system. Frank is willing to do almost anything to increase his power, a fact that makes every episode quite enthralling.


The show’s second season was released in February of 2014, but today I want to examine a statement Frank made during the first season regarding a former subordinate, a man who once was a part of his congressional staff and had left public service for an extremely lucrative career as a lobbyist:

Such a waste of time, he chose money over power. In this town, a mistake nearly everyone makes. Money is the McMansion in Sarasota that starts falling apart after ten years. Power is the old stone building that stands for centuries. I can not respect someone that doesn’t see the difference.

Frank’s words here appear on the surface to work as a pretty strong indictment against the notion that money is in any way more significant or worthwhile than power. In my perusal of many discussions online relating to the show, I have seen Frank Underwood (along with quotes like the one above) used to substantiate claims that money really isn’t everything, that it is overrated and unsubstantial when compared to less tangible things like love or, in this case, power.

Are they correct, though? Does Frank Underwood’s story validate the notion of money over power? It would were it not for a simple truth:

Money Is Power


The choice Frank talks about is usually not nearly as stark as he made it out to be. Power often doesn’t come absent money, and this is a big reason why your typical congressman is quite well off. Your average US Senator is worth just under $3 million, and that’s just account for assets that they are required to disclose publicly. When you start talking about the more powerful, well known and influential members of congress (ex: Pelosi, Issa, Cantor, etc), you begin talking about much larger sums of money than that average.


Money is, more often than not, the main gateway to power: it is the wealthy that get a leg up in the race for elected positions or in the race for influential political appointments (e.g., the appointment of Hank Paulson as Sec. of Treasury, among other similar appointments). Political fundraisers are some of the most powerful people in this country. They use their money and the vast connections they’ve obtained to raise money for political candidates, who in turn often depend on them. Some have gone as far as to say that these people are basically puppet-masters, pulling strings in Congress and ruining the democratic process because their cash is giving them too much influence. This view is not entirely without merit—these people can often control the political narrative with the money they spend funding political campaigns and producing political advertisements, nevermind the business and investment interests they can leverage in their bid to encourage elected officials to do what they like.

Names like Warren Buffett, Koch (both brothers), Sheldon Anderson, and many others who are much less well known (Steyer, Singer, Schlosstein, Norcross, etc), are really some of the most powerful men in the USA, more so than all but a handful of men or women in Washington. These are people whose wealth and fundraising prowess give them control over much of the political narrative. They can almost totally lock down politics in their local stomping grounds (state or municipal elections and appointments, for example) and they can essentially buy influence in the federal legislature. Congressmen grovel to these people — there are hedge fund managers out there who have these men and women lining up outside of their offices just to get a word in edgewise.

David Koch

In the developing world, the relationship between money and power is even more obvious thanks to lower transparency (more unchecked corruption, nepotism, etc), greater inequality, and other crucial factors. Consider the Philippines, one of the largest nations in South Asia, where political power is almost entirely held up by a handful of wealthy families.

Or consider Thailand, where the control wealthy political dynasties wield is even stronger. It’s bad enough that the Prime Minister’s seat in that nation has essentially been passed around in a single family for the better part of a decade now. Why have they been able to hold onto political power? They’re obscenely rich, that’s why.


I could go on, as these narratives play out in a lot of other developing countries where a cunning individual with just a few million dollars can essentially buy his way to the top.

For all of its outward promotion of the idea that power is more worthwhile than money, House of Cards actually does plenty to affirm the contrary view and does little to contradict any of what I wrote above.

Consider the following (possible mild spoilers here, you’ve been warned):

—Who is Frank’s most powerful rival in the show? Answer: Raymond Tusk. Why is Raymond Tusk so powerful? He’s got absurd amounts of money, which he has used to discreetly exert significant amounts of influence on the political process in Washington for decades.

—Who is the President of the United States in “House of Cards”? Garrett Walker. How did Garrett Walker become the President of the United States? He became bosom buddies with one of its richest men, Raymond Tusk, as the CEO of Tusk’s airline. This relationship made him rich as well, and got him a direct line to the White House.


—Who is a major foreign player in the second season of House of Cards? Xander Feng. Why is Xander Feng such a big factor? He’s a billionaire.

Remy Danton, the man that Frank derided in the quote I mentioned earlier in this article for choosing money over power, actually gained MORE power by moving on. He had more influence as a highly paid lobbyist than he did as one of Frank’s not-so-highly paid congressional henchmen. He didn’t have to sacrifice power at the altar of the almighty dollar—he got to have his cake and eat it too.


It is also worth noting that House of Cards, in its bid to give you good drama, doesn’t tell you the whole story about the influence money has in politics. To keep it simple, the show makes money seem like less of a game-changer than it actually is, and it is that creative license what allows Frank to directly lock horns with someone like Raymond Tusk and other really wealthy people (thus creating good television). In real life, big players like Tusk and Feng have a much easier time influencing US politics with their cash than the show let’s on, and their activities are FAR harder for the likes of Underwood and his henchmen to expose or counter.

