“Keep your friends close and your enemies closer”: Meaning & Origin

by apollosolaris

Grammar / By Martin Lassen


As Sun Zhu would argue, if you keep on top of your enemies, you can always know what they’re doing, so should they ever attack you, the defence is easy.

There are but two Powers in the World | The Sword and the Mind. In the long run the Sword is always beaten by the Mind ~Napoleon Bonaparte

“There is one thing stronger than all the armies of the World, and that is an idea whose time has come.”

~Victor Hugo


“Keep your friends close and your enemies closer” is an ancient proverb. It goes back thousands of years to the philosopher Sun Zhu. But today, most people know it from The GodFather.

“Keep your friends close and your enemies closer” just means that you need to keep on top of what your enemies are doing. Not only will this reduce the chance of an attack, but it will also make you more prepared should that ever happen.

In this seeking, wisdom and madness are one and the same. On the path of love, friend and stranger are one and the same.— Rumi