Quotes; Authors: S to U
The absence of evidence is not the evidence of absence.
We live in a society exquisitely dependent on science and technology, in which hardly anyone knows anything about science and technology.
The illegality of cannabis is outrageous, an impediment to full utilization of a drug which helps produce the serenity and insight, sensitivity and fellowship so desperately needed in this increasingly mad and dangerous world.
The cannabis experience has greatly improved my appreciation for art, a subject which I had never much appreciated before. The understanding of the intent of the artist which I can achieve when high sometimes carries over to when I’m down. This is one of many human frontiers which cannabis has helped me traverse.
Is it rational to forbid patients who are dying from taking marijuana as a palliative to permit them to gain body weight and to get some food down? It seems madness to say, ‘We’re worried that they’re going to become addicted to marijuana’ — there’s no evidence whatever that it’s an addictive drug, but even if it were, these people are dying, what are we saving them from?
When we say that man chooses for himself, we do mean that every one of us must choose himself; but by that we also mean that in choosing for himself he chooses for all men. For in effect, of all the actions a man may take in order to create himself as he wills to be, there is not one which is not creative, at the same time, of an image of man such as he believes he ought to be. To choose between this or that is at the same time to affirm the value of that which is chosen; for we are unable ever to choose the worse. What we choose is always the better; and nothing can be better for us unless it is better for all.
The world is not divided between East and West. You are American, I am Iranian, we don’t know each other, but we talk and we understand each other perfectly. The difference between you and your government is much bigger than the difference between you and me. And the difference between me and my government is much bigger than the difference between me and you. And our governments are very much the same.
To acquire knowledge, one must study; but to acquire wisdom, one must observe.
Being defeated is often a temporary condition. Giving up is what makes it permanent.
The length of your education is less important than its breadth, and the length of your life is less important than its depth.
If your head tells you one thing and your heart tells you another, before you do anything, you should first decide whether you have a better head or a better heart.
Printing money is merely taxation in another form. Rather than robbing citizens of their money, government robs their money of its purchasing power.
There are no checks and balances if the gov is wrong, if a private entrepreneur makes a mistake, he goes bankrupt, the losses are cut, if he bets wrong, he loses, if the gov bets wrong, they just get bigger, they just appropriate more money, it’s a bottomless pit, because they either get it from the tax payers or run it off a printing press.
Nobody is entitled to someone else’s money, that is the bottom line. People think they are entitled to it because they think they paid into it, nobody paid into anything, it was a fraud. Every single dollar that the gov collected in social security taxes, has already been spent, there is nothing there, there is no money, so the only money the government gets to make current payment is the money it can take from people who are still working. It’s a transfer from the working poor in many cases to the retired rich. We don’t have the money, I feel bad for the fact people made promises we can’t keep, I feel bad for the people that invested with Bernie Madoff and lost their money, but its the same principle, its the same Ponzi scheme. We have to put an end to it, we have to find real solution to these problems because if we keep on denying that they exist and keep on spending money, we’re going to destroy the value of everyone’s benefits.
What America has succeeded in creating is not an economy impervious to shocks, but merely one which enables their consequences to be postponed to a later date.
Existing regulators had all the powers they needed, and more, and they failed miserably to foresee and prevent this crisis. Chris Dodd is now asking us to put all our eggs in one basket and trust a “super regulatory agency.” He should know better than to centralize power in the hands of Washington bureaucrats – it’s precisely the arrangement that caused our current problems. I think most Connecticut voters know that we need fewer czars in Washington, not more. As long as Fannie and Freddie and Congress are meddling with the economy, changing the structure of the regulators is basically rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic.
The entire American standard of living is artificially high right now, resting on the ability of Americans to borrow money from foreigners.
You know rather than the recession being resisted, it should be embraced. Because the disease is all this debt financed consumption, and the cure is we stop consuming and start saving and producing again, and that’s a recession. You know sometimes medicine taste bad but you got to swallow it.
