Tag Archives: 4gp

Network Politics, Part 3, 1GW / 4GW: George Soros

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

network_politics_md

Let the Political Wars Begin,” by Richard Bond, Washington Times, 12 May 2005, http://www.washtimes.com/op-ed/20050511-085135-5927r.htm (Real Clear Politics).

Disclaimer: I generally admire George Soros. His Open Society Foundation and other groups have done real good in Georgia, Ukraine, and other countries. They continue peacefully organize people in Belarus, Uzbekistan, and other dictatorships. There’s a lot of conspiracy theories about Mr. Soros that are not true. Nonetheless, he is active political in the United States, and I believe his actions are explainable under Generational Network Struggle Theory and PISRR.

That said

Prolog: Two Separate Networks

The Soros Network (Sorosnet) is a fourth generation political movement dedicated to peacefully seizing the U.S. government and using executive, legislative, and judicial powers to enact its laws. Sorosnet is glued together through an ideological drive. At the same time, the Democrat Party (Demnet) is a first generation political movement dedicated to enacting the will of its leaders will building loyalty on a system of patrimony.

medium_soros_pisrr_dems_0.jpg
Sorosnet and Democrat Party: Two Separate Networks


Penetrate: Sorosnet Links With Demnet

The financial chieftains of the far-left of the Democratic Party met recently to discuss ways to win back the majority of American voters.

The elite group, comprised of several dozen millionaires, dubbed itself the “Phoenix Group,” and is led by billionaire George Soros. Details of the group’s deliberations were closely guarded, but reports indicate that the liberal financiers plan to fund multiple left-of-center groups in order to formulate a “new” party message.

This news ought to chill the hearts of loyal Democrats, in particular party moderates, in light of recent activity by one of the groups the millionaires have funded. Criticism of a centrist member of the Democratic leadership by MoveOn.org, recipient of $2.5 million from Mr. Soros in 2004, can be seen as the opening shot in an internal war that could cripple or even break apart the Democratic Party

Sorosnet supports MoveOn and related groups that surge into the Democrat primary and general elections. MoveOn support builds up preferred spokesmen like Michael Moore and tacitly endorses candidates that position themselves as radical (Howard Dead, Wes Clarke, etc.). Sorosnet penetration builds during the general election to all manner of propaganda

medium_soros_pisrr_dems_1.jpg
Sorosnet Peacefully Links With Demnet

Isolate: Sorosnet Attacks Hostile Democrat Nodes

MoveOn.org’s target was House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer of Maryland, one of 73 Democrats who supported bankruptcy-reform legislation. Mr. Hoyer, a 25- year congressional veteran, was the target of a critical $100,000 radio campaign funded by MoveOn.org as punishment for his vote to reform bankruptcy laws.

Mr. Hoyer is not the only Democrat to incur MoveOn.org’s wrath. The group’s director recently attacked the centrist Democrat Leadership Council (DLC) founded by then-Arkansas governor Bill Clinton. The DLC’s leader fired back that Democrats should reject Michael Moore and the MoveOn.org crowd.

Combining the First and Second stages of Fourth Generation Politics, Sorosnet begins altering Demnet through node takedown and network contestment. Maintaining a fast tempo of operations, Sorosnet constantly gets inside the Demnet decision (“Observe-Orient-Decide-Act,” or “OODA”) loop. The goals of Isolation attacks are to highlight the power and attractiveness of Sorosnet, the weakness and decadence of Demnet, as well as gaining network power.

medium_soros_pisrr_dems_2.jpg
Sorosnet Targets Demnet Node
medium_soros_pisrr_dems_3.jpg
Attack Successful: Victim Node Now Isolated From Friends

Subvert: Sorosnet Infests Demnet

While Mr. Hoyer is impregnable politically, winning with 69 percent of the vote in his last election, the message MoveOn.org is sending is clear: Bipartisan cooperation is unacceptable.

