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  1. #1
    Rubber Nipple Salesperson ladypinkington's Avatar
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    Default How are the prinicples of the Art of War being applied today?

    I listened to The Art of War recently and in the audio book I listened to- it mentioned that The Art of War is mandatory reading for Japanese business exectives.

    I was wondering in what ways are we seeing the principles being applied in a modern day context? Politically, corporately, etc.

    Who is applying the principles well- who isn't and why?
    Is it not being used where it should be? Is it being used well where it shouldn't be?

    I find myself dying to talk to a Japanese business exec and modern day war generals,lol.

    I just find it fascinating.
    If anyone has any commetns I would be very interested to hear them.
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  2. #2
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    Know your Enemy? Used in abundance, and quite appropriately so. Intelligence is one of the most cardinal applications to warfare, business, social ascendancy, and just getting what you want in general.You must know your enemy, as well as your friends, for they can potentially be more formidable enemies. When you know those in your sphere of influence, you can get the job done with exceptional efficacy. Intelligence on a "target" can mean the difference between acquiring a merger, -- and not.
    It is important not to "attack" or incur yourself with impudence, for proper intelligence will negate the need for such actions. If done correctly you can maintain the degree of artfulness that will get you what you want with the little to no "bloodshed" (on both sides).

  3. #3
    Senior Member matmos's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by WithoutaFace View Post
    Know your Enemy? Used in abundance, and quite appropriately so. Intelligence is one of the most cardinal applications to warfare, business, social ascendancy, and just getting what you want in general.You must know your enemy, as well as your friends, for they can potentially be more formidable enemies. When you know those in your sphere of influence, you can get the job done with exceptional efficacy. Intelligence on a "target" can mean the difference between acquiring a merger, -- and not.
    It is important not to "attack" or incur yourself with impudence, for proper intelligence will negate the need for such actions. If done correctly you can maintain the degree of artfulness that will get you what you want with the little to no "bloodshed" (on both sides).
    Correction: know thyself and thy enemy.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Qre:us's Avatar
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    Um...know yourself and know thy enemy. K. How does one side succeed in war, if BOTH sides *know* this?

    Know better? Both know better....

    ...and on and on....

    eh?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Qre:us View Post
    Um...know yourself and know thy enemy. K. How does one side succeed in war, if BOTH sides *know* this?

    Know better? Both know better....

    ...and on and on....

    eh?
    It's not "both sides." You should know yourself, and you should know your enemy. Doing so will get the most accomplished with the least damage to both sides. I can see how your construal would lead to that fallacy though. Perhaps knowing yourself would implicate that the rest of your party is completely aware of what you know, --but not necessarily. The part is not always equal to its sum or whole. Also, the original statement for the most part is one sided, meaning that the enemy should generally be left in the dark. Due to the fact that you "know yourself", you are less likely to expose vital information simply due to the fact that you are intra personally aware. So given that you follow this mantra with precision, you should not have given away information to the "enemy."

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    Quote Originally Posted by bananatrombones View Post
    Correction: know thyself and thy enemy.
    My mistake, thanks for the correction.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Qre:us's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by WithoutaFace View Post
    It's not "both sides." You should know yourself, and you should know your enemy. Doing so will get the most accomplished with the least damage to both sides. I can see how your construal would lead to that fallacy though. Perhaps knowing yourself would implicate that the rest of your party is completely aware of what you know, --but not necessarily. The part is not always equal to its sum or whole. Also, the original statement for the most part is one sided, meaning that the enemy should generally be left in the dark. Due to the fact that you "know yourself", you are less likely to expose vital information simply due to the fact that you are intra personally aware. So given that you follow this mantra with precision, you should not have given away information to the "enemy."
    It was a tongue-in-cheek philosophical ontological argument. I.e., if it applies to both sides, how would it work?

    I was trying to point out that that saying "know yourself and know the enemy [paraphrase]" assumes a certain condition, with a given position (one side) fixed - the enemy, while the other side is in motion. Which is kinda ludicrous in a practical sense, as is its extreme opposite (my position). While you are getting to 'know' yourself, the other side may be doing the same. While you are getting information from the other side, they may be doing the same. While you are trying to keep the other side from finding out, they may be doing the same.


    The answer: stasis. you'd both find out, war would be futile.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Qre:us View Post
    It was a tongue-in-cheek philosophical ontological argument. I.e., if it applies to both sides, how would it work?

    I was trying to point out that that saying "know yourself and know the enemy [paraphrase]" assumes a certain condition, with a given position (one side) fixed - the enemy, while the other side is in motion. Which is kinda ludicrous in a practical sense, as is its extreme opposite (my position). While you are getting to 'know' yourself, the other side may be doing the same. While you are getting information from the other side, they may be doing the same. While you are trying to keep the other side from finding out, they may be doing the same.


    The answer: stasis. you'd both find out, war would be futile.
    Lol, sorry I forgot to take my "sense of humor" pills. Damn semantics and forums.

  9. #9
    Senior Member ptgatsby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Qre:us View Post
    The answer: stasis. you'd both find out, war would be futile.
    It would be random, heh.

    The saying has various levels of meaning. The first is that you need to know yourself - the commander - and you need to know the opposing commander. You need to anticipate his moves, based on what he expect you to be. Various parts of the book then talk about the emotional state of commanders, although that might of been from examples elsewhere.

    The second is to know your army, it's state, position and so forth, just as you need to know the opposing army.

    I don't know if it was from Sun Tsu, Sun Bin's or just recovered at the same time, but the third element was the politics of the situation, and on how fighting is not just the war between commanders, between locations and between elements - that fighting was as varied as life, and that no war was fought in isolation. It was notable because it went against the loyalty aspect, but there were instances of breaking the enemy, or taking the city to remove purpose/etc.

    Anyway, from wikipedia, the original chinese proverb goes:

    So it is said that if you know your enemies and know yourself, you will fight without danger in battles. If you only know yourself, but not your opponent, you may win or may lose. If you know neither yourself nor your enemy, you will always endanger yourself.


    --

    The art of war is used today as a sort of representation of general strategy. It's... directional, now. The details don't mean nearly as much - but the concepts of various attacks and situations, along with responses, holds value.

    I see it mostly used in business now. It has very little military value, as each strategy that would be used can be better defined in modern terms.

    I also recommend the Book of Five Rings to the OP... it has a lot more tangible details, but it has also become a metaphor for many things in life, particularly the last book. There are others that are generally (more) required reading for asian entering business (The Many Stratagems)

    Anyway, bottom line - it's used as a metaphor, but is integrated into asian culture more than here. Here it is seen as a curiosity. It is often quoted as directional (high level) strategies in Asian cultures, but have only seen it done here rarely. Not many have read it, I find.

  10. #10
    Resident Snot-Nose GZA's Avatar
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    I found it probably doesn't have any truely concrete applications today. As Gatsby said, there are books now that explain the same sort of general concepts the Art of War has in specific contexts (i.e. bussiness) in detail and modern language.

    I think it's meaning now fits better with just general life. The stuff about Tao and being spiritlike and being like water probably has it's greatest application now in just general life. My favourite part was the analogy about being like water that can creep through the cracks of a mountain as it falls with gravity, yet be strong enough to push over a buolder in a great tidal wave (or something along those lines). The ideas of open-mindedness, spontenaity, flexibility, and inner confidence come to mind for me when I read that part. It's all sort of philosophical ideas that have a very wide scope written in a war context, so if you just treat war as a metaphor for life, it still works.

    So... I think as someone else said, now it's more of a curiosity piece than a serious way to make a better army, business, government, ect.

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