Sun Tzu’s ‘at­tack the weak’ say­ing refers to democ­racy at work

New Straits Times - - Opinion -

SOME time ago, I stood in doubt when I heard the words of a pun­dit, “when the full­ness of time comes, faith will de­cline”.

I was not cer­tain about the mes­sage at the time, but the full weight of this fact can be ob­served now by re­flect­ing on what is hap­pen­ing around the world.

The ac­tions of some peo­ple are scary. We do not fear movie char­ac­ters, but hu­man be­ings.

Their pat­terns of thought have hurt the hearts of peo­ple so much that the loss of pa­tience has re­sulted in a loss of faith.

For in­stance, when Don­ald Trump vied for the most pow­er­ful of­fice in the United States, many feared democ­racy would fall.

But time was in his favour, and now with the “full­ness of time”, it is long past time to see that it is for real.

Amer­i­can democ­racy has re­port­edly fallen due to Trump’s “abysmally low stan­dards” and his ba­si­cally poor per­for­mance”.

Hav­ing taken the high­est seat of of­fice, he chooses not to take pro­fes­sional ad­vice on pol­icy.

His in­ter­views show false in­for­ma­tion, in­for­ma­tion gaps, bluffs and lies.

An abysmally low stan­dard in per­for­mance is the breed­ing ground of the chaos the­ory, be­cause it helps democ­racy fall apart, where ex­perts and pro­fes­sion­als are di­vided in con­flict, side­lined or in­tim­i­dated.

Those who re­main are likely to be of low stan­dards, or be­low those who lay the steps to au­to­cratic rule.

Sun Tzu’s an­cient the­sis on the ag­gres­sive game of de­ceit and cor­rup­tion speaks of “ways to win: nib­ble the way, do not at­tack the en­emy on the higher ground, but win­ning is not al­ways honourable”. This is the ex­pan­sion of self-in­ter­est.

Sun Tzu’s ide­ol­ogy was used, and we see how a pro­pa­ganda war was waged and won, how real is­sues were masked by ac­cu­sa­tions and char­ac­ter smear­ing, of­fence cam­ou­flaged as de­fence, out­wit­ting the pro­fes­sion­als and cut­ting deals for self -gain.

This shows Sun Tzu’s art of war as the pre­vail­ing thought in ac­tion. It can now be im­plied that Sun Tzu’s say­ing, “at­tack what is weak and ex­ploit”, refers to democ­racy and the in­sti­tu­tions of work.

Sun Tzu be­lieved that democ­racy and in­sti­tu­tions of work could be weak­ened by af­fect­ing work and tak­ing pro­fes­sion­al­ism to a low stan­dard.

He sug­gested one-sided pro­pa­ganda to win the masses.

We need to fear that these low stan­dard will prop­a­gate his ide­ol­ogy, and bring gov­ern­ment sys­tems and the peo­ple closer to be­ing “vic­tims” in favour of the wrong­do­ers, crim­i­nals and the self-ob­sessed.

Then, will the words in the Bi­ble, “God is with the meek” still hold true?

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