Wednesday, April 2, 2014
"Complacency, not failure, is the opposite of success."
While many military leaders in the Stormsea Republic like to point to the Lord Zachias' magnum opus, The Manual of Maneuvers, as the most influential treatise on strategy in the Republic (if not most of the civilized world) some consider him a bit too irreverent, and more than a little cynical. Those that would say such things would hold up their own champion of strategy, the ancient mercenary, and least cynical of men, Ignezio, author of "The Art of Audacity".
Not much is known about the man. It is held that he most likely made the Crossing, from the Old World to Pandemonia, with the original men and women and was most likely a Centurion in their Legion. Historians believe he was integral in the training and organization of the Proto-Republic's first armies as well one of the more influential forebearers of what would later be called Stormsea. Ignezio's book is devoid of personal details and focuses solely on the man's philosophy, one that he believed applied as much to life as to war.
As the title would suggest, Ignezio held that of all virtues (namely the seven Cardinal Virtues of the Proto-Republic: Volition, Reason, Integrity, Love, Duty, Kindness and Audacity) in high regard but Audacity, being boldness, was the most important.
"Audacity, that which some call Courage and others Boldness, is the greatest of all of the virtues. For without Audacity, where would the others be? How would a man maintain his Integrity in the face of temptation and pressure without Audacity. Is not every man a man of integrity until pressure or temptation are applied against the fulcrums of our fear or greed?
And what of Love? Would love be both liberating and daunting without Audacity? No, it would simply be daunting, rendering the would-be lover a prisoner to his or her desires, trapped, with all of the drawbacks of love and none of the beauty, living in fear of a life consumed by loneliness.
What of Reason? How is a man to maintain his intellectual poise, his equanimity in the face of superstitious fearmongering, weathering the emotional blows and tantrums of the terminally anti-intellectual. The anti-intellectuals being those mediocre men who wear their emotions on the sleeve, indeed, who claim with appalling pride that they are correct because they feel that they are, and that those feelings are as valid as any man's reason. Such mediocre men, with vaste mindless numbers being their only advantage, will always be the enemy. They are the tools and legionaries of Tyrants and Demogogues. Their boldness, a false and hollow boldness, comes from their like minded fellows, swept up in emotion with their mobs and hordes, not from within their own minds.
Where mediocrity, fear and temptation are fought, Audacity leads the charge, outnumbered as always. Because Audacity wouldn't be Audacity if it weren't outnumbered."