John Minford, #SunTzu 9: 41 "If they feed grain to their horses and meat to their men; (42) If they fail to hang up their pots and do not return to their quarters; then they are at bay."
We'll work on verse 41 today, leaving 42 for tomorrow, but the two are just one sentence and need to be read together to get the conclusion: then they are at bay. Grain to horses, meat to men? What can that mean?
Minford, our translator offers this: "The commentators are not sure if this refers to horse meat of slaughtered cattle. Either way, these are desperate matters." I'll give you Giles in a moment, but let's look at Minford's counsel further, first.
If in the normal course of waging war, you bring cattle, but don't feed the men meat, then we have to imagine you're using the milk. Obviously, there is drinking milk, carbs, fat, and protein all there. There is yogurt in all its various forms, and cheese as well.
Funny thing, in the American version of Chinese food, today, you get no milk-based products at all. Eggs, yes. Milk and its many derivatives, none at all. Interesting. Military diets 2,300 years ago must have been different than our Chinese food today, don't you think?
Giles helps out further. He says: "When an army feeds its horses with grain and kills its cattle for food, [In the ordinary course of things, the men would be fed on grain and the horses chiefly with grass.]" No more grass for the horses, grain. And steak for the men. Serious.
Who among us knows what Grits are? As we eat them here in the South? Or, if like me you're from the North, do you know what porridge is? Can you see little Oliver asking please sir, can I have some more? Or how about Southern Italian Polenta, fried cornmeal mush?
I am pretty sure that some version of oatmeal and cornmeal mush with some sort of spices (not sweetened) was the basic gruel of the Roman Army for about 1,000 years. And what in tarnation is gruel? "A thin liquid food of oatmeal or other meal boiled in milk or water."
So, what's Master Sun's point here? Watch the food your enemies eat. If they give much richer food to horses, and even richer food to the men, then it's kind of like the equivalent of a condemned criminal's last meal. When you give the men steak, you're getting desperate.
I can assure you of the following from my own life and business experience. The emotion I most often suffer, just before completion of a victorious strategy, is near if not complete despair. I've grown so accustomed to it, it almost makes me happy now.
Instead of rejoicing when I see my enemy's men eating their scrumptious steak dinner, I immediately know I've lost the battle. Idiot me. That's what Master Sun is telling us here. When you've pressed your enemy so hard that the men's food goes to the horses, you're winning.
Linger with the economics. Consider veal and consider the vast wealth that eating a calf - or as so often mentioned in the bible, the fatted calf - requires. You're not just eating the youngling; you're consuming all the milk and cheese it would produce if grown to adulthood.
More, you're consuming all the great future quantities of meat beyond that of the calf; the adult cow has how much more weight in meat after slaughtering? Veal is a type of extraordinary splurge we take for granted in today's so vastly wealthy society.
That's the kind of thinking - assumptions, even - that Master Sun demands you discover in order to unpack his verse. Grass is cheap, grain less so. Meat is massively expensive. Master Sun always has his eyes on the army's purse, and watches expenditures meticulously.
Before we apply, I have to share a person story. My grandmother came from a wealthy Italian family in the North of Italy. My grandfather from poverty-stricken peasants in the South. My mother was a religiously driven vegetarian from Brazil. You can already see problems, yes?
For my father's parents, meat was what rich people ate. Vegetables were for poor people. That my mother made them prepare a vegetarian lasagna, in addition to the proper meat-filled lasagna was something my grandmother never forgave my mother over.
Mind you now, my grandmother's standards were such that the damned vegetarian lasagna she had to make for us was almost as wonderful as her beloved meat lasagna must have been. I never tasted the meat version. But I'll never forget the sour look on her face delivering it.
Now just turn quick to AOC + 3's Green New Deal, and no more cows. No more meat. We'll all be vegetarians. No air transport either, of course. All our buildings torn down and rebuilt, of course. But think about how instead of steak, we'll all eat oatmeal. This food stuff matters.
Back to the tactical moment. Despair shows up in many ways. If a company is going broke, it might as well take its employees out for an expensive meal as a last hurrah. Bankrupt people often hang out in places like Las Vegas and Atlantic City.
What's the most expensive thing you might do, if you ran the House of Representatives politically? Impeachment. It is steak instead of the oatmeal of passing laws. Oh, how delicious Trump steak will be! We'll eat up his presidency and then he'll be gone, gone, gone. Oh yeah!
Impeachment steak is their last hurrah. It's the last strategy they've got. They have no time to do anything else before we vote in 2020. And, they have no chance of completing the conviction in the Senate. It's just the last desperate move of a hopeless army, poorly led.
We'll discuss how they drop their pots and do not return to their quarters in just this vein, tomorrow. The two verses are part of a single idea. By the way, I think I'll find me some meat lasagna to eat tonight, and a nice chianti. What's for dinner at your place?
269 verses completed, 187 to go.

To return to previous sections in our #WarForAmerica2020 and #SunTzuForMAGA series, don't forget to head over to @WarForAmerica21. You'll find the digital table of contents for this series, there. Please retweet each entry you enjoy.
Missing some Tweet in this thread?
You can try to force a refresh.

Like this thread? Get email updates or save it to PDF!

Subscribe to Pasquale "Pat" Scopelliti⭐️⭐️⭐️⚔️
Profile picture

Get real-time email alerts when new unrolls are available from this author!

This content may be removed anytime!

Twitter may remove this content at anytime, convert it as a PDF, save and print for later use!

Try unrolling a thread yourself!

how to unroll video

1) Follow Thread Reader App on Twitter so you can easily mention us!

2) Go to a Twitter thread (series of Tweets by the same owner) and mention us with a keyword "unroll" @threadreaderapp unroll

You can practice here first or read more on our help page!

Follow Us on Twitter!

Did Thread Reader help you today?

Support us! We are indie developers!

This site is made by just three indie developers on a laptop doing marketing, support and development! Read more about the story.

Become a Premium Member ($3.00/month or $30.00/year) and get exclusive features!

Become Premium

Too expensive? Make a small donation by buying us coffee ($5) or help with server cost ($10)

Donate via Paypal Become our Patreon

Thank you for your support!