The Art of War – How America can Overcome a Cultural Conflict

Allen Gaynor

 

If you’ve ever read Sun Tzu’s Art of War, then you’re aware that it’s a simple but effective document, when applied to battlefield strategy – it’s not uncommon knowledge that the work itself has been read by commanders for more than two millennia, after all: Hitler’s commander in North Africa, Irwin Rommel, brilliantly applied Tzu’s principles in that theater; all indications are that George Patton, too, had read those thirteen chapters; perhaps one of the most bull-headed, stubborn, albeit brilliant commanders to have ever graced the battlefield, Lewis Burwell Puller, a Marine Corps Lieutenant General, knew precisely how to lead his Marines, perhaps as a result of fervent, constant study, not only of battlefield conditions, but of the knowledge accrued by centuries of human history marred by conflict. Is it possible that Chesty Puller, too, partook of that fount of knowledge of how to attain victory?

Whatever the case may be, it’s common knowledge that, as 2017 progresses, we’re probably going to be seeing a lot more crazy. What with people worried over who their president is (and who they claim it’s not,) to this incessant assertion that we need to ask people what their pronouns are prior to interacting with them (mine, by the way, can be ascertained with the observation of my deeper voice; my heavier build; and the hair on my face,) as well as the constant crying at seeing symbols of patriotism, it’s probably going to be a while before these grown infants stop bothering us. I’m not saying don’t worry, but as long as conservatives can continue to fight well and maintain their principles, who they are as a human being, I believe we can be victorious.

But, in studying Art of War, it’s quite plain to me that we have, in fact, been fighting a war for some time. Perhaps it hasn’t been a conflict of arms, but it has been a conflict of ideology – consider that, for many years, we’ve been told to keep our conservative ideals to ourselves. We’ve simply been wanting to avoid conflict, correct? But what happens when we try to avoid conflict by refusing to, proverbially at least, raise our rifles? Is it not true that, in smaller numbers, our opponents, our critics, can slip in behind us and hit us from behind? Is it not then true that, in larger numbers, those same opponents can eventually manufacture enough weapons to hit us with a frontal assault with few enough worries to the number of their casualties? By that same logic, is it not true that, by trying to avoid conflict, we have, in essence, allowed those same people, who were so adamant that we, as conservatives, were inherently wrong, to take control not only of Hollywood, but therefore of politics, thus pushing those same ideals on us that we don’t hold, that we ourselves find abhorrent?

Sun Tzu notes in the opening chapter, Initial Estimations, that “Warfare is the Way (Tao) of deception. Thus also [you are] capable, display incapability to them.” In other words, not necessarily only our political, but certainly our ideological critics have been deceiving us in telling us that, or at the very least, have believed themselves that there is some moral superiority in their beliefs, in the systems they envisioned. As a result, we have seen several agonizing years of torment and hysteria not only of the physical self, but of the mind. The mental gymnastics needed to legitimize the need for screeching in the streets; for flipping trash bins; for flipping the bird because you disagree with someone is incredible. No, I’m not even going to deny that I laugh hysterically at the latest video of some SJW child screaming at patriots. At the same time, however, it’s the same nonsense with which we’ve put up for the past eight years, or at the very least the past five years, and it was increasingly effective until a year or so ago, when we, the American people, decided that we’d put up with it long enough. And although I’ve breathed my sigh of relief, I know that tyranny is always at our doorstep.

In the second chapter, entitled Waging War, Tzu taught us that a long, exhaustive campaign is hardly going to be effective, that it will tire the troops. While it’s true that we had sought to minimize conflict by listening, largely respectfully, to these millennials, or at the very least to tolerate them until they became intolerable, we allowed them to build up their armies of followers. In essence, we allowed the Borg to operate within Federation space, and as a result, they’ve assimilated a seemingly inexhaustible army of drones. Admittedly, we now have someone in office who isn’t particularly taken with political correctness, but we have a long way to go before we can say that we’ve essentially gone into remission; we still see signs of the tumor, but before it’s gone entirely, we’re going to have to go to our chemo sessions, eat right, and keep up with our medication. The fact of the matter is that people are still receiving death threats; there are still riots in the streets; people are attacked for doing nothing more than supporting the man for whom they voted.