We have run up an enormous debt to the rest of the world and have nothing to show for it. It’s analogous to an individual loses his job and instead of getting another job he buys everything on his credit card, and he shows his wife his credit card bills and says ‘Look honey, look how great we are doing’.
You don’t drive an economy by consuming – the consumer is not the engine, the consumer is the caboose.
We need companies to fail so that more prosperous companies can succeed. By keeping certain businesses around, the government is preventing others from coming into existence that would have been more productive.
It would be irresponsible in the extreme for an individual to forestall a personal recession by taking out newer, bigger loans when the old loans can´t be repaid. However, this is precisely what we are planning on a national level. I believe these ideas hold sway largely because they promise happy, pain-free solutions. They are the economic equivalent of miracle weight-loss programs that require no dieting or exercise. The theories permit economists to claim mystic wisdom, governments to pretend that they have the power to dispel hardship with the whir of a printing press, and voters to believe that they can have recovery without sacrifice.
Remember, this wasn´t created by the free market, all this excess leverage is there because of the government, it´s there because of the Fed, they did this, they infected us with this disease! The fact that all these companies are now dying, they provided Wells Fargo and all these companies with free money, and they let them go out and leverage it up. And it’s like I use the analogy, if a kinder garden school teacher passes out pixie sticks and soda pops and then leaves the classroom and she comes back and the kinder garden have wrecked the place, who do you blame?
Because there would be nothing to rescue, but under a gold standard, if politicians want to spend money they have to have the gold, they can’t just print it. So that is why politicians don’t like the gold standard, because it keeps them honest.
Gold is not overvalued at $500, and gold will not be overvalued at $1,500 or $2,000. The real money is buying gold and putting it away.
If we hadn’t bailed AIG out, this wouldn’t even be an issue, because these people would be out of work, they wouldn’t be getting bonuses… first the government gives them all the money and now we are upset at what they do with it? What do we expect?
This country was built on gangs, you know
I think this country still is run on gangs
Republicans, Democrats, The Police Department, The FBI
The CIA, those are gangs, you know what I mean
The correctional officers
I had a correctional officer tell me straight
“We the biggest gang in New York state
What surprised me at first was that most Germans, so far as I could see, did not seem to mind that their personal freedom had been taken away, that so much of their splendid culture was being destroyed and replaced with a mindless barbarism, or that their life and work were
becoming regimented to a degree never before experienced even by a people accustomed for generations to a great deal of regimentation.
One soon became aware, to be sure, that in the background there lurked the terror of the Gestapo and the fear of the concentration camp for those who got too far out of line or who had been Communists or Socialists or too liberal or pacifist or who were Jews…
Yet the Nazi terror in those early years, I was beginning to see, affected the lives of relatively few Germans. The vast majority did not seem unduly concerned with what happened to a few Communists, Socialists, pacifists, defiant priests and pastors, and to the Jews. A newly arrived observer was forced, however reluctantly, as in my own case, to conclude that on the whole the people did not seem to feel that they were being cowed and held down by an unscrupulous tyranny. On the contrary, and much to my surprise, they appeared to support it with genuine enthusiasm. Somehow Adolf Hitler was imbuing them with a new hope, a new confidence and an astonishing renewed faith in the future of their country.
Talent hits a target no one else can hit; Genius hits a target no one else can see.
A government which robs Peter to pay Paul can always depend on the support of Paul.
The fact that a believer is happier than a skeptic is no more to the point than the fact that a drunken man is happier than a sober one.
The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man.
Life does not cease to be funny when people die any more than it ceases to be serious when people laugh.
The real problem is not whether machines think but whether men do.
Taxation is the price we pay for failing to build a civilized society. The higher the tax level, the greater the failure. A centrally planned totalitarian state represents a complete defeat for the civilized world, while a totally voluntary society represents its ultimate success.
The only valid censorship of ideas is the right of people not to listen.
