Economic

Can the American Dream Survive in a Culture of Critics?

Strategic positions are either advanced or they erode over time. The strength and creativity to advance a strategic position comes entirely from your belief in its underlying philosophy. While philosophies hold organizations together, the organization is physically supported by its ground, that is, its economic base. Societies are destroyed when components within a society are financially rewarded by staking out ground that attacks the society’s unifying philosophy. There are two large “complexes” in America that that are financially rewarded by attacking our underlying philosophy. Today, we will define just one of these, the “academic-entertainment complex.”

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.

Attacking the American Dream: Hiding Coercion in Palatable Phrases

This article extends our discussion the American dream and its reliance on freedom of speech. In it, we will explore how elites leverage the misunderstanding of certain key ideas in communication to undermine our freedom. Usually, they do this without evil intent, but simply because we have all, both the elites and everyone else, become confused about the strategic requirements of operating within a free society, especially about what must and must not be controlled.

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.

Individual Success, Totalitarianism, and the Power Curve Formula

In reading this article about the failure of Communism, I am reminded of why totalitarian systems must fail. Totalitarian systems are all based on the hubristic notion that someone, somewhere knows the mind of God, not as a matter of general rules for individual decisions, but as a matter of a specific natural order for the "greater good."

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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