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The Few and the Many

 

Disciplines > WarfareThe Six Secret Teachings > 5.7 The Few and the Many

Teaching set  | Observed lessons | Discussion | See also

 

Teaching set

Leopard Secret Teachings 5.7 (49)

Observed lessons

  • When weak and attacking the strong, use all advantages you can, from putting the sun behind you to hiding in close cover.
  • Use any deception you can, especially that you are larger and stronger than you seem. Lead them into traps.
  • If you are strong and attacking the weak, beware of the strong friends that the weak might have.

Discussion

Being weak does not stop you from doing great damage as many recent guerrilla wars have shown. When the weak can hide and strike at will, when they seem not to care about personal harm, the strong may be perplexed and eventually give up and retreat.

Weak states are often harmless. This means others do not see them as a threat and so easily befriend them. They may also follow the social rule that the strong should help the vulnerable. If another powerful state attacks the weak state, then their friends may come to their rescue, indignant that this harmless country is being treated so badly. It is hence a good idea to understand friendships and those who feel protective before attacking the weak.

See also

Guerilla war

 

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

 

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