And, of course, we cannot forget how Frank Underwood himself got started in politics to begin with: he married a VERY rich woman and rode her money to his first seat in congress. Money was Frank’s gateway to power.


At the end of the day, I think that the false dichotomy presented in House of Cards is a source of comfort for some. The idea that the accumulation of financial wealth and the acquisition of power don’t usually go hand in hand can serve to make those who are pessimistic about their ability to acquire large amounts of money more content with their lot in life. People feel more comfortable believing that the almighty dollar isn’t quite so almighty after all, and that their lack of money doesn’t put them at a tremendous disadvantage relative to the wealthy with regard to and the ability to make a difference in our society.

That’s a fine way to generate warm fuzzies, but digestion of the red pill necessitates the absorption of fundamental truths, and the truth here is this: money is power. Gifted fictional political titans like Frank Underwood can’t avoid that reality, and neither can you.

Read Next: The Ascent Of Money

101 thoughts on “What House Of Cards Tells Us About Money And Power”

  1. Money = Power
    Time = Money
    Therfore Power = Time
    How many powerful people do you know under the age of 35? probably none. It really sucks realizing this at age 22…

    1. Silly calculations based on common sayings. Power is proportional to money, but there are other ways to obtain power. When people say “time is money”, what they mean is that their time is valuable. Not that money is equal to the time spent making it. I can name a ton of people who spend almost no time working but are absolutely loaded. I can also name a ton of people who work their asses off and barely pay the bills.
      You can be rich as hell if you want at 22, assuming you didn’t start in the gutter. Only if you’re starting from absolutely zero do you have a solid excuse for taking extra time to get paper. That is, of course, unless you have decided that money isn’t important to you, which is the case with many people. You can choose how much of your energy you invest in making money, and if you’re honest with yourself, you probably spend less time than you could.

    2. The thing about time is not so much about the quantity of time but doing the right thing at the right time. Soros made 10 billion in 4 hours betting 1 billion the US credit rating would drop, would you have the guts to do that without inside trading info?
      Timing also matters to regular people, I have a relative in sales and he told me he would be too busy to talk to me for a month, because of big sales and an out preg co worker. I told him that where I worked they had to have a special rule to deal with women that planed pregnancies to skip out working thanksgiving, x-mas, and new years. He said she would have to be crazy to plan her preg then as he will make more per week during that time than entire slow months.
      Also while there is something to be said for being at the right place at he right time, there never is a right time to be at the wrong place.

      1. Shame Soros couldn’t figure out that the 31 yo. Brazilian blower riding his hickory stick was only in it for the money.

  2. Good article. It seems to me as if the poor generally like to point out how unimportant money is as a defense mechanism for their insecurity about lacking it. Everyone’s heard the phrase “Money can’t buy happiness”…well, I’ve never seen anyone frowning on a jet ski.
    These people fail to realize that money is the ultimate gateway to happiness. How can you possibly be content knowing that you’re one major illness away from bankruptcy? When you stick with a job you despise just to keep the roof over your head? When you are constantly checking your account balance to make sure you can go out with your friends or family and not worry about dough?
    Money provides opportunities, and opportunities are freedom. If you’re trying to pretend happiness and freedom aren’t related, you’re just a sheep. Baaaaaaaa.

    1. Great comment. Serious financial/investment/career advice should also be an emphasis of this blog. The attitude that money does not matter is extremely blue pill. This attitude is also sometimes promoted on this blog with posts arguing that a cocky guy who manipulates stupid sluts at bar is the equal to a genuine alpha male. (Example: http://www.returnofkings.com/31743/the-differences-between-alpha-adam-and-thirsty-theodore) Success with both women and with with finances are the key to happiness.

      1. I think people tend to emphasize “alpha male” traits that are in league with traits they themselves possess, so they can classify themselves as high status. I would disagree that you require cash to be an alpha male.
        Although I think we tend to overemphasize “alpha” and “beta”, to me they are simple things:
        Those who actively pursue what they want and are on course to successfully acquiring those wants, or already have achieved them, are alpha.
        Those who make excuses or force themselves into a mold (often societal), and do not actively and successfully pursue their wants, are beta.

        1. I am not a billionaire. So I am certainly not defining alpha status by what I have. The red pill seduction theory is that women innately are attracted to those traits that leaders of prehistoric human hunter-gather packs had, such as confidence and dominance. Hence the “bad boys” with a cocky attitude, and nothing else, having success in night clubs by faking confidence and dominance. The night club badboys are counterfeit alphas because they do not really have high status. Most can’t even fight and would be demolished by a disciplined guy who trains MMA; but they can go around being cocky to other men because they know that bouncers and police will protect them from serious harm. Counterfeit alphas can have success with stupid women just as con artists can have success with stupid victims. True alpha males (i.e. high status males in our society) are those with a high net worth; or on their way to a high net worth. Quality women can usually tell the difference.

        2. There are plenty of examples of wealthy people who are beta. You’re not an alpha because you have money, you have money because you’re alpha. These are vastly different things.

