don't build fortress , isolation is wrongful

 Ch'in Shih Huang Ti, the first emperor of China (221-210 B.C.), was the
mightiest man of his day. His empire was vaster and more powernd than
that of Alexander the Great. He had conquered all of the kingdoms surrounding his own kingdom of Ch'in and unified them into one massive
realm called China. But in the last years of his life, few, if anyone, saw hirn.
The emperor lived in the most magnificent palace built to that date, in
the capital of Hsien-yang. The palace had 270 pavilions; all of these were
connected by secret underground passageways, allowing the emperor to
move through the palace without anyone seeing him. He slept in a different room every night,

 and anyone who inadvertently laid eyes on hirn was
instantly beheaded. Only a handful of men knew his whereabouts, and if
they revealed it to anyone, they, too, were put to death.
The first emperor had grown so terrified of human contact that when
he had to leave the palace he traveled incognito, disguising hirnself carefully. On one such trip through the provinces, he suddenly died. His body
was borne back to the capital in the emperor's carriage, with a cart packed
with salted fish trailing behind it to cover up the smell of the rotting
corpse-no one was to know of his death. 

He died alone, far from his
wives, his family, his friends, and his courtiers, accompanied only by a
minister and a handful of eunuchs.
Shih Huang Ti started off as the king of Ch'in, a fearless warrior of unbridled ambition. Writers of the time described hirn as a man with "a waspish
nose, eyes like slits, the voice of a jackal, and the heart of a tiger or wolf."
He could be merciful sometimes, but more often he "swallowed men up
without a scrupIe." It was through trickery and violence that he conquered
the provinces surrounding his own and created China, forging a single nation and culture out of many. He broke up the feudal system, and to keep
an eye on the many members of the royal families that were scattered
across the realm's various kingdoms, he moved 120,000 of them to the capital, where he housed the most important courtiers in the vast palace of
Hsien-yang. He consolidated the many walls on the borders and built them
into the Great Wall of China. He standardized the country's laws, its written language,

 even the size of its cartwheels.
As part of this process of unification, however, the first emperor outlawed the writings and teachings of Confucius, the philosopher whose
ideas on the moral life had already become virtually a religion in Chinese
culture. On Shih Huang Ti's order, thousands of books relating to Confucius were burned, and anyone who quoted Confucius was to be beheaded.
This made many enemies for the emperor, and he grew constantly afraid,
even paranoid. The executions mounted. A contemporary, the writer Hanfei-tzu, noted that "Ch'in has been victorious for four generations, yet has
lived in constant terror and apprehension of destruction."
As the emperor withdrew deeper and deeper into the palace to protect
1'1 1 1-: \1 1,,<')1 1·: 01 1'1 1 1'.
IU .I) 1)1- 1'1'1 1

 The "Red Dealh " had
lung devaslated the
cowllry. No pestilenee
had ever heen so fälal,
or so hideous. Blood
was ils AVlllar and its
seal-Ihe redness ami
horror ofhlood. There
were sharp pains. and
sudden dizziness, a/l(1
then profuse hleeding
al lhe pores. with
dissolution .... And
Ihe whole seizure.
progress, and lerminatirm of Ihe discase, were
the incidents of half an
But the Prince Pro.\'­
pero was happy ami
dauntless ami sagacious. When his duminions were halfdepopulated, he
summoned to his
presence a thol/sand
haie and light-hearted
friends from among Ihe
knights and dames of
his court. and with
these retired to the deep
scclusion of one of his
castellaled ahbeys. This
was an extensive lind
magnificent struclure.
the creation of the
prince 's uwn eccenlric
yet august taste. A
strong and lofty wall
girdled it in. Thiol' wall
had gates of iron. The
courtiers. havillg
elliered. hrought
fumaces and massy
hammers and welded
the bolts. They resolved
to leave meall.\' neither
of ingress nor ('gress to
the sudden impulses of
desp"ir or offren zy
from within. The
abbey was amply
provisioned. Wilh such
LAW 18 131
precautions the
(ollrtiers might hid
defiance 10 cOnlagion.
The external world
cOllld take care of
itself In the meantime
it was folly tu grieve,
or to think. The prince
had provided all the
appliances uf pleasllre.
There were huffoons,
there were improvisatori, (here were
hallet-danee", there
wt're lnusician:;;, lhere
was BeaUly, there was
wine. A ll these am}
seeurity were within.
Withol/t was the
"Red Death. "
It was toward the c10se
of the fifth or sixth
month ofhis secll/sion,
and while the pestilence
raged most furiol/sly
abroad, that the Prince
Prospero entertained
his thol/sand fricnds at
a masked ball ofthe
most unusual magnificence. It was a VOlllPtuous scene, that
... Am} the revel went
whirlingly on, until at
length there commenccd the so unding
of midnight IIpon the
c1ock .... A mi thus too,
it happened, perhaps,
that hefore the last

