Hot words flowed between the work cubes and I rolled my eyes. The left and the right were at it again, about twenty feet from my cube. The vitriol smelled like day old flatulence and someone forgot to turn on the air conditioning.
I strolled over to the combat zone and both sides looked at me. I had done a good job of torqueing both groups off but not filling their vitriol, often pursuing humor for salient points. Today, it was about how Hillary would have handled the Russians and the failure of the Trump administration to handle the Russ, to stop criminal levels of conflicts of interest… Yada, Yada, Yada.
I quoted George Frieden, “In the third stage of civilization, all lies are equally true.”
One of the lefties asked, “What are you saying?”
I said, “George Frieden observed that in the final stage of a civilization, the morals, discipline, and standards that make a nation great collapse in the face of, ‘if it feels good, do it.’ In the last election, your set of lies lost. Now, you oppose what you label the Trump lies with vigor but like the election, you have not presented a new vision of lies. Ya’ll shamelessly use old lies to take on what you call the Trump lies. At the velocity with which the Fake News spins and sells the news, subverting journalistic integrity, all lies become equally true.”
I love it when silence reigns and I asked if they could hold it down so I could get back to work. Billing time on my multi-million-dollar project for my customer.
Returning to my desk, I thought a long time on complex system, cascading effects, and how easy it is to accumulate what we KNOW but how hard it is to close the gap to what we DO. Living in a day when all lies are equally true, at the velocity of information, makes it doubly hard. Let’s walk this gap.
Sun Tzu wrote in The Art of War, “Raising a host of a hundred thousand men and marching them great distances entails heavy loss on the people and a drain on the resources of the State. The daily expenditure will amount to a thousand ounces of silver.” Putting a hundred thousand men into Syria will consume our nation’s treasure at a time when President Trump wants to rebuild our infrastructure. Going to Saudi Arabia and Israel, confessing that we can’t and won’t change them, but can hopefully work with them was and will be far cheaper.
Continuing down this obscure path, Sun Tzu Continued his thought, “Hostile armies may face each other for years, striving for the victory which is decided in a single day. This being so, to remain in ignorance of the enemy’s condition simply because one grudges the outlay of a hundred ounces of silver in honors and emoluments, is the height of inhumanity.” In other words, talking to the Russ while we rebuild core strategic relationships with Israel and the Sunni people is the intelligent action of a humane administration. One that would prefer not to deploy one hundred thousand men to Syria and Central Asia.
In fact, refusing reality and refusing to invest in what is needed to learn about the enemy brings us to Sun Tzu’s quote about the previous President, “One who acts thus is no leader of men, no present help to his sovereign, no master of victory.” The amazing thing in my mind is that Democrats and the previous administration also failed the Psalm 82 test. They failed to protect the innocent, they did not defend the defenseless, and they did not rescue the poor from wickedness. No matter what their pious lies are.
At a time when all lies are equally true, Sun Tzu had critical words in this cascade of quotes:
• What enables the wise sovereign and the good general to strike and conquer, and achieve things beyond the reach of ordinary men, is FOREKNOWLEDGE.
• Now this foreknowledge cannot be elicited from spirits; it cannot be obtained inductively from experience nor by any deductive calculation.
• Knowledge of the enemy’s dispositions can only be obtained from other men.
In other words, President Trump and his people are engaging in Intelligence Operations. On the other hand, the Democrat and Fake News swirl of information around President Trump, his advisors, closest friends, and confidants seemingly leads Americans to the lie that our President’s administration is engaging in illegal activity and conflicts of interest. Not so. They are engaging in conversations with other men. I believe they are very concerned patriots rebuilding what our nation’s leaders KNOW so they can shape what they DO.
In turn, they are following Sun Tzu’s conclusion, at a time when all lies are equally true, that “it is only the enlightened ruler and the wise general who will use the highest intelligence for purposes of spying and thereby they achieve great results.” Those highest results? Survival… by closing the gap between what we KNOW to what we DO to Protect the Innocent, Defend the Defenseless, and Rescue the poor from wickedness.
Clearchus: Contemplating whether not I should mow the grass on a sunny Colorado day before we go to Atlanta.
Photo: Excerpted from: 663highland – Own work, CC BY 2.5, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=4876792