Jeffrey Snyder –
Although difficult for modern man to fathom, it was once widely believed that life was a gift from God, that not to defend that life when offered violence was to hold God’s gift in contempt, to be a coward and to breach one’s duty to one’s community.
The test of courage comes when we are in the minority. The test of tolerance comes when we are in the majority.
You can take all guns away and the bad guys will still get guns!! Do you honestly believe the bad guys care about any stupid law that is passed??!! This is why we call them bad guys!
Prices are important not because money is considered paramount but because prices are a fast and effective conveyor of information through a vast society in which fragmented knowledge must be coordinated.
The first lesson of economics is scarcity: There is never enough of anything to satisfy all those who want it. The first lesson of politics is to disregard the first lesson of economics.
Racism has never done this country any good, and it needs to be fought against, not put under new management for different groups.
What the welfare system and other kinds of governmental programs are doing is paying people to fail. In so far as they fail, they receive the money; in so far as they succeed, even to a moderate extent, the money is taken away.
Elections should be held on April 16th- the day after we pay our income taxes. That is one of the few things that might discourage politicians from being big spenders.
But whether the Constitution really be one thing, or another, this much is certain ― that it has either authorized such a government as we have had, or has been powerless to prevent it. In either case it is unfit to exist.
The government does not, indeed, waylay a man in a lonely place, spring upon him from the roadside, and, holding a pistol to his head, proceed to rifle his pockets. But the robbery is none the less a robbery on that account; and it is far more dastardly and shameful.
The highwayman takes solely upon himself the responsibility, danger, and crime of his own act. He does not pretend that he has any rightful claim to your money, or that he intends to use it for your own benefit. He does not pretend to be anything but a robber. He has not acquired impudence enough to profess to be merely a protector, and that he takes men’s money against their will, merely to enable him to protect those infatuated travellers, who feel perfectly able to protect themselves, or do not appreciate his peculiar system of protection. He is too sensible a man to make such professions as these. Furthermore, having taken your money, he leaves you, as you wish him to do.
He does not persist in following you on the road, against your will; assuming to be your rightful sovereign, on account of the protection he affords you. He does not keep protecting you, by commanding you to bow down and serve him; by requiring you to do this, and forbidding you to do that; by robbing you of more money as often as he finds it for his interest or pleasure to do so; and by branding you as a rebel, a traitor, and an enemy to your country, and shooting you down without mercy, if you dispute his authority, or resist his demands. He is too much of a gentleman to be guilty of such impostures, and insults, and villainies as these. In short, he does not, in addition to robbing you, attempt to make you either his dupe or his slave.
Ideas are more dangerous than guns. We wouldn’t let our enemies have guns, why should we let them have ideas?
We believe that the Anarchists are real enemies of Marxism. Accordingly, we also hold that a real struggle must be waged against real enemies.
Nationalism does nothing but teach you how to hate people you’ve never met– all of a sudden you take pride in accomplishments you had no part in whatsoever… if you’re American you’ll go “Fuck the French! Fuck the French, if we hadn’t have saved their ass in two World Wars, they’d be speakin’ German right now!” And you go, “Oh, was that us?” Was that me and you, Tommy, we saved the French? Jesus! I know I blacked out a little after that fourth shot of Jägermeister last night, but I don’t remember… I know we were going through the Wendy’s drive-thru to get one of them “Freshetta” sandwiches that looked so alluring on the commercial, but then we ordered it and realized we had no money, and we had to ditch out before the second window, and those douchebags in line behind us with the bass music probably got our order and we laughed about that. But I don’t remember savin’ the French. At all! I went through the last ten calls on my cell phone and there’s nothin’–incoming or outgoing–to the French, lookin’ for muscle on a project! I checked my pants, there’s no mud stains on the knees from when we were garroting Krauts in the trenches at Verdun. I think “we” didn’t do anything but watch sports bloopers while we got hammered. I think “we” should shut the fuck up!
My definition of a free society is a society where it is safe to be unpopular.
Censorship reflects a society’s lack of confidence in itself.
Whoever will be free must make himself free. Freedom is no fairy gift to fall into a man’s lap. What is freedom? To have the will to be responsible for one’s self.
The state calls its own violence law, but that of the individual, crime.
I was conditioned by my training, my marine corps training, and my background, to believe in everything they were saying about the cold war, and I took the job with great enthusiasm (in the CIA) to join the best and the brightest of the CIA, of our foreign service, to go out into the world, to join the struggle, to project American values and save the world for our brand of democracy. And I believed this. I went out and worked hard…. What I really got out of these 6 years in Africa was a sense… that nothing we were doing in fact defended U.S. national security interests very much. We didn’t have many national security interests in Bujumbura, Burundi, in the heart of Africa. I concluded that I just couldn’t see the point.
I wanted to know if wise men were making difficult decisions based on truly important, threatening information, threatening to our national security interests. If that had been the case, I still planned to get out of the CIA, but I would know that the system, the invisible government, our national security complex, was in fact justified and worth while. And so I took the job…. Suffice it to say I wouldn’t be standing in front of you tonight if I had found these wise men making these tough decisions. What I found, quite frankly, was fat old men sleeping through sub-committee meetings of the NSC in which we were making decisions that were killing people in Africa. I mean literally. Senior ambassador Ed Mulcahy… would go to sleep in nearly every one of these meetings.
In television you get capsules of news that someone else puts together what they want you to hear about the news. In newspapers you get what the editors select to put in the newspaper. If you want to know about the world and understand, to educate yourself, you have to get out and dig, dig up books and articles for yourself. Read, and find out for yourselves. As you’ll see, the issues are very, very important.
The problem, though, is that these people killed by our national security activities are not communists. They’re not Russians, they’re not KGB. In the field we used to play chess with the KGB officers, and have drinks with them. It was like professional football players – we would knock heads on Sunday, maybe in an operation, and then Tuesday you’re at a banquet together drinking toasts and talking.[…] The people that are dying in these things are people of the third world. That’s the common denominator that you come up with. People of the third world. People that have the misfortune of being born in the Mitumba mountains of the Congo, in the jungles of Southeast Asia, and now in the hills of northern Nicaragua. Far more Catholics than communists, far more Buddhists than communists. Most of them couldn’t give you an intelligent definition of communism, or of capitalism.
Getting back to President Reagan. He really did say that `you can always call cruise missiles back’…. Now, you can call back a B-52, and you can call back a submarine, but a cruise missile is different…. When it lands, it goes boom ! And I would prefer that the man with the finger on the button could understand the difference. This is the man that calls the MX a peace-maker. This is the man who’s gone on television and told us that nuclear war could be winnable. This is the man who’s gone on television and proposed that we might want to drop demonstration [atom] bombs in Europe to show people that we’re serious people. This is the man who likens the Contras to the moral equivalents of our own founding fathers. This is the man who says South Africa is making progress on racial equality. This is the man who says that the Sandinistas are hunting down and hounding and persecuting Jews in Nicaragua. And the Jewish leaders go on TV the next day in this country and say there are 5 Jewish families in Nicaragua, and they’re not having any problems at all. This is the man who says that they’re financing their revolution by smuggling drugs into the U.S. And the DEA says, `It ain’t true, it’s president Reagan’s Contras that are doing it’….
You have to be asking yourself, why are we destabilizing 50 corners of the troubled world? Why are we about to go to war in Nicaragua, the Central American war? It is the function, I suggest, of the CIA, with its 50 de-stabilization programs going around the world today, to keep the world unstable, and to propagandize the American people to hate, so we will let the establishment spend any amount of money on arms.
Disease is nothing else but an attempt on the part of the body to rid itself of morbific matter.
The more corrupt the state, the more it legislates.
He makes no friend who never made a foe.
I don’t know if I can live on my income or not, the government won’t let me try it.
I live in America. I have the right to write whatever I want. And it’s equaled by another right just as powerful: the right not to read it. Freedom of speech includes the freedom to offend people.
If the machine of government is of such a nature that it requires you to be the agent of injustice to another, then, I say, break the law.
Disobedience is the true foundation of liberty. The obedient must be slaves.
If a thousand [citizens] were not to pay their tax-bills this year, that would not be a violent and bloody measure, as it would be to pay them, and enable the State to commit violence and shed innocent blood. This is, in fact, the definition of a peaceable revolution, if any such is possible.
I came into this world, not chiefly to make this a good place to live in, but to live in it, be it good or bad.
Is a democracy, such as we know it, the last improvement possible in government? Is it not possible to take a step further towards recognizing and organizing the rights of man? There will never be a really free and enlightened State until the State comes to recognize the individual as a higher and independent power, from which all its own power and authority are derived, and treats him accordingly. I please myself with imagining a State at least which can afford to be just to all men, and to treat the individual with respect as a neighbor; which even would not think it inconsistent with its own repose if a few were to live aloof from it, not meddling with it, nor embraced by it, who fulfilled all the duties of neighbors and fellow-men. A State which bore this kind of fruit, and suffered it to drop off as fast as it ripened, would prepare the way for a still more perfect and glorious State, which also I have imagined, but not yet anywhere seen.
I heartily accept the motto, ‘That government is best which governs least’; and I should like to see it acted up to more rapidly and systematically. Carried out, it finally amounts to this, which also I believe, ‘That government is best which governs not at all’; and when men are prepared for it, that will be the kind of government which they will have.
Every generation laughs at the old fashions, but follows religiously the new.
A man is rich in proportion to the number of things he can afford to let alone.
If you have built castles in the air, your work need not be lost; that is where they should be. Now put foundations under them.
But as the power of Hellas grew, and the acquisition of wealth became more an objective, the revenues of the states increasing, tyrannies were established almost everywhere.
So little pains do the vulgar take in the investigation of truth, accepting readily the first story that comes to hand.
The growth of the power of Athens, and the alarm which this inspired in Sparta, made war inevitable.
Abstinence from all injustice to other first-rate powers is a greater tower of strength than anything that can be gained by the sacrifice of permanent tranquillity for an apparent temporary advantage.
When one is deprived of one’s liberty, one is right in blaming not so much the man who puts the shackles on as the one who had the power to prevent him, but did not use it.
War is a matter not so much of arms as of money.
In practice we always base our preparations against an enemy on the assumption that his plans are good; indeed, it is right to rest our hopes not on a belief in his blunders, but on the soundness of our provisions. Nor ought we to believe that there is much difference between man and man, but to think that the superiority lies with him who is reared in the severest school.
Speculation is carried on in safety, but, when it comes to action, fear causes failure.
If you give way, you will instantly have to meet some greater demand, as having been frightened into obedience in the first instance; while a firm refusal will make them clearly understand that they must treat you more as equals.
I could have wished that the reputations of many brave men were not to be imperilled in the mouth of a single individual, to stand or fall according as he spoke well or ill. For it is hard to speak properly upon a subject where it is even difficult to convince your hearers that you are speaking the truth. On the one hand, the friend who is familiar with every fact of the story may think that some point has not been set forth with that fullness which he wishes and knows it to deserve; on the other, he who is a stranger to the matter may be led by envy to suspect exaggeration if he hears anything above his own nature. For men can endure to hear others praised only so long as they can severally persuade themselves of their own ability to equal the actions recounted: when this point is passed, envy comes in and with it incredulity.
But the prize for courage will surely be awarded most justly to those who best know the difference between hardship and pleasure and yet are never tempted to shrink from danger.
The bravest are surely those who have the clearest vision of what is before them, glory and danger alike, and yet notwithstanding, go out to meet it.
The secret of happiness is freedom and the secret of freedom is courage.
We know that there can never be any solid friendship between individuals, or union between communities that is worth the name, unless the parties be persuaded of each others honesty.
Let him remember that many before now have tried to chastise a wrongdoer, and failing to punish their enemy have not even saved themselves; while many who have trusted in force to gain an advantage, instead of gaining anything more, have been doomed to lose what they had. Vengeance is not necessarily successful because wrong has been done, or strength sure because it is confident; but the incalculable element in the future exercises the widest influence, and is the most treacherous, and yet in fact the most useful of all things, as it frightens us all equally, and thus makes us consider before attacking each other.
It is better to know some of the questions than all of the answers.
Frank Tibolt –
We should be taught not to wait for inspiration to start a thing. Action always generates inspiration. Inspiration seldom generates action.
Democracy can only exist until the voters discover that they can vote themselves largess of the public treasury. From that time on the majority always votes for the candidates promising the most benefits from the public treasury, with the results that a democracy always collapses over loose fiscal policy, always followed by a dictatorship.
In other words, a democratic government is the only one in which those who vote for a tax can escape the obligation to pay it.
A third and final trait, one which, in my eyes, best describes socialists of all schools and shades, is a profound opposition to personal liberty and scorn for individual reason, a complete contempt for the individual. They unceasingly attempt to mutilate, to curtail, to obstruct personal freedom in any and all ways. They hold that the State must not only act as the director of society, but must further be master of each man, and not only master, but keeper and trainer. For fear of allowing him to err, the State must place itself forever by his side, above him, around him, better to guide him, to maintain him, in a word, to confine him. They call, in fact, for the forfeiture, to a greater or less degree, of human liberty, to the point where, were I to attempt to sum up what socialism is, I would say that it was simply a new system of serfdom.
Governments need armies to protect them against their enslaved and opposed subjects.
Understand then all of you, especially the young, that to want to impose an imaginary state of government on others by violence is not only a vulgar superstition, but even a criminal work. Understand that this work, far from assuring the well-being of humanity is only a lie, a more or less unconscious hypocrisy, camouflaging the lowest passions we posses.
Error is the force that welds men together; truth is communicated to men only by deeds of truth.
The more is given the less the people will work for themselves, and the less they work the more their poverty will increase.
In all history there is no war which was not hatched by the governments, the governments alone, independent of the interests of the people, to whom war is always pernicious even when successful.
The Anarchists are right in everything; in the negation of the existing order, and in the assertion that, without authority, there could not be worse violence than that of authority under existing conditions. They are mistaken only in thinking that Anarchy can be instituted by a revolution. ‘To establish Anarchy.’ ‘Anarchy will be instituted.’ But it will be instituted only by there being more and more people who do not require protection from governmental power, and by there being more and more people who will be ashamed of applying this power.
There can be only one permanent revolution — a moral one; the regeneration of the inner man. How is this revolution to take place? Nobody knows how it will take place in humanity, but every man feels it clearly in himself. And yet in our world everybody thinks of changing humanity, and nobody thinks of changing himself.
All violence consists in some people forcing others, under threat of suffering or death, to do what they do not want to do.
I freed a thousand slaves…and I could have freed more had more of them known they were slaves.
To force a man to pay for the violation of his own liberty is indeed an addition of insult to injury.
Every system has a flaw. Even the tightest state system has a flaw. No matter how total the state is there is always a zone of freedom. If you can find it, exploit it, live within it you can live a better life. And if everybody does this eventually the state breaks down. This is how states break down.
I look at Obama as just a classic case. A president who rises to power with great hopes who ends up being like an utter and complete failure. And this is a failed presidency which now has two excruciating years to go through endless nonsense. The one thing that he really has bragging rights about is Obamacare. But let’s face it, it’s a complete calamity. Anybody who says otherwise is a total liar.
