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I will not stop, until I Stop, then I will Stop
Author :AncientPlunger
© Wuxiaworld

1 No life man

Chapter 1: One Man, 100,000 Words

We live in a culture that promotes democratic values

of being fair to one and all, the importance of fitting

into a group, and knowing how to cooperate with

other people. We are taught early on in life that those

who are outwardly combative and aggressive pay a

social price: unpopularity and isolation. These values

of harmony and cooperation are perpetuated in subtle

and not-so-subtle ways--through books on how to be

successful in life; through the pleasant, peaceful

exteriors that those who have gotten ahead in the

world present to the public; through notions of

correctness that saturate the public space. The

problem for us is that we are trained and prepared for

peace, and we are not at all prepared for what

confronts us in the real world--war.

The life of man upon earth is a warfare.

JOB 7:1

Qui desiderat pacem, praeparet bellum (let him

who wants peace prepare for war)

VEGETIUS, A.D. FOURTH CENTURY

This war exists on several levels. Most obviously,

we have our rivals on the other side. The world has

become increasingly competitive and nasty. In

politics, business, even the arts, we face opponents

who will do almost anything to gain an edge. More

troubling and complex, however, are the battles we

face with those who are supposedly on our side.

There are those who outwardly play the team game,

who act very friendly and agreeable, but who

sabotage us behind the scenes, use the group to

promote their own agenda. Others, more difficult to

spot, play subtle games of passive aggression,

offering help that never comes, instilling guilt as a

secret weapon. On the surface everything seems

peaceful enough, but just below it, it is every man and

woman for him-or herself, this dynamic infecting even

families and relationships. The culture may deny this

reality and promote a gentler picture, but we know it

and feel it, in our battle scars.

It is not that we and our colleagues are ignoble

creatures who fail to live up to ideals of peace and

selflessness, but that we cannot help the way we are. We have aggressive impulses that are impossible to

ignore or repress. In the past, individuals could expect

a group--the state, an extended family, a company--to

take care of them, but this is no longer the case, and

in this uncaring world we have to think first and

foremost of ourselves and our interests. What we

need are not impossible and inhuman ideals of peace

and cooperation to live up to, and the confusion that

brings us, but rather practical knowledge on how to


deal with conflict and the daily battles we face. And

this knowledge is not about how to be more forceful in

getting what we want or defending ourselves but

rather how to be more rational and strategic when it

comes to conflict, channeling our aggressive

impulses instead of denying or repressing them. If

there is an ideal to aim for, it should be that of the

strategic warrior, the man or woman who manages

difficult situations and people through deft and

intelligent maneuver.

[Strategy] is more than a science: it is the

application of knowledge to practical life, the

development of thought capable of modifying

the original guiding idea in the light of everchanging

situations; it is the art of acting under

the pressure of the most difficult conditions.

HELMUTH VON MOLTKE, 1800-1891

Many psychologists and sociologists have argued

that it is through conflict that problems are often

solved and real differences reconciled. Our

successes and failures in life can be traced to how

well or how badly we deal with the inevitable conflicts

that confront us in society. The common ways that

people deal with them--trying to avoid all conflict,

getting emotional and lashing out, turning sly and manipulative--are all counterproductive in the long run,

because they are not under conscious and rational

control and often make the situation worse. Strategic

warriors operate much differently. They think ahead

toward their long-term goals, decide which fights to

avoid and which are inevitable, know how to control

and channel their emotions. When forced to fight, they

do so with indirection and subtle maneuver, making

their manipulations hard to trace. In this way they can maintain the peaceful exterior so cherished in these

political times.

This ideal of fighting rationally comes to us from

organized warfare, where the art of strategy was

invented and refined. In the beginning, war was not at

all strategic. Battles between tribes were fought in a

brutal manner, a kind of ritual of violence in which

individuals could display their heroism. But as tribes

expanded and evolved into states, it became all too

apparent that war had too many hidden costs, that

waging it blindly often led to exhaustion and selfdestruction,

even for the victor. Somehow wars had to

be fought more rationally.

The word "strategy" comes from the ancient Greek

word strategos, meaning literally "the leader of the

army." Strategy in this sense was the art of

generalship, of commanding the entire war effort,

deciding what formations to deploy, what terrain to

fight on, what maneuvers to use to gain an edge. And

as this knowledge progressed, military leaders

discovered that the more they thought and planned

ahead, the more possibilities they had for success.

Novel strategies could allow them to defeat much

larger armies, as Alexander the Great did in his

victories over the Persians. In facing savvy opponents

who were also using strategy, there developed an

upward pressure: to gain an advantage, a general

had to be even more strategic, more indirect and

clever, than the other side. Over time the arts of

generalship became steadily more sophisticated, as more strategies were invented.

Although the word "strategy" itself is Greek in

origin, the concept appears in all cultures, in all

periods. Solid principles on how to deal with the

inevitable accidents of war, how to craft the ultimate

plan, how to best organize the army--all of this can be

found in war manuals from ancient China to modern

Europe. The counterattack, the flanking or enveloping maneuver, and the arts of deception are common to

the armies of Genghis Khan, Napoleon, and the Zulu

king Shaka. As a whole, these principles and

strategies indicate a kind of universal military

wisdom, a set of adaptable patterns that can increase

the chances for victory.

"Well, then, my boy, develop your strategy So

that prizes in games won't elude your grasp.

Strategy makes a better woodcutter than

strength. Strategy keeps a pilot's ship on course

When crosswinds blowit over the wine-blue sea.

And strategy wins races for charioteers. One

type of driver trusts his horses and car And

swerves mindlessly this way and that, All over

the course, without reining his horses. But a

man who knows how to win with lesser horses

Keeps his eye on the post and cuts the turn

close, And from the start keeps tension on the

reins With a firm hand as he watches the

leader."

THE ILIAD, HOMER, CIRCA NINTH CENTURY

B.C.

Perhaps the greatest strategist of them all was

Sun-tzu, author of the ancient Chinese classic The Art

of War. In his book, written probably the fourth century

B.C., can be found traces of almost all the strategic

patterns and principles later developed over the

course of centuries. But what connects them, in fact

what constitutes the art of war itself in Sun-tzu's eyes,

is the ideal of winning without bloodshed. By playing

on the psychological weaknesses of the opponent, by maneuvering him into precarious positions, by

inducing feelings of frustration and confusion, a

strategist can get the other side to break down mentally before surrendering physically. In this way

victory can be had at a much lower cost.And the state

that wins wars with few lives lost and resources

squandered is the state that can thrive over greater

periods of time. Certainly most wars are not waged

so rationally, but those campaigns in history that have

followed this principle (Scipio Africanus in Spain,

Napoleon at Ulm, T. E. Lawrence in the desert

campaigns of World War I) stand out above the rest

and serve as the ideal. War is not some separate realm divorced from the

rest of society. It is an eminently human arena, full of

the best and the worst of our nature. War also reflects

trends in society. The evolution toward more

unconventional, dirtier strategies--guerrilla warfare,

terrorism--mirrors a similar evolution in society, where

almost anything goes. The strategies that succeed in

war, whether conventional or unconventional, are

based on timeless psychology, and great military

failures have much to teach us about human stupidity

and the limits of force in any arena. The strategic

ideal in war--being supremely rational and emotionally

balanced, striving to win with minimum bloodshed and

loss of resources--has infinite application and

relevance to our daily battles.

Inculcated with the values of our times, many will

argue that organized war is inherently barbaric--a relic

of man's violent past and something to be overcome

for good. To promote the arts of warfare in a social

setting, they will say, is to stand in the way of progress

and to encourage conflict and dissension. Isn't there

enough of that in the world? This argument is very

seductive, but not at all reasonable. There will always

be those in society and in the world at large who are more aggressive than we are, who find ways to get

what they want, by hook or by crook. We must be

vigilant and must know how to defend ourselves

against such types. Civilized values are not furthered

if we are forced to surrender to those who are crafty

and strong. In fact, being pacifists in the face of such

wolves is the source of endless tragedy.

The self is the friend of a man who masters

himself through the self, but for a man without

self-mastery, the self is like an enemy at war.

THE BHAGAVAD GITA, INDIA, CIRCA A.D.

FIRST CENTURY

Mahatma Gandhi, who elevated nonviolence into a

great weapon for social change, had one simple goal

later on in his life: to rid India of the British overlords

who had crippled it for so many centuries. The British

were clever rulers. Gandhi understood that if

nonviolence were to work, it would have to be

extremely strategic, demanding much thought and

planning. He went so far as to call nonviolence a new

way of waging war. To promote any value, even

peace and pacifism, you must be willing to fight for it

and to aim at results--not simply the good, warm

feeling that expressing such ideas might bring you.

The moment you aim for results, you are in the realm

of strategy. War and strategy have an inexorable

logic: if you want or desire anything, you must be

ready and able to fight for it.

