Let us learn our lessons. … Never believe any war will be smooth and easy or that anyone who embarks on that strange voyage can measure the tides and hurricanes he will encounter. The statesman who yields to war fever must realize that once the signal is given, he is no longer the master of policy but the slave of unforeseeable and uncontrollable events… incompetent or arrogant commanders, untrustworthy allies, hostile neutrals, malignant fortune, ugly surprise, awful miscalculations.
The Art of War tells us that the army that makes no mistakes will be the one to win. But we will make mistakes. It is inevitable. I have never been in an army before - have you? I have never fought against an army, only single enemies, one at a time.
Strategy. That is what the war will come down to. Who can outmaneuver whom. Positioning yourself so that you have the best chance to win - being on the battlefield first, fighting on home turf, outnumbering the enemy, all these are good strategies. But we will lose battles. This is also inevitable. It is not a war without casualties.
And then there is the Slender Man. All our enemies are human, except for the Slender Man. We can predict human behavior, for we are human ourselves. But we cannot predict the Slender Man. Even those scientists who test out theories -- right now, chief among them Gargoyle -- cannot predict how he will act in any given circumstance. He is the X in the equation.
So we plan for X. We plan for chaos, for failure. And in that way, we overcome it.
I tell you Winston, that reality is not external. Reality exists in the human mind, and nowhere else. Not in the individual mind, which can make mistakes, and in any case soon perishes: only in the mind of the party, which is collective and immortal. Whatever the party holds to be truth, is truth. It is impossible to see reality except by looking through the eyes of the Party.
I found more of the flyers outside, stapled to telephone poles and taped onto walls. Some said TRUST IN US, WE KNOW WHAT IS BEST. Some said EVERYONE IS FREE TO ENJOY THEIR FREEDOM. Some even said HAPPINESS ABOVE ALL THINGS.
Happiness above all things? Do they really think that this will make us forget about the Slender Man? They aren't just targeting runners and proxies. They are targeting everyone in the street with their message, their counter-meme. They are trying to create something new.
And it may be working. I saw some people reading the flyers. They looked confused, but one or two seemed to nod their heads, to approve of these slogans.
I gathered up as many of the flyers as I could find and threw them away.