Global Guerrillaism or Idiocy?

There’s an ongoing debate about low intelligence, environmental instability, and the livint standards of a country. It’s worth reading about, but I will set that aside to re-join the discussion on global guerrillas, with my friends Schloky, Soob, and others.

I’ve criticized global guerrilla theory before. It is unfalsifiable, lacks metrics, and lacks any explanation of why someone would become a global guerrilla. About the only thing going for the theory is that there are “failed states” and “hollow states” in the world. Global guerrillas would want to create hollow states, so the argument goes, therefore, these hollow states may have been caused by global guerrillas.

Of course, this is like arguing in favor of aliens by saying there are lights in the sky. And it can be combated in the same way. The “alien hypothesis” for UFOs is not taken seriously because far more boring explanations (misidentified planets, military craft, etc.) work equally well. Likewise, the “global guerrilla” explanation for failed states falls because something far more obvious prevents societies from being stable.

Take, for example, Africa… a continent riddled with failed states since decolonization.

The African Gap

According to the latest failed states index, the hollowest countries in Africa are Sudan, Somalia, Zimbabwe, Chad, Ivoery Coast, Congo, Guinea, Central African Republic, Uganda, and Nigeria. An evidence of a global guerrilla swam? Hardly: the mean intelligent quotients of these countries are 72, unreported, 66, unreported, unreported, 65,59, unreported, 73, and 67.

Why don’t African states get better? Because the population, on the whole, has the intelligence of 12-year-olds.

Intelligence, besides making one “smarter,” is correlated with the ability to delay gratification and the ability to solve problems — precisely those skills needed for civilized life

To be persuasive, global guerrilla theory needs to explain failed states in a way better than other explanations. Lack of intelligence, combined with economic structure, alone is enough to explain most failed states. So why bother with “global guerrillas”?

Update: Tom adds his thoughts.


Adding to the swarm of blogtalk about innovation (MountainRunner, the first post at ERM, this blog, Zenpundit once, and Zenpundit twice), Stephen DeAngelis comes to the topic of creativity. He gives some numbered myths about creativity

  1. there is always a “eureka” moment
  2. there is a clear path to innovation
  3. people “dig” new ideas
  4. the lone innovator
  5. most people can’t be creative
  6. you’ll know innovation when you see it
  7. the best ideas wins
  8. innovation is always good

Those interested in creativity may be interested in my analysis of Coming Anarchy, where I identified several factors necessary for creative success, including:

Finally, I also interviewed Steve’s co-worker, Tom Barnett, as a project for the same doctoral class on creativity that generated the CA analysis.