Genghis Khan often resorted to a feigned retreat in order to lure the enemy into pursuit, and then he would use his own reserves to attack the enemy much more easily in the rear, so it is related. Also it is told that the tireless conqueror sometimes set fire to the steppe in order to speed up the movement of his troops. It is quite probable that the tales about the varied military tactics of the great conqueror are true. At any rate, in his long marches Genghis Khan apparently used the most diversified strategy, continually surprising his enemies.
A desire to preserve a healthy austerity in daily life was also attributed to him, it being said that he ordered his ministers to tear their expensive silken garments on brambles so as to demonstrate the impracticality of such attire. Similarly, he was said to have simulated a sickness contracted from imported beverages, in order to attract the population to local milk products.
In ancient history one can find many examples of the most unusual tactica adversa which produced very convincing results.
In a battle a soldier cannot discern just when he is being subjected to the greatest danger. At the time of a collision it is impossible to perceive just what situation was precisely the most dangerous or the most beneficial. Some kind of blow may have saved one from a still stronger blow. A fallen horse by its fall may have warded off sudden death. A casual shout perhaps caused one to turn around and thus avoid a deadly missile. Therefore, the ancient wisdom was so correct, which directed attention to the final result as the effect of all that had happened before.
Though it may be impossible to establish the end by premeditation, the end may reveal the reason for the molding of that which proceeded. For these observations a tested keenness is needed. But also needed is knowledge of just what tactica adversa is. This factor, which worked so solitarily in many historic events, often remains unnoticed. True, people like to repeat, "There would not be good fortune if misfortune did not help," but in this saying there is presupposed some kind of accidental misfortune. Yet tactica adversa knows no misfortunes. It knows only coordinated actions, which are difficult to examine when in close proximity.
Every traveler knows how clear and beautiful is a snowy peak seen at a distance, and how in the steep dangerous approaches to it this aspect is lost. Similarly, in judging events it is difficult to survey something at close range. But tactica adversa proclaims with reassurance that wherever there is a pure fiery striving, there, also, all accompanying manifestations will become well coordinated. But much refined consciousness must be applied in order to evaluate the unusual actions of tactica adversa. True invincibility will always be concomitant with utmost resourcefulness. People cannot discern the paths leading up ward and therefore must apply all sensitivity in resourcefulness and mobility.
Every active worker knows the value of mobility. How far removed is this true mobility from the petty bustle which only impedes proper movement. When an active worker is asked what his direction will be, he will answer that he may not know all the turns in advance, but he has firmly known the goal from the hour he set forth. Thus, "surprises" on the path can perturb a true worker. He has already understood that there will be an element of usefulness in all that happens.
He also knows that certain counteractions that are met on the way must be brought to an extremity of opposition, for only then will their meaning become clear and a panacea can be found. Every absurd sally reveals a greater evidence of absurdity when one allows it to roll to the very end. Then all the abominable Infusoria unfold, and even very uninformed spectators will understand the degree of ugliness.
How many times an experienced leader, when able to arrest a flow of absurdity, has restrained his co-workers, Baying, "Let it roll on to the end." An experienced leader calls up his reserves only after the necessary measures have been carried out. What kind of leader would he be if he were to call for maximum help prematurely? The enemy would not yet be fully manifested. The enemy forces would not have reached their utmost tension, and the reserve troops would thus be uselessly spent. Therefore, tactica adversa knows, first of all, the value of prudence.
An inexperienced onlooker may exclaim, "Stop! This is absurd!" But an experienced worker will correct him, "This is not only absurd but also ugly. Wait a minute and you yourself will perceive an intolerable degree of ugliness and ignorance which will devour itself."
The 'history of many nations constantly, and with reason, reiterates a variety of manifestations of tactica adversa. These reiterations permit us to remember examples of the means of conquest available in adverse action. People say: "Give a thief enough rope and he will hang himself," or "Do not wave, do not wave, he will enter of his own accord." And it is the very same folk wisdom which prescribes that the rope should be given and predicts that the voluntary entrance will take place - not carelessly but, on the contrary, with full alertness and care.
How often the most benevolent counsels speak about the defeat of darkness. This means that a defeat must take place; therefore, tactica adversa should be a means employed in battle, but in no way a permissible inactivity. When people say, "Give a thief rope and he'll hang himself," in this saying there is foreseen a whole chain of actions. The thief must he detected, the rope must be at hand, it must be long enough, and it must be given. And the thief himself must also perform an action, for he must eventually hang himself with that rope.
History does not tell how Judas found his rope. It may be surmised that he found it in some special way, because his unparalleled crime brought him to self-destruction. Observe and you will see how crime defeats itself. There are many opportunities to write about diverse ways of defeating crime. Indeed, in this multiformity of self-retaliation there is contained an unusual subtlety of the law.
We speak here about justice; but tactica adversa abides near this concept, and, through its often unfettered reactions, helps to reveal the full extent of evil. For construction a purified place is needed. Every builder is, first of all, engrossed with thought about the ground on which the foundation rests. He will make sure that there are no cracks and dangerous crevices. By the best measures he will divert eroding waters and, first of all, fill up all cracks.
When a structure is being erected, one rarely pictures the extent of the underground work done for the support of the walls and towers. Before considering the upper structure the builder will take into account any unforeseen developments. If water appears, he will not begin to cover it at once with clay soil, but will carefully observe what are the ultimate quantities of the moisture in the area affected and determine the source. We know how even urgent structures were often held up until the causes of underground surprises were rectified.
"Blessed be the obstacles, through them we grow." He who said this knew all the dimensions of the obstacles, and could, because of his experience, evaluate them and apply them for the Common Good. Construction in the name of good is untiring, careful, and solicitous. What beauty is contained in this inexhaustible creativeness!
February 20, 1935