 of the last ,hime
had llllerly sunk into
silenee, there were
many individuals in the
erowd who had found
leisure to beeome
aware of the presence
of a masked figllre
wh ich had arrested the
attention of no single
individual before.
The figure was tall and
gaunt, am} shrouded
from head to foot in
the habilimenls of the
grave. The mask wh ich
concealed the visage
132 LAW 18
hirnself, he slowly lost control of the realm. Eunuchs and ministers enacted
political policies without his approval or even his knowledge; they also
plotted against hirn. By the end, he was emperor in name only, and was so
isolated that barely anyone knew he had died. He had probably been poisoned by the same scheming ministers who encouraged his isolation.
That is what isolation brings: 

Retreat into a fortress and you lose contact with the sources of your power. You lose your ear for what is happening around you, as weIl as a sense of proportion. Instead of being safer, you
cut yourself off from the kind of knowledge on which your life depends.
Never enclose yourself so far from the streets that you cannot hear what is
happening around you, including the plots against you.
Louis XIV had the palace of Versailles built for hirn and his court in the
1660s, and it was like no other royal palace in the world. As in a beehive,
everything revolved around the royal person. He lived surrounded by the
nobility, who were allotted apartments nestled around his, their closeness
to hirn dependent on their rank. The king's bedroom occupied the literal
center of the palace and was the focus of everyone's attention. Every moming the king was greeted in this room by a ritual known as the lever.
At eight A.M., the king's first valet,

 who slept at the foot of the royal
bed, would awaken His Majesty. Then pages would open the door and
admit those who had a function in the lever. The order of their entry was
precise: First came the king's illegitimate sons and his grandchildren, then
the princes and princesses of the blood, and then his physician and surgeon. There followed the grand officers of the wardrobe, the king's official
reader, and those in charge of entertaining the king. Next would arrive various govemment officials, in ascending order of rank. Last but not least
came those attending the lever by special invitation. By the end of the ceremony, the room would be packed with weIl over a hundred royal attendants and visitors.

 The day was organized so that all the palace's energy was directed at
and passed through the king. Louis was constantly attended by courtiers
and officials, all asking for his advice and judgment. To all their questions
he usually replied, "I shall see."
As Saint-Simon noted, "If he tumed to someone, asked hirn a question, made an insignificant remark, the eyes of all present were tumed on
this person. It was a distinction that was talked of and increased prestige."
There was no possibility of privacy in the palace, not even for the kingevery room communicated with another, and every hallway led to larger
rooms where groups of nobles gathered constantly. Everyone's actions
were interdependent, and nothing and no one passed unnoticed: "The
king not only saw to it that all the high nobility was present at his court,"
wrote Saint-Simon, 

"he demanded the same of the minor nobility. At his
lever and coucher, at his meals, in his gardens of Versailles, he always looked
about hirn, noticing everything. He was offended if the most distinguished
nobles did not live permanently at court, and those who showed themselves never or hardly ever, incurred his full displeasure. If one of these desired something, the king would say proudly: 'I do not know hirn,' and the
judgment was irrevocable."
Louis XIV came to power at the end of a terrible civil war, the Fronde. A
principal instigator of the war had been the nobility, which deeply resented
the growing power of the throne and yearned for the days of feudalism,
when the lords ruled their own fiefdoms and the king had little authority
over them.

