Mental Breakdown of a Nation

Chess vs. Weiqi

The battle of empire is a battle of memes.
OLIVER ATKINS

Even Henry Kissinger in his latest book, On China, seems to have grasped something that America has yet to understand – the battle of empire is a battle of memes.

Ideologies. Strategies. Fundamentals of organization in war, economy and peace are weaved into the fabric of culture. In China, the game of weiqi is telling of a broader civilizational strategy. Rooted in Confucian ideals of collectivity and Sun Tzu’s ideals of combat, the basic premise of weiqi is to encircle the enemy. By placing identical stones on the board, one piece at a time, the winning strategy is to avoid open strikes and to frustrate the enemy, leaving no option other than surrender … all without ever throwing a stone.

America has long approached the world from an opposing ideal, the philosophy of chess, Kissinger says. This game of rank and class is based on the idea of an iconic singular battle, foreshadowed by scrappy exchanges and incisive strikes.

The American Revolution was a decisive event, a declaration, a roused militia and a singular victory conceived in the mind of Washington. China’s myth, however, is rooted in Mao’s Long March ndash; a 12,000 km grueling trek across the country in the midst of a three-decade civil war culminating in total surrender of the enemy in 1949.

America has been so obsessed with conflict that they’ve failed to realize the multitude of encirclement around them. The noose is tightening but still they seek to destroy the Gordian Knot rather than maneuver a way out. “The disregard of Master Sun’s precepts was importantly responsible for America’s frustration in its recent Asian Wars…” Kissinger writes. And what is the core of those precepts?

“Ultimate excellence lies not in winning every battle, but in defeating the enemy without ever fighting.” – Sun Tzu

18 comments on the article “Chess vs. Weiqi”

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Anonymous

White people, what has happened to you? You were supposed to be the upstanding model of morality and virtue, the picture of the ideal. But now it turns out that you are just slutty disgusting jerk slobs. What's wrong? What is turning you into this?

Anonymous

You just answered your own question. There are three main directions in ethics: moral ethics (Kant), virtue ethics (Aristotle, Aquinas), and utilitarianism (Mill). The latter is an Anglo-Saxon construct, which is extensively used as a basis of Economics.

Anonymous

There are quite a few epistemological errors in this statement. They are all quite obvious, so I will refrain from spelling them out.

Anonymous

No, they are not obvious, so you must either spell them out, or I will simply say that you are wrong.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Normative_ethics

Anonymous

Well ok, for you, since it's not obvious to you. But only in brief since each one is actually quite profound as far as depth of your misguidance.

i) You start off listing things in the sense of objective fact rather than as your own personal inclinination and pet favourite ontological stance. That's where your circularity begins, and where in fact you are guilty of what you accuse of others, all neatly packaged into a tight circular micro-temporal event. There are obviously many other models (as well as criticisms), and to deny or imply other than that you are just a cheerleader of one, is simply self-serving disingenuity.

ii) "white people" not = anglo-saxon

And there are other problems.

Anonymous

In comments, there is no space to present several perspectives. Apparently, we simply have a fundamental lack of anything in common.

Thank you for your feedback, though.

Anonymous

Anglo Saxons and their language dominate the landscape so it becomes the horizon. Only a non-Anglo Saxon can understand this.

Anonymous

Its not whats wrong with "white people" or that "whites used too be an upstanding model of morality" its that since the 1960s the spectacle and popular entertainment has known the truth...we want the vulgar, the obcenene, in public we shun it but in private we want to be shown the forbidden and so pornography and violence creep into our collective psychology. In every generation there is taboo and it becomes mainstream when a way to safely appropriate it into the spectacle is discovered.

Anonymous

I would rather say that what popular entertainment knows is that once a population has capitulated to the notion that they stand no substantive chance against the dominant power structure and its promulgators, they will also capitulate to the hedgemony over their sensory systems.

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