Network Politics, Part 1, 0GW/4GW: Iraqi Sunnis

Note: This is a selection from Network Politics, a tdaxp series.

network_politics_md

Earlier I described the fusion of Pre-Modern (or 0GW) and 4G nets, using the religious right in America as an example. Combining the will to power of 4G networks with the strength of families, the American Right Christian are exerting their power as never before.

But what if the situation called for going beyond politics? What if the PM/4G networks were ready to kill people?

Welcome to the insurgency in Iraq

First, take a boring family tree:

medium_pmw_4gw_3.jpg

Three generations are shown, as well as three original couples. At the time of the diagram there are 12 males, of which five are married (more interested in stability) and seven are single (less interested in stability). Now imagine one of the more influential single males joins the insurgency and, drawing on family rule sets (“heeding your uncle,” “protecting the family,” etc.) recruits four others…

medium_pmw_4gw_1.jpg
A Fourth-Generation network attached to a Pre-Modern network!

So how is this PMW/4GW hybrid defeated? It has the strengths of both kind of organizations, so it is undefeatable?

No.

One option would be to lakota the insurgency. The Lakota Sioux was a violent Indian nation with a history of aggressive warfare. Allying with the United States in several early Indian wars, the Lakota eventually began massacring white settlers and succeeded in ethnically cleansing the Dakota Territory. After the convention war ended, the Federal Government responded with a hellish system of boarding school designed the destroy Lakota Sioux culture. The federal government succeeded. By removing children from their families and placing them in an alien environment that Lakota culture was not adapted to, it obliterated the Lakota ability to make war. While some warriors will remain, the fighting networks are shattered and the Pre-Modern Networks – families – fade away.

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Children, Removed from Pre-Modern Net, Under State-Control

The downsides are numerous

  • Violation of human rights
  • Fits some definitions of “genocide”
  • Unlikely democratic Iraqi government will support
  • Unlikely Coalition members will support
  • Unlikely American people will support

In other words, the Lakota Option would be a massive American moral Isolation [PISRR] attack on America. Not a future worth creating.

More attractive is targeted denial of service attacks.

I earlier described a real-life DOS attack. DOS attacks are a form of “node takedown” or “politics of personal destruction” where the goal is to prevent leaders (ironically called “servers,” because they “serve” information) from talking to followers (called “clients”). Instead of America being morally isolated, we morally isolate the anti-Iraqis. Here’s how:

  1. Police capture any insurgent from the clan.
  2. Every single male is taken for questioning
  3. Police determine which single males are opinion leaders. No confessions are accusations are needed. The police only need to know which single males in the family are considered “important” or “honorable.”
  4. Police then launch the DOS attack on the single male opinion leaders. This can be indefinite detention, spreading disinformation that the targets themselves are cooperating, public humiliation (particularly sexual in a conservative society like Iraq), etc. No one needs to be tortured or killed. But the single male opinion network must be shattered
  5. Afterwards, the formerly important and honorable single males are disreputable. They do not attract followers from their tribe or clan.

Taking the same chart used previously, but snipping only the two leaders, we now get…

medium_pmw_4gw_3.jpg

…A Peaceful Iraq!


Network Politics, a tdaxp series
Introduction: Net-Attacks and Counter-Attacks
Part 1, 0GW / 4GW: Iraqi Sunnis
Part 2, 0GW / 4GW: Christian Conservatives
Part 3, 1GW / 4GW: George Soros
Part 4, 2GW / 4GW: Social Security
Part 5, 4GW / 4GW: John Kerry

Network Politics, Part 2, 0GW/4GW: Christian Conservatives

Note: This is a selection from Network Politics, a tdaxp series.

network_politics_md

The Power of the Mustard Seed: Why strict churches are strong,” by Judith Shulevitz, Slate, 12 May 2005, http://www.slate.com/id/2118313/?GT1=6443.

Pre-Modern Politics (PMP), also called 0th Generational War (0GW), is hierarchical and family-based.
4th Generation of Modern Politics (4GP or 4GW) is flat and ideology-based

When PMP and 4GP forces combine, they are very powerful

Judy Shulevitz starts by wondering by stricter faiths — religions harder to observe — have been growing while more licentious churches have been failing

It isn’t easy to explain why some people submit enthusiastically to religious law, especially when you’re talking to people who have never had the slightest desire to do so. Why limit yourself to a “theology of the body,” as the late Pope John Paul II called it, when birth control and stem-cell research promise relief from two of the most painful vicissitudes of bodily existence, unwanted pregnancy and degenerative disease? Why restrict yourself to kosher food, when kashrut relies on zoological classifications that went out of date thousands of years ago?

Then Shulevitz describes a Laurence Iannacconne essay — Why Strict Churches are Strong


According to Iannaccone, the devout person pays the high social price because it buys a better religious product. The rules discourage free riders, the people who undermine group efforts by taking more than they give back. The strict church is one in which members with weak commitments have been weeded out

What does the pious person get in return for all of his or her time and effort? A church full of passionate members; a community of people deeply involved in one another’s lives and more willing than most to come to one another’s aid; a peer group of knowledgeable souls who speak the same language (or languages), are moved by the same texts, and cherish the same dreams.

In exchange for hardship, the worshiper gains fellowship and gets to share in a great future worth creating.

To see the kind of amazingly strong networks it creates, first take a standard family, or “Pre-Modern,” network

medium_pmw_4gw_0.jpg

Solid lines connect siblings and parents, dashed lines connect in-laws

All of the lines in the chart show first-order relations: brother, sister, mother, father, brother-in-law, sister-in-law, mother-in-law, and father-in-law. Even without showing how aunts, uncles, nephews, nieces, grandparents, etc relate, the network is very thick. There are so many connections it almost becomes unreadable.