        3. alpha = man who women want to fuck
          beta = man who women don’t want to fuck
          So penniless ugly skinny beach bum that gets ass because of charisma is an alpha whereas CEO 10/k a day fit man with a nerdy beta personality that has to give resources to women to coerce them to sleep with him is beta in bouts of passionless sex is a beta.
          When you go outside of this definition, prepare for circle jerk stupidity.

        4. “I am not a billionaire. So I am certainly not defining alpha status by what I have.”
          No you are defining alpha based on how you judge other men and want to be judged by society.
          Guess what? Women could give a fuck about what men deem alpha in this female centric society. Have fun being a Trad Con alpha while ‘loser’ Brodie the beach bum is fucking the hot girls for free.
          “Skittles Man’ is the prototypical alpha. Get used to this idea and accept it for what it is.

        5. i cant stand the use of the words “alpha” and “beta” in a human context. to me they require constant and excessive redefinition which leaves a lot of wiggle room. some guys should just change their name to “alpha” that way no matter what it defines their behavior. it paves the way for endless non-practical theorizing which we all know lazy do-nothings love to do.
          i prefer more coloquial terms like “bad-ass” and “schlub” because people emotionally just get what they mean, no definition required, it is self evident and theres no room to redefine it to fit your face in the mirror.

        6. see though, now you are attempting to define dominance by a womans standard, that women with their willingness to fuck decide dominance in a man. i dunno about you but i would rather own a private jet and bang 3 women a year minus the wife than be brodie the beach bum banging 16 a year. the former is so dominant that he can purchase dominance for his son. the latter will eventually have to strive to the standard of the former to continue an enjoyable lifestyle. thats the real metric, not who do broads want to fuck, but what do men want to be. broads always want to fuck who men want to be.

        7. “whereas CEO 10/k a day fit man with a nerdy beta personality that has to give resources to women to coerce them to sleep with him is beta in bouts of passionless sex is a beta.”
          It’s rare to make 10k/day if you’re a beta. Very few men thrive in the business world without “alpha” qualities.
          But your definition is accurate.

    2. Written like a true person who knows no rich people. Having grown up in a rich area I can say they are amongst the lest happy people of all.
      Money is a thing of diminishing returns. Seems great when you have none and it is important and can save your life but when you have 1 billion money doesn’t seem all that important. Having alot of money makes it impossible to tell who you’re real friends are vs the ones who use you for money. Which women loves you for you or your money. So you often end up alone if you can’t find other rich to hang around. And then of course rich people are not the most entertaining group of people to be around unless they were poor at one point.
      Money doesn’t make you happy, giving it away does.

      1. “Having grown up in a rich area I can say they are amongst the lest happy people of all.”
        That’s what happens when you spend money to “live in a rich area” (which often comes with a big house and shiny cars) instead of using money as a means to freedom.

        1. Spend my money? Can you read, I didn’t have any money when I was a kid (What kid can afford to buy a house anyways).
          Rich people are not happy, only on a very superficial level at best. They drink and damage their liver or smoke drugs and get high every way imaginable.
          The most happy people are usually the ones living their dream and they rarely are rich unless you are one of those few people who got rich off your passion. Because sure playing basketball or playing music seems fun. But what about the 100th practice in a row, what about the 100th edit of the same song, what about the 100th golf swing on the same course? Still fun?

        2. Of course you didn’t have money as a kid.
          You said people living in that rich area weren’t happy, I explained you why they aren’t, because they use money the wrong way.

  3. You don’t understand the nature of money in todays system
    Here is a quote from the Bank of England (emphasis mine) that voxday put on his site http://voxday.blogspot.co.il/2014/03/the-bank-of-england-explains-money.html
    Whenever a bank makes a loan, it simultaneously creates a matching deposit in the borrower’s bank account, thereby creating new money.
    Read that phrase very carefully and understand exactly what it means. Because this is an official statement written by those who act on behalf of those who are in fact in charge.
    It means that money is simply the favor granted us by those who are perceived to be in power.
    When you ask the bank for a loan, what you are actually requesting is not a loan of anything tangible, it is effectively for permission to act within society. Money is actually a charter to act granted you by those you request it of. They use the concept of “money” to measure the limits of that charter/permission granted you.
    And those with real power grant themselves all the permission they wish.

  4. After chasing poon, the next big goal in life should be the pursuit of vast amounts of money. Money DOES buy happiness; and power, and leisure, and friends, and everything else. Wealthy men are the true alpha males.

    1. Not so much.
      They can be, but lots of them are simpering betas around their women.

      1. Exactly. Another excellent article. You don’t acquire money for the sake of it or for bragging rights, you acquire it for freedom.
        Based on some of the retarded comments on this article, perhaps you should explore the relationship between red pill life and money further. Personally, I think all a red pill person really needs is whatever amounts to ‘fuck you’ money in your own area. Just enough so that you can jettison the corporate slave mindset of the average blue pill North American.

