View Single Post
Old 14-12-2011, 02:00 AM   #118
Senior Member
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Inactive
Posts: 36,483
Likes: 237 (190 Posts)
Arrow The Thirty-Six Stratagems

The Thirty-Six Stratagems was a Chinese essay used to illustrate a series of stratagems used in politics, war, as well as in civil interaction, often through unorthodox or deceptive means.

The Stratagems are often misnamed as strategies; however, a stratagem (synonymous with ruse) is not the same thing as a strategy (being a long-term plan or outline).

Deceive the heavens to cross the ocean...Prepare too much and you lose sight of the big picture; what you see often you do not doubt. Yin (the art of deception) is in Yang (acting in open). Too much Yang (transparency) hides Yin (true ruses).

Loot a burning house...When a country is beset by internal conflicts, when disease and famine ravage the population, when corruption and crime are rampant, then it will be unable to deal with an outside threat. This is the time to attack.

Hide a knife behind a smile (笑裏藏刀/笑里藏刀, Xiào lǐ cáng dāo)...Charm and ingratiate yourself to your enemy. When you have gained his trust, move against him in secret.

Sacrifice the plum tree to preserve the peach tree (李代桃僵, Lǐ dài táo jiāng)...There are circumstances in which you must sacrifice short-term objectives in order to gain the long-term goal. This is the scapegoat stratagem whereby someone else suffers the consequences so that the rest do not.

Disturb the water and catch a fish (渾水摸魚/浑水摸鱼, Hún shuǐ mō yú) with "浑“ sometimes written ”混“。... Create confusion and use this confusion to further your own goals.

Obtain safe passage to conquer the State of Guo (假道伐虢, Jiǎ dào fá Guó)...Borrow the resources of an ally to attack a common enemy. Once the enemy is defeated, use those resources to turn on the ally that lent you them in the first place.

Let the enemy's own spy sow discord in the enemy camp (反間計/反间计, Fǎn jiàn jì)... Undermine your enemy's ability to fight by secretly causing discord between him and his friends, allies, advisors, family, commanders, soldiers, and population. While he is preoccupied settling internal disputes, his ability to attack or defend, is compromised.

The phrase the enemy of my enemy is my friend is a proverb that advances the concept that someone who is the enemy of your enemy is therefore your friend. It further means that because two parties have a common enemy, one can use the other to advance their goals. Often described as an Arabic proverb, there is also an identical Chinese proverb.

The phrase "you're either with us, or against us" and similar variations are used to depict situations as being polarized and to force witnesses and bystanders to become allies or lose favour. The implied consequence of not joining the team effort is to be deemed an enemy...The statement can sometimes be interpreted as a splitting or a false dilemma, which is an informal fallacy; however, it may also serve merely as a descriptive statement identifying the beliefs of the speaker(s), and thus state a basic assumption and not a logical conclusion. It may also be interpreted as a speech act.

In the movie Ben-Hur, the protagonist meets with his childhood friend Messala. He has barely said hello to Ben-Hur when he is dunning him for the names of those Jews who are speaking out against the Roman occupation... Ben-Hur refuses to act as informer, and Messala utters, "You're either with me or against me"...

Last edited by lightgiver; 14-12-2011 at 02:06 AM.
lightgiver is offline   Reply With Quote