Now imagine every family member — ever node — being connected with every other one because they are part of the same active church. The cohesion, the control, the rule sets, and the belonging grow exponentially when families are part of the same church.

And now imagine the church isn’t just active, but has an ideology — such as anti-abortion, anti-homosexualism, etc. Graft onto the church’s internet of Pre-Modern networks one 4G network.

This PMP/4GP hybrid is a major reason for Republican success in the United States. It is why the libertarian factions of the party largely tolerated the Schiavo debacle. Because the Religious Right is a large and because of its internets, disproportionately powerful segment of the party. And the Left, with its anti-religious bent, has nothing against it.


Network Politics, a tdaxp series
Introduction: Net-Attacks and Counter-Attacks
Part 1, 0GW / 4GW: Iraqi Sunnis
Part 2, 0GW / 4GW: Christian Conservatives
Part 3, 1GW / 4GW: George Soros
Part 4, 2GW / 4GW: Social Security
Part 5, 4GW / 4GW: John Kerry

New York Times on National Savings Rate

H&R Blockbuster,” New York Times, 17 May 2005, http://www.nytimes.com/2005/05/17/opinion/17tues1.html?.

A good suggestion from Nyt on increasing national savings: government-matching of IRA contributions

Another important reason is that typical tax- sheltered savings accounts – unlike the matched I.R.A. deposits in the H&R Block test – are not structured to take advantage of how people actually behave with regard to their money. It is more difficult to part with a portion of one’s paycheck than it is to save part of a tax refund because a paycheck represents bread and butter, while a refund seems like a windfall. Psychologically, a match that is paid directly into one’s account is more gratifying than a tax write-off. And then there’s convenience. H&R Block made it easy for its clients to save. We can’t say the same thing for the United States Congress, with its hodgepodge of poorly targeted and complex savings programs.

Lawmakers in Washington could establish a generous and easily understandable I.R.A. match for a fraction of what it would cost to extend the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy. The evidence in favor of doing so is compelling. Then, when the ideological din abates, a future Congress can enact the reforms that are actually needed to strengthen Social Security after midcentury: modest tax increases and tempered benefit cuts, phased in over decades.

Their suggestion to tax the young more to support a unconsciounable 1930s-era SS system is less moral, but I’m glad they have joined the discussion.

Fahrenheit 9/11 is Incredibly Boring

I am almost an hour into Michael Moore’s Fahrenheit 9/11, and there about five funny moments so far. There are no dramatic moments. Nor is there any clear pacing. It is incredibly, incredibly boring.

If you want an underrated Michael Moore film, watch Bowling for Columbine. If you want a stylish anti-American documentary, grab The Power of Nightmares.

Moore is a great marketer. But this time, not a good director.

4GW As Practiced By Newsweek (Spinning of Bogus Story as 4GPS1 Attack)

4GPS1 v 4GPS2 (Netroots Think 4GPS1 Is More Important),” by Dan, tdaxp, 10 May 2005, http://www.tdaxp.com/archive/2005/05/10/4gps1_v_4gps2_netroots_think_4gps1_is_more_important.html.

4GW As Practiced By Newsweek,” by Thomas Barnett, Thomas P.M. Barnett :: Weblog, 16 May 2005, http://www.thomaspmbarnett.com/weblog/archives2/001805.html.

TPMB uses Newsweek’s bogus story on desecration of the Koran at Gitmo to segue into a criticism of 4th Generation War.

We are told by Fourth Generation Warfare adherents that what is real and what is perceived are two different things, with the latter almost always trumping the former’s impact on the 4GW battlefield. Much as with cyberwar, however, 4GW’s theory of conflict often seems overwhelmed by the sheer mass of stuff that goes on accidentally in the global environment, such as the recent journalistic snafu by Newsweek.

Point being: as globalization grows and complexity takes root over more and more of the planet, the ability of any 4GW-waging warrior to have his attacks rise above the level of “white noise” in the system gets harder and harder.

That’s like saying “Assassination is not a concern of Iraq, because of all the regular murders.”

For example: imagine if a leading cleric in Iraq was accidentally killed in a shout-out between thugs. Not news. But if influential American started saying that he was killed by anti-Iraqis, and that Americans failed to protect him, it becomes news. It becomes power.

The same thing is happening here. Popular academics like Juan Cole say that the “apology” was actually a confirmation.

Cole, the insurgents, and the other 4th Generation Strugglers against a free Iraq are using agitation-propaganda to build their network. As I previously described the 1st Stage of 4th Generation Politics

This first stage of a 4GP net, characterized by a weak 4GP movement and a strong enemy. 4GPS1 attacks are known as “node takedown,” “the politics of personal destruction,” “agitation-propaganda,” or just “horror stories.” These are high-profile symbolic attacks designed to recruit followers through “militancy.”

Just as Fourth Generation Warfare is more than “servicing targets,” Fourth Generation Politics is more than the stories politicians use — it is the spin of those stories. To rephrase Barnett’s paragraph:

We are told by Fourth Generation Warfare adherents that what is real and what is perceived are two different things, with the latter almost always trumping the former’s impact on the 4GW battlefield. To wit, 4GW practitioners manipulate the sheer mass of stuff that goes on accidentally in the global environment, such as the recent journalistic snafu by Newsweek.

Now that’s a spin I can live with.