All Warfare is Based on Deception
Two nights ago, I had the most incredible conversation in a long time with some old friends. Among the many insightful things what were said, the one that stuck with me the most was what Joe said about China: China knows exactly how America works and that’s why they are so critical of things from the West (or something to that effect).
He talked about how China knows exactly how America and American culture works and how they use cultural devices like religion, culture and business as tools of hegemony; which explains why the government is keen on banning Western ideologies that threaten Chinese culture or the Chinese state.
The idea is that Western ideology tends to lead people to believe that they are independant thinkers in every sense when they are now. People say and do things but don’t understand why or the context in which they are doing it and that’s how Western ideology manifests itself- through a veil of ignorance and misunderstanding.
I’m assuming that Joe assumes that it’s more dangerous for Chinese people to be brainwashed by Western ideas because if they were brainwashed by Chinese ideas, at least the State can control it; whereas quote unquote free thinking can lead to voluntary (or involuntary, depending on how you think of it) participation in hegemony.
While this may be obvious to a lot of you, it was new to me. Because when people talk about China and Chinese politics and culture, people are always dogging it for being regressive and oppressive. And for the most part (tangibly speaking), it’s true. But with Joe’s “they knew all along” theory, it makes some sense as Sun Tzu says in the Art of War:
All warfare is based on deception. Hence, when able to attack, we must seem unable; when using our forces, we must seem inactive; when we are near, we must make the enemy believe we are far away; when far away, we must make him believe we are near. Hold out baits to entice the enemy. Feign disorder, and crush him.
Joe goes on to explain that this State sponsored cultural ignorance leads Chinese citizens to believe that all things new are good, with new being synonymous with the West. The infatuation leads citizens to pursue educational and career opportunities in the West – resulting in a phenomenal brain drain of China. However, he says that China is doing this to educate their workforce for future growth the way Japan did many years ago to bring the Industrial Age to its own shore. We’re seeing the tailend of that plan right now as Chinese Americans (and some Korean and Vietnamese) are moving back home to pursue more lucrative career opportunities that can be found in China’s red hot economy. More brains, more ideas, more businesses, more economic growth, more power (assuming that businesses now draw the boundaries of power).
All of this is a giant and intricate plot for world domination. Whether it’s true or not, think about the massive propaganda that is involved and the incredible insight the government had which lead them to this conclusion. They took a very abstract analysis of the issue and pushed tangible programs to address it. Very cool.