The most practical example is colonial era. The most of Africa was conquered without much of a fight. You can see British in India where most of the states entered subsidiary alliance for help against each other.
The main source by which this is achieved is prestige. How much prestige a nation has easier it is to win. Take German unification, it is the prestige of Prussia which made other nation join her to form German empire. Prestige necessarily doesn’t mean strength. Sometimes past glory developed society will contribute to prestige and victory over stronger nations. Ex-colonial European powers are example.
Another is economic influence, if you have enough economic influence you can win over many nations by exerting economic pressure. Economic sanctions by US and EU. is prime example.
Another or part of previous point is money, you can bribe or buy part of other nations or their leaders. Just like Western Roman Empire bribed barbarians away or USA bribed Iraqi generals
In every person’s story of success, you will find experiences of them fighting big battles to achieve what they want. But yet for each personal story that involves fighting or hard effort, you will find yet others who had achieved the same thing almost without fighting and in the easier way. Since that is the case, realize that there are better and easier ways of doing things to the level where a person is able to achieve a whole lot more than the rest without any more effort. Highest strategies bring the greatest wins.
The highest victories come from winning without fighting. Achieving what you want with the least amount of energy expended enables you to achieve as much as you can. In order to expend the least amount of energy required in the accomplishment of any goal, you have to take the path of least resistance. Realize that there are many ways to reach the same objective. Choosing the best way will get you the best results. For the master, there are different levels of winning and he seeks the best possible kind.
What separates the champion from other winners is his dedication to perfection. A clever fighter is one who not only wins, but excels at winning with ease. His victories bring him neither reputation for wisdom nor credit for courage, because he wins as though there wasn’t any fight in the first place. A champion looks to see if he achieved what he wanted in the most efficient and effective manner. The greatest successes are not studied, and that is why most people tend to follow the lesser ways of winning.
Sun Tzu’s Art of War says that the greatest generals acquire victory without even fighting any battles. The actual physical battle or confrontation of forces is the last resort that those generals use. They would use every other nonphysical means first and save on any unnecessary sacrificing of lives. They would use diplomacy, respect, reciprocity, fear, kindness or any other psychological means to get what they want. They would only resort to force to get what they want only when absolutely necessary.
Look at King Solomon’s kingdom. He had everything he wanted through peace and not war. All the generals who won great victories through fighting many battles would feel ashamed when they look at King Solomon’s achievement with his kingdom. All their victories seem like defeat in comparism with the victory of the wisest king ever. Therefore, it is possible to achieve everything you want with almost no fighting at all. Harmonize with the universal flow and the easiest and most effortless way will appear.
There are different levels of soldiers and generals on each side. The highest level generals and sovereigns gain victories without fighting. They can even steal from the enemy and shake his hand. An attack that doesn’t appear as an attack is the best kind. It is only open attacks that create conflicts and opposition. But when you achieve what you want in a way that seems like no harm to the enemy, or even seems good to him, you face no opposition. Keep your friends close but keep your enemies closer.
The enlightened ones are those who win victories without fighting but by pure ingenuity and influence. You can create the appearance of fights to misdirect your enemy away from your true invisible strategies at work. Enlightened ones work by being successful in life instead of trying to fight against the whole world.
Every event in this world shifts the balance of power in the world above, and vice versa. There is fighting without fighting, and attacks are being made without seeming like attacks. Things are stolen without appearing like anything is lost. Victories are made to appear like defeats and defeats are made to appear like victories. When you see through the illusions into what is really going on, you’ll know how to really be winning, not losing.
All warfare is deception. In war, the rules of engagement are constantly being distorted so that the enemy will be restricted in their power and freedom to act. So that their self-limitation will eventually lead to their own defeat. Realize that in war there are no rules. Those that win are the ones who defy conventions and ways of doing things that the rest are conditioned to follow. By freeing yourself from all false concepts of boundaries and limitations, you will have unrestricted freedom and capability of winning.
The purpose of any fight is to get what you want. In war, then, let your great object be victory, not lengthy campaigns. If you can get what you want without having conflict, then you can win without fighting. The more you are able to acquire what you desire through peace, the more powerful you will become without resistance. The more powerful you become, the less you will be attacked. Because others will rather submit to you and dominate weaker ones. That is when you can win more without fighting.
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