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When in the course of studying a long series of military campaigns I first came to perceive the s

·2 mins

“When, in the course of studying a long series of military campaigns, I first came to perceive the superiority of the in- direct the direct approach, I was looking merely for light upon strategy. With deepened reflection, however I began to realize that the indirect approach had a much wider application—that it was a law of life in all spheres: a truth of philosophy. Its fulfillment was seen to be the key to practical achievement in dealing with any problem where the human factor predominates, and a conflict of wills tends to spring from an underlying concern for interests. In all such cases, the resistance, direct thus assault of new ideas provokes a stubborn intensifying the difficulty of producing a change of outlook. Conversion is achieved more easily and rapidly by unsuspected infiltration of a different idea or by an argument that turns the flank of instinctive opposition. The indirect approach is as fundamental to the realm of politics as to the realm of sex. In commerce, the suggestion that there is a bargain to be secured is far more potent than any direct appeal to buy. And in any sphere it is proverbial that the surest way of gaining a superior’s acceptance of a new idea is to persuade him that it is his idea! As in war, the aim is the to weaken resistance before attempting to overcome it; and effect is best attained by drawing the other party out of his defences.”

Liddell Hart, Basil Henry, and Basil Henry Liddell Hart. Strategy. 2nd rev. ed, Meridian, 1991 p. 22.

Here Liddell has made his thesis statement, I expect that the remainder of this book will be him supporting this statement with proofs.