299. The not smart art of looking far back

Interesting, and concerning, to realise, when reading on geopolitics and business, two fields with a huge bearing on our quality of life and prospects, that the main references practitioners of these disciplines seem to have are, respectively, Thucydides, the V Century BC Greek general, and Sun Tzu, the VI Century BC Chinese general. The rivalry between the current superpower, the US, and the new upstart, China, is understood by geopolitical planners, in both countries, in the light of Thucydides’ work. According to it, as China’s economic might and political influence grows, the ultimate, inevitable consequence will be a hegemony war. Of course, as a planner, if you prepare for this, you’ll most likely bring it about, a perverse self-fulfilling prophecy. The Art of War, by Sun Tzu, is compulsory bedside reading for many businessmen. No wonder humanity’s future appears fraught with insurmountable problems, if our go to references ignore all we might have learnt in the last 2,500 years

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