It’s not just “sending a message” – it is altering the very nature of Demnet. Power increasingly flows from Sorosnet, and Sorosnet-linked nodes, to ideologically neutral nodes. In other words, ideological infiltrators are “hijacking” a relationship-based partisan institution to push ideological ends. Demnet now not only suffers Sorosnet fellow travelers and link attacks – parts of the regular command-and-control of the party now actively push the Sorosnet agenda. Like a chemical in the bloodstream, Sorosnet’s influence spreads through the party’s bloodlines.

medium_soros_pisrr_dems_4.jpg
Sorosnet Uses Network Power to Influence Neutral Demnet Nodes

Reorient: Sorosnet Creates A New Reality

This is an objective of Sorosnet — it hasn’t happened yet. Sorosnet’s future worth creating is a Democrat Party that is commanded by Sorosnet nodes for Sorosnet purposes. Reorienting means that the party now accepts Sorosnet hegemony. However, the party is still in a transitional state, as most personal relationships pre-date Sorosnet system administration.

medium_soros_pisrr_dems_5.jpg
Goal: Sorosnet Runs Demnet

Reharmonize: We Are All Sorosnetizens Now

The final intra-party objective of The Soros Network: full Democrat acceptance of Sorosnet. Sorosnet ideology and nodes control all aspects of the party, and no intra-party opposition remains. In other words, a situation similar to the present Republican Party under the Social-Conservative/Pro-Market/Pro-Globalization regime.

medium_soros_pisrr_dems_6.jpg
Goal: Sorosnet Is Demnet

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 5, 4GW / 4GW: John Kerry

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

network_politics_md

Kerry takes on … the gays,” by kos, Daily Kos, 9 May 2005, http://www.dailykos.com/storyonly/2005/5/9/15543/65846.

John Kerry Needs To Go Away,” by John in DC, America Blog, 9 May 2005, http://americablog.blogspot.com/2005/05/john-kerry-needs-to-go-away.html.

Another post illustrating Fourth Generation Political theory and the dysfunctional nature of the liberal “netroots”

But first, some definitions

  • The Fourth Generation of Modern Politics (4GP): a modern method of politics designed to seize the government and enact laws. When successful it is based on flat-horizontal-strong ideological networks. Resistant to decapitation attacks, these peer-to-peer nets can sustain themselves for fights that last decades. A 4GP struggle evolves in three unique stages, though the network can go back and forth or even be at different stages in different places at the same time.
  • 4GP’s First Stage (4GPS1): 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.”
  • 4GP’s Second Stage (4GPS2): The second stage of a 4GP, characterized by a strong 4GP movement and a peer-strength enemy. The most popular kind of 4GPS2 attack is “network contestment,” where the insurgent network tries to steal members away from an existing network in mass, or otherwise inflict mass harm on the victim net.
  • 4GP’s Third Stage (4GPS3): The final stage of 4GP, characterized by direct assaults and take-over of the government, the military, and police powers. 4GPS3 attacks are known as “elections,” “judicial nominations,” “Presidential appointments,” or similar names. These are attacks by very strong 4GP networks that attempt to co-opt the government for its own purposes. Successful 4GPS3 is the goal of almost every 4GP network.

Now, the story.


John Kerry was the Democrat nominee for President in 2004 and he wants to run again 2008. He is faced with a population that looks like this:

“Blue” liberals are outnumbered by “Red” conservatives 3:2. These factions spend their time arguing and trying to make each other look bad. The general population — folks who don’t care that much one way or the other — are broken down on similar lines. Visually:

medium_4gps1_v_4gps2_0.jpg
Contemporary Politics
Lines represent supportive political communication, arrows represent attacks. Note that the “playing field” is tilted toward Red Conservatives, and that the Conservative net is thicker

The only way for liberals to win is to tear off a substantial fraction of undecided moderates. Kerry wants to run for President in 2008, and he knows that unless the “liberal” Democrats tear off a substantial number of moderates, his party will lose again. Kerry saw a good opportunity to do this when the Massachusetts Democrat Party pondered supporting homosexualist marriage. So Kerry publicly opposed homosexualist marriage in his home state, in an attempt to form bonds with moderates who also oppose homosexualist marriage. If successful, this would change the correlation to forces to favor the Democrats and liberal groups. Visually:

medium_4gps1_v_4gps2_1.jpg
Kerry’s Appeal to the Center
John Kerry publicly opposed homosexualist marriages to attempt to form common bonds with Republican-leaning moderates.

