Bookmark to Stumbleupon. Give it a thumb StumbleUpon


If you are new to this series, please read the introduction.


Crush Your Enemy Totally

All great leaders since Moses have known that a feared enemy must be crushed completely. They have usually learned this the hard way. If one ember is left alight, no matter how dimly is smolders, a fire will eventually break out. More is lost through stopping halfway than through total annihilation. The enemy will recover and seek revenge. Crush him, not only in body but in spirit.

In your struggle for power, you will stir up rivalries and create enemies. There will be people you can not win over, who remain your enemies no matter what happens. Such people wish you ill. There is nothing they want more than to eliminate you. If; in your struggles with them, you stop half-way, out of mercy or hope of reconciliation, you only make them more determined, more embittered, and they will someday take revenge. They may act friendly for the time being, but this is only because you have defeated them. They have no choice but to wait.

The remnants of an enemy can become active like those of a disease or a fire. Hence, they should be exterminated completely. One should never ignore an enemy, knowing him to be weak. He becomes dangerous in due course, like the spark of a fire in a haystack. Kautilya, Third Century B.C.

The solution: Have no mercy. Do not take their hatred personally. Crush your enemies as totally as they would crush you. Ultimately, the only peace and security you can hope from your enemies is their disappearance.

Mao Tse-tung knew the importance of this law. In 1934, Mao and 75,000 poorly equipped soldiers fled into the desolate mountains of western China to escape Chiang Kai-shek's much larger army, in what is called the Long March.

Chiang was determined to eliminate every Communist and by a few years later, Mao had less than 10,000 soldiers remaining. By 1937, when China was invaded by Japan, Chiang had calculated that the communists were no longer a threat. He chose to give up the chase and concentrate on the Japanese. Ten years later, Mao's forces had recovered to rout Chiang's army. Chiang had forgotten the wisdom of crushing the enemy; Mao had not. Chiang was pursued until he and his army fled to the island of Taiwan. Nothing remains of his regime in mainland China.

To have ultimate victory, one must be ruthless. - Napoleon Bonaparte, 1769-1821

The goal of total victory is an axiom of modern warfare and was codified by Carl von Clausewitz, the premier philosopher of war. Analyzing the campaigns of Napoleon, von Clausewitz wrote, "We do claim that direct annihilation of the enemy's forces must always be the dominant consideration. Once a major victory has been achieved, there must be no talk of rest, of breathing space but only of the pursuit, going for the enemy again, seizing his capital, attacking his reserves and anything else that might give his country aid and comfort." The reason for this is that after war comes negotiation and the division of territory. If you have only one a partial victory, you will most likely lose in negotiation what you have gained in battle.

A viper crushed beneath your foot, but left alive, will rear up and bite you with a double dose of venom. An enemy that is left around is like a half-dead viper that you nurse back to health. Time makes the venom grow stronger.

The solution is simple: Allow your enemies no options. Annihilate them and their territory is yours. The goal of power is to control your enemies completely, to make them obey your will. You can not afford to go half way. If they have no other options, they will be forced to do your bidding. This law has applications far beyond the battlefield. Negotiation is the insidious viper that will eat away at your victory, so give your enemies nothing to negotiate, no hope, no room to maneuver. They are crushed and that is that.

For it must be noted, that men must either be caressed or else annihilated; they will revenge themselves for small injuries, but can not do so for great ones; the injury, therefore, that we do to a man must be such that we need not fear his vengeance. - Nicolo Machiavelli, 1469-1527

Be realistic: If you are not ruthless with your enemies, you will never be secure. And, if you are not in a position to do away with them or banish them from your presence, at least understand that they are plotting against you and pay no attention to whatever friendliness they offer. Your only protection is such a situation is your wariness.

Any questions??

If you found this essay useful, please give it a thumb, on