      2. The fuckbooks of IBankers vs. marginal DJs and bartenders in NYC tells a very different story……
        Formally, I guess you can still be correct, since given a sufficiently monomaniacal focus on money, the most driven Ibankers probably never had a woman. Hence none they could technically “lose.”

      3. many wealthy ex-husbands would beg to differ… after working 18 hour days and coming home to a divorce contract or worse her in bed with the neighbor… they found that chasing money lost them the woman.

        1. they found that chasing money lost them the woman.

          A woman (singular), yes. Women in general, no. That man has access to a substantially larger pool of potential mates than he would have absent his income.
          Chasing money can result in the loss of a single woman, ut in the aggregate you it generally results in one gaining access to a much larger number of potential suitors than you would usually have access to otherwise. Hence my statement.

    2. What every man should be working toward: maneuvering your life into the position where your status simply speaks for itself, and you don’t have to chase the poon — it makes itself available to you.
      Chasing poon at forty the way that you chased it at twenty means one thing: you’re doing it wrong.

  5. Strong conclusion really hit this home for me. There is no separation between money and power

  6. Money is certainly very important when you follow the regular life path of college -> career -> marriage -> kids simply because families are as expensive as fuark if you want to provide them with all the luxuries that are expected in the ‘American Dream’.
    However you can hack the system hard. When you don’t have rug rats to look after your expense drop considerably. Most guys don’t really need that much to be happy. What’s the most expensive thing that makes you somebodies’ bitch for decades? A house. Do you as a guy really want that house? Hell no. You buy that house to please some rapidly fattening wife.
    Same goes for luxury cars and fancy dinners that guys use to essential try to pay for sex which as you wrote some time ago is a retarded strategy.
    The key to financial success is to make enough to make yourself happy since for some reason people thought it was good idea to make being a work mule even more demeaning and horrible than it already was and have no tangible benefits. Feminism dun goofed.

    1. Renting is for suckers and people with mobile lifestyles. Realize that money depreciates and houses generally do not. Every dime you spend on an apartment will never be returned to you, whereas selling a house will net you some amount of money back. Don’t justify living like shit. Get a 3 bedroom house, rent out 2 bedrooms that pay for your house, and live for free. Then buy another house, rent that out, never work again.
      Continue until rich.

      1. Agreed, but keep in mind that the mortgage note is going to cost you 2 to 3 times the amount of the house over its life. House buying is great if you can flip it fast at a profit, but as a long term investment I think most people overlook all the interest they paid when they finally sell and then declare a “profit”.
        Me, not looking at it as an investment, it’s our home and will be until we find new digs in Wyoming. I don’t kid myself that even if I sell it at double the price I paid that I’ll actually be “making” any money off of it.

        1. How many years is your note, man? If you’re paying 2 to 3 times the amount of the house, you’re not following my advice of renting out your bought home, which would mean you spent little (the down payment+amount it took to get it rent-ready and until the renters come in). Also, I would not advise buying a home with a 30 year note…almost ever…

        2. I wouldn’t rent the rooms, since I have two teenaged kids. I actually bought the home in order to raise a family, not as an investment. Your advice is sound, I was just making a sidebar comment to those who think a home on a 30 year note is an investment and wouldn’t be renting out rooms. Yeah, the worst one ever in history, heh.
          The numbers were just an example. We make several extra payments towards principal annually and we have maybe 4 years left on the note. We could easily pay it off right now, but we’re making more in interest with investments than the interest on the note at this point so it makes no real sense to do so.

        3. Gotcha. Indeed, your last comment reinforces my point: interest rates on homes are low enough that you can make money on investments that exceeds the benefits of paying them off. Especially when factoring in the tax credit for having a home loan, etc.

        1. You tell em.
          Hi, Title Company! Here’s 1%. One M#$*%&#$ing percent – for going to city hall and clearing my title. And agents – don’t get me started. The RE industry is full of parasites and hustlers.
          I’ve played the game, won and I’m still winning. But it is dirty, even more so that the federal gov’t has been co-opted.

        2. I confess…I work part time as a real estate agent…I feel so bad…but I feel sooooo good as well! Lol…

      2. “Every dime you spend on an apartment will never be returned to you”
        Unless you buy the appartment instead of renting it.

  7. The Great Alpha, Charlie Sheen himself said: “Money is Energy man, Money is Energy.”

    1. Charlie Sheen is not Alpha.
      He is a rich Beta.
      A man who himself swears that he pays for sex (the overwhelming majority of his bangs are prostitutes) – is living the life of a rich Beta. He has chosen money over game to secure sex for him.
      Money is the Energy which helps him pay for his sexcapades. That’s what he talks about – because he knows money is what gets him his notches.

