1600 - 1699
War is a game and involves a gamble. As, in most males, there is a latent gambling instinct, there is usually a predisposition in males to undertake wars. This willingness of males to gamble is reinforced by male courage and venturesomeness and the desire to escape from the boring routines of peaceful existence.
Courage and self-reliance are principles essential to war.
The condition of the mind is always the most decisive influence on the forces employed in war.
Strategy, in being and action, is usually hampered by any over-preprogramming of the commander's mind.
Data is of secondary importance to the greatness, qualitatively, of the mind: Only a great mind can make its data great.
There is an immense distance remaining to be filled up between a genius of the highest order and a learned pedant.
In every abstract consideration it is very easy to be misunderstood, or not to be intelligible at all.
In the development and operation of the processes and instruments of prediction science, it is necessary to rise above feelings of personal vanity and embarrassment, and to seek and speak the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth ... to the utmost of one's ability ... and to move freely from viewpoint to viewpoint in so doing ... knowing that truth is absolute and not restricted to any one particular abstraction.
In prediction science, the entire overall 'feel' is of far greater importance than any particular knowledge. It is necessary to always revert to the overall awareness, and to come to regard it as the inner home, where one receives the greatest sustenance and satisfaction.
Boldness is the noblest of virtues, the true steel which gives genius its edge and brilliancy. The greater the boldness, the stronger will genius be on the wing, and the higher will be its flight.
The greatest perseverance is essential to the enterprise of prediction science: It requires infinite energy and unremitting, endless and relentless application.
Wit is a sleight of hand with ideas and conceptions: Stratagem is a sleight of hand with actions.
The best strategy is always to be very strong, first generally, then at the decisive point. There is no more imperative and no simpler law for strategy than to keep the forces concentrated.
It is of the utmost importance to always keep a strategic reserve and best to keep its power and disposition secret.
Theory enables the mind to take a look at the mass of things and their relations, and then allows it to go free to the higher regions of action. It is important to thoroughly 'digest' theory and to disengage from it before going freely into action. Creative imagination, intuition, instinct, feeling, common sense and raw intelligence are more important than theory.
There is nothing over which we have no control, except those things over which we believe we have no control. We are sovereign, absolute beings and, as such, we may do whatever we wish.
We may 'roll up' the future, like a blind, and 'unroll it' or keep it 'rolled up', as we wish. If we decide to keep it 'rolled up', nothing will be lost ... for existence is an Absolute, and it can never be less than Absolute ... it can never lose anything.
The strategies of physical war are strategies of force against force and mind against mind, which are applicable wherever force opposes force and mind opposes mind. It may be said that, when at 'peace' we are in conflict, for conflict is of the very essence of life. The strategies of war and of conflict are, therefore, an appropriate study for all people, and not solely for the military.
Creative intelligence conveys conflict from the physical arena to the mental arena: Creative intelligence may be said to be sublimated conflict. Stratagems are employed in virtually every walk of life. 'Strategy' refers to all means and modes of gaining advantage or achieving ends and, particularly, it refers to creatively intelligent means and modes.
It is appropriate, in prediction science, to view the unknown as a foe to be conquered and to apply all available strategies to the end that the unknown shall be knowable and that the future shall be predictable.
The first precept of strategy is to be prepared, beforehand, for any contingency.
If you know the enemy and know yourself, you are unlikely to be in peril.
The enlightened conquer by foreknowledge.
Good secret agents are the commander's greatest treasure.
An army, without secret agents, is like a man without eyes or ears.
He who is not sage and wise, humane and just, cannot use secret agents: And he who is not delicate and subtle cannot get the truth out of them.
Secret operations are essential in war; upon them the army relies to make its every move.
The best policy is to attack the enemy's plans and to disrupt his alliances.
Use the normal force to engage, and use the extraordinary force to win.
The resources of those skilled in the use of extraordinary forces are infinite.
The supreme art of war is to subdue the enemy without fighting.
Invincibility lies in the defence, and the possibility of victory lies in the attack.
Avoid the enemy's strength and strike his emptiness.
Take advantage of the enemy's unpreparedness.
Subtle and insubstantial, the expert leaves no trace.
Feed on the enemy: One bushel of the enemy's provisions is equivalent to twenty of ours.
Victory cannot be gained by numbers alone or solely by weight of arms.
The authority and power, of each officer in the army, must be made clear.
Matters of importance are harmonious human relations, advantages of ground and timing.
All warfare is based on deception.
Of supreme importance in war is to attack the enemy's strategy.
Spies and agents should be active everywhere, gathering information, sowing dissension and nurturing subversion ... that the enemy be demoralized and his will to resist broken.
Intellectual pliancy distinguishes the expert in war.
Attack the enemy army when it is sluggish and its soldiers homesick. This is the control of the morale factor.
In good order, await a disorderly enemy; in serenity, await a clamorous one. This is control of the mental factor.
The greater the input of creative intelligence, the less military force is needed.
The use of brute force often betokens ignorance.
The more force a General has at his disposal, the more he is likely to use it.
The moral 'categorical imperative' indicates that ploys of creative intelligence may be ethically exalted: By contrast, some ploys of creative intelligence may be of lowest depravity.
In warfare, many commanders are easily persuaded to justify depraved conduct by advancing the dictum that 'in war anything goes'.
In war, force tends to maximise and morality tends to minimise.
The wind, fire and similar elements are naturally amoral but humans cannot be amoral: A human being acts either morally or immorally. Humans are moral beings, who must judge points of morality and act accordingly. Once one knows the moral implications of alternative courses of action, one is not able to ignore them. It is not possible for a human to claim amorality, for to seek to avoid a moral alternative is in itself an immoral act.
