A formerly secret 2013 Pentagon report, The Strategic Consequences of Chinese Racism: A Strategic Asymmetry for the United States, argues “China is a racist superpower.” It makes for eye-opening reading on how both the Chinese people and the American deep state think.
This book-length paper, which was posted online as the result of Freedom of Information Act litigation and then discovered by Twitter user @s_decatur, is by an author whose name remains redacted. But we know for sure that it was commissioned by the legendary nonagenarian strategist Andrew Marshall.
This shadowy mandarin started his career as a machinist in Detroit during WWII, then joined the RAND Corporation in 1949 to do Dr. Strangelove-like nuclear war planning. Henry Kissinger brought him into the Nixon White House and in 1973 Defense Secretary James Schlesinger created the enigmatic Office of Net Assessment for Marshall to think deep thoughts like a terrestrial Hari Seldon about the future of superpower rivalries.
He served as Director of Net Assessment in a windowless suite of Pentagon offices for 42 years under thirteen secretaries of defense until his retirement in 2015 at age 93, when he was said to be the oldest federal worker ever. A Chinese general considered Marshall perhaps China’s wisest foe and referred to the ancient seer as “Yoda.”
Nobody outside the Pentagon knows all that much about his views—not even secretaries of defense were allowed to keep copies of his highest-level write-ups known as “net assessments.” Only one copy of each was printed and when the cabinet officer finished reading it, Marshall put it back in his safe.
But it is said that in the 1970s Marshall debunked the CIA’s contention that the Soviet Union was an economic dynamo and argued for bankrupting the USSR through defense spending competition. Then in the mid-1990s, he contended that Middle Eastern terrorists were a relatively minor distraction while America’s great rival in the 21st century would be China.
Marshall seldom spoke to the press, so his name went largely unknown. On the other hand, over his four decades in office, he commissioned something like $400 million in studies by national security intellectuals, many of whom enthusiastically testify to Marshall’s brilliance at asking the important questions.
Whether Marshall represented an exception to Cochran’s Rule that “There is no Inner Party”—that in modern America there’s no all-knowing O’Brien in 1984 or Mustapha Mond in Brave New World who understands how everything works—remains obscure. But this study of Chinese racism he ordered is at least more interesting than our usual discourse.
Delivered at the time of the Obama administration’s “pivot to Asia,” this 254-page report on how America should expose and exploit China’s deep-seated racism to win the competition for global influence, especially in Africa, cost taxpayers $262,600. The author’s name is blacked out, but is likely political scientist Bradley A. Thayer, currently at the U. of Texas, San Antonio.
Whoever wrote it, the Pentagon’s analysis argues that throughout Chinese history:
China sees itself as the center of the universe, all others are inferior, with varying degrees of inferiority. That is not an attractive model of winning allies and influence.
On the other hand, who needs friends when you have family? There are, as the document emphasizes, over a billion intelligent, industrious, and close-knit Han.
Still, the Chinese are not subtle about their sense of racial and cultural superiority:
Other peoples and groups are seen to be inferior, with a sliding scale of inferiority. The major Chinese distinction is between degrees of barbarians, the “black devils,” the savage inferiors beyond hope of interaction and the “white devils” or tame barbarians with whom the Chinese can interact…. Lamentably, modern Chinese views on race are no better than they were in the past.
The redacted author contends:
First, virulent racism and eugenics heavily inform Chinese perceptions of the world. United States decision-makers must recognize that China is a racist state, much closer to Nazi Germany than to the values upheld in the West…. The Chinese are comfortable using race to explain events and appealing to racist stereotypes to advance their interests. Most insidious is the Chinese belief that Africans in particular need Chinese leadership.
Most often, the Chinese do not even recognize their racism as a problem…. The Chinese are never going to go through a civil rights movement like the United States.
In fact, the Chinese don’t understand that diversity is our strength. To the Chinese:
The United States used to be a strong society that the Chinese respected when it was unicultural, defined by the centrality of AngloProtestant culture at the core of American national identity aligned with the political ideology of liberalism, the rule of law, and free market capitalism. The Chinese see multiculturalism as a sickness that has overtaken the United States, and a component of U.S. decline.
In this study of Chinese prejudice, the Chinese tend to get the best lines. (Hopefully, Andrew Marshall won’t be posthumously canceled when somebody finally figures that out.)
But Chinese racism doesn’t stop the Chinese from playing the race card against us:
The Chinese will make appeals to Third World states based on “racial solidarity,” that is, the need of non-white peoples to unite against Western imperialism and racism.
Antiwhite racial resentment combined with amoral commercial dynamism make China a daunting competitor:
The essence of the Chinese message to Third World states is a straightforward rhetorical query: Has the United States or the Europeans ever treated you as equals? In contrast, China portrays itself as an apolitical rising superpower that does business in your country, pays a fair price for your commodities, and builds your infrastructure with no strings attached.
And at home, ethnocentrism makes the Chinese state powerful:
United States defense decision-makers must recognize that racism is a cohesive force for the Chinese…. As lamentable as it is, Chinese racism helps to make the Chinese a formidable adversary. There are three critical consequences that result from this. The first is the sense of unity the Chinese possess. Second, it allows the Chinese to have a strong sense of identity, which in turn permits them to weather adversity, and to be focused and secure in confidence that the rest of the nation is with them. Third, China is not plagued by self-doubt or guilt about its past.
