Working definition of "Global Guerrillas," Try 2

My first proposed definition for “Global Guerrillas” received some amazing feedback, so I thought I try once more. The new version attempts to incorporate reader suggestions, such as explaining how g.g.s are “global” and dropping the required connection to a “bazaar of violence.”

global guerrillas (n. pl) are non-state actors who violently oppose a state. They attempt to preserve domestic anarchy and prevent the formation of a national government or state-level hegemon. Compare with balance-of-power realists, who attempt to preserve international anarchy and prevent the formation of a world government or system-level hegemon. Contrast against insurgents, who are non-state actors who violently oppose a state in order to replace or modify a government. Also constrast against anarchists, who reject any form of government. [ > Global, total, Guerrilla, anti-government actor].

For background, read my posts on the elements of global guerrilla theory, as well as the contested (though non-gibberish) nature of John Robb’s collected writings. Additional information is available from Dreaming 5GW, Shloky, and Soob.

0 thoughts on “Working definition of "Global Guerrillas," Try 2”

  1. Sounds close. But depends how much you're going to hang on “attempt to preserve domestic anarchy “

    What do you mean by “anarchy”? Orderlessness or statelessness? How is it different from what *real* anarchists want?

    I'd suggest that “global” is less “total” and more in the sense of the word “globalization” : meaning things that tend to transcend national boundaries / escape national containment.

    But that's really for Robb to say what he meant. Might just be for the alliteration.

  2. “What do you mean by “anarchy”? “

    Lack of government. Lack of central leadership. Lack of a functioning bureaucracy.

    “Orderlessness or statelessness? “

    As “Order” can presumably extended to absurdity (is brownian motion a form of order), then 'statelessness.'

    “How is it different from what *real* anarchists want?”

    Ends and means. Global guerrillas are defined by their actions while anarchists are defined by their ideals.

    Think of Richard Nixon and Mao Zedong as state-level global guerrillas. They conspired to prevent Soviet leadership of the world system, not out of some love of leadershipless existence but out of a fear of what Soviet hegemony would mean. Nixon and Mao were happy enough to use the rhetoric of system-level anarchism (also known as Westphalianism [1]), but if either had been able to impose his own country's leadership in 1972 instead of issuing the Shanghai Communique, he would have.

    “I'd suggest that “global” is less “total” and more in the sense of the word “globalization” : meaning things that tend to transcend national boundaries / escape national containment.”

    So why not “interstate” or “international”? Or do these words automatically mean the same thing as “global”?

    [1] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peace_of_Westphalia#Traditional_realist_view

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