Cultural

Millions of Lives Saved by "Global Warming"

Continuing the theme that there is no such thing as the "common good," let us look again at the organizations that claim to embody the common good, in this case, the selfless environmentalist groups. If our analysis is correct, these organizations will defend their positions, even when those positions clearly hurt large numbers of innocent people without providing any environmental benefit. Stategy teaches that when a group wins a victory, it is likely to selfishly defend the position it has won until it advances to a new, better position. Because they are self-centered, organization can only abandon a position, even a bad one, when they win new victories that allow them to move on. Perhaps there is no more tragic example of the long defense of a destructive position than the environmental movement’s battle to continue of the ban on DDT. Only the movement’s recent victories on the “global warming” front have allowed it to abandon its stubborn defense of this deadly ban. The ban has killed tens millions of innocent people, mostly children, mostly in Africa. By defending it, the environmental movement gave up many of its pretenses of defending human life. It would have continued defending the continued slaughter of innocents if the movement wasn't now focused on consolidating its power through its new "global warming" agenda. (If you want to know why I put "global warming" in quotes, read this post.) So, in a very backward sense, you can say that the fight against "global warming" is already saving lives by redirecting the efforts of environmentalists to where they are doing less immediate damage.

The American Dream versus the "Common Good"

Strategy teaches that everyone is always seeking to improve their position. One of the most repeat lines in The Art of War is, "Everyone uses the art of war." By this, Sun Tzu didn’t mean that everyone used his particular methods, but that everyone is always looking for personal competitive advantage and that we have to remember this when analyzing every situation.

The American Dream of Freedom versus the Elitist Desire for Coercion

The American Dream is based on freedom of speech. Without freedom of speech, philosophies cannot be expressed, groups cannot form, and agreements cannot be made. To illustrate these ideas, let us examine the Pope's recent statements about Islam and the reaction than they have drawn from parts of the Islamic world and the general connection of the underlying philosophy to the American Dream. Both the Pope's statements, when read in context, and the Islamic reaction makes the philosophic divisions in the War on Terror much clearer.  However, even the idea of freedom of speech can be perverted to disparage free agreements between individuals, as we see in the recent case of Bill Maher.

Wal-Mart, "Sweat Shops," and the American Dream

Strategy teaches you how to improve your position. Knowing more about strategy than your immediate rivals improves your own chances of success, but spreading the knowledge of strategy improves everyone chances of success. As taught by Sun Tzu, competition is not a zero-sum game. It is about everyone moving themselves into positions where they can produce and receive the most value. This leads us to a discussion about how, in opposing the American dream, the elites hurt us all and make the world a poorer place. Following up on my last post about the destruction of the American dream by portraying success as evil, I refer you to this recent article by George Will about Wal-Mart.  In the opinion of the vociferous elites, Wal-mart must pay its employees more. Representing those elites, the Chicago city council passed an ordinance to force Wal-Mart to raise its wages and benefits.  Meanwhile, back among us lesser mortals in the real world, more than 25,000 people applied for the 325 openings at a new suburban Chicago Wal-Mart. In the opinion of regular people like you and me, Wal-mart's pay package is better than good. In the not-so-celebrated opinion of 25,000 Chicago area residents, Wal-marts pay package was the best available to them. However, according to the elites, these people should NOT have the opportunity to work at Wal-mart under those terms. Wal-mart is evil for offering it to them and Wal-mart's evil opportunities must be stopped by the force of law.

The Media Battlefront

After I adapted the principles of Sun Tzu's The Art of War to the War on Terror in my (award recognised) book Strategy against Terror, it was clear that the real battleground for terrorism was the popular media. How do you win such a war? By focusing more and more attention on the media reporting of the war. Those who are against all wars will call this "shooting the messenger," but the larger truth is that the mainsteam media is not the messenger.

Playing Not to Lose

This post at Instapundit points out the foundation of good strategy and ties nicely to my last post about some people thinking that all struggles—especially wars—are useless. The general rule of strategy is that you have to know what your goals are and, in choosing your ground, have to understand whether the rules of the game allow you to meet your goals.

Are You Riding the Power Curve?

Sun Tzu's strategy is an inherently optimistic philosophy, based on the idea that you can always advance your position if you are doing the right things. It doesn't matter where you start or what uncontrollable situations life throws at you. For example, many assume that America is on a downhill slide because it has grown too prosperous and its economy is too big in comparison with the rest of the world already.

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