Great analogy between Weiqi and chess and contrast in the candidacies of Paul and Romney.

We see the shi strategy of Ron Paul in the great patience and nonaggression that favors the slow buildup of influence and strategic advantage over the decisive all-or-nothing clash. First, in the evolving GOP economic platform, Paul’s promotion and teaching of the Austrian school of economics and its business cycle theory has made the destructiveness of Federal Reserve interventionism a constant point of discussion in the primary race, which perhaps has been far more significant than the number of delegates won. Consider, for instance, Mitt Romney’s support of Paul’s current “Audit The Fed” bill, as well as his recent position on the inefficacy of further (as well as past) Fed quantitative easing; it remains only a question of degree with Romney, but a position that nonetheless would have been unlikely without the pressure from the Paul campaign—especially given Romney’s otherwise very simplistic Keynesian-leaning views.

Second, we see the shi strategy in Paul’s ever-expanding influence at the local and state level. Rather than winning at the GOP convention, the Ron Paul shi strategy has been to accumulate delegates in more and more caucus states, and thus control the states’ party apparatuses; from that base it will influence and back future like-minded libertarian-constitutionalist candidates for many years to come.

More than anything else, we can see Paul’s greatest shi advantage in his outsized support among the young. What better representation of the weiqi image than the potential in these well-positioned “stones” on the areas of the board of so little current consequence? Although undesired by political opponents today, their development will provide tremendous influence and advantage to Paul’s cause later.

In this society of immediate gratification and winning right now at all cost we need to ask ourselves: why should future elections and platforms matter so much less than the current ones? There are powerful cognitive biases at work—among them the temporal myopia of hyperbolic discounting, or excessively undervaluing the future, while focusing on the nearer term—which make fuzzy in our minds the importance of victories in the years ahead (a view that is promulgated by the media).

Romney wins the current decisive battle for delegates, and his fight with Obama will be critical, but a protracted campaign will continue to be waged. The ultimate war is against intrusive, burgeoning government, in the ongoing insurgencies of the battles yet to come—Ron Paul’s grand shi strategy.

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