Sun Tzu is overrated

>Don't fight unless you're sure you can win.
>Appear weak when you're strong and strong when you're weak.
>Take your enemy by surprise.
>Make sure your men are fed and paid.

Yeah, no shit Sherlock. Why is this stuff treated as some genius revelation?

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  1. 2 months ago
    Anonymous

    Because he was the first one to write it.
    It seems obvious now because we have had 2000 years of war experience since then.

    • 2 months ago
      Anonymous

      Isn't that kind of stuff just intuitive though? I'm not being sarcastic I'm genuinely curious. Wasn't IQ just as high or likely higher than it is today? I mean, the fact that we are more technologically advanced now is because of accumulated knowledge.

      Also, speaking of that, I'm surprised no Egyptian scribes never thought to max stamps of each hieroglyph and use that to be able to write out huge numbers of copies. They could experiment with whatever material works best. An idea like that seems intuitive to me but maybe that thinking wholey the result of me being a man who was born in a modern industrialized society.

      • 2 months ago
        Anonymous

        I can see what you are saying about acomulative knowledge.
        But i think in this case, it's not that.
        They probably had generals that knew this before Sun Tsu's time, they just didn't have the need to write something so intuitive before him.

      • 2 months ago
        Anonymous

        >Isn't that kind of stuff just intuitive though?
        for the typical han chinese chud gorillion years ago? no.

      • 2 months ago
        Anonymous

        I think you'd be shocked at how many of your """intuitive""" ideas and values had to be invented by people

      • 2 months ago
        Anonymous

        >Isn't that kind of stuff just intuitive though? I'm not being sarcastic I'm genuinely curious.
        The examples in op are neither intuitive nor commonly practiced through history.
        >escape from the gang who just caught your wife, go get your friends while she gets raped
        >micromanage your image for maximum situational gain at the cost of your pride and often reputation
        >alert everyone else of your deviousness and attract criticism for it
        >pay with your own resources for discipline (implication: only muster up an army when you have cash and food on top of men) vs hope that your army won't disprse too much looking for loot and food
        Nothing here comes natural to the average man or even leader. It works, but it's not straightforward and requires caution, self control and deeper thought into the context you're applying it too.

      • 2 months ago
        Anonymous

        >Isn't that kind of stuff just intuitive though?
        Nope

    • 1 month ago
      Anonymous

      it probably was quite insightful like 10 000 years ago

      Read the actual book.
      He didn't make vague statements and he isn't seen as important because he did it early. Phrases like "know yourself and know the enemy" are taken out of context to attempt to present them as meaningless, but if you actually read the book (it's not even that long) they are just the conclusions to arguments he made over a whole chapter, with detail.
      The Art of War was written as an introductory textbook on how to not frick up when leading troops. The advice is extremely practical and deals with the whole conflict, from the start (escalation) to the end (theory of victory).

      Isn't that kind of stuff just intuitive though? I'm not being sarcastic I'm genuinely curious. Wasn't IQ just as high or likely higher than it is today? I mean, the fact that we are more technologically advanced now is because of accumulated knowledge.

      Also, speaking of that, I'm surprised no Egyptian scribes never thought to max stamps of each hieroglyph and use that to be able to write out huge numbers of copies. They could experiment with whatever material works best. An idea like that seems intuitive to me but maybe that thinking wholey the result of me being a man who was born in a modern industrialized society.

      Is it intuitive that if you defeat the enemy and take their camp, you should first have the food they left tasted by a few volunteers, before giving it to the rest of your army?
      That's a piece of advice found in The Art of War to make sure that you aren't fricked by the first enemy commander that thinks of poisoning the food before retreating.

      • 1 month ago
        Anonymous

        >Is it intuitive that if you defeat the enemy and take their camp, you should first have the food they left tasted by a few volunteers, before giving it to the rest of your army?
        Yes?

        • 1 month ago
          Anonymous

          You think 90% of people would find that intuitive?

          • 1 month ago
            Anonymous

            I hope so, otherwise it'd hurt me physically to know that my fellow human beens are this dumb.

      • 1 month ago
        Anonymous

        This. The people ITT call the work overrated and intuitive while not even understanding the work

        weak when you're strong and strong when you're weak.

        This is wrong and debunked by geopolitical realism. Strong countries should behave like strong countries and weak countries should behave like weak countries.
        When a strong country behaves like a weak country by failing to keep surrounding countries in line then other countries will think they can take advantage and you will suffer draining attacks that will leave you weaker than if other countries knew your true strength and knew they ought to leave you alone.
        When a weak country behaves like a strong country and tries to throw its weight around and keep other countries in line then it's more likely to get punished severely than if it accepted that as a weak country it needs to behave more meekly and cautiously if it wants to survive.