Others will argue that war and strategy are primarily matters that concern men, particularly those who are

aggressive or among the power elite. The study of

war and strategy, they will say, is a masculine, elitist,

and repressive pursuit, a way for power to perpetuate

itself. Such an argument is dangerous nonsense. In

the beginning, strategy indeed belonged to a select

few--a general, his staff, the king, a handful of

courtiers. Soldiers were not taught strategy, for that

would not have helped them on the battlefield.

Besides, it was unwise to arm one's soldiers with the

kind of practical knowledge that could help them to

organize a mutiny or rebellion. The era of colonialismWe live in a culture that promotes democratic values

of being fair to one and all, the importance of fitting

into a group, and knowing how to cooperate with

other people. We are taught early on in life that those

who are outwardly combative and aggressive pay a

social price: unpopularity and isolation. These values

of harmony and cooperation are perpetuated in subtle

and not-so-subtle ways--through books on how to be

successful in life; through the pleasant, peaceful

exteriors that those who have gotten ahead in the

world present to the public; through notions of

correctness that saturate the public space. The

problem for us is that we are trained and prepared for

peace, and we are not at all prepared for what

confronts us in the real world--war.

The life of man upon earth is a warfare.

JOB 7:1

Qui desiderat pacem, praeparet bellum (let him

who wants peace prepare for war)

VEGETIUS, A.D. FOURTH CENTURY

This war exists on several levels. Most obviously,

we have our rivals on the other side. The world has

become increasingly competitive and nasty. In

politics, business, even the arts, we face opponents

who will do almost anything to gain an edge. More

troubling and complex, however, are the battles we

face with those who are supposedly on our side.

There are those who outwardly play the team game,

who act very friendly and agreeable, but who

sabotage us behind the scenes, use the group to

promote their own agenda. Others, more difficult to

spot, play subtle games of passive aggression,

offering help that never comes, instilling guilt as a

secret weapon. On the surface everything seems

peaceful enough, but just below it, it is every man and

woman for him-or herself, this dynamic infecting even

families and relationships. The culture may deny this

reality and promote a gentler picture, but we know it

and feel it, in our battle scars.

It is not that we and our colleagues are ignoble

creatures who fail to live up to ideals of peace and

selflessness, but that we cannot help the way we are. We have aggressive impulses that are impossible to

ignore or repress. In the past, individuals could expect

a group--the state, an extended family, a company--to

take care of them, but this is no longer the case, and

in this uncaring world we have to think first and

foremost of ourselves and our interests. What we

need are not impossible and inhuman ideals of peace

and cooperation to live up to, and the confusion that

brings us, but rather practical knowledge on how to

deal with conflict and the daily battles we face. And

this knowledge is not about how to be more forceful in

getting what we want or defending ourselves but

rather how to be more rational and strategic when it

comes to conflict, channeling our aggressive

impulses instead of denying or repressing them. If

there is an ideal to aim for, it should be that of the

strategic warrior, the man or woman who manages

difficult situations and people through deft and

intelligent maneuver.

[Strategy] is more than a science: it is the

application of knowledge to practical life, the

development of thought capable of modifying

the original guiding idea in the light of everchanging

situations; it is the art of acting under

the pressure of the most difficult conditions.

HELMUTH VON MOLTKE, 1800-1891

Many psychologists and sociologists have argued

that it is through conflict that problems are often

solved and real differences reconciled. Our

successes and failures in life can be traced to how

well or how badly we deal with the inevitable conflicts

that confront us in society. The common ways that

people deal with them--trying to avoid all conflict,

getting emotional and lashing out, turning sly and manipulative--are all counterproductive in the long run,

because they are not under conscious and rational

control and often make the situation worse. Strategic

warriors operate much differently. They think ahead

toward their long-term goals, decide which fights to

avoid and which are inevitable, know how to control

and channel their emotions. When forced to fight, they

do so with indirection and subtle maneuver, making

their manipulations hard to trace. In this way they can maintain the peaceful exterior so cherished in these

political times.

This ideal of fighting rationally comes to us from

organized warfare, where the art of strategy was

invented and refined. In the beginning, war was not at

all strategic. Battles between tribes were fought in a

brutal manner, a kind of ritual of violence in which

individuals could display their heroism. But as tribes

expanded and evolved into states, it became all too

apparent that war had too many hidden costs, that

waging it blindly often led to exhaustion and selfdestruction,

even for the victor. Somehow wars had to

be fought more rationally.

The word "strategy" comes from the ancient Greek

word strategos, meaning literally "the leader of the

army." Strategy in this sense was the art of

generalship, of commanding the entire war effort,

deciding what formations to deploy, what terrain to

fight on, what maneuvers to use to gain an edge. And

as this knowledge progressed, military leaders

discovered that the more they thought and planned

ahead, the more possibilities they had for success.

Novel strategies could allow them to defeat much

larger armies, as Alexander the Great did in his

victories over the Persians. In facing savvy opponents

who were also using strategy, there developed an

upward pressure: to gain an advantage, a general

had to be even more strategic, more indirect and

clever, than the other side. Over time the arts of

generalship became steadily more sophisticated, as more strategies were invented.

Although the word "strategy" itself is Greek in

origin, the concept appears in all cultures, in all

periods. Solid principles on how to deal with the

inevitable accidents of war, how to craft the ultimate

plan, how to best organize the army--all of this can be

found in war manuals from ancient China to modern

Europe. The counterattack, the flanking or enveloping maneuver, and the arts of deception are common to

the armies of Genghis Khan, Napoleon, and the Zulu

king Shaka. As a whole, these principles and

strategies indicate a kind of universal military

wisdom, a set of adaptable patterns that can increase

the chances for victory.

"Well, then, my boy, develop your strategy So

that prizes in games won't elude your grasp.

Strategy makes a better woodcutter than

strength. Strategy keeps a pilot's ship on course

When crosswinds blowit over the wine-blue sea.

And strategy wins races for charioteers. One

type of driver trusts his horses and car And

swerves mindlessly this way and that, All over

the course, without reining his horses. But a

man who knows how to win with lesser horses

Keeps his eye on the post and cuts the turn

close, And from the start keeps tension on the

reins With a firm hand as he watches the

leader."

THE ILIAD, HOMER, CIRCA NINTH CENTURY

B.C.

Perhaps the greatest strategist of them all was

Sun-tzu, author of the ancient Chinese classic The Art

of War. In his book, written probably the fourth century

B.C., can be found traces of almost all the strategic

patterns and principles later developed over the

course of centuries. But what connects them, in fact

what constitutes the art of war itself in Sun-tzu's eyes,

is the ideal of winning without bloodshed. By playing

on the psychological weaknesses of the opponent, by maneuvering him into precarious positions, by

inducing feelings of frustration and confusion, a

strategist can get the other side to break down mentally before surrendering physically. In this way

victory can be had at a much lower cost.And the state

that wins wars with few lives lost and resources

squandered is the state that can thrive over greater

periods of time. Certainly most wars are not waged

so rationally, but those campaigns in history that have

followed this principle (Scipio Africanus in Spain,

Napoleon at Ulm, T. E. Lawrence in the desert

campaigns of World War I) stand out above the rest

and serve as the ideal. War is not some separate realm divorced from the

rest of society. It is an eminently human arena, full of

the best and the worst of our nature. War also reflects

trends in society. The evolution toward more

unconventional, dirtier strategies--guerrilla warfare,

terrorism--mirrors a similar evolution in society, where

almost anything goes. The strategies that succeed in

war, whether conventional or unconventional, are

based on timeless psychology, and great military

failures have much to teach us about human stupidity

and the limits of force in any arena. The strategic

ideal in war--being supremely rational and emotionally

balanced, striving to win with minimum bloodshed and

loss of resources--has infinite application and

relevance to our daily battles.

Inculcated with the values of our times, many will

argue that organized war is inherently barbaric--a relic

of man's violent past and something to be overcome

for good. To promote the arts of warfare in a social

setting, they will say, is to stand in the way of progress

and to encourage conflict and dissension. Isn't there

enough of that in the world? This argument is very

seductive, but not at all reasonable. There will always

be those in society and in the world at large who are more aggressive than we are, who find ways to get

what they want, by hook or by crook. We must be

vigilant and must know how to defend ourselves

against such types. Civilized values are not furthered

if we are forced to surrender to those who are crafty

and strong. In fact, being pacifists in the face of such

wolves is the source of endless tragedy.

The self is the friend of a man who masters

himself through the self, but for a man without

self-mastery, the self is like an enemy at war.

THE BHAGAVAD GITA, INDIA, CIRCA A.D.

FIRST CENTURY

Mahatma Gandhi, who elevated nonviolence into a

great weapon for social change, had one simple goal

later on in his life: to rid India of the British overlords

who had crippled it for so many centuries. The British

were clever rulers. Gandhi understood that if

nonviolence were to work, it would have to be

extremely strategic, demanding much thought and

planning. He went so far as to call nonviolence a new

way of waging war. To promote any value, even

peace and pacifism, you must be willing to fight for it

and to aim at results--not simply the good, warm

feeling that expressing such ideas might bring you.

