Clash of Civilizations 2.0

06/16/201917 Comments

Readers will recall that last week's edition of this column ended on something of an intellectual puzzler. To wit: If the Tiananmen Square Massacre narrative that is routinely used to demonize the Chinese government on the world stage is demonstrably wrong (even by the admission of US diplomats and BBC reporters), then why doesn't the Chinese government say something?

As I concluded in "The Truth About Tiananmen":

This type of silence in the face of attack is unfathomable to the Western mind. When someone is spreading rumors and easily debunkable lies about you, you speak up. You set the record straight. You fight back. You do something . . . don’t you?

Well, perhaps one key to unlocking this mystery is in the stipulation: The Western mind. We all understand that silence is consent and that anyone who remains silent in the face of accusations is thereby tacitly admitting to their guilt, right? But who is "we"? Does our shared understanding of the meaning of silence come from a specific cultural heritage? And if so, what is the shared understanding of the meaning of silence for the Chinese?

As it turns out, Asian cultures generally (and Chinese culture specifically) do have a very different perception of the meaning of silence. You can go all the way back to Lao Tzu and the Tao Te Ching for confirmation that, to the Chinese mind, silence is not a sign of guilt or weakness but, on the contrary, "Silence is a source of great strength."

This is not a trivial observation. In fact, it gets to the heart of one of the problems facing the would-be warriors of the new trade war between the US and China. Unlike other rivalries (economic, geopolitical or otherwise) that we can think of in the past—the rivalry between the British Empire and the upstart Germans that formed part of the justification for The WWI Conspiracy, for instance—we are not facing a competition between two powers who share religious, ethnic, linguistic or cultural roots, but two powers who are completely separated in all those respects.

In other words, what we are facing as the US and China gear up to face off in the New Cold War™ is not merely a clash of powers. It is a Clash of Civilizations!™®©(Patent pending). (For extra fun, take a shot of hard liquor and play some over-the-top TV news theme music every time you hear someone say "Clash of Civilizations" from now on.)

If you're rolling your eyes about the "Clash of Civilizations," please note that this is not my formulation. It's the US State Department's.

Want to know more about the State Department's framing of the US-China conflict as a "Clash of Civilizations"? And the roots of this weaponized phrase? And what this means in the bigger picture of the stage-managed Cold War 2.0? Then you'll have to read this week's edition of The Corbett Report Subscriber.

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Comments (17)

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  1. manbearpig says:

    Kiron Skinner is an interesting specimen… no one knows her exact birth date and I’ve found nothing about her parents or childhood except that she was born in 1961 or 62 in Chicago and grew up in the California bay area. The rest is “mysterious” as various sites are content to relay…

    “…She was a student of future United States Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice,[when?] who advised her “People may oppose you, but when they realize you can hurt them, they’ll join your side.”[4]..”

    Interesting also that she’s a distinguished fellow at Carnegie Mellon’s “Cylab”…

    communications, poliçtical science and international relations… and cyber security, biometrics, AI…

    • manbearpig says:

      oh yea, she’s reportedly a christian (as is Pompeo apparently) and also fortuitously stumbled across a “forgotten sheaf of yellow legal pads” that would transform the image and reputation of ex-actor-president Ronald Reagan:

      “…Skinner wrote Nancy Reagan, the former first lady, to request permission to conduct research at the Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, California. Nancy granted the request,

      and it was there that Skinner discovered a forgotten sheaf of yellow legal pads from the 1970s filled with Reagan’s handwritten speeches…

      After his second term as California governor ended in 1975, Reagan wrote a twice-weekly syndicated newspaper column and gave a daily weekday radio commentary that was picked up for syndication by some three hundred U.S. stations.

      Reagan scholars knew the newspaper columns had been ghostwritten,

      and the radio addresses were assumed to have been penned by another hand, too. The yellow legal pads that Skinner found proved otherwise… ”

  2. manbearpig says:

    “…For one thing, Skinner’s remarks obscure a sleight of hand. She implies that since China is a competitor that it is therefore an enemy that must be fought…
    …This “clash of civilizations” idea is just a convenient post-hoc justification for a pre-determined policy of aggression. But that’s hardly surprising…”

    Especially not surprising when you consider that (as you indicated with the hyperlink) Skinner made her remarks within the context of the “Future of War Project”…which is

    “…a New America and Arizona State University partnership working to develop new paradigms for understanding and addressing the changing nature of armed conflict and systematic violence…”

    which hosted this Future Security Forum (formerly known as the Future of War conference).

    So, sort of like the IPCC and so-called “human-caused climate change”

    if there is no “future of war” or “human-caused climate change” then there’s no more raison d’être for Raytheon, The Future of War Project or the IPCC.

    So guess what!?

    Especially in light of the historic merger between Raytheon and United Technologies! a 121 billion dollar behemoth…:

  3. HomeRemedySupply says:

    5 STARS

    In my book…
    This is the top Corbett Report article series for 2019!
    The Truth About Tiananmen and its follow-up Clash of Civilizations 2.0

    I was grinning repeatedly when seeing the “Registered and Patent Marks”, “Trademark” and “Copyright” logos on phrases such as Clash of Civilizations!™®©(Patent pending) and New Cold War™.
    …it also jives with Bloomberg’s June 14, 2019 article Huawei Has 56,492 Patents and It’s Not Afraid to Use Them.