If, in the course of an 'official' war or other 'official' operations, a person acts immorally, such actions may be condoned under secular law ... but they will not be condoned under moral law. Humans cannot escape the consequences of immoral acts.
Each individual confronted by a moral situation will see and judge it differently: A moral judgement is essentially an individual judgement. Punishments for immoral behaviour are spiritual and they are self-imposed. An immoral act may be witnessed by others but self-judgement and self-punishment are spiritual and private.
Power and its modes of maintenance tend to be amoral. Persons and institutions, of sovereign power, tend to use any and all means necessary to preserve their power.
The use of power tends to corrupt its users. Power, being itself amoral, tends to make its users amoral, or to attract amoral users.
The ability to distinguish right from wrong is peculiar to the human race. The more self-realised we become, the greater our powers of judgement, and the more moral we become.
A prophet is like a time-traveller who has visited the future and returns to report on what he has discovered. Some will listen to the intelligence and will not believe it; others will delay and try to seek confirmation; others will fail to see how it will affect them; and others will act upon it and turn it to their advantage.
Boldness, directed by an overruling intelligence, is the stamp of the hero.
A thousand times as many will end in disaster through over-anxiety as through boldness.
The great majority of prudent men are so by reason of their timidity.
Hesitation implies a loss of equilibrium, and boldness may capitalise upon it.
Knowledge is power and, to share knowledge is to share power.
A common strategy of those in power, is to conceal knowledge under cloaks of mystery and mystique.
To understand is to disregard: Familiarity breeds contempt.
We must not let daylight in upon magic ... lest the magic be no longer magic. Magic depends on mystique.
Magic depends upon belief and faith ... and, when all is known, belief and faith are downgraded to fact. Fact has no magic.
Shamans and priests devise rites, spells and incantations, so as to constitute mysteries of power, which are largely withheld from the understanding of their followers.
Secret and semi-secret orders foster their mystiques.
The use of dead or special languages enhances mystique.
Tyrants, dictators, autocrats, bureaucrats and elites know the value of concealed knowledge.
Nearly all governments withhold 'secret' information from their publics. Governments prefer to retain the power of secrecy rather than to 'risk' sharing it.
Power, like any other precious thing, holds its trustees and guardians captive.
Power belittles all other qualities. Honour, integrity and mercy give service to power.
Power is so insidious that its corrupted agencies are often unaware of the extent of their corruption.
Strategy has been largely concerned with the pursuit of power and the retention of power and the acquisition of yet further power.
Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely.
Power, like all forms of energy, is subject to the law of entropy.
Under prevailing conditions of increasing entropy, aggregations of power are increasingly difficult to control and retain.
Secrecy, an accessory to power, is becoming more difficult to achieve and maintain.
As aggregations of power disperse, strategy shifts (in concept and emphasis) from power management to stance management. Having lost direct control of power, strategists aim to optimise position ... that is, to ride on the dynamics of energy rather than to directly control power itself. Having lost control of the horse, they can at least stay on its back.
The analogy of horse and jockey is useful but limited. Power surges and goes every which way, as it randomises. Stance strategy is largely concerned with:
- Maximum readiness.
- Maximum flexibility.
- Maximum mobile-strength.
- Quickness of response and reaction.
- Risk avoidance.
- Avoidance of commitments.
Stance management calls for the skills of a surfboard rider ... but here the rider needs foreknowledge of the kind of waves and their magnitude and timing.
As governments are essentially inflexible, the changed nature of strategy works against them. We have a whole new ball game. Governments need to know what is up ahead, so that they can position themselves to optimum advantage. As governments need plenty of reaction time, they need reliable forecasts ... as far ahead as possible. Prediction science becomes very important to them.
One country has less need to fear other countries ... for they will be pre-occupied with their own problems.
What is a country to do about its existing commitments to other countries? It should quit them as soon as possible. In future, commitments will be like millstones, around the neck, which get heavier and heavier.
A country would be well advised to stand clear of international commitments ... and it should concentrate on its own affairs. The mot should be ... 'ride your own surfboard and let the other fellows ride their's'.
The forces in action, which governments have to deal with henceforth, are not other governments but natural forces ... such as entropy, climate and natural disasters.
Secrecy will not avail against natural forces: Secrecy is no longer an accessory to power.
Governments are inclined to think that they are controlling events, and that they are power brokers ... but they aren't.
The use of force by countries, externally and internally, will produce negative rather than positive benefits, henceforth.
Entropic dissipation of power aggregations and obstacles henceforth, will render power-conscious governments increasingly ineffective.
It is a feature of entropy that exercised power will be absorbed by energy sinks, in the same way that Gandhi's satyagraha vacuums absorbed the exercised power of Raj authority.
Henceforth, intuitive intelligence will have supremacy over reasoned intelligence.
Henceforth, people will suspect and distrust involved reasoned arguments.
To seek, by reason, to convince the people, against their intuitive judgement, will be counter-productive.
Henceforth, intelligent management by governments, will concentrate on stance strategy ... on flexible strength, alertness and readiness ... on 'go with the flow' ... and on close attunement to the wishes of their peoples ... and of keeping out of foreign commitments ... and of avoiding overt exercise of power.
Henceforth, the people will distrust government ... for they will feel that they are not being told all the relevant facts.
Invariably, government PR exercises will be counter productive. The public will feel that they are the target of a 'sell' and that they are being talked-down to ... and that the government is wasteful, and that they hire expensive PR specialists to tell what should be plain truths.
Henceforth, the people will be led not by devious leaders but by honest straight-forward leaders ... and not by intricate reasoning but by simple, direct and intuitive rapport.