”For to win one hundred victories in one hundred battles is not the acme of skill. To subdue the enemy without fighting is the acme of skill.”
Sun Tzu, The Art of War.
The above quotation is from the infamous ancient strategist, Master Sun Tzu, which has been promiscuously used without really evidence that those applying the stated wisdom, really had any comprehensive or appreciative understanding of what it really meant, minus few in the entire history of humankind. These few, to mention, will be Master Gandhi, Master Martin Luther King Jr., Master Nelson Mandela and finally, perhaps, as time is yet to tell, Madam Aung San Suu Kyi of Burma (will she free the state?)
The secret is so simple, yet so demanding with patience and suffering, that only the few, those above named individuals, really applied the concept/wisdom to its letter. These individuals suffered painfully and for a protracted period of time, but never once they used violence, or incited the use of violence.
In other words, ladies and gentlemen, they appreciated-well the wise words of the old masters, never stomp to their low, or play by their rule. To make it more clearer, the ”actor” who seeks to use violence on you, has a prior planned and expected, nay, (his only) hope you will reciprocate with the same use of violence, and from there, we get the Clausewitzian Escalation, arms for arms, and in the end, the first actor, will probably always come up the winner; you have stomped to their low/and game, and lost badly.
The Analogical Analysis: The Case of The Bully and The Bullied
Lets take a simple everyday children and societal concerns on bullying.
Here we have the bully and the bullied, the powerful and the lesser one. The bully always seek to escalate violence and hopes that one day you will defy his/her aggressions and challenge him/her in front of the rest, the other weaklings, s/he hopes to ‘whoop your kabus’ so the rest will know exactly who is the ”boss” around, who ”owns the school and you”!
Now, there are, or tend to be almost, three major schools of thoughts on how to deal with bullies;
1. Report them, or the school should implement bully-free environment (what we mistakenly attempted to do more recent with our anti-war laws)
2. Give-in to the Bully’s demands, keep head down and move on, hoping s/he will tire of you and focus in picking someone else, while you regain ”moral superiority” (if s/he keeps picking you a lot, s/he will create divisions around him/herself, as his/her allies will be revolted, as others, against his/her ”unfair and unwarranted” treatment on you: divided and ruled, one of your hopes) and so forth.
3. The Fight Back, from macho-dads. ”There is only one way to deal with the bully son/daughter, fight back, okay”.
Now, we have acknowledged already the fatalistic nature of the first school of approach to the problem, as it tends to create a more risk-aversive & nanny society, and so forth, or in our recent efforts, world government (to regulate the use of force). With the third approach, we have already looked at, that it is more or less stupid and fool-hearted as the first approach (though, there is some situational dependency variations (sdv), meaning, at certain times and places, it might just work; Mao in China, Fidel in Cuba, Africans against Colonial Powers etc. However, I should stress the roles of chances-play/cause and aforementioned SDV factors). The second approach is the winning school of thought, the one of Sun Tzu, and the four personalities mentioned above; never ever fight back, attempt, always and continuously, to winning the moral superiority platform, the hearts and minds campaign of your own. This, Ladies and Gentlemen, is the secret to non-fighting and winning against anyone, or any powerful coalition in any fields of professions. However, certain situational analysis and appreciation must not be overlooked.
To Sum Up:
Winning Wars, is something western societies have recently found it much easier, but not winning sustainable peace. It is this, that which still sees Iraq in flames, Libya to be, Afghanistan as Hell, and entire the world turning against the west (though still behind doors, as the silent revolt keeps growing, as we engage more and more into ”fighting wars”, other peoples wars, and left with permanent scars of future enemies).
P.S. I REALISED THIS SECRET IN THE MIDDLE OF THE PRESENTATION ON THE LAWS AGAINST WARS IN THE GLOBAL AFFAIRS, AND BEFORE CLOSING, I PRESENTED IT TO THOSE PRESENT AND WAS WELL RECEIVED.
THANKS YOU ALL FOR YOUR EXCELLENT CONTRIBUTIONS, ESPECIALLY, ANONYMOUS, WHO REALLY GOT ME (RE)THINKING: IT IS NOT THE FIGHTING THAT WINS, BUT THE NOT-FIGHTING APPROACH, WHICH IS THE REAL WINNING STRATEGY.
GOOD HEADLINES FROM THE WEEK FOR YOU ALL:
good documentary on 9/11 so far: