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Title: The 33 Strategies of War
Author: Robert Greene
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THE 33 STRATEGIES OF WAR
OTHER TITLES BY ROBERT GREENE
The Art of Seduction (A Joost Elffers Production)
The 48 Laws of Power (A Joost Elffers Production)
THE 33 STRATEGIES OF WAR
A JOOST ELFFERS PRODUCTION
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To Napoleon, Sun-tzu, the goddess Athena, and my cat BRUTUS.
PART I SELF-DIRECTED WARFARE
DECLARE WAR ON YOUR ENEMIES: THE POLARITY
Life is endless battle and conflict, and you cannot fight effectively unless
you can identify your enemies. Learn to smoke out your enemies, to spot
them by the signs and patterns that reveal hostility. Then, once you have
them in your sights, inwardly declare war. Your enemies can fill you with
purpose and direction.
DO NOT FIGHT THE LAST WAR: THE GUERRILLA-WAR-OFTHE-MIND STRATEGY
What most often weighs you down and brings you misery is the past. You
must consciously wage war against the past and force yourself to react to
the present moment. Be ruthless on yourself; do not repeat the same tired
methods. Wage guerrilla war on your mind, allowing no static lines of
defense--make everything fluid and mobile.
AMIDST THE TURMOIL OF EVENTS, DO NOT LOSE YOUR
PRESENCE OF MIND: THE COUNTERBALANCE STRATEGY
In the heat of battle, the mind tends to lose its balance. It is vital to keep
your presence of mind, maintaining your mental powers, whatever the
circumstances. Make the mind tougher by exposing it to adversity. Learn
to detach yourself from the chaos of the battlefield.
CREATE A SENSE OF URGENCY AND DESPERATION: THE
You are your own worst enemy. You waste precious time dreaming of the
future instead of engaging in the present. Cut your ties to the past; enter
unknown territory. Place yourself on "death ground," where your back is
against the wall and you have to fight like hell to get out alive.
PART II ORGANIZATIONAL (TEAM) WARFARE
AVOID THE SNARES OF GROUPTHINK: THE COMMAND-ANDCONTROL STRATEGY
The problem in leading any group is that people inevitably have their
own agendas. You have to create a chain of command in which they do
not feel constrained by your influence yet follow your lead. Create a
sense of participation, but do not fall into groupthink--the irrationality of
collective decision making.
SEGMENT YOUR FORCES: THE CONTROLLED-CHAOS
The critical elements in war are speed and adaptability--the ability to
move and make decisions faster than the enemy. Break your forces into
independent groups that can operate on their own. Make your forces
elusive and unstoppable by infusing them with the spirit of the campaign,
giving them a mission to accomplish, and then letting them run.
TRANSFORM YOUR WAR INTO A CRUSADE: MORALE
The secret to motivating people and maintaining their morale is to get
them to think less about themselves and more about the group. Involve
them in a cause, a crusade against a hated enemy. Make them see their
survival as tied to the success of the army as a whole.
PART III DEFENSIVE WARFARE
PICK YOUR BATTLES CAREFULLY: THE PERFECT-ECONOMY
We all have limitations--our energies and skills will take us only so far.
You must know your limits and pick your battles carefully. Consider the
hidden costs of a war: time lost, political goodwill squandered, an