10. Terrain

23

If fighting is sure to result in victory, then you must fight, even though the ruler forbid it; if fighting will not result in victory, then you must not fight even at the ruler's bidding.

Cf. VIII. ss. 3 fin. Huang Shih-kung of the Ch`in dynasty, who is said to have been the patron of Chang Liang and to have written the SAN LUEH, has these words attributed to him: "The responsibility of setting an army in motion must devolve on the general alone; if advance and retreat are controlled from the Palace, brilliant results will hardly be achieved. Hence the god-like ruler and the enlightened monarch are content to play a humble part in furthering their country's cause [lit., kneel down to push the chariot wheel]." This means that "in matters lying outside the zenana, the decision of the military commander must be absolute." Chang Yu also quote the saying: "Decrees from the Son of Heaven do not penetrate the walls of a camp."

Copy and paste to reference this passage:
HTML
TEXT
blog comments powered by Disqus