‘Fake news’ is far from being the Internet-induced innovation that contemporary historically ignorant pontificators make it out to be. On the contrary it is, like propaganda and the ‘deep state’, as old as human society on this planet. The external aspects change over time, but the underlying forms remain as they long have been
The Road to November (2018): There will, no doubt, be much to keep us amused and entertained on the political front over the next six months but nothing, no single story, is as likely to be directly decisive for the future course of the USA (and the world) as the mid-term US elections that will be held exactly six months from today (May 6, 2018) on Tuesday, November 6, 2018! Stay tuned
There seems to be a major ‘spy vs. spy’ aspect of Mueller’s attempted ‘soft coup’ to depose President Donald J. Trump that is merely the superficial tip of the iceberg of long-standing battles between sharply divided rival ‘deep state’ factions within the US military, intelligence, and foreign relations/policy establishment.
Despite the presently widely uncontested ‘fact’ that the Russians hacked the US election in 2016 on orders from Vladimir Putin, there is as yet no factual evidence to prove they did. Maybe they did. But maybe they did not. Stay tuned . . .
President Donald J. Trump is often criticized for being ‘inconsistent’? Is he? Maybe not so much!
A brief musing that perhaps at least one of the reasons why so many Obama (and prior) Administration folks dislike so intensely President Donald J. Trump: He disrespected them!
The absurd surrealistic drama concerning a purported ‘Russian connection’ behind Donald J. Trump’s 2016 election victory unfolding in the run-up to his inauguration as the forty-fifth President of the United States of America has a basis very different from the visible circus side show and the fake news that drives it. It reflects a struggle within the US ‘deep state’ over radically different ways to deal with China.
Ever since the secret alliance between the USA and China against the old Soviet Union, brokered in the 1970s by Henry Kissinger and the Nixon Administration, American policy toward China has been dominated by globalist “panda huggers” who believe China’s rise is inevitable and that the best the USA can do is to facilitate China’s economic development in hopes that will somehow lead to a more free, open, and democratic China.
A clear statement of that view from a self-admitted panda hugger is found in former US Secretary of the Treasury (and former Goldman Sachs CEO) Henry J. Paulson Jr.’s “Dealing with China: An Insider Unmasks the New Economic Superpower”. While noting China’s ambitious to become the most powerful, most dominant nation on earth, Paulson argues that the best the USA can do is to continue to help China to develop and grow, hoping somehow to integrate it into an internationalist world order.
A contrary view is presented in Michael Pillsbury’s “The Hundred-Year Marathon: China’s Secret Strategy to Replace America as the Global Superpower”. Pillsbury is a long-time CIA operative and American diplomat who, like Paulson, characterizes himself as having been a long-time panda hugger–but one who has, within the past decade, had the scales fall from his eyes, enabling him to see that China is anything but a friendly panda toward the USA and to the West; that China is, in fact, a very dangerous (and very stealthy) dragon.
“I was told, [in China in 2011-2013]” Pillsbury writes, “by the same people who had long assured me of China’s only modest leadership within an emerging multipolar world–that the Communist Party is realizing its long-term goal of restoring China to it’s ‘proper’ place in the world. In effect, they were telling me that they had deceived me and the American government. With perhaps a hint of understated pride, they were revealing the most systematic, significant, and dangerous intelligence failure in American history. And because we have no idea the Marathon is even underway, America is losing.”
The first chapter of Pillsbury’s book is titled, “The China Dream.” That is an explicit reference both to a phrase popular with Communist China’s current leader, Xi Jinping, and to the book “The China Dream: Great Power Thinking and Strategic Posture in the Post-American Era” by Liu Mingfu, a retired colonel of the Peoples’ Liberation Army (PLA) and Professor at China’s National Defense University. Liu’s book explicitly states China’s intention to dominate the world by the middle of the Twentieth Century (if not sooner).
Should the USA, out of fear and weakness, continue down the road already travelled, as advocated by Paulson, a course clearly favored by Hillary Clinton’s and John Kerry’s US Department of State under the Obama Administration (and by globalist elements of the US Intelligence Community–including most of the Ivy League CIA elite) and thereby assist Communist China in making their China Dream of world dominance by end of the Hundred Year Marathon on the 100th anniversary of Mao’s takeover of China? Or should the USA, instead, respond in strength and determination with counter-measures to frustrate and prevent China’s intended rise?