 The nobles had lost the civil war, but they remained a fractious,
resentful lot.
The construction of Versailles, then, was far more than the decadent
whim of a luxury-loving king. It served a crucial function: The king could
keep an eye and an ear on everyone and everything around hirn. The
once proud nobility was reduced to squabbling over the right to help the
king put on his robes in the morning. There was no possibility here of privacy-no possibility of isolation. Louis XIV very early grasped the truth
that for a king to isolate hirnself is gravely dangerous. In his absence, conspiracies will spring up like mushrooms after rain, animosities will crystallize into factions, and rebellion will break out before he has the time to
react. To combat this, sociability and openness must not only be encouraged, they must be formally organized and channeled.
These conditions at Versailles lasted for Louis's entire reign, some fifty
years of relative peace and tranquillity. Through it all, not a pin dropped
without Louis hearing it.
Solitude is dangerous to reason, without beingjavorable to virtue ....
Remember that the solitary mortal is certainly luxurious,
probably superstitious, and possibly mad.
Dr. SamuelJohnson, 1 709-1 784
Machiavelli makes the argument that in a strictly military sense a fortress is
invariably a mistake. It becomes a symbol of power's isolation, and is an
easy target for its builders' enemies. Designed to defend you, fortresses actually cut you off from help and cut into your flexibility. They may appear
impregnable, but once you retire to one, everyone knows where you are;
and a siege does not have to succeed to turn your fortress into a prison.
With their small and confined spaces, fortresses are also extremely vulnerable to the plague and contagious diseases. In a strategic sense, the isolation of a fortress provides no protection, and actually creates more
problems than it solves.
was made so near/y to
resemb/e the counlenanee ofa stiffened
corpse Ihal Ihe closest
serutiny musl have had
dijficu/ty in detecting
Ihe cheal. And >,cl a/l
this might have heen
endured, if not
approved, by the mad
revellers around. Bul
the mummer had gone
so j{lr as to assume the
Iype of the Red Death.
1/ is vesture was
dabbled in blood-and
his hroad brow, with all
the features of the face,
was sprink/ed with the
searlel horror ....
. . . A throng 0 f the
revellers at once threw
themselves inlo the
black apartment, amI,
seizing the mummer,
whose tall figure stood
ereel and motion/ess
wilhin the shadow of
the ebony clock, gasped
in unutterahle horror al
jinding the grave cerements am/ eorpse-like
mask, which they
handled wilh so violent
a mdeness, ulltenanted
hy any langible form.
And now was aeknowledged the presence of
Ihe Red Death. He had
eome like a Ihief in Ihe
nighl. And one by one
dropped the revellers in
Ihe blood-hedewed
halls of their revel, 

died each in Ihe
despairing poslure of
his fall. And Ihe life of
Ihe ebony c!ock wellt
out with that of Ihe lasl
of Ihe gay. Ami Ihe
flames of the tripods
expired. And Darkne.\·s
and Decay and Ihe Red
Dealh held illimilahle
dominion over all.
1 809-1 849
LAW 18 1.13
134 LAW 18
Because humans are social creatures by nature, power depends on social interaction and circulation. To make yourself powerful you must place
yourself at the center of things, as Louis XIV did at Versailles. All activity
should revolve around you, and you should be aware of everything happening on the street, and of anyone who might be hatching plots against
you. The danger for most people comes when they feel threatened. In such
times they tend to retreat and elose ranks, to find security in a kind of
fortress. In doing so,

 however, they come to rely for information on a
smaller and smaller cirele, and lose perspective on events around them.
They lose maneuverability and become easy targets, and their isolation
makes them paranoid. As in warfare and most games of strategy, isolation
often precedes defeat and death.
In moments of uncertainty and danger, you need to fight this desire to
turn inward. Instead, make yourself more accessible, seek out old allies and
make new ones, force yourself into more and more different cireles. This
has been the trick of powerful people for centuries.
The Roman statesman Cicero was born into the lower nobility, and
had little chance of power unless he managed to make a place for himself
among the aristocrats who controlled the city. He succeeded brilliantly,
identifying everyone with influence and figuring out how they were connected to one another. He mingled everywhere, knew everyone, and had
such a vast network of connections that an enemy here could easily be
counterbalanced by an ally there.
The French statesman Talleyrand played the game the same way. Although he came from one of the oldest aristocratic families in France, he
made a point of always staying in touch with what was happening in the
streets of Paris, allowing him to foresee trends and troubles. He even got a
certain pleasure out of mingling with shady criminal types, who supplied
him with valuable information. Every time there was a crisis, a transition of
power-the end of the Directory, the fall of Napoleon, the abdication of
Louis XVIII-he was able to survive and even thrive, because he never
elosed himself up in a small cirele but always forged connections with the
new order.

Media center total solutions of content and raw wiki information source - The hulk library of knowledge world wide - sound library - Books library

bitcoin , reads , books , cord blood , attorneys , lawyers , domestic , local services , offshore companies , offshore lawyers , beyond the seas business , laws , enactions , jungle , ameriican eagle , america business , gas, gasoline , petrol , burn , films , new movies , stars , hollywood , stationary , offices , federal law , states divisions

Post a Comment

Previous Post Next Post

Contact Form