      1. dude you are a fucking idealistic zealot. you have no idea how the world works. somehow you are convinced that your notches are better than his notches because he paid for some of them. did he hire his baby momma for a couple hours too? could you have 7 9.5s over at your house in 20 minutes all eager to jack you off onto the other ones’ faces? because charlie sheen can.
        some people’s time is so tangibly valuable that it costs them more to put the effort into “organically” getting into a broads pants than it does to hand them cash. some guys just want a load sucked out of their dick real quick. paying for sex is a choice for some and not for others. but it doesnt make a guy a chump.
        i guarantee you charlie sheen could come to your house and fuck your girlfriend right now without dropping a dime. but he doesnt want to waste the effort to fuck your cum dumpster slut because he just made 10,000 dollars yesterday and with a third of that he can spend all day today banging a few actresses and snorting 98% pure peruvian flake. charlie sheen just stuck a roll of $100 dollar bills up a petite blonds ass, spanked it, and told her not to spend it all in one place.

      2. his sycophants will get mad but you’re right. he wifes whores, gets emotional and beats them up, even shot one. he’s a beta with money.

      3. Yeah, that makes sense. I’m sure that if you and that poor old beta Charlie walked into a bar; the same girls that would flock to you for having learned a few negs on the internet and done some deadlifts in the gym, would absolutely pass up the famous movie star, unless he paid them directly……

  8. The problem with today’s political system is that the political system is also the source of money. Every single human being in existence is trying to do one thing with the work they’ve expended, beat inflation. The (often controlled) inflation of our currency(ies) is a result of the fact that today’s standard currency (money) is a fiat currency that is backed by nothing, and created upon the creation of debt. Whenever a bank levereges itself XX:to:1 on their balance sheet, they are essentially creating money where none previously existed, so long as everyone pays off their debts. The fed does this whenever the elected officials tell them to (despite any assurances otherwise), so effectively, the money we currently use is worth only what trust people place in our politicians and wealthy bankers not to create debt that cannot be paid off. Given this situation, the only way to beat inflation is to be the first person who gets a handout at the printing press. This means you either need to be a banker (who creates previously non-existent value in the form of mortgages that he can then sell to another bank), or you need to be a crony-capitalist who get’s direct handouts from the federal government (remember all that money we gave the big banks so they wouldn’t fail? yeah that).
    Basically, power should exist in the absence of money, and the only reason they are stuck together like glue and glue is because we gave politicians the power over our financial printing-press a long time ago. If you’re a billionaire, and you don’t have lots of friends in government, you’re either an idiot or you inherited everything you have and you’re about to lose it all unless you make friends in government. If the federal government were not the largest source of bailouts, special dispensation for specific industries/companies, crony-regulations, etc… then the corporations of this world would be kissing the asses of their customers more than the politicians.

    1. Nope. You also need booze. And 19-23 year old girls in bikinis…lots of them.

  9. If you have power without much money, often you’re only one false rumor, unflattering picture, or drunken tweet from losing it and the little money you have.

    1. That isn’t true. The reason Daley was never taken down the way many of his henchmen have been is because he never touched the money. That is how they get you when a scapegoat is needed.

  10. It has been said that the game Rock, Paper, Scissors is an analogy for Life. Rock being Power, Paper being Money, and Scissors being Intelligence. Paper (Money) Beats Rock (Power).

  11. Need to dig deeper, what he was saying (and it’s true) is that old money > new money
    McMansion = new money
    Old Stone Building = old money
    Old money can’t be beat and always synonymous with power
    New money doesn’t

  12. When talking money or/vs power, it is important to differentiate between soft and hard power. Soft being the ability to voluntarily compel someone to do something; or formally, to get them to do what you want voluntarily. While hard power, is the ability to make them do something involuntarily.
    Money trivially endows one with the former, as having it means one can simply pay people to do what one wants.
    While sufficient asymmetrical armaments, endows one with the latter. I.e. If I’ve got all the guns, and you’ve got all the “gun control”, I can make you do pretty much whatever I want to.
    As a society becomes more corrupt, what is happening is that the guys with money, uses their soft power to compel those with hard power to voluntarily use their hard power to force some third party to do that which he would not do voluntarily do for the same amount of money directly.
    While as a society becomes more totalitarian, the guys with hard power simply compel those with money, soft power, to hand some of it over, or else….
    When you start with a fairly wealthy society, the tit for tat between the soft power wielders and the hard power wielders can go on for quite some time, while they both unknowingly cooperate to asset stip those who have essentially no power. But eventually, powerless third parties have been stripped bare, and the whole house of cards come tumbling down in intercine warfare between the various power wielders, none of whom has ever had to learn how to do something as simple as feeding themselves, since they never had to, having grown accustomed to simply using their power to compel others to feed them.

    1. So long as you’re getting people to of what you want, it doesn’t matter what they want to do. And as long as money can buy guns, there is no difference between soft and hard power.

      1. I agree, as long as everyone’s money can buy any gun. That’s how it was back when America still bore some semblance to a civilized society. Nowadays… don’t hold your breath for that nuke missile order to be delivered promptly, regardless of how much you paid for it.
        Unless you happen to be one of those who are more equal, of course. Then you don’t even need to pay money for it; instead being able to use your hard power to make someone else, like you or me, pay for it.

