Wednesday 10 June 2009

What is a Fabian Tactic (Strategy): Meaning, definition and Example.


What does a Fabian tactic or strategy mean…..?
Definition, meaning and example in a nutshell.
Oxford Dictionary defines a Fabian Tactic or Strategy as….”dilatory tactics and avoidance of direct engagements”
I read a definition in a Pan dictionary, and I really cannot recall which one, that related Fabian to the evolution of politics, specifically Socialism. Evolution rather than revolution.

Originates from the Roman General Quintus Fabius Maximus (280BC-203BC), also known as the Delayer (Cunctator). After Hannibal had invaded Rome (The Second Punic War), Fabius used evasive and delaying tactics to wear Hannibal’s forces down, rather to confront him in direct battle. Hannibal was in a strange land with a large army that had to be fed, without help or supplies from his own sources. So, Fabian held back and attacked the parties hunting for food, disrupting and weakening his enemy. Some saw this as a sign of weakness and there was a difference in opinion whether this was the correct strategy. Many Romans perceived this approach as cowardly and not really approved of. (More at Wikipedia).
In the end, Fabian was awarded the Shield of Rome for “…one man, by delaying, restored the state to us”. Most probably after his death.
Fabian Strategy was often used in the past. The Russians used this approach when invaded by Napoleon. (Scorched earth approach).
George Washington was known as the American Fabius.
Good place to start digging deeper for more is at Wikipedia.
Image from Wijkipedia

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