„Count me not your friend but the enemy of your enemies.“

—  Jack Vance, Chapter 8, section 3 (p. 480)
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Jack Vance
1916 - 2013
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„Keep your friends close, and your enemies closer.“

—  Sun Tzu ancient Chinese military general, strategist and philosopher from the Zhou Dynasty -543 - 251 a.C.
This has often been attributed to Sun Tzu and sometimes to Petrarch. It comes most directly from a line spoken by Michael Corleone in The Godfather Part II (1974), written by Mario Puzo and Francis Ford Coppola:<br/> My father taught me many things here. He taught me in this room. He taught me: keep your friends close but your enemies closer.<br/> Also seen in the Thirty-Six Strategems, as the 28th strategem: Befriend a distant state and strike a neighbouring one (遠交近攻/远交近攻, Yuǎn jiāo jìn gōng) Niccolò Machiavelli commented at greater length on the subject in The Prince:<br/> It is easier for the prince to make friends of those men who were contented under the former government, and are therefore his enemies, than of those who, being discontented with it, were favourable to him and encouraged him to seize it.

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„Keep your friends close, and your enemies closer.“

—  Niccolo Machiavelli Italian politician, Writer and Author 1469 - 1527
Machiavelli commented on the relative ease of gaining favor from friends and enemies in Chapter 20 of The Prince, quoted above. However, this particular wording comes from a line spoken by Michael Corleone in The Godfather Part II (1974), written by Mario Puzo and Francis Ford Coppola: My father taught me many things here. He taught me in this room. He taught me: keep your friends close, but your enemies closer.

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„A blow from your friend is better than a kiss from your enemy.“

—  Pythagoras ancient Greek mathematician and philosopher -585 - -500 a.C.
As quoted in Geary's Guide to the World's Great Aphorists‎ (2007) by James Geary, p. 118

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„Elections are about fucking your enemies. Winning is about fucking your friends.“

—  James Carville political writer, consultant and United States Marine 1944
James Carville – 1992, As quoted by Hunter S. Thompson, Better Than Sex, p. 189

„If those are your friends, you've got no need for enemies.“

—  E. Lockhart, The Boyfriend List: 15 Guys, 11 Shrink Appointments, 4 Ceramic Frogs and Me, Ruby Oliver

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„Understand that some of your enemies are amongst your best friends.“

—  Jean Cocteau French poet, novelist, dramatist, designer, boxing manager and filmmaker 1889 - 1963

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„If you want enemies, excel your friends; but if you want friends, let your friends excel you.“

—  Dale Carnegie American writer and lecturer 1888 - 1955
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