Clearly, with Pillsbury (and in even stronger terms than he expresses), there is a growing faction in the US ‘deep state’ that does not see China’s ultimate world dominance as inevitable and that is willing to take on and to defeat the Communist China Challenge (which will very likely prove to be the ultimate reality TV show of the 21st Century). That faction is certainly present, though not in control of and as yet a minority in the CIA. It is strongest, however, in the US Military Intelligence Community. And, most important, the ‘curb China’ faction is very clearly strongest of all in the incoming Trump Administration.
China has long very skillfully played the US for a fool by actively supporting and boosting pro-China elements in the Bush(I), Clinton, Bush(II), and Obama Administrations. The purported ‘Russian interference’ in the US 2016 election pales to insignificance relative to the influence (interference, and hacking) exercised in the USA by China over the past half a century and more. The anti-Russian, anti-Putin fake news manipulation over the past year or two benefits China. It is in China’s interest (not in the interest of the USA) to encourage and to try to create an adversarial relation between Russia and the USA.
Why? Because the most effective way to for the USA to curb China’s plan to dominate the world is to build a broad coalition of allies with mutual interests to encircle, curb, and contain China. This must include not only Europe and Japan, but also countries like India, Pakistan, Vietnam, Myanmar. But, most of all, it must include Russia.
Regardless whether the recent anti-Trump, anti-Russian disinformation campaign is inspired, encouraged, and funded by China (it very likely is), it clearly works in the interest of China. As (ironically) even admitted panda hugger Paulson accurately chronicles, China in effect ‘blew the cover’ on its plan for world domination by 2049 by overestimating the extent to which the financial crises of 2008 signaled the accelerated (and incipient) decline of the US and of capitalism. China was like an American football defensive lineman who jumps prematurely across the line of scrimmage on a head fake from the offensive quarterback. Or, in terms of the Chinese 36 Strategies, China forgot the lesson of “disturb the snake by hitting the grass” and prematurely jumped into the open.
In her book, “The Chinese Mind Game” Chin-Ning Chu, wrote, concerning this strategy:
“To disturb the snake by hitting the grass can be, according to circumstances, either a desirable or an undesirable action. When the intention is to catch the snake by surprise, disturbing the grass would be a mistake. If, however, a direct confrontation with the snake is wanted, then hitting the grass is recommended so that the snake will make itself visible.”
The 2008 financial meltdown was not a clever exercise of this ancient Chinese strategy by the USA, but the effect was the same as if it had been. It flushed the incipient Chinese snake-wanting-to-be-a-dragon out into the open with exaggerated over-confidence that soon led to the explicit statement of Communist China’s real intentions with the “100 Year Marathon” and the “China Dream.”
China was further lulled into exposing its real aims by the feckless wimp-dom of an Obama Administration that was more concerned with global warming and LGBTQ rights than with maintaining America’s world leadership and a strong military. China clearly expected a continuation of these policies by a Hillary Clinton administration that would be as readily ‘for sale’ as her husband’s had been. China was even more disappointed to see Trump win than the Democrat Party was–and even more keen to delegitimize Trump and stir up trouble between the USA and Russia than the Democrats (and a few anti-Trump Republicans like John McCain, Lindsey Graham, and Marco Rubio) are.
The fake news circus side show over purported Russian influence on Trump is the last dying gasp of the pro-China panda huggers eager to sell out the USA to China. But they have lost. There is a new sheriff in town.
They, and China too, need to adjust to the reality of an America ready to be great again; ready to put an end to China’s plans for world domination. China can no longer count on the USA to roll over and surrender, as Obama & Co. were inclined to do. China’s leaders must adapt to this new reality, lest the China Dream turn into the Chinese Communist Party’s Nightmare.
Immediately after the Republican Primary Election debate on Tuesday, 15 December, 2015 I wrote and published my first article here on Semeiotic: “Why (and how) Trump is Going to Win.” In it I said: “Trump is going to win. He’s going to win the Republican nomination. He’s going to win the general election in November 2016. And he’s going to win by a lot.”