        >This is wrong and debunked by geopolitical realism
        It's good advice if you're in combat, he is speaking about having the element of surprise. A lot requires some interpretation

  2. 2 months ago
    Anonymous

    it probably was quite insightful like 10 000 years ago

  3. 2 months ago
    Anonymous

    he wrote it for a monarch who had no idea about anything, so Sun Tzu had to teach him the basics.

    • 2 months ago
      Anonymous

      He was writing for a court audience that was completely divorced from any kind of concept like warfare. The Chinese court was infamous for how utterly disconnected it was from the actual goings-on of life outside of the palace walls. Concepts like "feed your troops" and "run away if it's clear you can't win an engagement" would have seemed like novel advice to them.

      Interesting.

  4. 2 months ago
    Anonymous

    He was writing for a court audience that was completely divorced from any kind of concept like warfare. The Chinese court was infamous for how utterly disconnected it was from the actual goings-on of life outside of the palace walls. Concepts like "feed your troops" and "run away if it's clear you can't win an engagement" would have seemed like novel advice to them.

  5. 2 months ago
    Anonymous

    It's mostly military history novices enthusiasts that go "they knew this stuff back then?", that's the people that "overrate" Sun Tzu.
    Everyone else knows that he was just writing the basics for moronic nobility.

  6. 2 months ago
    Anonymous

    why didn't Hitler read sun tzu

  7. 2 months ago
    Anonymous

    >Why is this stuff treated as some genius revelation?
    Because most shit is only obvious in hindsight, and plenty of morons would pick and have picked pride or fear over reason.
    Also you better fricking believe generals are going to disagree with strategically sound plans for polical reasons, so you need to have some objective external source of authority that outranks them to shut them up.

  8. 2 months ago
    Anonymous

    weak when you're strong and strong when you're weak.

    This is wrong and debunked by geopolitical realism. Strong countries should behave like strong countries and weak countries should behave like weak countries.
    When a strong country behaves like a weak country by failing to keep surrounding countries in line then other countries will think they can take advantage and you will suffer draining attacks that will leave you weaker than if other countries knew your true strength and knew they ought to leave you alone.
    When a weak country behaves like a strong country and tries to throw its weight around and keep other countries in line then it's more likely to get punished severely than if it accepted that as a weak country it needs to behave more meekly and cautiously if it wants to survive.

    • 2 months ago
      Anonymous

      It could be argued that if you're drained by the attacks more than your adversaries you're not actually strong and thus shouldn't be baiting, and if you're being challenged you're failing at appearing strong.
      But yeah, the art of war is about as universally applucable as it is obvious. Meaning not at all.

      • 2 months ago
        Anonymous

        >if you're drained by the attacks more than your adversaries you're not actually strong
        it doesn;t matter if your adversaries are drained more by the attacks or if you are drained more by the attacks . Either way you are more drained than you would be otherwise and likely to be more vulnerable and in a less opportune position in the future to deal with other adversaries than if everyone just respected you and didn't try to test you.

        • 2 months ago
          Anonymous

          That's dumb, you're just moving goalposts. There's no analysis if you just change the table to whatever fits your argument.
          If you're just going to add "other" adversaries you might as well just retort that by not baiting the attacks individually now you're just asking to be ganged up on later by both the current and future adversaries. Or that you might be weaker later on for external reasons and you just wasted the resources you didn't use on baiting attacks.

          • 2 months ago
            Anonymous

            >you're just moving goalposts.
            No , the goalposts were obvious and well-established to begin with from geopolitical reality. It's obvious that the majority of states don't have to worry about just one rival state so the majority of states do have other aversaries..
            Cry about it moron.

          • 1 month ago
            Anonymous

            >geopolitical
            >geopolitical
            >geopolitical
            >geopolitical
            Sun Tzu isn't writing for this scale, anon. Go read the actual fricking text. Sun Tzu's teachings were about BATTLE TACTICS. Like, "individual men fighting with spears" level stuff. He was a paid military instructor who traveled around educating rich Chinks on how to make their gaggle of spearchinks beat the enemy's gaggle of spearchinks.

            In which case, yes, "deceive the enemy so that they do something dumb" is absolutely good advice.
            >b-but how are you going to recuperate the captured enemy's territory in your WELTANSCHAUNG so as to IMMANETIZE the ESCHATON along the DIALECTIC of HISTORY's CIVILIZATIONAL-
            It's about chinks fighting on foot dude. One of Sun Tzu's stratagems is "have 1.5x the amount of food and water that you'll need and then make sure that you have baggage trains and the capacity to forage".

          • 1 month ago
            Anonymous

            You think this stuff would be intuitive.

            >Is it intuitive that if you defeat the enemy and take their camp, you should first have the food they left tasted by a few volunteers, before giving it to the rest of your army?
            Yes?

            I hope so, otherwise it'd hurt me physically to know that my fellow human beens are this dumb.

            He had to explain the tactical advantage of abusing enemies supplies in the first place. Of course he would have to explain what to look out for.