    There are a lot of primo links embedded in this article.

    I encourage others to follow Corbett’s link embedded in New Cold War™. ( i.e. China Firing Back in New Cold War)
    8 years ago Corbett gave an interview on RT. The article and video are timely and profound.

    Kiron Skinner
    Skinner is mentioned in Corbett’s article.
    Kiron Skinner – the State Department’s “Director of Policy Planning” and Senior Advisor to the Secretary of State, providing essential long-term, high-level guidance.

    VIDEO – short clip
    Go to the 35 second mark of this Chinese Tweet from the “China Global Television Network”, where the teacher shifts gears and talks about Kiron Skinner
    (NOTE – The title of the Twitter feed is “Learning Chinese Ep1: China’s ancient wisdom on clashes of civilizations” …but gosh!…where is the Trademark-Copyright-Patent logo? )

  4. peterhof says:

    There is no “clash of civilizations.” The clash is with the alien totalitarian system imposed upon China by Mao (with Roosevelt’s help) in 1949 which exiled the real Chinese culture to Formosa/Taiwan. Totalitarianism cannot tolerate freedom. Neither can freedom tolerate totalitarianism. We see the latest example of this in the streets of Hong Kong. Shades of Tiananmen Square!

  5. Not Another Not-Bot! says:

    The Greeks, too, rallied against the Persian hordes, the civilized, free peoples of Hellas, against the onset of the Persian emperor’s armies of servile races from the land of the Barbarian.

    And they were, of course, right. We owe them a debt of gratitude for fighting to defend their culture.

    In short, sometimes propaganda in defence of one’s ethos is positive.

  6. NES says:

    “This type of silence in the face of attack is unfathomable to the Western mind. When someone is spreading rumors and easily debunkable lies about you, you speak up. You set the record straight. You fight back. You do something . . . don’t you?”

    There are regional differences even with the mouthy internet types of today. In fact, the Southern regional culture reared children with manners at one time. One of those was to be polite even when you disagreed with someone’s POV. That meant remaining silent–not responding. When a Southern is silent on a subject she disapproves of and is judging a POV or statement. A native-born Southerner with any breeding would never be so impolite as to address stupid or raving remarks with a mouthy retort. He would assume those around him already knew the remarks were unworthy of attention.

    • HomeRemedySupply says:

      Yep, that Southern grace sure can keep tempers from flaring in the summer.

  7. HomeRemedySupply says:

    Dollar Domination

    I don’t pretend to know all there is about finance, bonds, money supply, gold prices, cryptocurrencies, etc.
    I do know: that in America the small guy, the lower income guy like me, is hurting.

    I often watch the “Dollar Index” DXY.
    For example: Typically if the DXY falls, Gold and Silver prices rise.

    We all know that for international trade, especially oil, the dollar dominates. We all know what happens to countries like Iraq, Iran or Venezuela who try to stop using the dollar.

    What happens when there is a scarcity of dollars available for international trade?
    What happens when the value of the dollar is high, but a country owes a lot of dollar denominated debt?

    In my opinion, there is no way the U.S. is easily going to relinquish its “dollar denomination” as an international currency.

    I have always had this “fixed idea” that the dollar might soon collapse (within a decade or so).
    In fact, this idea of the “imminent collapse of the dollar” is floated often in the alternative media.
    Now, I am not so sure that this will occur in my lifetime.

    I recently listened to Jason Burack of “Wall St for Main St” interview Brent Johnson about the dollar. (Burack has interviewed James Corbett before.)
    Is there a #DollarShortage in China as Kyle Bass has claimed? What about in emerging markets?
    Read the Video notes to get an overview of how this potentially affects China.

    Around the 16 minute mark: “A lot of people think that we are at the endgame of the U.S. Empire…but we have not had the final battle yet. When we do have that final battle, initially….”

  8. HomeRemedySupply says:

    Something really worth taking a look at…
    On Corbett’s “Recommended Reading” are links to a very interesting article and a past Corbett episode.
    i.e. Upgrade Your Memory With a Chip! (+ Flashback)

  9. mkey says:

    Youtube strikes again:


  10. M says:

    Iranian president Mohammad Khatami promoted Dialogue Among Civilizations as response to the Clash of Civilizations. Post 9/11 Bush responded by adding Iran to the “axis of evil”. Iranian people responded by voting Mahmoud Ahmadinejad as the new president and the media did not have to remind anymore every time Iranian president is mentioned that he is not the Supreme Leader of Iran. When Khatami was the president that was the standard to make sure everyone understood Iran to be hostile nation. Then when Ahmadinejad held his speeches he was even labeled as “dictator” by some in the media. In other words the Clash of Civilizations is being promoted by the media and the people need to understand that Iran is hostile nation on the opposing side.

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