“If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.”
[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 ever changing 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. As a battered and abused people under white supremacy our successes and failures in life can be traced to how well or how badly we deal with the inevitable conflicts that confront us under a white supremacist system. The common ways that people deal with them--trying to avoid all conflict, getting emotional and lashing out, turning sly and manipulative—are all counter productive in the long run, because they are not under conscious and rational control and often make the situation worse.
Strategic warriors, that is people who pursue a more scientific or logical view of conflict, 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. In other words, under white supremacy they can appear agreeable and non threatening, thus lulling the enemy to relax his vigilance.
This ideal of fighting rationally comes to us from organized warfare, where the art of strategy was invented and refined. Rest assured warfare is organized mayhem. It is organized murder on a massive scale. The only thing one needs to concern themselves when thrust in the epicenter or near that of war, is how you can manipulate your way in and out with as little damage as possible to yourselves. 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 and nations, it became all too apparent that war had too many hidden costs, that waging it blindly often led to exhaustion and self destruction, even for the victor. Some how wars had to be fought more rationally. More strategically. More covertly.
It has been said that 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, 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.
The concept of strategy and being strategic 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 various giants of military his story and our story. 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.
The art of war is of vital importance to besieged state. It is a matter of life and death, a road either to safety or to ruin. Hence it is a subject which can on no account be neglected. The art of war, then, is governed by five constant factors, to be taken into account in one’s deliberations, when seeking to determine the conditions obtaining in the field.
- humanity or benevolence;
- uprightness of mind;
- self-respect, self-control,
- sincerity or good faith.
These five states should be familiar to every general: he who knows them will be victorious; he who knows them not will fail. Therefore, in your deliberations, when seeking to determine the military conditions, let them be made the basis of a comparison, in this wise:
(2) Which of the two sides has most ability?
(3) With whom lie the advantages derived from Heaven and Earth?
(4) On which side is discipline most rigorously enforced?
(5) Which army is stronger? Morally as well as physically.
(6) On which side are officers and men more highly trained?
“Without constant practice, the officers will be nervous and undecided when mustering for battle; without constant practice, the general will be wavering and irresolute when the crisis is at hand.”
there is a season
And a time to every purpose,
A time to be born, a time to die
A time to plant, a time to reap
A time to kill, a time to heal
A time to laugh, a time to weep
A time to dance, a time to mourn
A time to cast away stones, a time to
gather stones togetherA time of love, a time of hate
A time of war, a time of peace
A time you may embrace
A time to refrain from embracingA time to gain, a time to lose
A time to rend, a time to sew
A time for love, a time for hate
A time for peace