  13. Yeah, “power” in government means the power to appropriate money. So it’s still derived financially. Politicians have to grouse for money privately and the power they seek is the power to return favors and decide where the public money goes. Once they raise their profiles in Congress, they can do quite well in the private sector as lobbyists or lawyers.

    1. No, it’s not “derived” financially, power comes from many sources: charisma, connections, intelligence, wisdom, timing, truth, strength, beauty, courage, cunning, strategy, deception, spectacle, manipulation, archetypes, etc. It is a very involved topic. Power doesn’t derive from money, but it does provide money, if so you wish it to. So long as you possess power, money will flow to you.

      1. While I’m sure there is some kernel of truth in all this, unless you tie down your definitions of power and money to the extent your statements can be falsified, you really doing anything more than displaying a certain talent for flightful hyberbole.
        Obviously, vast amounts of money can be acquired by simply having a knack for picking lottery numbers. Or stocks. Or crypto currencies. Or roulette numbers. Or husbands who happen to posess one of the above talents. None of which require all that much of what most people would describe as power.
        Of course, money can also be acquired by pointing a gun at someone and demanding it. In which case, the money is obtained via the use of power.

    1. Having watched both I find the original is far superior in script,plot,narrative and direction.Though it is hard to fault Kevin Spacey’s brilliant performance(Frank Underwood),it really cannot come a mile within the Machiavellian perfection of Francis Urquhart(Ian Richardson).If you want Red Pill wisdom,Urquhart it is.

  14. Even Alex Jones is speaking against feminism now

    We won, guys! We got antifeminism into the mainstream consciousness! Let’s take a moment to give ourselves a congratulations, especially to guys like Roosh who are the gods of the new world.

  15. Good article but I do want to nit pick a bit about Thailand. Yes the family in power is very rich, but they are champions of the poor rural northern people who have been kept out of power for basically all of Thailand’s history.
    They are total outsiders to the Bangkok elite who have historically controlled Thailand. The protesters on the streets, the yellow shirts, are all urban, middle and upper class.
    Basically I am saying it is not just a simple account of dollars and cents and this wealthy family is keeping out the true wealthy elites from power by championing the disenfranchised, populous north. To say it s because they are rich really demonstrates a lack of understanding.

  16. Disagree. Power comes first, money follows. This is in accordance with Robert Greene’s 48 Laws of Power. The critical thing is to accumulate power, money is just a function of power.

    1. I can see how someone could have a lot of money but little power, but I cannot see how someone could have a lot of power with little money. I have not read Greene’s book however. Does he explain this?

      1. Money is tangible, power is intangible. Money is the branch, Power is the root. Focusing on external manifestations is for simpletons. People with low intelligence see things for what they appear to be, intelligent people see deeper into the root cause of things.
        Robert Greene does explain this situation very clearly. But an example he does not use but which I find helpful is that of Athos from Dumas’ novel ‘The Three Musketeers’. Athos is one of the highest nobles in France, but he is impoverished, living day to day under a pseudonym as merely a guard in the King’s Musketeers.
        Yet this outward charade cannot hide his essential quality of character and the intangible nobility of his being, such that all the other Musketeers defer to him as the alpha.
        There’s a fantastic passage in the story where d’Artagnon is haggling for the cheapest price he can get for a horse to take with him on campaign against the English, whereas Athos just pays full price straight away without even the merest quibble or protest: he is too noble to concern himself over price.
        This is the sort of point Robert Greene is saying in his 40th Law of Power: don’t worry about price or money, worry about power and influence and everything else will take care of itself.

        1. I would still maintain that money is the vehicle through which (significant) power is wielded. I say significant to distinguish it from limited, temporary power that one may acquire by holding a gun to someone’s head. This type of power does not require money, but lacks longevity and significance. A billionaire politician holds far more important and enduring power than an armed robber. The very fact that people steal attests to the importance of money. They do not steal for the sake of moving up the criminal hierarchy —- they steal to get rich.
          Further, your analogy to Athos doesn’t seem relevant here. Athos was old money, thus he retained his class distinctions (diction, manners, values, worldview) even when the money was lost. To say he was just as powerful as he was when he had money is inaccurate. He buys the horse without negotiating a lower price because that is what he was accustomed to doing as a result of his social breeding. Old money does not talk about or think about money, it is simply there.
          In short, countries that lose money collapse, companies that lose money go bankrupt, and people who lose money become homeless. Money is by no means the ONLY component to power (an idiot with a lot of money is still an idiot), but it is nevertheless indispensable.

        2. people do steal to get power, they kill….. they steal life… the lives of those getting in their way…. uncommon in regular business, but perfectly normal in gangsters…

  17. Yeah, can we please not talk about fictional TV series as if they were somehow reality and not the invention of barely-educated scriptwriters? Thanks.
    Because this is bad. It says that too many people simply can’t relate to the real world unless they see it on TV first. Then, TV becomes the reality and actual reality…well let’s just say that it seems unreal and gets denied. Sad but all too true.