Trying to steal Republican supports this way is network contestment — classic 4GPS2. To work it requires the liberal base — the “netroots” — to support him. It requires liberal radicals to realize that a successful 4GPS2 attack makes successful 4GPS3 attacks more likely, and it requires the liberal radicals to believe that political struggle without 4GPS3 victories is useless.

Guess how well that turned out.

dKos:

Before the election I called Kerry a “spineless ass” for his opposition (where none was warranted) of gay marriage in Massachusetts. Opposition that was clearly politically motivated given his past support on the issue. Well, my assessment remains operative.

Kos is launching a 4GPS1 attack on his ally, while his ally is attacking Republicans with a 4GPS2 attack! Friendly fire!

Visually:

medium_4gps1_v_4gps2_2.jpg
Liberal Radicals Attack Their Ally

This is like terrorists attacking Abu Zarqawi because that terrorist was spending too much time controlling territory at night and not enough setting off car bombs.

But it gets worse for the liberal network. The attack isn’t an end in itself. It has a goal

America Blog:

I’ve had it with this jerk. He was a lousy presidential candidate, couldn’t find a consistent position non the Iraq war if his life depended on it, and now the only consistent message he’s been able to find post-election is to bash gays.

Note to Kerry: Go away. You were a crappy candidate, a milquetoast Senator (Kennedy always pulled your weight, anyway), and now you have the nerve to weigh in AGAINST gay rights in your own state? Grow a pair, buddy, then come back and we’ll talk.

If you dare run for president again, I’ll be telling the world loud and clear that I voted for John Kerry for president, before I voted against him.

The goal of the netroot attack on Kerry is to disconnect Kerry.

The goal of the liberal radicals is to shrink the liberal network.

The visual is astounding

medium_4gps1_v_4gps2_3.jpg
America Blog‘s Future Worth Creating: Kerry Disconnected

Disconnection is something reserved for The Enemy.

Of course, liberal radicals believe that Washington Democrats are the enemies.

The outlook for conservatives: good.


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

4GPS3: The Waterfall of Compounding Victories

Time To Pull The Plug on PBS,” by Chris Bowers , MyDD, 3 May 2005, http://www.mydd.com/story/2005/5/3/17570/07385.

Remember this?

medium_2gp_v_4gp_after1_sm.jpg
Key: Blue, rejectionists; Red, reformers; Orange, rejectionists ready to deal; Dark Blue, extreme rejectionists; solid lines, mutual support; arrow lines, mutual opposition

or even this

medium_2gp_v_4gp_after2_sm.jpg
Key: Blue, rejectionists; Red, reformers; Orange, “weak-kneed” rejectionists; solid lines, mutual support; arrow lines, mutual opposition

They’re example of successful network disintegration attacks. However, they focused exclusively on 4GPS2 — the second or “network contest” stage of fourth generation politics. I’ve yet to blog how a success in the third stage — government control — effects this.

In fourth generation struggles not all areas will be at the same stage at the same time. Some parts of the government may be past 4GPS3 — the ideological movement may control parts of the government — while others are in the early stages of 4GPS2 — the ideological network is still trying to destroy other, rival nets.

A successful fourth generation politician will use a victory in one area to demoralize and destroy the networks of his enemies in another. Such a thing is happening now.

To backup a little, in November 2004 George Bush won reelection. This was a vertical scenario — it happened fast and had a lot of downstream effects. These included asbestos reform, bankruptcy reform, and PBS reform. These horizontal scenarios takes time to play themselves out, and can generate their own vertical scenarios.

One of these vertical consequences was the the news that the Corporation for Public Broadcasting’s new President was going to attack liberal bias at the PBS network. And in turn, this vertical shock creates its own horizontal waves, including

medium_waterfall_of_victories.jpg
Cascading Waterfall of Victories
4GPS3 Victories at CPB Lead to 4GPS2 Network Disintegration
  • less state-sponsored liberal propaganda
  • a netroots boycott of PBS
  • liberal network disintegration

Am I just dreaming about liberals falling apart over Bush’s move? Nope.

