The Generations of War: Not emerging, but always presenton July 21, 2007 at 12:00 am
Question: When did the generations of war was the first 1GW? 2GW? 3GW? 4GW? 5GW? And when will the next generation emerge?
Answer: Before the beginning of history. And it never will, because (if it exists) it is already here.
The generations of war do not spontaneously appear in history at some certain date. It is not like reality obeys the dictates of teleological dialectical idealism and that some grand Synthesis can only appear once a Thesis has met its Antithesis. It’s like not 5GW can only appear after 4GW has been rigorously described.
Rather, each generation of war is a method, a technology, of enforcing ones will on others. Mao is often described as the Ur-Father of 4GW, but there’s a good argument to be made that Jesus and Paul deserve that title, too. I would not be surprised if future examination of ancient Chinese writing reveal 4GW thousands of years ago, either.
Question: In a state-directed 5GW, a state-within blossoms into a state-beyond. During the Cold War, the state-within centered around President Truman blossomed into a state-beyond centered around the Military-Industrial-MILC-Complex (MILC). If, in this Long War, a Military-Industrial-Sysadmin-Complex (MISC) blossums, will it look similar to the MILC? Will it look like an iron triangle?
Human nature does not change. While people vary from time to time and place to place in intelligences, in preferences, in talents, and abilities, one rule up the behavior of all normal-functioning people:
“They love their families more than they love you.”
Why do doctors run unnecessary tests? Why do Congressmen love pork? Why do drug dealers distribute low-quality goods? Because each has responsibilities to an in-group (which you are not part of) more pressing than serving you and whatever out-group of which you are a member.
This is why every generation do not “emerge” through the centuries — because human nature does not “emerge” through the centuries. While different organizations may be more or less likely to employ this or that generation in order to enforce their will, every generational is theoretically employable. Now, a population with low average intelligence and low social complexity may be very unlikely to to employ 5GW, but this is just as true whether that population lives thirty centuries ago or thirty years from now. The Iron Triangle of the Military-Industrial-Complex manipulates actions by altering the environment where love is practiced: the triangle works because on every side, its functioning is determined by its members love for themselves and their families, not their love for some higher ideal.