It hasn’t achieved anything that it’s supposed to achieve. And I think the real problem here is people have too high expectations for the presidency. Particularly with regards to race relations. Of course that was the big hope that electing the first black president is going to fix the race problem. But I hope now we learned this is just not true. The people have to fix their own race problem.
The problem of antagonism between the races is largely created by the state, has to be solved by individuals themselves. You can’t rely on some despotic leader to come by and sweep into place prosperity, well being and social harmony for the world. That just a myth and it’s not true. So, I’d like to think that we’ve learned from this experience with Obama. Unfortunately, people are always looking for the next messiah, that’s the way it always seems to work.
When the state itself is held to the same moral standards as everyone else, it dies. And that’s a wonderful thing.
A lie can travel halfway around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes.
What makes the difference between a taxidermist and a tax collector? The taxidermist only takes your skin.
Lao Tzu –
The people are hungry: It is because those in authority eat up too much in taxes.
The more laws and order are made prominent, the more thieves and robbers there will be.
A leader is best when people barely know that he exists, not so good when people obey and acclaim him, worst when they despise him. Fail to honor people, They fail to honor you. But of a good leader, who talks little, when his work is done, his aims fulfilled, they will all say, ‘We did this ourselves.’
Knowing others is intelligence; knowing yourself is true wisdom. Mastering others is strength; mastering yourself is true power.
The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.
A good traveler has no fixed plans and is not intent upon arriving. A good artist lets his intuition lead him wherever it wants. A good scientist has freed himself of concepts and keeps his mind open to what is.
When men lack a sense of awe, there will be disaster.
Sun Tzu –
Keep your friends close; your enemies even closer.
All warfare is based on deception. Hence, when we are able to attack, we must seem unable; when using our forces, we must appear inactive; when we are near, we must make the enemy believe we are far away; when far away, we must make him believe we are near.
For to win one hundred victories in one hundred battles is not the acme of skill. To subdue the enemy without fighting is the acme of skill.
What is essential in war is victory, not prolonged operations.
A leader leads by example not by force.
It is said that if you know your enemies and know yourself, you will not be imperiled in a hundred battles; if you do not know your enemies but do know yourself, you will win one and lose one; if you do not know your enemies nor yourself, you will be imperiled in every single battle.
It is the rule in war, if ten times the enemy’s strength, surround them; if five times, attack them; if double, divide them; if equal, be able to fight them; if fewer, be able to evade them; if weaker, be able to avoid them.
Be extremely subtle, even to the point of formlessness. Be extremely mysterious, even to the point of soundlessness. Thereby you can be the director of the opponent’s fate.
Victorious warriors win first and then go to war, while defeated warriors go to war first and then seek to win.
All men can see these tactics whereby I conquer, but what none can see is the strategy out of which victory is evolved.
If your enemy is secure at all points, be prepared for him. If he is in superior strength, evade him. If your opponent is temperamental, seek to irritate him. Pretend to be weak, that he may grow arrogant. If he is taking his ease, give him no rest. If his forces are united, separate them. If sovereign and subject are in accord, put division between them. Attack him where he is unprepared, appear where you are not expected.
Treat your men as you would your own beloved sons. And they will follow you into the deepest valley.
He who knows when he can fight and when he cannot will be victorious.
He who is prudent and lies in wait for an enemy who is not, will be victorious.
Hold out baits to entice the enemy. Feign disorder, and crush him.
Now the reason the enlightened prince and the wise general conquer the enemy whenever they move and their achievements surpass those of ordinary men is foreknowledge.
Pretend inferiority and encourage his arrogance.
Secret operations are essential in war; upon them the army relies to make its every move.
Strategy without tactics is the slowest route to victory. Tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat.
The art of war is of vital importance to the State. It is a matter of life and death, a road either to safety or to ruin. Hence it is a subject of inquiry which can on no account be neglected.
The general who advances without coveting fame and retreats without fearing disgrace, whose only thought is to protect his country and do good service for his sovereign, is the jewel of the kingdom.