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An Introduction to Sun Tzu’s The Art of War- A Macat Politics Analysis


“What the ancients called a clever fighter
is one who not only wins, but excels in winning with ease.” In around 500 BC – according to tradition
– the Chinese military strategist and philosopher, Sun Tzu wrote The Art of War – effectively
a manual on warfare and military tactics. In this ancient text, Sun Tzu’s most important
argument concerns the relationship between efficiency and victory. Sun Tzu asserted that
conserving resources by using deception, spying and trickery was essential to winning a war
– military action was not the be all and end all. In fact, if military combat could
be avoided, it should be. So how would Sun Tzu employ his tactics, had
he been a soccer coach, competing in a soccer tournament? Sun Tzu believes that they must win the tournament
at all costs – after all, that is the aim of the tournament – to win the title. It’s
all about the name on the trophy! Most teams competing in the tournament concentrate
on the games that lie ahead – they train hard, practise their ball skills and revise
their strategy on the field. But Sun Tzu is playing a different game…he
is playing The Art of War. He sees training for the matches as just one
factor that can influence winning the tournament – but he takes a more holistic approach
to gaining the upper hand. So, what are his tactics? He’s doesn’t just rely solely on the performance
of his team on match days to win. He spies…
He sabotages practice playing fields… He drugs rival team players…
He uses misinformation to get teams disqualified… But does his approach work? His tactics were
so successful, the team win the trophy – over other teams with superior playing skills. That, Sun Tzu would argue, is how to win a
war. He asserts that the art of winning in the
most efficient way possible is the most important art of the state, and believed the powerful
state would be the one that used deception and innuendo to trick an enemy into defeat. Right? Wrong? Sun Tzu believed his approach was amoral.
He wasn’t concerned with the idea of ‘martial honour’ but with victory alone. The Art of War was an extremely influential
book that has impacted Eastern and Western military thinking, business tactics and legal
strategy. A more detailed examination can be found in
the MACAT analysis.

3 Comments

  1. Macat
    Macat June 4, 2015

    Sun Tzu's The Art of War sells 20k copies each year in the US + includes some of the   in strategy. 

  2. R.Y.1/O MaruPhoenix
    R.Y.1/O MaruPhoenix March 15, 2018

    Your books are all awesome ! 🙂 Like penguin classics , and wordsworth classics

  3. Христина Казакова
    Христина Казакова August 14, 2019

    Thanks

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