Sun Tzu and the fifth conquest of America

Asians in the United States are quite consciously following the example of their Jewish predecessors in remaking the culture to their preference.

Yet another parallel for the campaign to police microaggressions may be the ACLU’s long campaign to oust Christian observance from the public square, which used the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment to restrict the expression of the vast majority of the country in deference to the sensitivities of a tiny minority. The minority told the majority that they weren’t allowed to do things that they had long been habituated to doing, and which they regarded as a core part of their own identity and faith. The impetus for this legal campaign, whose reasoning was judged to be sound by the Supreme Court, was of course not purely formalistic or doctrinal. It emerged from out of the status politics of everyday life—an exercise of power by a rising minority, namely Jews, to remove practices that made (some of them) feel like aliens in their own land.

The curbing of open religious displays in American public spaces was a symbolic concession to the equal dignity of the Jews sought by a faction of a group no longer content to occupy a marginal place in the life of the country. In turn, the success of the campaign helped incite the emergence in the 1970s of the Christian right, which helped bring Ronald Reagan to power, beginning a series of conservative political victories won on the basis of culture war issues that in the end proved powerless to prevent the eventual triumph of secular, liberal values, no matter how many statehouses or branches of the federal government Republicans control.

Both the movement against religious displays and the current campaign against microaggressions were attempts by minorities to restrict the freedom of expression of majorities. Both assailed unspoken but strongly held premises: In the case of the ACLU campaign, that America was a Christian nation, and in the microaggression campaign, that America is a white nation. Both were bold incursions on the liberty of the majority of the country….

America has ceased to be a white nation. It has to make concessions to the hunger for recognition of various nonwhite groups, including Asians. It has to figure out a way to do so in a manner that will preserve the integrity of its institutions, which have managed to accommodate diversity chiefly by hewing to the core insight that only the individual deserves protection. We have some latitude to take measures that push against the margins of this guideline in deference to past injustices and continuing disparities. But the one approach that definitely will not work is declaring all white people to be irremediably tainted by racism at the level of the unconscious and all nonwhite people to be fragile to the point of inanition at the touch of slights that appear banal and trivial. The primary debility of this model of human personality is that it is false. From this debility flows a cascade of interventions that have the potential to shatter our social compact.

What social compact? What integrity of which institutions? Translation: America is no longer Christian, nor white, nor a nation, so shut up and accept it, white people. Consider yourself fortunate that it appears the Asians plan to handle their ascendance to power in the multinational empire of North America in a more polite and judicious manner than the Jews have.

At least the Indians fought their conquerors. Your descendants won’t even have the satisfaction of knowing that. In 100 years, it is quite likely that the white Christian America the Baby Boomers took for granted will be as little remembered as Indian country and Spanish Florida. The invasion and conquest of America will one day be seen as the ultimate example of victory through asymmetric warfare.

After all, did not Sun Tzu say that the supreme art of war is to subdue the enemy without fighting?