Borrow a Corpse to Resurrect the Soul

Norcia, nestled in the Italian countryside, is famed for its cured meats, wild boar sausage and other carnivorous delights. Image by Thomas – Photography

"Expose yourself to the enemy, but don't show them your light."

When Deng Xiaoping took over he had a plan, a strategy. He took the, "expose yourself to the enemy, but don't show them your light," right out of Sunzi's Art of War playbook. He sugarcoated it with the, also borrowed phrase, "white cat, black cat, it matters not, so long as it catches mice."

Reagan was the last guy in the White House to have a goal, a direction, or at least everybody new where he was coming from. Before he got elected half the population feared he'd nuke the sons-of-guns. When he told Gorbachev,"tear down this wall," even the Ruskies thought he was serious.

Growing up in the United States, we all new three things about China and the Chinese, 1) If you dig a hole deep enough you'll come out the other side in China, 2) "Pretty, clever those Chinese" and 3) The Chinese are inscrutable. We didn't know what inscrutable meant but we assumed it wasn't exactly complimentary.

Deng Xiao Ping got rolling in'80 while we were studying 'Theory Z' and the Japanese so we could get an EMBA and make lots of money.

Today you can't get an MBA from Kaplan online unless you understand the Stratagems of Sunzi. We're going with #14:

"Borrow a corpse to resurrect the soul."

"It is not from the benevolence of the butcher, the brewer, or the baker that we expect our dinner, but from their regard to their own interest," Adam Smith.

Individual Capitalism in US Agriculture is the lost and forgotten ideology that comprises the core, the soul, of our #14 Sunzi Strategem.

  • Borrow a corpse to resurrect the soul(借屍還魂/借尸还魂, Jiè shī huán hún)

Take an institution, a technology, a method, or even an ideology that has been forgotten or discarded and appropriate it for your own purpose. Revive something from the past by giving it a new purpose or bring to life old ideas, customs, or traditions and reinterpret them to fit your purposes.

The death of Individual Capitalism inversely follows the trajectory of industrialized agriculture, where less than 1% of the US population calls themselves farmers and half of those work on corporate farms. Starting after WWI the butcher, the brewer, the baker and the farmer abandoned rural America for the big cities. The secret ingredient in our secret Sunzi soup is outlawing the use of chemicals and GMO seeds in domestic agriculture.

When Motorola dumped their circuit board manufacturing waste in the ground under Scottsdale they created the EPA’s largest Super-Fund site to clean it up. Monoculture, and Monsanto, in conjunction with factory-farming of beef, dairy, poultry and pork have depleted two-thirds of the carbon content in US topsoil. Thus unlike the Motorola case, the objective is to put the carbon back, return to organic fertilization to restore the soil biology. Not an easy task, but if C-130’s flew Agent Orange missions over rural America, the degradation would quickly come to an end.

 

 


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