The way I figure it, however, if liberals can’t have PBS, no one can. Just bag the whole damn thing. Like Republicans really deserve to control public airwaves anyway, when they would rather everything public (at least everything public that works) be sold off to uber-wealthy private interests anyway. Considering the impending changes, I say let it die.

Just as I predicted, liberal radicals turn on “neutrals” and former allies as new enemies.

But it gets better! This horizontal weakening of liberal networks increases the possibility of more favorable vertical shocks: more conservative electoral victories. Which will lead to more horizontal victories, leading to more vertical victories…

Such is one network destroyed, as the other assumes more.

Update: Austin Bay Blog looks at cascades in fourth generation war

Network Politics, Part 4, 2GW/4GW: Social Security

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

network_politics_md

John Thune Wants to Steal Your Social Security Money,” by Chad Shuldt, Clean Cut Kid, 29 April2005, http://www.cleancutkid.com/2005/04/29/john-thune-want-to-steal-your-social-security-money/.

The Greediest Generation,” by Nicholas Kristof, New York Times, 1 May 2005, http://www.nytimes.com/2005/05/01/opinion/01kristof.html.

Bush’s Social Security gamble puts pressure on Democrats,” USA Today, 1 May 2005, http://www.usatoday.com/news/opinion/editorials/2005-05-01-gamble-edit_x.htm (from Stanley Kurtz on The Corner).

In Praise of Bush’s Honesty (Honest),” by Michael Kinsley, Washington Post, 1 May 2005, http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/04/30/AR2005043000746.html.

The Challenge to Democrats,” Washington Post, 1 May 2005, http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/04/30/AR2005043000734.html.

Programs for the poor always turn into poor programs,” by DavidNYC, Daily Kos, 1 May 2005, http://www.dailykos.com/storyonly/2005/5/2/04027/69305.

Or, perhaps make it mandatory,” by Michael Forbush, Dr. Forbush Thinks, 2 May 2005, http://drforbush.blogspirit.com/archive/2005/04/29/private_accounts.html#c96453.

Welfare for Old People?,” by Kevin Drum, Political Animal, 2 May 2005, http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/archives/individual/2005_05/006230.php.

Until very recently the Social Security debate looked like this

medium_2gp_v_4gp_before_sm.jpg
Key: Blue, rejectionists; Red, reformers; solid lines, mutual support; arrow lines, mutual opposition

On the right you have a fourth generation political movement. The debate for personal accounts is part of the decades-old Conservative insurgency. The movement is basically horizontal, with no clear leader. Instead, it is driven by an ideological agenda…


On the left you have a second generation movement. A type of movement defined by media and mass mobilization, the 2GP had one message: “No!” Some are older liberals, some are anti-Conservatives, some are just worried about innovations.

Note that the left (2GP) network is more symetrical and “better” organized. The simplicity of its message allows it to focus on “better” organization, because individual members do not have to be indoctrinated or kept in some ideology. In contrast, the strength of the right (4GP) network is its ideology, so chain-of-communication is abandoned in favor of an immersive environment.

because for any new thing, all who would be harmed by it oppose it fully, and those who would be helped support it only half-heartedly, the rejectionist camp was much larger than the innovators. In a fair fight, the No!’s would quickly fun and the idea of social security personal accounts would go away.

Unfortunately for them, fourth generation movements do not fight “fair.”

Fourth generation movements are governed by ideology. Almost every proposal is just a means of furthering that ideology. With very few exceptions, for 4G movements direction matters more than speed. Unlike the rejectionists, who are married to a specific proposal (“No!”), the 4G ideologues can modify their proposals to break part the enemy network, so long as the direction of the proposal furthers their ideology. This can also be a weapon of politics, where network collapse becomes an operational objective.

In his Thursday press conference, Bush did exactly that. He heavily modified his original proposal to increase the payments for SS higher earners by only inflation, but SS lower earners by wages. Over the decades, this means there will eventually be only a flat SS payment for everybody.