The moment you aim for results, you are in the realm

of strategy. War and strategy have an inexorable

logic: if you want or desire anything, you must be

ready and able to fight for it.

Others will argue that war and strategy are primarily matters that concern men, particularly those who are

aggressive or among the power elite. The study of

war and strategy, they will say, is a masculine, elitist,

and repressive pursuit, a way for power to perpetuate

itself. Such an argument is dangerous nonsense. In

the beginning, strategy indeed belonged to a select

few--a general, his staff, the king, a handful of

courtiers. Soldiers were not taught strategy, for that

would not have helped them on the battlefield.

Besides, it was unwise to arm one's soldiers with the

kind of practical knowledge that could help them to

organize a mutiny or rebellion. The era of colonialism

We live in a culture that promotes democratic values

of being fair to one and all, the importance of fitting

into a group, and knowing how to cooperate with

other people. We are taught early on in life that those

who are outwardly combative and aggressive pay a

social price: unpopularity and isolation. These values

of harmony and cooperation are perpetuated in subtle

and not-so-subtle ways--through books on how to be

successful in life; through the pleasant, peaceful

exteriors that those who have gotten ahead in the

world present to the public; through notions of

correctness that saturate the public space. The

problem for us is that we are trained and prepared for

peace, and we are not at all prepared for what

confronts us in the real world--war.

The life of man upon earth is a warfare.

JOB 7:1

Qui desiderat pacem, praeparet bellum (let him

who wants peace prepare for war)

VEGETIUS, A.D. FOURTH CENTURY

This war exists on several levels. Most obviously,

we have our rivals on the other side. The world has

become increasingly competitive and nasty. In

politics, business, even the arts, we face opponents

who will do almost anything to gain an edge. More

troubling and complex, however, are the battles we

face with those who are supposedly on our side.

There are those who outwardly play the team game,

who act very friendly and agreeable, but who

sabotage us behind the scenes, use the group to

promote their own agenda. Others, more difficult to

spot, play subtle games of passive aggression,

offering help that never comes, instilling guilt as a

secret weapon. On the surface everything seems

peaceful enough, but just below it, it is every man and

woman for him-or herself, this dynamic infecting even

families and relationships. The culture may deny this

reality and promote a gentler picture, but we know it

and feel it, in our battle scars.

It is not that we and our colleagues are ignoble

creatures who fail to live up to ideals of peace and

selflessness, but that we cannot help the way we are. We have aggressive impulses that are impossible to

ignore or repress. In the past, individuals could expect

a group--the state, an extended family, a company--to

take care of them, but this is no longer the case, and

in this uncaring world we have to think first and

foremost of ourselves and our interests. What we

need are not impossible and inhuman ideals of peace

and cooperation to live up to, and the confusion that

brings us, but rather practical knowledge on how to

deal with conflict and the daily battles we face. And

this knowledge is not about how to be more forceful in

getting what we want or defending ourselves but

rather how to be more rational and strategic when it

comes to conflict, channeling our aggressive

impulses instead of denying or repressing them. If

there is an ideal to aim for, it should be that of the

strategic warrior, the man or woman who manages

difficult situations and people through deft and

intelligent maneuver.

[Strategy] is more than a science: it is the

application of knowledge to practical life, the

development of thought capable of modifying

the original guiding idea in the light of everchanging

situations; it is the art of acting under

the pressure of the most difficult conditions.

HELMUTH VON MOLTKE, 1800-1891

Many psychologists and sociologists have argued

that it is through conflict that problems are often

solved and real differences reconciled. Our

successes and failures in life can be traced to how

well or how badly we deal with the inevitable conflicts

that confront us in society. The common ways that

people deal with them--trying to avoid all conflict,

getting emotional and lashing out, turning sly and manipulative--are all counterproductive in the long run,

because they are not under conscious and rational

control and often make the situation worse. Strategic

warriors operate much differently. They think ahead

toward their long-term goals, decide which fights to

avoid and which are inevitable, know how to control

and channel their emotions. When forced to fight, they

do so with indirection and subtle maneuver, making

their manipulations hard to trace. In this way they can maintain the peaceful exterior so cherished in these

political times.

This ideal of fighting rationally comes to us from

organized warfare, where the art of strategy was

invented and refined. In the beginning, war was not at

all strategic. Battles between tribes were fought in a

brutal manner, a kind of ritual of violence in which

individuals could display their heroism. But as tribes

expanded and evolved into states, it became all too

apparent that war had too many hidden costs, that

waging it blindly often led to exhaustion and selfdestruction,

even for the victor. Somehow wars had to

be fought more rationally.

The word "strategy" comes from the ancient Greek

word strategos, meaning literally "the leader of the

army." Strategy in this sense was the art of

generalship, of commanding the entire war effort,

deciding what formations to deploy, what terrain to

fight on, what maneuvers to use to gain an edge. And

as this knowledge progressed, military leaders

discovered that the more they thought and planned

ahead, the more possibilities they had for success.

Novel strategies could allow them to defeat much

larger armies, as Alexander the Great did in his

victories over the Persians. In facing savvy opponents

who were also using strategy, there developed an

upward pressure: to gain an advantage, a general

had to be even more strategic, more indirect and

clever, than the other side. Over time the arts of

generalship became steadily more sophisticated, as more strategies were invented.

Although the word "strategy" itself is Greek in

origin, the concept appears in all cultures, in all

periods. Solid principles on how to deal with the

inevitable accidents of war, how to craft the ultimate

plan, how to best organize the army--all of this can be

found in war manuals from ancient China to modern

Europe. The counterattack, the flanking or enveloping maneuver, and the arts of deception are common to

the armies of Genghis Khan, Napoleon, and the Zulu

king Shaka. As a whole, these principles and

strategies indicate a kind of universal military

wisdom, a set of adaptable patterns that can increase

the chances for victory.

"Well, then, my boy, develop your strategy So

that prizes in games won't elude your grasp.

Strategy makes a better woodcutter than

strength. Strategy keeps a pilot's ship on course

When crosswinds blowit over the wine-blue sea.

And strategy wins races for charioteers. One

type of driver trusts his horses and car And

swerves mindlessly this way and that, All over

the course, without reining his horses. But a

man who knows how to win with lesser horses

Keeps his eye on the post and cuts the turn

close, And from the start keeps tension on the

reins With a firm hand as he watches the

leader."

THE ILIAD, HOMER, CIRCA NINTH CENTURY

B.C.

Perhaps the greatest strategist of them all was

Sun-tzu, author of the ancient Chinese classic The Art

of War. In his book, written probably the fourth century

B.C., can be found traces of almost all the strategic

patterns and principles later developed over the

course of centuries. But what connects them, in fact

what constitutes the art of war itself in Sun-tzu's eyes,

is the ideal of winning without bloodshed. By playing

on the psychological weaknesses of the opponent, by maneuvering him into precarious positions, by

inducing feelings of frustration and confusion, a

strategist can get the other side to break down mentally before surrendering physically. In this way

victory can be had at a much lower cost.And the state

that wins wars with few lives lost and resources

squandered is the state that can thrive over greater

periods of time. Certainly most wars are not waged

so rationally, but those campaigns in history that have

followed this principle (Scipio Africanus in Spain,

Napoleon at Ulm, T. E. Lawrence in the desert

campaigns of World War I) stand out above the rest

and serve as the ideal. War is not some separate realm divorced from the

rest of society. It is an eminently human arena, full of

the best and the worst of our nature. War also reflects

trends in society. The evolution toward more

unconventional, dirtier strategies--guerrilla warfare,

terrorism--mirrors a similar evolution in society, where

almost anything goes. The strategies that succeed in

war, whether conventional or unconventional, are

based on timeless psychology, and great military

failures have much to teach us about human stupidity

and the limits of force in any arena. The strategic

ideal in war--being supremely rational and emotionally

balanced, striving to win with minimum bloodshed and

loss of resources--has infinite application and

relevance to our daily battles.

Inculcated with the values of our times, many will

argue that organized war is inherently barbaric--a relic

of man's violent past and something to be overcome

for good. To promote the arts of warfare in a social

setting, they will say, is to stand in the way of progress

and to encourage conflict and dissension. Isn't there

enough of that in the world? This argument is very

seductive, but not at all reasonable. There will always

be those in society and in the world at large who are more aggressive than we are, who find ways to get

what they want, by hook or by crook. We must be

vigilant and must know how to defend ourselves

against such types. Civilized values are not furthered

if we are forced to surrender to those who are crafty

and strong. In fact, being pacifists in the face of such

wolves is the source of endless tragedy.

The self is the friend of a man who masters

himself through the self, but for a man without

self-mastery, the self is like an enemy at war.

