To reign by means of the Way of Nature is a matter of virtue; and to reign by means of arms is also a matter of virtue. There are five kinds of military operations: motivated by justice, response, anger, greed,and pride. To execute the violent so as to rescue the weak is called justice. To mobilise only when it becomes unavoidable due to the aggression of enemies is called response. To contend for petty reasons and lack control over the mind is called anger. to take advantage of other’s land and desire other’s wealth is called greed. To be proud of the size of the country and vastness of the population, and to wish to look smart to rival countries, is called pride.
Military action based on justice results in leadership. Military action based on response results in victory. Military action based on anger results in defeat. Military action based on greed results in death. Military action based on pride results in extinction. This is the Way of Nature.
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