No country ever profited from protracted warfare. Sun Tzu, The Art of War, Chapter 2
The art of war teaches us to rely not on the likelihood of the enemy not coming, but on our readiness to receive him. Sun Tzu, The Art of War, Chapter 8
War is the greatest affair of state, the basis of life and death, the way to survival or extinction. Sun Tzu, The Art of War, Chapter 1
Let’s begin our exploration of the art of peace by applying the lessons of The Art of War to America’s many – and mostly disastrous – proxy wars since World War II. Maybe we can identify ideas that will help make future proxy wars – given that they seem to be unavoidable – less ruinous.
One reason why people haven’t bothered to write “the art of peace,” at least in recent decades, might be because, well, who needs it? Why attack the problem of peace intellectually when we’ve already – very successfully – achieved peace by simply muddling through?
More than twenty-five centuries ago a fellow known as Sun Tzu (an honorific rather than a name – it means something like “Master Sun”) wrote a long treatise on military strategy and tactics that has come to be called The Art of War.
Desperate times call for desperate measures. Hippocrates, writing almost 2,500 years ago
Gilbert de Botton died in the late summer of 2000, only sixty-five years old.
When Ms. X and I arrived at GAM in London, Gilbert didn’t meet with us in his private office, where he and I had always met in the past. Instead, apparently in honor of Ms. X’s presence, he ushered us into his conference room.
A few years after the events described in last week’s post something happened that, at first, seemed to have nothing to do with Gilbert de Botton. I was sitting at my desk idly sorting through my mail when I came across an impossibly elegant invitation to a “garden party” being hosted by a very well-known woman I’ll call Ms. X.