Trump won the Republican primaries and got the nomination just as I predicted he would. We will soon know if the rest of my December 16, 2015 prediction is correct. I am confident that it will be – and for precisely the reasons I spelled out last December when I wrote:
He is also not the least bit crazy, erratic, impulsive, or reckless. His ‘crazy’ is entirely as in “crazy like a fox”. It is deliberate, conscious, carefully crafted, and used as an instrument (or, when necessary, weapon) to get the results he aims to get. Whether he has ever read it or not, he embodies the practical wisdom described in Thomas Cleary’s “Thunder in the Sky: Secrets on the Acquisition and Exercise of Power”, a brilliant translation of two Chinese Taoist classics: “The Master of Demon Valley” and “The Master of the Hidden Storehouse.” (We’ll have more to say about that in a later article.)
The article you are now reading is the “later article” to which I referred, in advance, nearly eleven months ago. There will be more to follow. But for now, we will just begin to explore, in a bit more depth and detail, the way Trump has used the wisdom expressed in these ancient Chinese documents to bring his campaign to the brink of victory and to his election as the 45th President of the United States of America.
The first secret key to understanding this is openly displayed for all to see (well, for all who have eyes to see, at any rate) in the excellent introduction to Cleary’s “Thunder in the Sky” written by Asian Marketing Consultant Inc. President Chin-Ning Chu. There she writes:
In today’s demanding business world the fierce game of competition has literally evolved into bloodless warfare. The result is, as the Chinese say, “Shang chang ru zhan chang,” or “The marketplace is the battlefield.” Although this militaristic view of business may seem novel, it isn’t news to Asians, whose leaders for centuries have drawn from ancient art-of-war treatises to help them achieve and maintain power. The Asian people view success in the business world as tantamount to victory in battle, with both directly affecting the survival and well being of their nation. Since they perceive that the true nature of business competition is that of war, they act accordingly.”
The details of the ways in which Trump’s campaign has employed the wisdom embodied in ancient Chinese books like “Thunder in the Sky,” “The Art of War,” and “The Book of Leadership and Strategy” will require a book-length discussion to examine in full. For now, however, we will begin by noting just one, but one very important, aspect of the matter: Trump’s long-range but initially very secret strategy built on strong support from the military, intelligence, and law-enforcement communities to bring Clinton Inc. to justice.
Far from the bumbling bull-in-a-China-shop naive buffoon that the mainstream media have (and still do) try (increasingly desperately) to portray him to be, Trump has from the start had a very well-designed secret strategy that is only now coming into view. This as yet relatively little noticed video by Steve Pieczenik is one example of that:
There will be more to come. Stay tuned . . .
Friedrich, Martin, and Don: The Will to Power as @realDonaldTrump
By William F. Zachmann, Semeiotic
“Of what is great one must either be silent or speak with greatness. With greatness ─ that means cynically and with innocence. What I relate is the history of the next two centuries. I describe what is coming, what can no longer come differently: the advent of nihilism. This history can be related even now; for necessity itself is at work here. This future speaks even now in a hundred signs; this destiny announces itself everywhere; for this music of the future all ears are cocked even now. For some time now, our whole European culture has been moving as toward a catastrophe, with a tortured tension that is growing from decade to decade: restlessly, violently, headlong, like a river that wants to reach the end, that no longer reflects, that is afraid to reflect.” Friedrich Nietzsche.
These words, written between November 1887 and March 1888, begin the “Preface” of the German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche’s book, “The Will to Power: Attempt at a Revaluation of all Values”, that really was not a book but rather an assembly of some of his notes, written between 1883 and his mental breakdown at the end of 1888, that were subsequently collected, edited, in various ways distorted, and published (in 1901) after his death in 1900 at the age of 55, by his sister, Elisabeth Förster-Nietzsche.
By far the most insightful, thoughtful, and fundamental analysis and interpretation of Nietzsche’s work is that of Martin Heidegger, himself the most important European philosopher of the 20th Century, in a series of courses, lectures, and publications spanning more than three decades from the 1930s through the 1960s. Heidegger’s most important works on Nietzsche are available in English in four volumes edited by David Farrell Krell under the overall title “Nietzsche: By Martin Heidegger” including “Volume I: The Will to Power as Art”; “Volume II: The Eternal Recurrence of the Same”; “Volume III: The Will to Power as Knowledge and as Metaphysics”; and “Volume IV: Nihilism”.
