Yield Sign Ahead

Much to worry about this week.  North Korea tests missiles to deliver nuclear warheads; the era of patient diplomacy is over, announces the VP, and the US fleet steams into the area; Syria steps up bombing of civilians in the aftermath of 59 US cruise missiles hitting their airbase.  Violent confrontations from the Philippines to South Sudan saturate the news.  In my mind is the image of John Wayne and Clint Eastwood, standing in front of one another exchanging mighty blows- back and forth and pow and bang, until one man finally collapses in a bloody heap.  The one who remains standing, suffering huge blood loss, a ruptured spleen, multiple broken bones and a concussion, is the winner.  Our Chaos President has promised us “so much winning we’ll be sick of it.”

I took Tai Chi lessons way back in college, and although I’m just a hack, one lesson that stuck with me is that yielding to an oncoming force can be more powerful and effective than running headlong into it.  We were taught that the energy of the opponent can be used to take him down (as was demonstrated on us repeatedly).  One evening after Tai Chi class, I almost stepped in front of a car, when suddenly a girl in the class, who was standing behind me, shouted, “Yield!”  Tai Chi saved my life.

Here’s an excerpt from a scene in Fourth World, in which Leader Chou of the PWE (the one world government) reflects on world domination:

One group, whether ethnic, political or religious; whether a tribe, a nation, or a civilization; would make advances on various fronts, only to see those advances destroyed by the next group.  True, the PWE itself had been compared to an oppressive empire, but that was unavoidable in the first two or three centuries of establishing a truly unified human race:  a frictionless and efficient engine which would allow mankind to achieve its full potential.

During this transitional phase, it would be simple enough to arrest the petty saboteurs and protestors, banishing all the opposition immediately to the Quarantine Zones.  But the PWE Council had wisely adopted the Thousand Steps policy, based on the enlightened concept that yielding- in a strictly controlled way, of course- to the opposition would actually hasten the transition, whereas an overpowering show of force could prolong the resistance indefinitely.  The power of the state was not without limits, and history provided many cautionary tales.  Attempts to brutally crush insurgencies in Northern Ireland, Vietnam, the Middle East, South Africa, and China itself, had all led to catastrophic domino effects, throwing fuel onto smoldering fires.



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