THE BHAGAVAD GITA, INDIA, CIRCA A.D.

FIRST CENTURY

Mahatma Gandhi, who elevated nonviolence into a

great weapon for social change, had one simple goal

later on in his life: to rid India of the British overlords

who had crippled it for so many centuries. The British

were clever rulers. Gandhi understood that if

nonviolence were to work, it would have to be

extremely strategic, demanding much thought and

planning. He went so far as to call nonviolence a new

way of waging war. To promote any value, even

peace and pacifism, you must be willing to fight for it

and to aim at results--not simply the good, warm

feeling that expressing such ideas might bring you.

The moment you aim for results, you are in the realm

of strategy. War and strategy have an inexorable

logic: if you want or desire anything, you must be

ready and able to fight for it.

Others will argue that war and strategy are primarily matters that concern men, particularly those who are

aggressive or among the power elite. The study of

war and strategy, they will say, is a masculine, elitist,

and repressive pursuit, a way for power to perpetuate

itself. Such an argument is dangerous nonsense. In

the beginning, strategy indeed belonged to a select

few--a general, his staff, the king, a handful of

courtiers. Soldiers were not taught strategy, for that

would not have helped them on the battlefield.

Besides, it was unwise to arm one's soldiers with the

kind of practical knowledge that could help them to

organize a mutiny or rebellion. The era of colonialism

We live in a culture that promotes democratic values

of being fair to one and all, the importance of fitting

into a group, and knowing how to cooperate with

other people. We are taught early on in life that those

who are outwardly combative and aggressive pay a

social price: unpopularity and isolation. These values

of harmony and cooperation are perpetuated in subtle

and not-so-subtle ways--through books on how to be

successful in life; through the pleasant, peaceful

exteriors that those who have gotten ahead in the

world present to the public; through notions of

correctness that saturate the public space. The

problem for us is that we are trained and prepared for

peace, and we are not at all prepared for what

confronts us in the real world--war.

The life of man upon earth is a warfare.

JOB 7:1

Qui desiderat pacem, praeparet bellum (let him

who wants peace prepare for war)

VEGETIUS, A.D. FOURTH CENTURY

This war exists on several levels. Most obviously,

we have our rivals on the other side. The world has

become increasingly competitive and nasty. In

politics, business, even the arts, we face opponents

who will do almost anything to gain an edge. More

troubling and complex, however, are the battles we

face with those who are supposedly on our side.

There are those who outwardly play the team game,

who act very friendly and agreeable, but who

sabotage us behind the scenes, use the group to

promote their own agenda. Others, more difficult to

spot, play subtle games of passive aggression,

offering help that never comes, instilling guilt as a

secret weapon. On the surface everything seems

peaceful enough, but just below it, it is every man and

woman for him-or herself, this dynamic infecting even

families and relationships. The culture may deny this

reality and promote a gentler picture, but we know it

and feel it, in our battle scars.

It is not that we and our colleagues are ignoble

creatures who fail to live up to ideals of peace and

selflessness, but that we cannot help the way we are. We have aggressive impulses that are impossible to

ignore or repress. In the past, individuals could expect

a group--the state, an extended family, a company--to

take care of them, but this is no longer the case, and

in this uncaring world we have to think first and

foremost of ourselves and our interests. What we

need are not impossible and inhuman ideals of peace

and cooperation to live up to, and the confusion that

brings us, but rather practical knowledge on how to

deal with conflict and the daily battles we face. And

this knowledge is not about how to be more forceful in

getting what we want or defending ourselves but

rather how to be more rational and strategic when it

comes to conflict, channeling our aggressive

impulses instead of denying or repressing them. If

there is an ideal to aim for, it should be that of the

strategic warrior, the man or woman who manages

difficult situations and people through deft and

intelligent maneuver.

[Strategy] is more than a science: it is the

application of knowledge to practical life, the

development of thought capable of modifying

the original guiding idea in the light of everchanging

situations; it is the art of acting under

the pressure of the most difficult conditions.

HELMUTH VON MOLTKE, 1800-1891

Many psychologists and sociologists have argued

that it is through conflict that problems are often

solved and real differences reconciled. Our

successes and failures in life can be traced to how

well or how badly we deal with the inevitable conflicts

that confront us in society. The common ways that

people deal with them--trying to avoid all conflict,

getting emotional and lashing out, turning sly and manipulative--are all counterproductive in the long run,

because they are not under conscious and rational

control and often make the situation worse. Strategic

warriors operate much differently. They think ahead

toward their long-term goals, decide which fights to

avoid and which are inevitable, know how to control

and channel their emotions. When forced to fight, they

do so with indirection and subtle maneuver, making

their manipulations hard to trace. In this way they can maintain the peaceful exterior so cherished in these

political times.

This ideal of fighting rationally comes to us from

organized warfare, where the art of strategy was

invented and refined. In the beginning, war was not at

all strategic. Battles between tribes were fought in a

brutal manner, a kind of ritual of violence in which

individuals could display their heroism. But as tribes

expanded and evolved into states, it became all too

apparent that war had too many hidden costs, that

waging it blindly often led to exhaustion and selfdestruction,

even for the victor. Somehow wars had to

be fought more rationally.

The word "strategy" comes from the ancient Greek

word strategos, meaning literally "the leader of the

army." Strategy in this sense was the art of

generalship, of commanding the entire war effort,

deciding what formations to deploy, what terrain to

fight on, what maneuvers to use to gain an edge. And

as this knowledge progressed, military leaders

discovered that the more they thought and planned

ahead, the more possibilities they had for success.

Novel strategies could allow them to defeat much

larger armies, as Alexander the Great did in his

victories over the Persians. In facing savvy opponents

who were also using strategy, there developed an

upward pressure: to gain an advantage, a general

had to be even more strategic, more indirect and

clever, than the other side. Over time the arts of

generalship became steadily more sophisticated, as more strategies were invented.

Although the word "strategy" itself is Greek in

origin, the concept appears in all cultures, in all

periods. Solid principles on how to deal with the

inevitable accidents of war, how to craft the ultimate

plan, how to best organize the army--all of this can be

found in war manuals from ancient China to modern

Europe. The counterattack, the flanking or enveloping maneuver, and the arts of deception are common to

the armies of Genghis Khan, Napoleon, and the Zulu

king Shaka. As a whole, these principles and

strategies indicate a kind of universal military

wisdom, a set of adaptable patterns that can increase

the chances for victory.

"Well, then, my boy, develop your strategy So

that prizes in games won't elude your grasp.

Strategy makes a better woodcutter than

strength. Strategy keeps a pilot's ship on course

When crosswinds blowit over the wine-blue sea.

And strategy wins races for charioteers. One

type of driver trusts his horses and car And

swerves mindlessly this way and that, All over

the course, without reining his horses. But a

man who knows how to win with lesser horses

Keeps his eye on the post and cuts the turn

close, And from the start keeps tension on the

reins With a firm hand as he watches the

leader."

THE ILIAD, HOMER, CIRCA NINTH CENTURY

B.C.

Perhaps the greatest strategist of them all was

Sun-tzu, author of the ancient Chinese classic The Art

of War. In his book, written probably the fourth century

B.C., can be found traces of almost all the strategic

patterns and principles later developed over the

course of centuries. But what connects them, in fact

what constitutes the art of war itself in Sun-tzu's eyes,

is the ideal of winning without bloodshed. By playing

on the psychological weaknesses of the opponent, by maneuvering him into precarious positions, by

inducing feelings of frustration and confusion, a

strategist can get the other side to break down mentally before surrendering physically. In this way

victory can be had at a much lower cost.And the state

that wins wars with few lives lost and resources

squandered is the state that can thrive over greater

periods of time. Certainly most wars are not waged

so rationally, but those campaigns in history that have

followed this principle (Scipio Africanus in Spain,

Napoleon at Ulm, T. E. Lawrence in the desert

campaigns of World War I) stand out above the rest

and serve as the ideal. War is not some separate realm divorced from the

rest of society. It is an eminently human arena, full of

the best and the worst of our nature. War also reflects

trends in society. The evolution toward more

unconventional, dirtier strategies--guerrilla warfare,

terrorism--mirrors a similar evolution in society, where

almost anything goes. The strategies that succeed in

war, whether conventional or unconventional, are

based on timeless psychology, and great military

failures have much to teach us about human stupidity

and the limits of force in any arena. The strategic

ideal in war--being supremely rational and emotionally

balanced, striving to win with minimum bloodshed and

loss of resources--has infinite application and

relevance to our daily battles.

Inculcated with the values of our times, many will

argue that organized war is inherently barbaric--a relic

of man's violent past and something to be overcome

for good. To promote the arts of warfare in a social

setting, they will say, is to stand in the way of progress

and to encourage conflict and dissension. Isn't there

enough of that in the world? This argument is very

seductive, but not at all reasonable. There will always

be those in society and in the world at large who are more aggressive than we are, who find ways to get

what they want, by hook or by crook. We must be

vigilant and must know how to defend ourselves

against such types. Civilized values are not furthered

if we are forced to surrender to those who are crafty

and strong. In fact, being pacifists in the face of such

wolves is the source of endless tragedy.