(The prose style could have used a copy editor, but where would you find one with a high enough security clearance?)
The Chinese just like being Chinese:
Knowing that one is not alone, but is backed by over a billion others who share the same thoughts, cultural references, and attitudes is reassuring for each Han Chinese. In truth, they are a society with considerable social capital that Harvard sociologist Robert Putnam identifies as central to the prosperity of a community. It makes it far more likely that they will respond to government entreaties to support the nation as it advances or when it is challenged by domestic social or economic problems or by other states. Huntington identified the importance of this, and lamented its loss in the United States.
It’s almost as if diversity is divisive…
In fact, it’s probably hopeless for the U.S. to try to undermine China by selling the sacredness of diversity to the Chinese:
China does not face a “culture war” like the one currently taking place in the United States. There is no fundamental debate about the identity of the country, the principles it embodies, who belongs and who does not, and the direction in which the country should move. This gives the Chinese government a considerable advantage as a unicultural state in competition with the multicultural United States. In sum, it will be hard to cause a loss of confidence with the Chinese.
Fortunately for Washington, in the struggle for the hearts and minds of nonwhites, especially Africans:
Chinese racism retards their relations with the Third World…. [The] racial stereotypes of the Africans commonly found within Chinese society suggest that this population is backward and dirty, and prone to crime, particularly violent crime…. [These] beliefs, coupled with clannish and ruthless Chinese business practices, generate enormous resentment in the Third World.
Therefore, to challenge China in the Third World, America should adopt a policy of calling attention to Chinese bigotry. After all,
Chinese racism provides empirical evidence of how the Chinese will treat other international actors if China becomes dominant.
The report suggests Washington emphasize questions such as:
“Why do the Chinese refuse to change their racist views of the rest of the world?”… “Why don’t the Chinese like black people; or Indians; or South East Asians; or Latin Americans?”… “Why do the Chinese support eugenics generations after it was discredited in the West?”
In contrast, America should proudly laud its own half century of anti-racism:
“The West confronted racism and developed a strong culture of anti-racism. China has not, nor is it likely to do so.”
The author explains that in America:
The primary and secondary educational system has been completely remade since 1970s to emphasize the contributions of racial minorities and the dangers of racism. The students receive instruction about the evils of prejudice and bigotry from K-12, while positive education about minorities is heavily emphasized. For the American student today, anti-racism and minority history months are as much a part of his primary and secondary education as instruction in mathematics, government, or physical education.
But that’s not all Washington should do. For instance, the U.S. should trumpet abroad its massive non-white immigration and the striking fact that it gives affirmative action to immigrants:
First, the United States seeks the best from around the world, and will permit them to come to the country so that they may prosper, fulfill themselves as individuals, innovate, and, in turn, aid economic growth and innovation in the United States. Second, the United States opens its society, educational system, universities, military, and economy to immigrants as countless examples demonstrate. Third, it has in place Affirmative Action policies as a matter of state policy that benefits immigrants from racial minorities and/or those who are women.
Basically, for America to remain the global hegemon, Americans have to give away the advantages of being an American. In fact, to make the rest of the world like us enough to let Washington lead them, we need to not just let them move here but subsidize them when they arrive.
And Americans still won’t get any credit for it. As @s_decatur points out:
The 2013 report argued that the U.S. had a significant “soft power” advantage in that “it is not a racist state.” Unfortunately, the U.S. ruling class spent most of 2020–2021 proclaiming that the U.S. definitely *is* a racist state—so this advantage may have been lost.
It’s important to note that giving away the country to make friends abroad is an old American strategy. For instance, when researching the Obama family history, I learned that Barack Obama is the living embodiment of a Cold War effort to counter Moscow’s Patrice Lumumba University for Third World revolutionaries by inviting young foreign elites to study in paradise at the U. of Hawaii, where Obama’s mother met both her Kenyan and Indonesian husbands.
Journalists and media opinion-makers frequently share a multiracial and multicultural vision of their societies as well. Yet, thus far, they have not treated the problem of Chinese racism with the attention it deserves….
But the problem with getting the press to focus on Chinese racism is that the Chinese aren’t white, and the Great Awokening’s anti-racism isn’t against racism, it’s against whites.
Hence, antiwhite racists in America don’t have to look to the government of China for support when they can get billions from American corporations.
The Chinese seem to sense that they aren’t good at positive propaganda, like the British or the Israelis are, so they concentrate on discouraging criticism in the Saudi manner, such as by buying off Hollywood and the National Basketball Association to not say anything bad about China.
The American press would rather instead obsess over Russia as a dreaded white country, even though Putin runs an enthusiastically multiethnic empire. For example, his defense minister Sergey Shoygu is an East Asian from Tuva, home of the throat-singers, and Putin promotes mass immigration from ex-Soviet Muslim nations in Central Asia.
As The Strategic Consequences of Chinese Racism makes plain, the great Chinese advantage over both the United States and Russia is that it’s less of an empire and more of a nation-state.
In summary, it’s not clear whether the wily Marshall intended this document more as a guide to how to exploit China’s faults or as a disguised warning of America’s increasing self-destructiveness.
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