Power is no longer defined by force: it is the ability to motivate people to voluntarily and unwittingly act against their self-interests for your benefit. The methods are similar for countries, companies, and individuals alike. These are the principles of covert power.
The most dominant and technically advanced civilizations throughout history have all prospered by creating extreme power differentials between a ruling elite and masses of workers, to increase productivity and cost efficiency. This is in contrast to how, the greater the concern for fairness and transparency, the more restricted the output from laborers appears to be.
Access to cheap, controllable, and interchangeable labor is as critical to the success of corporations and nations today as it was in earlier eras. However, as will be shown in this book, modern day capitalist societies have evolved, with more refined and sophisticated methods for securing workers at minimal cost and deriving maximum value.