The self is the friend of a man who masters

himself through the self, but for a man without

self-mastery, the self is like an enemy at war.

THE BHAGAVAD GITA, INDIA, CIRCA A.D.

FIRST CENTURY

Mahatma Gandhi, who elevated nonviolence into a

great weapon for social change, had one simple goal

later on in his life: to rid India of the British overlords

who had crippled it for so many centuries. The British

were clever rulers. Gandhi understood that if

nonviolence were to work, it would have to be

extremely strategic, demanding much thought and

planning. He went so far as to call nonviolence a new

way of waging war. To promote any value, even

peace and pacifism, you must be willing to fight for it

and to aim at results--not simply the good, warm

feeling that expressing such ideas might bring you.

The moment you aim for results, you are in the realm

of strategy. War and strategy have an inexorable

logic: if you want or desire anything, you must be

ready and able to fight for it.

Others will argue that war and strategy are primarily matters that concern men, particularly those who are

aggressive or among the power elite. The study of

war and strategy, they will say, is a masculine, elitist,

and repressive pursuit, a way for power to perpetuate

itself. Such an argument is dangerous nonsense. In

the beginning, strategy indeed belonged to a select

few--a general, his staff, the king, a handful of

courtiers. Soldiers were not taught strategy, for that

would not have helped them on the battlefield.

Besides, it was unwise to arm one's soldiers with the

kind of practical knowledge that could help them to

organize a mutiny or rebellion. The era of colonialism

We live in a culture that promotes democratic values

of being fair to one and all, the importance of fitting

into a group, and knowing how to cooperate with

other people. We are taught early on in life that those

who are outwardly combative and aggressive pay a

social price: unpopularity and isolation. These values

of harmony and cooperation are perpetuated in subtle

and not-so-subtle ways--through books on how to be

successful in life; through the pleasant, peaceful

exteriors that those who have gotten ahead in the

world present to the public; through notions of

correctness that saturate the public space. The

problem for us is that we are trained and prepared for

peace, and we are not at all prepared for what

confronts us in the real world--war.

The life of man upon earth is a warfare.

JOB 7:1

Qui desiderat pacem, praeparet bellum (let him

who wants peace prepare for war)

VEGETIUS, A.D. FOURTH CENTURY

This war exists on several levels. Most obviously,

we have our rivals on the other side. The world has

become increasingly competitive and nasty. In

politics, business, even the arts, we face opponents

who will do almost anything to gain an edge. More

troubling and complex, however, are the battles we

face with those who are supposedly on our side.

There are those who outwardly play the team game,

who act very friendly and agreeable, but who

sabotage us behind the scenes, use the group to

promote their own agenda. Others, more difficult to

spot, play subtle games of passive aggression,

offering help that never comes, instilling guilt as a

secret weapon. On the surface everything seems

peaceful enough, but just below it, it is every man and

woman for him-or herself, this dynamic infecting even

families and relationships. The culture may deny this

reality and promote a gentler picture, but we know it

and feel it, in our battle scars.

It is not that we and our colleagues are ignoble

creatures who fail to live up to ideals of peace and

selflessness, but that we cannot help the way we are. We have aggressive impulses that are impossible to

ignore or repress. In the past, individuals could expect

a group--the state, an extended family, a company--to

take care of them, but this is no longer the case, and

in this uncaring world we have to think first and

foremost of ourselves and our interests. What we

need are not impossible and inhuman ideals of peace

and cooperation to live up to, and the confusion that

brings us, but rather practical knowledge on how to

deal with conflict and the daily battles we face. And

this knowledge is not about how to be more forceful in

getting what we want or defending ourselves but

rather how to be more rational and strategic when it

comes to conflict, channeling our aggressive

impulses instead of denying or repressing them. If

there is an ideal to aim for, it should be that of the

strategic warrior, the man or woman who manages

difficult situations and people through deft and

intelligent maneuver.

[Strategy] is more than a science: it is the

application of knowledge to practical life, the

development of thought capable of modifying

the original guiding idea in the light of everchanging

situations; it is the art of acting under

the pressure of the most difficult conditions.

HELMUTH VON MOLTKE, 1800-1891

Many psychologists and sociologists have argued

that it is through conflict that problems are often

solved and real differences reconciled. Our

successes and failures in life can be traced to how

well or how badly we deal with the inevitable conflicts

that confront us in society. The common ways that

people deal with them--trying to avoid all conflict,

getting emotional and lashing out, turning sly and manipulative--are all counterproductive in the long run,

because they are not under conscious and rational

control and often make the situation worse. Strategic

warriors operate much differently. They think ahead

toward their long-term goals, decide which fights to

avoid and which are inevitable, know how to control

and channel their emotions. When forced to fight, they

do so with indirection and subtle maneuver, making

their manipulations hard to trace. In this way they can maintain the peaceful exterior so cherished in these

political times.

This ideal of fighting rationally comes to us from

organized warfare, where the art of strategy was

invented and refined. In the beginning, war was not at

all strategic. Battles between tribes were fought in a

brutal manner, a kind of ritual of violence in which

individuals could display their heroism. But as tribes

expanded and evolved into states, it became all too

apparent that war had too many hidden costs, that

waging it blindly often led to exhaustion and selfdestruction,

even for the victor. Somehow wars had to

be fought more rationally.

The word "strategy" comes from the ancient Greek

word strategos, meaning literally "the leader of the

army." Strategy in this sense was the art of

generalship, of commanding the entire war effort,

deciding what formations to deploy, what terrain to

fight on, what maneuvers to use to gain an edge. And

as this knowledge progressed, military leaders

discovered that the more they thought and planned

ahead, the more possibilities they had for success.

Novel strategies could allow them to defeat much

larger armies, as Alexander the Great did in his

victories over the Persians. In facing savvy opponents

who were also using strategy, there developed an

upward pressure: to gain an advantage, a general

had to be even more strategic, more indirect and

clever, than the other side. Over time the arts of

generalship became steadily more sophisticated, as more strategies were invented.

Although the word "strategy" itself is Greek in

origin, the concept appears in all cultures, in all

periods. Solid principles on how to deal with the

inevitable accidents of war, how to craft the ultimate

plan, how to best organize the army--all of this can be

found in war manuals from ancient China to modern

Europe. The counterattack, the flanking or enveloping maneuver, and the arts of deception are common to

the armies of Genghis Khan, Napoleon, and the Zulu

king Shaka. As a whole, these principles and

strategies indicate a kind of universal military

wisdom, a set of adaptable patterns that can increase

the chances for victory.

"Well, then, my boy, develop your strategy So

that prizes in games won't elude your grasp.

Strategy makes a better woodcutter than

strength. Strategy keeps a pilot's ship on course

When crosswinds blowit over the wine-blue sea.

And strategy wins races for charioteers. One

type of driver trusts his horses and car And

swerves mindlessly this way and that, All over

the course, without reining his horses. But a

man who knows how to win with lesser horses

Keeps his eye on the post and cuts the turn

close, And from the start keeps tension on the

reins With a firm hand as he watches the

leader."

THE ILIAD, HOMER, CIRCA NINTH CENTURY

B.C.

Perhaps the greatest strategist of them all was

Sun-tzu, author of the ancient Chinese classic The Art

of War. In his book, written probably the fourth century

B.C., can be found traces of almost all the strategic

patterns and principles later developed over the

course of centuries. But what connects them, in fact

what constitutes the art of war itself in Sun-tzu's eyes,

is the ideal of winning without bloodshed. By playing

on the psychological weaknesses of the opponent, by maneuvering him into precarious positions, by

inducing feelings of frustration and confusion, a

strategist can get the other side to break down mentally before surrendering physically. In this way

victory can be had at a much lower cost.And the state

that wins wars with few lives lost and resources

squandered is the state that can thrive over greater

periods of time. Certainly most wars are not waged

so rationally, but those campaigns in history that have

followed this principle (Scipio Africanus in Spain,

Napoleon at Ulm, T. E. Lawrence in the desert

campaigns of World War I) stand out above the rest

and serve as the ideal. War is not some separate realm divorced from the

rest of society. It is an eminently human arena, full of

the best and the worst of our nature. War also reflects

trends in society. The evolution toward more

unconventional, dirtier strategies--guerrilla warfare,

terrorism--mirrors a similar evolution in society, where

almost anything goes. The strategies that succeed in

war, whether conventional or unconventional, are

based on timeless psychology, and great military

failures have much to teach us about human stupidity

and the limits of force in any arena. The strategic

ideal in war--being supremely rational and emotionally

balanced, striving to win with minimum bloodshed and

loss of resources--has infinite application and

relevance to our daily battles.