  18. Money isn’t just important, it’s everything. I have written here before, I stopped working at the age of 36. If anything, it frees you from the confines of a boss, people or situations you don’t want to deal with and the freedom to do what the hell you like with your time.

  19. So you cant get anywhere in American politics without money, don’t we all just end up voting for a very small circle of obscenely rich people who decide amongst themselves who gets to stand for election?

  20. Fine, but you don’t get (and keep) obscene amounts of money unless you are in a “secret society” (freemasonry), are a zioni$t in your heart, publicly kiss the ass of I$rael, are a sexual deviant (pedophilia is rampant in the “upper classes”), and don’t mind partaking in the occasional occult / satanic / luciferian ritual were mind blowing events happen. That is the MO of ANYONE worth more than $25 million (off the books) or anyone who has influence on the world stage.

  21. I figured out some time ago that simple formula for human happiness (mine anyway) was Time + Money / Responsibility = Happiness. Get fucking rich without a wife or kids or a bullshit job and life is bliss.

    1. Ding, ding, ding. What we’ve got here is a winner folks! I am often asked, at work and in social settings ‘dude, how did you get so much money’, ‘how much fucking money do you have anyway?’ or some other variant. One, I don’t have that much, in my view anyways. Two, compared to damned near zero (or a house with single digit equity) which is what most people my age have, I guess it could seem that I am much better off. Three, you get in a good place by being educated (or trained in some useful craft), working hard, and working smart for mant years. That and no mortgage, no marriage, no kids. Throw in good health, some luck and don’t be a retard with what you do have and you are on the way to the first million by 40 easy.

  22. Also, money on it’s own does not yield power for long, as it essentially ‘melts’ unless invested in some form of tangible ongoing income-producing assets or activity. This is the reason why your captains of industry of old held their wealth in estates ‘ diversified’ into a variety of essential industries. Not to say that stockpiling gold, silver, jewels or works of art did not and does not constitute another form of wealth per se, but it is not enough in the long run if one truly wishes to remain rich for the long haul. For a fascinating glimpse into this reality, consider the fate of Colonial Spain as its gold reserves slowly but surely melted after the loss of its South American colonies and ongoing non-replenishing expenses over the centuries. The same fate befalls any kind of dynasty that is unable to maintain actual ongoing wealth-generating (i.e. preserving) activities.

  23. money is A FORM of power. it is the most potent form, but other forms are formidable if used properly. for example che guevara didnt have much. did money help him get to mexico city and meet fidel castro? sure. did he come from a decently well off family? yes. but thats not where he derived his power. he derived it from conviction, cunning and charisma. it wasnt even his motivator. and yet he commanded armies.
    also, consider how many of these politicians use their power (authority) to pass laws for cash or put things into motion that “coincidentally” benefit them financially. dick cheney went into the vice presidency with just over a million, and left with something like 66 million. he didnt buy his power, he SOLD (or leased out i should say) his power. i think that is what frank alludes to in that statement (im not going to lie, i loved that statement and it came to mind when i saw this article). do not trade your power for luxuries.

    1. Yeah, this is the point I’m trying to make too: it’s not an either or thing, money is a manifestation of power. But power is the prime mover which enables it. Don’t get caught up in perceiving manifestations and thinking that they’re more important than the underlying foundation which from which they come.

  24. Tusk had Walker’s ear constantly because of wealth. Frank was a fool to underestimate the power of wealth.

  25. Any one who thinks this is a good article really needs to read the 40th law of Robert Greene’s 48 laws of power. Here is an excerpt:
    “Not only did the search for El Dorado cost millions of lives – both Indian and Spanish – it helped bring the ruin of the Spanish empire. Gold became Spain’s obsession. The gold that did find its way back to Spain – and a lot did – was reinvested in more expeditions, or in the purchase of luxuries, rather than in agriculture or any other productive endeavour. Whole Spanish towns were depopulated as their menfolk left to hunt gold. Farms fell into ruin, and the army had no recruits for its European wars. By the end of the seventeenth century, the entire country had shrunk by more than half its population; the city of Madrid had gone from a population of 400,000 to 150,000. With diminishing returns from its efforts over so many years, Spain fell into a decline from which it never recovered.
    Power requires self-discipline. The prospect of wealth, particularly easy, sudden wealth, plays havoc with the emotions. The suddenly rich believe that more is always possible. The free lunch, the money that will fall into your lap, is just around the corner.
    In this delusion the greedy neglect everything power really depends on: self-control, the goodwill of others, and so on. Understand: With one exception – death – no lasting change in fortune comes quickly. Sudden wealth rarely lasts, for it is built on nothing solid. Never let lust for money lure you out of the protective and enduring fortress of real power. Make power your goal and money will find its way to you. Leave El Dorado for suckers and fools.”

