Sun Tzu (& III)


The foundations of the Art of War are already expressed in the Mahabharata, specifically the part where Bhisma instructs to Yhudisthira on the requirements of monarchy in government matters. it is surprising specially the double standards with which a monarch must face his task. The Mahabharata is a late drafting text, it was written approximately around the same time that the book of Sun Tzu, but comes from an oral tradition that can be traced in the past for several thousand years, it contains astronomical and geological data, that have been evaluated, not without discrepancies, of course, but I will not extend here because this enormous story deserves a number of entries in this blog, exclusively.

In any case, both texts represent a vindication of hierarchies, or failure of human relationships and where it appears impossible avoid that human beings deviate from the path that leads to extinction. Shortly before the drafting of the texts mentioned, or more or less about then, arises Buddhism, probably because of the need to find a way that does not lead necessarily to any kaliyuga, which is a kind of apocalypse homespun recurring, something like the cyclical crisis of the capitalism.

Anyway, to my view, these books show only the failure of what we now call social intelligence, a concept that basically reproduces the act of deworming each other, who practice religiously our relatives the chimpanzees and other primates, neither more nor less than the equivalent of managing alliances, common fronts, partisanship, leadership and ultimately, competitiveness. Many think that this apelike substrate is an heritage of humanity, or what is the same as there is no escape from mere animal instinct, it confirms millennia of wars , however it is also true that arise recursively movements and lines of thinking that somehow pursue rebalancing the moral status of humanity, although eventually end up serving as arguments for the continuation of the status quo, as in the case of religions.

The economic scene has taken long ago, too, this approach warmonger, the language of conquest or confrontation, so it is not surprising that some of those who compose it find a source of inspiration in the work of Sun Tzu, without stopping to consider the fact that the author himself, disappointed by the results of his efforts, subsequently withdrew from public life. Apparently after getting the military victory over the enemies of the king of Wu, whom he served, he felt betrayed to find that he had been working to a scoundrel, whose only intention was to exploit their subjects. Because and I do not know if the plutocrats have this in mind, one of the fundamental premises of the moral code of the book of Sun Tzu is that leaders must earn the respect of his subjects, they must build the reputation of a righteous person, thing which forgets easy when you have the resource of force.

However, the cases, the uses and techniques of the “art of war” are clearly outdated, five hundred years before the current era, there were not drones guided by an operator located thousands of miles away or space satellites and today war is an industry in itself, so there is no worry of funding, which was one of the main drawbacks for Sun Tzu, he thought was obvious that the war was very expensive in either direction and dangerous since it is a weapon in itself, used as a wear mechanism.

Anyway, I doubt that military strategy is compatible with human rights and social freedoms, so you can imagine what is the ultimate intention of those who truly govern.


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