Perhaps it’s only because I haven’t started paying attention to politics until fairly recently, or it might be that there has been a gradual infiltration of the other camp into our belief system; it may even be both – but as long as I can remember, even on the worst days in the last twenty years and more, I don’t recall a single event in which identity politics was utilized for Washington’s gain, at least not to this degree. I’m of course not saying that it did not happen. Actually, what I’m suggesting is that it’s become more public. Someone in Hollywood, for instance, has enough influence to sway others with their beliefs that such a mindset is cool, and when they spread the word, they influence others; once they’ve influenced enough people, politicians catch on, and, to earn brownie points with a certain part of the constituency, they shape policy around that mindset; when other celebrities find that their influence over the masses is so complete, they catch on even as more politicians realize that they can effect change without many members of the public catching on. Although it may not be immediate, the result is that more politicians remain in power, and many members of the public are left wondering what’s happened.

Actually, it is perhaps the perfect way to influence one’s enemies into surrendering what they hold most dear without their realizing it. It’s not war as we know it, but it is, in a very real and very frightening sense, an ideological conflict, one which may take generations to resolve. In the opening of chapter three, Tzu claims that, in order to truly win any conflict, it is best to win without fighting. Although there has been violence in the recent ideological conflict which caused us to seek change in Washington, it has, for the most part, been a war fought in the classrooms; in the halls of Congress; and, quite as importantly, in Hollywood itself. Recently, there have been several movies criticized by liberals and their allies as being racist, sexist, homophobic, Islamophobic, transphobic… In essence, the full gamut of cliché names has been expended. But what’s more important is that these films, these products of both historical and intellectual importance have been a way of destroying the morale of the enemy’s cities, armies, companies, battalions, and squads without fighting. They have been a way to show the rest of the nation that we no longer have patience for the emotional tripe we’ve seen for the past several years.

What am I supposed to do, boycott Alissa White-Gluz because she’s an activist and a vegan? Should I perhaps stop watching Star Trek because Patrick Stewart and George Takei hate conservatives? That would be a liberal tactic, one I’ve just recently had to work out for myself. No, I think instead I’ll just watch a movie once I can determine for myself whether it interests me. Doing anything else would be idiotic. What happens when we allow ourselves to stop watching television and film because we don’t agree with this one thing that the actor said once, and which they may or may not still fervently believe? When we go to those lengths to stop our enemies is, ironically enough, when our enemies win. I don’t think Hollywood will ever have competition. It’s been there for too long. What we need is to get back to the days when actors could just make movies and television shows. You know, the days when a movie could just be a movie without us having to sit there listening to some idiot preach something he has no clue about? I just want to listen to Grave Digger without wondering: do they think Angela Merkel’s cool? Don’t let them win by not letting yourself go to the theater anymore. It’s actually the perfect way to take over an enemy nation.

They’re already entrenched in our culture. If you try to starve out an entrenched enemy, he’s going to act on every desperate measure to survive, and although the film industry is hardly immortal in the sense of sales, they have a firm grip. You know what you do instead? You let them know that you’re just here to watch your movies; you let them know that you’re going to enjoy their concerts no matter what; keep sitting down at night and changing the station until you find Law and Order. Just don’t get upset when you ask why they’re speaking out. Instead, create. Create your own culture. Write a novel; put together an indie picture; start a band. Does it mean you’re guaranteed to make it? Absolutely not! But the way to fight back is to, where appropriate, fight fire with fire. And even if you never make a million dollars, you’ll at least leave your mark on the world. That’s how we push back: we tell people that we still support good, proven values. Hocart noted that, in nineteenth-and-early-twentieth-century Fiji, though war was more of a series of raids on a particular family, the aim of war was to avenge the wrong done by that family, not the conquering of a neighboring village; there was, in other words, some order. That, in old Fiji, was the proven method of their balance. Of that same logic, traditional values, such as the rearing of the children by their mother; the winning of bread by the man; the economy moved by capitalism, these are our American principles, tried and true.

The enemy has established their foothold on our soil. They’ve infiltrated our culture. We’ve only just started waking up, and it’s going to take a long campaign to push them back again. As Marine Major Lloyd Williams noted in 1918, when told by a French commander to retreat: “Retreat? Hell, we just got here!” Don’t let America become the new Roman Empire – the German tribesmen of ancient Europe were welcomed even by the first Caesar, and within five hundred years, those same Germans eventually helped to bring about that empire’s end. The same is happening here, and there is no doubt in my mind that, given enough time, should childish millennials and social justice warriors be allowed to continue their campaign of bullying and whining; should Hollywood be allowed to continue pressing their political views on our great Nation; should we stop fighting, that is when the Germans will have taken hold of Rome, and that is when this greatness will end. Our push-back has only begun. Our swords have only just been forged. It’s time to let our voices be heard, and the only way to do that is to keep speaking the truth. Don’t be intimidated by the Hollywood intelligentsia, but instead, show them that you’re not going to listen to what they have to say. Create, and don’t let them tell you what you can do.

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