  26. SON: Dad, how do I become rich and powerful?
    DAD: Well son, Simply create millions of non-essential (government) jobs, with
    other peoples money. (taxpayers). They will then vote you into power.
    SON: Okay cool! Then I pass laws to help those workers. Right?
    DAD: (Chuckling) Ah, NO. Those simpletons have already been bought and paid
    for, they will never leave you. Your job now, is to pass laws for the
    super-rich, the billion dollar corporations, the banks, the insurance
    companies, your friends, and don’t forget the media.
    They will in turn, fund you, your campaigns, your family and your friends.
    Good Luck!
    SON: Gee thanks Dad! Your the best!

  27. You missed out the conclusion :
    Power is how much people respect you.
    Money is your financial wealth.
    Power then is clearly more important than money for several reasons.
    1.) If people don’t respect you, all the money in the world will still mean you are deviled and perhaps even stripped of your wealth.
    2.) Unless you are born uber wealthy, in which case you may be disrespected and not be that powerful (or smart), you will need to make money….
    3.) Making money requires connections to people, even the most incredible geniuses – eg. Tesla (the man, not the battery car), lost their way because they did not curry favor (ie. maintain power).
    We could say that money is your voltage and power is your ampage…. lots of voltage with no amps, just makes static…. lots of amps automatically implies voltage.
    Enough money will eventually buy you some power, but power in and of itself will almost always get you money.
    power > wealth
    making money with no power (ie. no connections) is real hard, and almost pointless since without power you can easily lose money, and probably won’t get there in the first place. even zukerberg at once point needed power – ie. venture capital, friends in high places etc. to make facebook role… if he’d just been a techie nerd in a dark room, no matter how brilliant he’d still be broke.

    1. Money/wealth is the best form of power. Most of us are not narcissists and do not want to be politicians or corporate cronies. Most people want luxuries and the respect of people they do not know. That comes automatically with a high social class.
      The ‘power > wealth’ above is the cliché … “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know.” That only applies when the wealthy are wealthy because they have political connections. Connections mean something in today’s violent (corrupt and politically dominated) society. In the past when government was not sucking the life out of everything, this was not the case.
      Tesla just wasn’t aware of the seedy Machiavellian roots that were taking over society at that time. As long as skilled people are not aware of political dominance in their sphere, they’re subject to political manipulation and the losses that come with it.
      But don’t get confused, most of society is not made up of the top 5-10% and most of society, then, is peaceful, and not so strongly manipulated by ‘connections.’ If you live in a Western country, you can still go pretty far by simply offering value to people, just proving yourself by doing something well.
      I should write a post about this.

  28. Money is like looks in Game. It may help, but may also present a false sense of security. Remember Berezovsky (the king maker) and Putin? Stalin the priest? Poor Hitler gassing rich Jews?. Crassus getting molten gold poured down his throat?
    Underwood is right, true power trumps all.

  29. Good article, but it also isn’t always true. Political power in itself can allow you to control wealth, thereby increasing your power. Take Vladimir Putin, a story which is eerily similar to what happens in House of Cards. He positioned himself as right hand man to ailing president Yeltsin, secured the funding of the oligarchs and became heir apparent to Yeltsin, while starting as a lowly paid civil servant.
    Then, he forced the oligarchs to submit to his will once he was in the presidency, exiled Berezovsky, imprisoned Khodorovsky and told the others that either their money was at the service of the state now, or they would quickly follow suit. Money is one path to power, politics is another, military command yet another.
    As far as money being a significant conduit to happiness and freedom, I’d be inclined to agree, but with the caveat that it’s only a tool, and that material desire varies from person to person. When you start considering money as an end in itself as opposed to a means, that’s when it becomes problematic.

  30. The Distinguished Gentleman starring Eddie Murphy was probably closer to the truth.

  31. I disagree with the idea that Tusk had money, but not power. Remember that his company owned several nuclear power plants, and that in one episode he shut down one of them, leading to a city-wide blackout (as far as I remember). Raymond Tusk had a lot of power (both political and electrical) over many people. Also, he didn’t buy those plants, his company built them.

  32. I think the distinction Frank Underwood meant to say that while he uses money to gain further power, people like Remy use their power for money but assume the amount of money symbolizes their power. Money is a tool. Having a lot of money doesn’t give you a lot of power unless you utilize the money to that effect.
    The question is whether your foundation is mostly money or mostly power. The conflict between Frank Underwood and Raymond Tusk basically approaches this concept. Tusk built his power around his wealth while Underwood built his power around his influence and manipulation of others. Even though Frank doesn’t have the wealth to go head-to-head with Raymond, he was the power to threaten the source of Raymond’s power while Raymond has a harder time chipping Frank’s power even with all of his wealth.
    There are simply some places that money itself won’t get you into. Frank is making this distinction by acknowledging that money is just a means to power, not itself the ultimate source of power. It’s not that “money is power” but “money gets power”.

  33. I didnt understand this at first, maybe even disagree with it completely but after a few years, I think I’ve come to understand what FU meant between Money vs Power. You can be rich like Pablo Escobar, El Chapo Guzman, or even their wealth had limits of what it could do for them. Heck best example I could think of was Kodorkovsky vs Putin and I think FU would rather be along the lines of the latter instead of the former

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