Inculcated with the values of our times, many will

argue that organized war is inherently barbaric--a relic

of man's violent past and something to be overcome

for good. To promote the arts of warfare in a social

setting, they will say, is to stand in the way of progress

and to encourage conflict and dissension. Isn't there

enough of that in the world? This argument is very

seductive, but not at all reasonable. There will always

be those in society and in the world at large who are more aggressive than we are, who find ways to get

what they want, by hook or by crook. We must be

vigilant and must know how to defend ourselves

against such types. Civilized values are not furthered

if we are forced to surrender to those who are crafty

and strong. In fact, being pacifists in the face of such

wolves is the source of endless tragedy.

The self is the friend of a man who masters

himself through the self, but for a man without

self-mastery, the self is like an enemy at war.

THE BHAGAVAD GITA, INDIA, CIRCA A.D.

FIRST CENTURY

Mahatma Gandhi, who elevated nonviolence into a

great weapon for social change, had one simple goal

later on in his life: to rid India of the British overlords

who had crippled it for so many centuries. The British

were clever rulers. Gandhi understood that if

nonviolence were to work, it would have to be

extremely strategic, demanding much thought and

planning. He went so far as to call nonviolence a new

way of waging war. To promote any value, even

peace and pacifism, you must be willing to fight for it

and to aim at results--not simply the good, warm

feeling that expressing such ideas might bring you.

The moment you aim for results, you are in the realm

of strategy. War and strategy have an inexorable

logic: if you want or desire anything, you must be

ready and able to fight for it.

Others will argue that war and strategy are primarily matters that concern men, particularly those who are

aggressive or among the power elite. The study of

war and strategy, they will say, is a masculine, elitist,

and repressive pursuit, a way for power to perpetuate

itself. Such an argument is dangerous nonsense. In

the beginning, strategy indeed belonged to a select

few--a general, his staff, the king, a handful of

courtiers. Soldiers were not taught strategy, for that

would not have helped them on the battlefield.

Besides, it was unwise to arm one's soldiers with the

kind of practical knowledge that could help them to

organize a mutiny or rebellion. The era of colonialism

We live in a culture that promotes democratic values

of being fair to one and all, the importance of fitting

into a group, and knowing how to cooperate with

other people. We are taught early on in life that those

who are outwardly combative and aggressive pay a

social price: unpopularity and isolation. These values

of harmony and cooperation are perpetuated in subtle

and not-so-subtle ways--through books on how to be

successful in life; through the pleasant, peaceful

exteriors that those who have gotten ahead in the

world present to the public; through notions of

correctness that saturate the public space. The

problem for us is that we are trained and prepared for

peace, and we are not at all prepared for what

confronts us in the real world--war.

The life of man upon earth is a warfare.

JOB 7:1

Qui desiderat pacem, praeparet bellum (let him

who wants peace prepare for war)

VEGETIUS, A.D. FOURTH CENTURY

This war exists on several levels. Most obviously,

we have our rivals on the other side. The world has

become increasingly competitive and nasty. In

politics, business, even the arts, we face opponents

who will do almost anything to gain an edge. More

troubling and complex, however, are the battles we

face with those who are supposedly on our side.

There are those who outwardly play the team game,

who act very friendly and agreeable, but who

sabotage us behind the scenes, use the group to

promote their own agenda. Others, more difficult to

spot, play subtle games of passive aggression,

offering help that never comes, instilling guilt as a

secret weapon. On the surface everything seems

peaceful enough, but just below it, it is every man and

woman for him-or herself, this dynamic infecting even

families and relationships. The culture may deny this

reality and promote a gentler picture, but we know it

and feel it, in our battle scars.

It is not that we and our colleagues are ignoble

creatures who fail to live up to ideals of peace and

selflessness, but that we cannot help the way we are. We have aggressive impulses that are impossible to

ignore or repress. In the past, individuals could expect

a group--the state, an extended family, a company--to

take care of them, but this is no longer the case, and

in this uncaring world we have to think first and

foremost of ourselves and our interests. What we

need are not impossible and inhuman ideals of peace

and cooperation to live up to, and the confusion that

brings us, but rather practical knowledge on how to

deal with conflict and the daily battles we face. And

this knowledge is not about how to be more forceful in

getting what we want or defending ourselves but

rather how to be more rational and strategic when it

comes to conflict, channeling our aggressive

impulses instead of denying or repressing them. If

there is an ideal to aim for, it should be that of the

strategic warrior, the man or woman who manages

difficult situations and people through deft and

intelligent maneuver.

[Strategy] is more than a science: it is the

application of knowledge to practical life, the

development of thought capable of modifying

the original guiding idea in the light of everchanging

situations; it is the art of acting under

the pressure of the most difficult conditions.

HELMUTH VON MOLTKE, 1800-1891

Many psychologists and sociologists have argued

that it is through conflict that problems are often

solved and real differences reconciled. Our

successes and failures in life can be traced to how

well or how badly we deal with the inevitable conflicts

that confront us in society. The common ways that

people deal with them--trying to avoid all conflict,

getting emotional and lashing out, turning sly and manipulative--are all counterproductive in the long run,

because they are not under conscious and rational

control and often make the situation worse. Strategic

warriors operate much differently. They think ahead

toward their long-term goals, decide which fights to

avoid and which are inevitable, know how to control

and channel their emotions. When forced to fight, they

do so with indirection and subtle maneuver, making

their manipulations hard to trace. In this way they can maintain the peaceful exterior so cherished in these

political times.

This ideal of fighting rationally comes to us from

organized warfare, where the art of strategy was

invented and refined. In the beginning, war was not at

all strategic. Battles between tribes were fought in a

brutal manner, a kind of ritual of violence in which

individuals could display their heroism. But as tribes

expanded and evolved into states, it became all too

apparent that war had too many hidden costs, that

waging it blindly often led to exhaustion and selfdestruction,

even for the victor. Somehow wars had to

be fought more rationally.

The word "strategy" comes from the ancient Greek

word strategos, meaning literally "the leader of the

army." Strategy in this sense was the art of

generalship, of commanding the entire war effort,

deciding what formations to deploy, what terrain to

fight on, what maneuvers to use to gain an edge. And

as this knowledge progressed, military leaders

discovered that the more they thought and planned

ahead, the more possibilities they had for success.

Novel strategies could allow them to defeat much

larger armies, as Alexander the Great did in his

victories over the Persians. In facing savvy opponents

who were also using strategy, there developed an

upward pressure: to gain an advantage, a general

had to be even more strategic, more indirect and

clever, than the other side. Over time the arts of

generalship became steadily more sophisticated, as more strategies were invented.

Although the word "strategy" itself is Greek in

origin, the concept appears in all cultures, in all

periods. Solid principles on how to deal with the

inevitable accidents of war, how to craft the ultimate

plan, how to best organize the army--all of this can be

found in war manuals from ancient China to modern

Europe. The counterattack, the flanking or enveloping maneuver, and the arts of deception are common to

the armies of Genghis Khan, Napoleon, and the Zulu

king Shaka. As a whole, these principles and

strategies indicate a kind of universal military

wisdom, a set of adaptable patterns that can increase

the chances for victory.

"Well, then, my boy, develop your strategy So

that prizes in games won't elude your grasp.

Strategy makes a better woodcutter than

strength. Strategy keeps a pilot's ship on course

When crosswinds blowit over the wine-blue sea.

And strategy wins races for charioteers. One

type of driver trusts his horses and car And

swerves mindlessly this way and that, All over

the course, without reining his horses. But a

man who knows how to win with lesser horses

Keeps his eye on the post and cuts the turn

close, And from the start keeps tension on the

reins With a firm hand as he watches the

leader."

THE ILIAD, HOMER, CIRCA NINTH CENTURY

B.C.

Perhaps the greatest strategist of them all was

Sun-tzu, author of the ancient Chinese classic The Art

of War. In his book, written probably the fourth century

B.C., can be found traces of almost all the strategic

patterns and principles later developed over the

course of centuries. But what connects them, in fact

what constitutes the art of war itself in Sun-tzu's eyes,

is the ideal of winning without bloodshed. By playing

on the psychological weaknesses of the opponent, by maneuvering him into precarious positions, by

inducing feelings of frustration and confusion, a

strategist can get the other side to break down mentally before surrendering physically. In this way

victory can be had at a much lower cost.And the state

that wins wars with few lives lost and resources

squandered is the state that can thrive over greater

periods of time. Certainly most wars are not waged

so rationally, but those campaigns in history that have

followed this principle (Scipio Africanus in Spain,

Napoleon at Ulm, T. E. Lawrence in the desert

campaigns of World War I) stand out above the rest

and serve as the ideal. War is not some separate realm divorced from the

rest of society. It is an eminently human arena, full of

the best and the worst of our nature. War also reflects

trends in society. The evolution toward more

unconventional, dirtier strategies--guerrilla warfare,

terrorism--mirrors a similar evolution in society, where

almost anything goes. The strategies that succeed in

war, whether conventional or unconventional, are

based on timeless psychology, and great military

failures have much to teach us about human stupidity

and the limits of force in any arena. The strategic

ideal in war--being supremely rational and emotionally

balanced, striving to win with minimum bloodshed and

loss of resources--has infinite application and

relevance to our daily battles.

