Chapter Nineteen


The clever combatant imposes his will on the enemy, but does not allow the enemy's will to be imposed on him. - Sun Tzu

Unless you are part of the world's power elite, you will find yourself at a distinct disadvantage when dealing with big business or other institutions. Remember the golden rule: those who have the gold, make the rules. Although the presidency of the United States may change hands from Republicans to Democrats and back again, it is the same small circle of “moderate conservatives” who continue to wield the true power through their ownership of the media, corporate powers, and politicians.

Not surprisingly, the rules are drafted to ensure the powerful stay powerful, and the rich stay rich. Those who have no real power are duped into believing they share the power vicariously, so they may feel empowered by actions taken by their government, just as they vicariously feel the thrill of victory when a professional sports team in which they have no ownership interest or control wins a ball game.

The power elite control the media, the courts, the legislatures, the politicians, the soldiers, the police, the cruise missiles, the long range bombers, the fighter jets, and the ships of war. They also control the minds of the masses, who have been convinced the use of force is legitimate only when perpetrated by government agencies. Our television sets tell us it is “cowardly” when an individual takes matters into his own hands, but “brave” when cruise missile attacks are ordered by a sheltered and protected member of the power elite. For the most part, the general public unthinkingly agrees.

Since the general public has ceded its power to authorities, its rage remains bottled, eager for a vicarious outlet. Lacking the nerve to act on their own, individuals cheer televised images of foreign homes smashed by bombs, and obtain a vicarious thrill hearing their cowardly leaders talk tough. The weak are crushed, the powerful are enriched, and the masses in “victorious” countries celebrate and applaud as if the victory were their own. But when lone individuals, or a small group of relatively powerless individuals empower themselves, the powerless masses are horrified. The coward may accept subordination and control, but will never fail to resent those who possess the courage to think and act independently.

What your television does not tell you is that all tactics are just that: tactics. All rational combatants capitalize upon their strengths, and exploit their enemy's weaknesses. The rich and powerful certainly have no problem doing this, and neither should you.

Organized governments are really nothing but gang rule, on a grand scale. Just as a street gang controls its turf through force, threats, and propaganda, so do governments. Niceties like permitting its subjects to go to the polls to select one representative of the power elite over another do not change this. The fact remains, high ranking members of the government or military do not really have power of their own. They are, instead, mere conduits for the power of the machinery which put them in their position, and they must use the power they wield in service to the machine. Any individual not owned by or willing to submit to the machinery will never be granted the money, media attention, inclusion in debates, etc. necessary to gain control of important offices.

The game may be rigged, but we do not have to play their game by their rules. Every system ever devised has weak points, and every tactic has a counter tactic. If you are to liberate your mind from its conditioning, you must understand the nature of the tactics used to keep you humble. Study the methods of those who oppress you, seek out their weaknesses. Look for any angle which may be exploited. Devise strategies to shift the advantages to your favor.

A heavyweight boxer may favor settling disputes in the ring, but why should his smaller and weaker opponent accept such a format? Should an elderly person drop his weapon to engage a young barbarian in hand to hand combat?

Similarly, those with greater wealth or power than you have no problem exploiting this imbalance. You should feel no guilt whatsoever for exploiting whatever chinks in their armor may reverse the situation. No tactic is inherently good nor bad, all tactics are merely a means to an end. Ironically, it is those with the greatest advantages who make the disadvantaged feel guilty for evening the playing field.

Be sure to choose your ends wisely, and then use whatever tactics offer you the greatest possibility of success, with the smallest downside should your tactics fail. The seemingly powerless actually have great power in their ingenuity, anonymity, and desire, if they only dare tap into this power.

The guerrilla understands that both victory and defeat begin in the mind. If you accept your enemy's world view, you will likely engage your enemy in a manner that favors his strong points and fails to exploit his weaknesses, thus ensuring your own defeat. Live life on your own terms, not within the confines of belief systems designed to screw you for the benefit of others.

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