Donald J. Trump, who is about to lock up the Republican nomination and will very likely win the election in November and become the 45th President of the United States of America in January 2017, embodies in some quite remarkable and even astonishing ways not only the continued unfolding of the “history of the next two centuries” that Nietzsche said he would “relate” some 130 years ago, but the essential themes of the path of Nietzsche’s thought as further examined, explored, and traveled by Heidegger. Trump’s unconventional approach to politics (and to life) resounds with echoes of Nietzsche’s and Heidegger’s thought about “will to power” as the ultimate end yet also the indispensable condition of a necessary “revaluation of all values” in what has come to be called our “postmodern” age.
Nietzsche is best and most conventionally known for words first spoken by the main character in his book “Thus Spoke Zarathustra: A Book for Everyone and No One” published in 1883: “God is dead.” Heidegger correctly understands this not to refer specifically to the God of Christianity but, rather, to the transcendental world ‘above’ (or ‘beyond’) the world as we ordinarily experience it that has been part of the “Western” world picture since Plato’s articulation, two and a half millennia ago, of a timeless ‘superior’ realm of pure ideas of which things that we encounter in lives are ‘mere shadows’.
Plato’s ‘realer than real’ eternal world of ideas is taken up and transformed, in medieval Christianity, into a theology that characterizes the world as we know it as a “veil of sin, tears, and suffering” redemption from which through Jesus Christ into an eternal “heavenly” realm is the only valid, meaningful aim and purpose of human existence. But with the Protestant Reformation and the dawn of modern ‘science’ in the 16th Century the Medieval theological ‘consensus’ begins to come apart. The “natural laws” of math and science begin to emerge as independent of the “divine laws” of Scripture. A succession of thinkers from Descartes through Kant and Hegel re-think the “two worlds” as apparent and real, being and becoming, true and false in ways that make it increasingly difficult to reconcile.
By the second half of the 19th Century, when Nietzsche begins seriously to think about it, Plato’s transcendental world of timeless ideas has been reduced, at least as Nietzsche sees it, to little more than a realm of ‘values’ that are somehow tacked onto ‘things’ understood as merely transitory extended stuff (matter) in motion (energy) and as such the subjects of the various ‘objective’ sciences. The once assured meaning of the divinely given theological values in scripture become increasingly arbitrary as sects and ideologies proliferate in the essentially value-less world of science and practical use. This is at least approximately what Nietzsche and Heidegger name as ‘nihilism’.
At the end of the 19th Century (and of Nietzsche’s life) there was a strong trend of optimism and even utopian expectation for “the progress of mankind onward and upward forever” as scientific discovery practically applied would create a ‘rational’ society and a harmonious civilization for the world as a whole. Nietzsche, however, even before his breakdown in 1888, saw a much more dangerous, darker world ahead. He foresaw a coming breakdown of traditional values exposed not as divine ordinances but, rather, as creations of human subjectivity. To him, the scientific positivism of the late 1800s was but a vestigial remnant of traditional values in decline accompanied by a naïve unthinking assumption that material progress could somehow automatically create values out of nothing.
For Nietzsche, the only viable option for the future was a re-creation of values by a superior type (the ‘overman’ or ‘superman’) who, realizing that creation of values was not only a power inherent in human life as such, but that it is itself a manifestation of the “will to power” as the fundamental being of all that is who would, in effect, create new values rather than look for them ‘outside’ in some no-longer-plausible ‘superior’ realm. He distinguished sharply between the “last man” who simply un-thinkingly muddles alongside what is already taken for granted and the “overman” who would preside over the destruction of the remnants of the ‘transcendental’ values and create new values out of the full exercise of the will to power as such.
While it is probably best not to try to make too much of the comparison, there certainly seems to be a very interesting if rather rough parallel between the “last men” of the American political establishment, on the one hand (including, by the way Hillary Clinton as well as Jeb Bush and his family) and the “overman” as represented by Donald J. Trump (and to a somewhat lesser extent by U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders as well). Trump clearly refuses to allow himself or his possibilities to be defined by the “conventional wisdom” by “what you are supposed to do” or, for that matter, by the typically unchallenged “you can’t do that!” assumed ‘values’ of “political correctness”.
Like Alexander the Great when faced (in legend at least) with the Gordian Knot, Trump refuses and rejects the assumption that the only way to loosen the knot is to attempt, patiently and painstakingly to untie it bit by bit. He, instead, draws his sharp sword of focused intent, swings the blade, and slices through the ‘not’. Whether this proves, in the end, to be a good thing or not remains to be determined. But that it is an ongoing occurrence, happening now and on a very grand scale, is well beyond doubt.