Inculcated with the values of our times, many will

argue that organized war is inherently barbaric--a relic

of man's violent past and something to be overcome

for good. To promote the arts of warfare in a social

setting, they will say, is to stand in the way of progress

and to encourage conflict and dissension. Isn't there

enough of that in the world? This argument is very

seductive, but not at all reasonable. There will always

be those in society and in the world at large who are more aggressive than we are, who find ways to get

what they want, by hook or by crook. We must be

vigilant and must know how to defend ourselves

against such types. Civilized values are not furthered

if we are forced to surrender to those who are crafty

and strong. In fact, being pacifists in the face of such

wolves is the source of endless tragedy.

The self is the friend of a man who masters

himself through the self, but for a man without

self-mastery, the self is like an enemy at war.

THE BHAGAVAD GITA, INDIA, CIRCA A.D.

FIRST CENTURY

Mahatma Gandhi, who elevated nonviolence into a

great weapon for social change, had one simple goal

later on in his life: to rid India of the British overlords

who had crippled it for so many centuries. The British

were clever rulers. Gandhi understood that if

nonviolence were to work, it would have to be

extremely strategic, demanding much thought and

planning. He went so far as to call nonviolence a new

way of waging war. To promote any value, even

peace and pacifism, you must be willing to fight for it

and to aim at results--not simply the good, warm

feeling that expressing such ideas might bring you.

The moment you aim for results, you are in the realm

of strategy. War and strategy have an inexorable

logic: if you want or desire anything, you must be

ready and able to fight for it.

Others will argue that war and strategy are primarily matters that concern men, particularly those who are

aggressive or among the power elite. The study of

war and strategy, they will say, is a masculine, elitist,

and repressive pursuit, a way for power to perpetuate

itself. Such an argument is dangerous nonsense. In

the beginning, strategy indeed belonged to a select

few--a general, his staff, the king, a handful of

courtiers. Soldiers were not taught strategy, for that

would not have helped them on the battlefield.

Besides, it was unwise to arm one's soldiers with the

kind of practical knowledge that could help them to

organize a mutiny or rebellion. The era of colonialism

We live in a culture that promotes democratic values

of being fair to one and all, the importance of fitting

into a group, and knowing how to cooperate with

other people. We are taught early on in life that those

who are outwardly combative and aggressive pay a

social price: unpopularity and isolation. These values

of harmony and cooperation are perpetuated in subtle

and not-so-subtle ways--through books on how to be

successful in life; through the pleasant, peaceful

exteriors that those who have gotten ahead in the

world present to the public; through notions of

correctness that saturate the public space. The

problem for us is that we are trained and prepared for

peace, and we are not at all prepared for what

confronts us in the real world--war.

The life of man upon earth is a warfare.

JOB 7:1

Qui desiderat pacem, praeparet bellum (let him

who wants peace prepare for war)

VEGETIUS, A.D. FOURTH CENTURY

This war exists on several levels. Most obviously,

we have our rivals on the other side. The world has

become increasingly competitive and nasty. In

politics, business, even the arts, we face opponents

who will do almost anything to gain an edge. More

troubling and complex, however, are the battles we

face with those who are supposedly on our side.

There are those who outwardly play the team game,

who act very friendly and agreeable, but who

sabotage us behind the scenes, use the group to

promote their own agenda. Others, more difficult to

spot, play subtle games of passive aggression,

offering help that never comes, instilling guilt as a

secret weapon. On the surface everything seems

peaceful enough, but just below it, it is every man and

woman for him-or herself, this dynamic infecting even

families and relationships. The culture may deny this

reality and promote a gentler picture, but we know it

and feel it, in our battle scars.

It is not that we and our colleagues are ignoble

creatures who fail to live up to ideals of peace and

selflessness, but that we cannot help the way we are. We have aggressive impulses that are impossible to

ignore or repress. In the past, individuals could expect

a group--the state, an extended family, a company--to

take care of them, but this is no longer the case, and

in this uncaring world we have to think first and

foremost of ourselves and our interests. What we

need are not impossible and inhuman ideals of peace

and cooperation to live up to, and the confusion that

brings us, but rather practical knowledge on how to

deal with conflict and the daily battles we face. And

this knowledge is not about how to be more forceful in

getting what we want or defending ourselves but

rather how to be more rational and strategic when it

comes to conflict, channeling our aggressive

impulses instead of denying or repressing them. If

there is an ideal to aim for, it should be that of the

strategic warrior, the man or woman who manages

difficult situations and people through deft and

intelligent maneuver.

[Strategy] is more than a science: it is the

application of knowledge to practical life, the

development of thought capable of modifying

the original guiding idea in the light of everchanging

situations; it is the art of acting under

the pressure of the most difficult conditions.

HELMUTH VON MOLTKE, 1800-1891

Many psychologists and sociologists have argued

that it is through conflict that problems are often

solved and real differences reconciled. Our

successes and failures in life can be traced to how

well or how badly we deal with the inevitable conflicts

that confront us in society. The common ways that

people deal with them--trying to avoid all conflict,

getting emotional and lashing out, turning sly and manipulative--are all counterproductive in the long run,

because they are not under conscious and rational

control and often make the situation worse. Strategic

warriors operate much differently. They think ahead

toward their long-term goals, decide which fights to

avoid and which are inevitable, know how to control

and channel their emotions. When forced to fight, they

do so with indirection and subtle maneuver, making

their manipulations hard to trace. In this way they can maintain the peaceful exterior so cherished in these

political times.

This ideal of fighting rationally comes to us from

organized warfare, where the art of strategy was

invented and refined. In the beginning, war was not at

all strategic. Battles between tribes were fought in a

brutal manner, a kind of ritual of violence in which

individuals could display their heroism. But as tribes

expanded and evolved into states, it became all too

apparent that war had too many hidden costs, that

waging it blindly often led to exhaustion and selfdestruction,

even for the victor. Somehow wars had to

be fought more rationally.

The word "strategy" comes from the ancient Greek

word strategos, meaning literally "the leader of the

army." Strategy in this sense was the art of

generalship, of commanding the entire war effort,

deciding what formations to deploy, what terrain to

fight on, what maneuvers to use to gain an edge. And

as this knowledge progressed, military leaders

discovered that the more they thought and planned

ahead, the more possibilities they had for success.

Novel strategies could allow them to defeat much

larger armies, as Alexander the Great did in his

victories over the Persians. In facing savvy opponents

who were also using strategy, there developed an

upward pressure: to gain an advantage, a general

had to be even more strategic, more indirect and

clever, than the other side. Over time the arts of

generalship became steadily more sophisticated, as more strategies were invented.

Although the word "strategy" itself is Greek in

origin, the concept appears in all cultures, in all

periods. Solid principles on how to deal with the

inevitable accidents of war, how to craft the ultimate

plan, how to best organize the army--all of this can be

found in war manuals from ancient China to modern

Europe. The counterattack, the flanking or enveloping maneuver, and the arts of deception are common to

the armies of Genghis Khan, Napoleon, and the Zulu

king Shaka. As a whole, these principles and

strategies indicate a kind of universal military

wisdom, a set of adaptable patterns that can increase

the chances for victory.

"Well, then, my boy, develop your strategy So

that prizes in games won't elude your grasp.

Strategy makes a better woodcutter than

strength. Strategy keeps a pilot's ship on course

When crosswinds blowit over the wine-blue sea.

And strategy wins races for charioteers. One

type of driver trusts his horses and car And

swerves mindlessly this way and that, All over

the course, without reining his horses. But a

man who knows how to win with lesser horses

Keeps his eye on the post and cuts the turn

close, And from the start keeps tension on the

reins With a firm hand as he watches the

leader."

THE ILIAD, HOMER, CIRCA NINTH CENTURY

B.C.

Perhaps the greatest strategist of them all was

Sun-tzu, author of the ancient Chinese classic The Art

of War. In his book, written probably the fourth century

B.C., can be found traces of almost all the strategic

patterns and principles later developed over the

course of centuries. But what connects them, in fact

what constitutes the art of war itself in Sun-tzu's eyes,

is the ideal of winning without bloodshed. By playing

on the psychological weaknesses of the opponent, by maneuvering him into precarious positions, by

inducing feelings of frustration and confusion, a

strategist can get the other side to break down mentally before surrendering physically. In this way

victory can be had at a much lower cost.And the state

that wins wars with few lives lost and resources

squandered is the state that can thrive over greater

periods of time. Certainly most wars are not waged

so rationally, but those campaigns in history that have

followed this principle (Scipio Africanus in Spain,

Napoleon at Ulm, T. E. Lawrence in the desert

campaigns of World War I) stand out above the rest

and serve as the ideal. War is not some separate realm divorced from the

rest of society. It is an eminently human arena, full of

the best and the worst of our nature. War also reflects

trends in society. The evolution toward more

unconventional, dirtier strategies--guerrilla warfare,

terrorism--mirrors a similar evolution in society, where

almost anything goes. The strategies that succeed in

war, whether conventional or unconventional, are

based on timeless psychology, and great military

failures have much to teach us about human stupidity

and the limits of force in any arena. The strategic

ideal in war--being supremely rational and emotionally

balanced, striving to win with minimum bloodshed and

loss of resources--has infinite application and

relevance to our daily battles.

