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Instructions on According with the People

 

Disciplines > WarfareThe Six Secret Teachings > 2.4 Instructions on According with the People

Teaching set  | Observed lessons | Discussion | See also

 

Teaching set

Martial Secret Teachings 2.4 (16)

Observed lessons

  • To gain the followership of the whole country, you must be widely seen as trustworthy, benevolent and gracious, yet also a strong and assured authority.
  • Citizens are not stupid. They recognize whether the ruler cares or not about them, and response accordingly.

Discussion

If the population is unhappy with the ruler this discontent will appear in many ways, from general truculence to outright rebellion. A happy population, on the other hand is loyal and hard working, leading to a far more prosperous country (as well as a more secure crown).

This applies particularly to a conquered country, where the new ruler should act to calm the population and ensure they are comfortable with the new regime. It can be helpful if they were unhappy with the previous government (which you can encourage in the period before invasion).

See also

The Annotated Art of War (Parts 13.14-20: Using Spies)

 

Sawyer, R.D. (1993). The Seven Military Classics of Ancient China, Basic Books

 

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