In relation to “Knowledge of Self and Other“, Neil Remington Abramson commented as follows:

This is what I don’t like about strategic planning, ethically speaking. The total war model requires you logically to behave in ways that eschew forgiveness and redemption until you’ve got your heel on your enemy’s throat. It is always best to try hard to avoid battle, knowing your attitude in battle is unforgiving.

This is the position of the Samurai Trilogy movies about the life of Musashi Miyamoto, the great Japanese sword fighter of the 17th Century. Here is the greatest sword fighter of his day, victorious in a series of duels to the death against all his rivals. He does his best to avoid the final duel, accepting humiliations, because he has no quarrel and the other guy is just trying to juice his reputation.

You shouldn’t fight unless you’re forced. You should try everything to maintain the peace. Use “soft power” to gain ground in the peace. I agree with Sun Tzu that the best battle was the one that was never finally fought; the greatest victory is that which requires no battle.

I believe I have an ethical obligation to always try for reconciliation. If I asked “What would Jesus do?”, I think he’d recommend that for sure.

The uncompromising total war attitude is what Jesus condemns, I think. I do my best to stay away from it but it lurks within me, somewhat repressed, compliments of my Prussian and Highland Scot genes, I suppose.

It’s why I love the Samurai Trilogy. Musashi was the same, doing his best to stay out of fights because he was merciless if forced to fight.

I used to teach my Strategy students all this. You honed your metaphorical business analysis weapons till they were as deadly as you could make them. You restrained them with your ethics. Without ethics, you were just a mercenary killer.


About brucelarochelle
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One Response to Samurai

  1. On April 28, 2017, Neil commented further, as follows:

    For years, I used Samurai 2: Duel at Ichijoji Temple in my Administrative Policy class, to teach that great battling strength was focused and held in check by great ethical strength.

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