Inculcated with the values of our times, many will

argue that organized war is inherently barbaric--a relic

of man's violent past and something to be overcome

for good. To promote the arts of warfare in a social

setting, they will say, is to stand in the way of progress

and to encourage conflict and dissension. Isn't there

enough of that in the world? This argument is very

seductive, but not at all reasonable. There will always

be those in society and in the world at large who are more aggressive than we are, who find ways to get

what they want, by hook or by crook. We must be

vigilant and must know how to defend ourselves

against such types. Civilized values are not furthered

if we are forced to surrender to those who are crafty

and strong. In fact, being pacifists in the face of such

wolves is the source of endless tragedy.

The self is the friend of a man who masters

himself through the self, but for a man without

self-mastery, the self is like an enemy at war.

THE BHAGAVAD GITA, INDIA, CIRCA A.D.

FIRST CENTURY

Mahatma Gandhi, who elevated nonviolence into a

great weapon for social change, had one simple goal

later on in his life: to rid India of the British overlords

who had crippled it for so many centuries. The British

were clever rulers. Gandhi understood that if

nonviolence were to work, it would have to be

extremely strategic, demanding much thought and

planning. He went so far as to call nonviolence a new

way of waging war. To promote any value, even

peace and pacifism, you must be willing to fight for it

and to aim at results--not simply the good, warm

feeling that expressing such ideas might bring you.

The moment you aim for results, you are in the realm

of strategy. War and strategy have an inexorable

logic: if you want or desire anything, you must be

ready and able to fight for it.

Others will argue that war and strategy are primarily matters that concern men, particularly those who are

aggressive or among the power elite. The study of

war and strategy, they will say, is a masculine, elitist,

and repressive pursuit, a way for power to perpetuate

itself. Such an argument is dangerous nonsense. In

the beginning, strategy indeed belonged to a select

few--a general, his staff, the king, a handful of

courtiers. Soldiers were not taught strategy, for that

would not have helped them on the battlefield.

Besides, it was unwise to arm one's soldiers with the

kind of practical knowledge that could help them to

organize a mutiny or rebellion. The era of colonialism

We live in a culture that promotes democratic values

of being fair to one and all, the importance of fitting

into a group, and knowing how to cooperate with

other people. We are taught early on in life that those

who are outwardly combative and aggressive pay a

social price: unpopularity and isolation. These values

of harmony and cooperation are perpetuated in subtle

and not-so-subtle ways--through books on how to be

successful in life; through the pleasant, peaceful

exteriors that those who have gotten ahead in the

world present to the public; through notions of

correctness that saturate the public space. The

problem for us is that we are trained and prepared for

peace, and we are not at all prepared for what

confronts us in the real world--war.

The life of man upon earth is a warfare.

JOB 7:1

Qui desiderat pacem, praeparet bellum (let him

who wants peace prepare for war)

VEGETIUS, A.D. FOURTH CENTURY

This war exists on several levels. Most obviously,

we have our rivals on the other side. The world has

become increasingly competitive and nasty. In

politics, business, even the arts, we face opponents

who will do almost anything to gain an edge. More

troubling and complex, however, are the battles we

face with those who are supposedly on our side.

There are those who outwardly play the team game,

who act very friendly and agreeable, but who

sabotage us behind the scenes, use the group to

promote their own agenda. Others, more difficult to

spot, play subtle games of passive aggression,

offering help that never comes, instilling guilt as a

secret weapon. On the surface everything seems

peaceful enough, but just below it, it is every man and

woman for him-or herself, this dynamic infecting even

families and relationships. The culture may deny this

reality and promote a gentler picture, but we know it

and feel it, in our battle scars.

It is not that we and our colleagues are ignoble

creatures who fail to live up to ideals of peace and

selflessness, but that we cannot help the way we are. We have aggressive impulses that are impossible to

ignore or repress. In the past, individuals could expect

a group--the state, an extended family, a company--to

take care of them, but this is no longer the case, and

in this uncaring world we have to think first and

foremost of ourselves and our interests. What we

need are not impossible and inhuman ideals of peace

and cooperation to live up to, and the confusion that

brings us, but rather practical knowledge on how to

deal with conflict and the daily battles we face. And

this knowledge is not about how to be more forceful in

getting what we want or defending ourselves but

rather how to be more rational and strategic when it

comes to conflict, channeling our aggressive

impulses instead of denying or repressing them. If

there is an ideal to aim for, it should be that of the

strategic warrior, the man or woman who manages

difficult situations and people through deft and

intelligent maneuver.

[Strategy] is more than a science: it is the

application of knowledge to practical life, the

development of thought capable of modifying

the original guiding idea in the light of everchanging

situations; it is the art of acting under

the pressure of the most difficult conditions.

HELMUTH VON MOLTKE, 1800-1891

Many psychologists and sociologists have argued

that it is through conflict that problems are often

solved and real differences reconciled. Our

successes and failures in life can be traced to how

well or how badly we deal with the inevitable conflicts

that confront us in society. The common ways that

people deal with them--trying to avoid all conflict,

getting emotional and lashing out, turning sly and manipulative--are all counterproductive in the long run,

because they are not under conscious and rational

control and often make the situation worse. Strategic

warriors operate much differently. They think ahead

toward their long-term goals, decide which fights to

avoid and which are inevitable, know how to control

and channel their emotions. When forced to fight, they

do so with indirection and subtle maneuver, making

their manipulations hard to trace. In this way they can maintain the peaceful exterior so cherished in these

political times.

This ideal of fighting rationally comes to us from

mad

organized warfare, where the art of strategy was

invented and refined. In the beginning, war was not at

all strategic. Battles between tribes were fought in a

brutal manner, a kind of ritual of violence in which

individuals could display their heroism. But as tribes

expanded and evolved into states, it became all too

apparent that war had too many hidden costs, that

waging it blindly often led to exhaustion and selfdestruction,

even for the victor. Somehow wars had to

be fought more rationally.

The word "strategy" comes from the ancient Greek

word strategos, meaning literally "the leader of the

army." Strategy in this sense was the art of

generalship, of commanding the entire war effort,

deciding what formations to deploy, what terrain to

fight on, what maneuvers to use to gain an edge. And

as this knowledge progressed, military leaders

discovered that the more they thought and planned

ahead, the more possibilities they had for success.

Novel strategies could allow them to defeat much

larger armies, as Alexander the Great did in his

victories over the Persians. In facing savvy opponents

who were also using strategy, there developed an

upward pressure: to gain an advantage, a general

had to be even more strategic, more indirect and

clever, than the other side. Over time the arts of

generalship became steadily more sophisticated, as more strategies were invented.

Although the word "strategy" itself is Greek in

origin, the concept appears in all cultures, in all

periods. Solid principles on how to deal with the

inevitable accidents of war, how to craft the ultimate

plan, how to best organize the army--all of this can be

found in war manuals from ancient China to modern

Europe. The counterattack, the flanking or enveloping maneuver, and the arts of deception are common to

the armies of Genghis Khan, Napoleon, and the Zulu

king Shaka. As a whole, these principles and

strategies indicate a kind of universal military

wisdom, a set of adaptable patterns that can increase

the chances for victory.

"Well, then, my boy, develop your strategy So

that prizes in games won't elude your grasp.

Strategy makes a better woodcutter than

strength. Strategy keeps a pilot's ship on course

When crosswinds blowit over the wine-blue sea.

And strategy wins races for charioteers. One

type of driver trusts his horses and car And

swerves mindlessly this way and that, All over

nad

the course, without reining his horses. But a

man who knows how to win with lesser horses

Keeps his eye on the post and cuts the turn

close, And from the start keeps tension on the

reins With a firm hand as he watches the

leader."

THE ILIAD, HOMER, CIRCA NINTH CENTURY

B.C.

Perhaps the greatest strategist of them all was

Sun-tzu, author of the ancient Chinese classic The Art

of War. In his book, written probably the fourth century

B.C., can be found traces of almost all the strategic

sad

patterns and principles later developed over the

course of centuries. But what connects them, in fact

what constitutes the art of war itself in Sun-tzu's eyes,

is th

Ignoring it will lead to a life of endless confusion and

defeat.

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