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John Minford, 2:5 (preceded by verse 4) "4-If men are tired, morale low, strength exhausted, treasure spent,

5-then the feudal lords will exploit the disarray and attack. This even the wisest will be powerless to mend."

Are you chilled? Are you terrified? If not, then you're not paying proper attention. You'll need to stay after class and write on the chalk board, 100 times, I will try to be properly afraid.

A technical point. I'm not sure I agree with the term "feudal lords" as if that were a bad thing. I won't get into medieval historiography and its current, judgmental leanings, but maybe you get the idea. I'm not sure the feudal lords were as bad as they're currently judged.

If Master Minford and I were debating, I might have proposed the term - which I'm sure he'd rightly have rejected - "evil war lords." Hell, I might have argued for scum sucking bad guys. Or cartel lords, maybe. How about totalitarian dictators? Who are the worst of the worst?

So let's just use 'bad guys' for the moment. 'Then the bad guys will exploit the disarray and attack.' Here's another way to express this. The bad guys always live by the law, kick 'em when they're down. And our man Saul Alinsky teaches us how to get 'em down, first, then kick.

Let's introduce a new character into our studies. Don Vito Corleone. I can't start really talking about him, the greatest man in fictional history and all as he is, etc. Sadly, his greatest stupidity is wrongly his most often quoted maxim, keep your enemies close.

Not getting into the endless, glorious details, consider, he lost his eldest son by following this stupid idea. When you allow your enemies their access to you, they sow discord and disarray, and then wait for your moment of weakness to attack.

Note the following true wisdom. "This even the wisest will be powerless to mend." Ah. Thank you Master . When you're tired, dispirited, weak and poor, you can't do diddly when the attack comes. Game over. All your cool pseudo-wisdom will avail you nothing but defeat.

If any of you A-aspiring students in the front row are seeking heretofore-not-announced bonus points, a short essay on the connection here to Lao Tzu's Tao Te Ching chapter 67 would go a long way. Check it out. What a phrase. The powerlessness of the wise. Or...the pseudo-wise!

Let's go tactical. If you're tired, rest. Low spirited? Refresh yourself, body and soul. Weak? Eat well, light exercise and plenty of self-care. Find a good personal trainer who doesn't push you too hard. Poor? Work, earn, spend less, save, invest, stop being poor.

If you don't, if you allow yourself to remain weak, then bad guys will discourage and depress you and then, attacking with ease, take everything you've got. They'll steal your entire life from you. It is this real, and it is this personal. It's not just business, either.

If we're going to , we must heal America's weakness. If we're going to win the , we must reject the false wisdom of the pseudo-wise. But before we can do that, we must accept our diagnosis, and commence our healing treatment.

And if you're new to our studies, do head over to @WarForAmerica21 for an easy to use digital table of contents to pick up on all previous explorations. And of course, be sure to buy Minford's extraordinary translation, here:

amazon.com/Art-War-Penguin-Gre

@Pasquale I have Samuel B. Griffith's version. It does have some good cross-referencing to previous strategists. Enjoying your presentation though.

@Lone_Wolf I can work with Griffith, but he's not on my favorite list. I find him pretty stuffy. The best of the old guys - pre-1950 - was Giles. Fantastic version. Of the new guys, prior to discovering Minford, the best for me was Sawyer. But, once I found Minford, my search was over.

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