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Sun Tzu - Art Of War


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Get it while you can folks. Free download.

This short, ancient classic by an unknown (but obviously brilliant) Chinese general on military strategy is eye opening and shockingly enduring as a work.

Why pick this translation over the many that are available on the market? Because it has been translated by Chinese people themselves who are better equipped to read and translate the subtle nuances in the work that would go over the heads of the many Europeans who have attempted to translate this work.

I picked it up many years ago from a Chinese shop in Holland just after first graduating. I found it again after years when I was going through some old boxes and scanned it. I tried sticking it on my scribd with no success, but you can download it for free from the link. I hope some of you learn a thing or two from it and enjoy studying it.


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Very wise words here, bewakoofs like Bush, Blair and Camoron could have done with following these maxims! Note that the text appears to open the door to disobeying orders from above if they are against the interests of the state.

We've been talking about soldiers here a lot recently, and some people have excused them from participating in dubious wars saying they are just following orders. I strongly disagree with this notion, if anyone should be vocal and scrutinising about orders for war, it needs to be these people as they are ones who will suffer the most from death and loss of reputation if they blindly walk, lemming-like into a war instigated by immoral and stupid leaders.


Now, to win battles and take your objectives but to fail to consolidate these achievements is ominous and may be described as a waste of time. And therefore, it is said that enlightened rulers must deliberate upon plans to go to battle, and good generals carefully execute them. If not in the interests of the state, do not act. If you cannot succeed, do not use troops. If you are not in danger, do not fight a war. A sovereign cannot launch a war because he is enraged, nor can a general fight a war because he is resentful. For while an angered man may again be happy , and a resentful man again be pleased, a state that has perished cannot be restored, nor can the dead be brought back to life. Therefore, the enlightened ruler is prudent and the good general is warned against rash action. Thus the state is kept secure and the army preserved.

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  • 7 years later...

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