    • 1 month ago
      Anonymous

      It's a manual on tactics, not strategy.

      • 1 month ago
        Anonymous

        The frick did i just read

        • 1 month ago
          Anonymous

          Tactics and strategy are different things moron-kun

    • 1 month ago
      Anonymous

      >This is wrong and debunked by geopolitical realism.
      good thing this advice is about "war" and not "geopolitics", which while related are not the same thing. Feigned retreat is a "appear weak when you are strong" tactic that works almost every time. like wise making fake fire camps to make it look like you have more men than you actually do is a "appear strong when you are weak" tactic that has saved military campaigns.

  9. 2 months ago
    Anonymous

    >Why is this stuff treated as some genius revelation?
    Because it was written at a time when trying to predict the future by interpreting the patterns of spilled animal guts was considered a very credible tactic.

    Also, even though people like you continue to decry TAOW for being way too basic, warring factions around the world just seem to keep forgetting the basics in question. Funny that.

  10. 2 months ago
    Anonymous

    >If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.
    for example is still very insightful. Honest and thorough self-reflection and assessment before beginning any task is often undervalued or done too hastily or shallow.

    >When invading hostile territory, the general principle is, that penetrating deeply brings cohesion; penetrating but a short way means dispersion.
    Is this obvious when considering the behavior of thousands of men? I don't think so.

    >If you are careful of your men, and camp on hard ground, the army will be free from disease of every kind, and this will spell victory. When you come to a hill or a bank, occupy the sunny side, with the slope on your right rear.
    Know a route that is on "hard ground" aka not through swamps, marshland, rice paddies to not give them them schistosomiasis, typhus or malaria; give your soldiers enough sun to ward of disease, even in the 19th century during the Crimean war the British army had more casualties through disease than battle. The role of disease and the minimizing of it is of vital importance but not really obvious.

  11. 2 months ago
    Anonymous

    Reminder that it did not occur to anyone before Napoleon that generals should be picked by ability not nobility of their family.

  12. 2 months ago
    Anonymous

    >Yeah, no shit Sherlock
    Not really.

  13. 2 months ago
    Anonymous

    "The Art of War" was written by Sun Tzu for the court of the Wu King because they were literal morons who didn't know how to wage war and what to focus on I'm war, considering they were a young state barely above the barbarian Yue down south

  14. 1 month ago
    Anonymous

    There are routine examples in every conflict of people fricking up basic things like this. I guarantee if you just follow Ukraine war news for a week you'll see all kinds of dumb moves from either side that got some men killed.

    • 1 month ago
      Anonymous

      Because commanders centuries after him still didn't follow his guides. If you don't have the basics down, you can't expect much success.

      Turns out common sense isnt so common after all.

      Only non-Dunning-Kruglets itt. Most people frick up somewhere along the way where it seems like it should've been obvious.

  15. 1 month ago
    Anonymous

    >don'y fight if you can't win
    and yet none have actually listened huh?

  16. 1 month ago
    Anonymous

    Yeah Sun Tzu is overrated as people claim his theories can be applied to modern day to day life. But if I met someone who had no experience of tactics and wanted to learn I would recommend it.
    Its like socrates, not the greatest insights by today's standards but still worth a read.

    • 1 month ago
      Anonymous

      Somebody had to lay down the Law, he was the first to do it. As said it's primitive, sure, but the people of his time were mostly primitive compared to today.

  17. 1 month ago
    Anonymous

    Didn't Napoleon say while exiled that if he had read Sun Tzu earlier he would never had lost the war?

  18. 1 month ago
    Anonymous

    Mao Tse Tung's On Guerrilla Warfare is significantly better

  19. 1 month ago
    Anonymous

    Because commanders centuries after him still didn't follow his guides. If you don't have the basics down, you can't expect much success.

  20. 1 month ago
    Anonymous
  21. 1 month ago
    Anonymous

    Turns out common sense isnt so common after all.

  22. 1 month ago
    Anonymous

    It was written for bug men, not westerners.

  23. 1 month ago
    Anonymous

    The Art of War is Ancient China's 12 Rules for Life. The most obvious shit, but people eat it up like it's esoteric wisdom finally revealed to the expectant masses.

  24. 1 month ago
    Anonymous

    I think it's a case of setting the benchmark for what is obvious. Yes today with hindsight it seems logical and dumb. But someone had to be the one to create that logic we take for granted in the first place. It's like the trigonometry of the tactical world. One you know it, it's easy as shit. but inventing that crap and being the first to see the patterns and corralations of what to do with nothing to guide or help you? that's a different level.

  25. 1 month ago
    Anonymous

    Art of War is simply tactics to employ in a conflict that requires conservation of resources for maximum gain. It's about mitigating loss.

  26. 1 month ago
    Anonymous

    Why does everybody keep thinking this book wasn't ancient as frick?

    b***h this shit was written over 6000 years ago, shits older than the bible

    Everybody is captain hindsight

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