Monday, January 31, 2011

The dark arts of war

Being Chinese, some of the period serial dramas will focus on the art of winning wars. In some sense, the people in the residing in the vast territory known as present day China, understood that war was more subjective than scientific. In the Western hemisphere, I can only think of Karl Von Calusewitz as one of the rare few thinkers who refused to reduce warfare to lines or number crunching. War is the extension of politics by other means, he once famously said.

Anyway, what I had in my mind, that I wish to blog about is this "Chinese" tactic When surrounding your enemies, always leave them a route of escape. The reason is that if you leave them one way of escape, your enemies resolve to fight will be weak, and some of their troops might want to run than stand ground. Seen in this light, it is a clever tactic.

Can we apply it to our daily lives? Unfortunately, I think the answer is no, if I understand the tactic correctly. If you give people a chance to escape, and they do escape, they will sooner or later be a pain in your behind. That is why one of the common punishment in Imperial China, is to exterminate entire blood lines. Subconsciously, the king or emperor then, was aware that revenge becomes a possibility, if his enemies' progeny were to be allowed to survive. What do you think?

1 comment:

  1. Hi,
    Ha! Ha! I think we are one of the most "KIASU" people in the world.