What’s the effect?

Clean Cut Kid

There is one proposal out there that is based around “progressive” indexing, and it’s likely to be presented to Congress since “everything is on the table” (other than keeping Social Security as close to possible in its current state). But make no mistake about it, progressive indexing is just another scheme to rob working people of the money they have already paid into the system through taxation on every dollar they worked to earn.

This is highway robbery, and it’s just plain wrong. Some would say it is not very Christian.

Kevin Drum

Hear hear. In fact, when his aides presented him with their initial Social Security proposals 70 years ago, FDR balked: “No dole,” he said, “mustn’t have a dole” — because he knew instinctively that welfare programs are both fundamentally unpopular as well as corrosive to the human spirit. Conservatives understand this better than liberals, and know perfectly well that the best way to kill something is to convince the public that it’s actually a welfare program.

Michael Forbush

Since George W Bush actually wants to destroy social security he has proposed a two step process. First, get people to put their money in the stock market instead of a social security insurance plan. Then tell the people that it is stupid for the government to take your money and invest it for you, hence you should be free to invest it yourself. In fact, George’s new details recently explained at the press conference show that he is trying to erode political support for the program by means testing. This will result in turning the Social Security program into another welfare program and make it even easier to destroy in the future.

daily Kos

This so-called “Pozen plan” is a real Bush two-fer: Sock it to the middle classes now, while setting up a long-range plan to truly hose the poor later. Given how badly Bushco stumbled in trying to destroy Social Security with private accounts, I wouldn’t be surprised if means-testing has become the new avenue of attack because it polled better.

And oh, it’s a wily plan, alright – if Democrats oppose it, we can rely on our whore media to paint us as benefactors of the wealthiest. (The GOP will get a good chortle out of that.) Not means-testing Social Security has been one of the main reasons it’s endured so popularly for 70 years. Private accounts would eviscerate Social Security quickly; means-testing is a slower death, but I am sure a patient GOP would be content with that.

but also this

New York Times

In coming years, we’ll hear appeals for better nursing homes, for more Alzheimer’s research and for more wheelchair-accessible office buildings, and those are good causes. But remember that American children are almost twice as likely as the elderly to live in poverty, and that you get much more bang for the buck vaccinating a child than paying for open-heart surgery.

The solution is not to force the elderly to get by on cat food again. But we boomers need to resist the narcissistic impulse to ladle out more resources for ourselves. Our top domestic priorities should be to ensure that all children get health care and to get our fiscal house in order.

USA Today

Simply ignoring the problem, which is driven primarily by increasing life expectancy, is not a solution. Nor is touting private accounts as the answer. A good-faith, bipartisan effort to spread the pain as equitably as possible is the only viable option. Ultimately, the solution will have to involve some mixture of tax increases, benefit cuts and, perhaps, private accounts.

Bush’s willingness to begin addressing that unpleasant reality puts pressure on Democrats to do the same. They have refused to negotiate until Bush gives up on private accounts, but eventually they’ll have to do more than complain.

They don’t want Bush’s dessert course because it’s politically unpalatable. And they don’t want the spinach because the taste is too bitter. So what do they want? What dish do they intend to contribute to this political potluck?

Washington Post

For thepast three months Democrats have declined to engage in a debate over Social Security. President Bush proposed a way of giving workers the option, but not the obligation, of saving some of their Social Security money in personal accounts. While he was crisscrossing the country in an attempt to prepare voters for unsettling change, Democrats offered no proposals of their own, saying that Mr. Bush should first come forward with a plan to plug Social Security’s long-term deficit. In his news conference on Thursday, Mr. Bush took a first step toward offering such a plan. It is time for Democrats to reciprocate.

Washington Post (Again)

Above all, Bush was honest and even courageous about Social Security. Social Security is entirely about writing checks: Money goes in, money goes out. As Bush has discovered in the past few months, there are no shadows to hide in while you fiddle with it. The problem is fewer and fewer workers supporting more and more retirees, and there are only two possible solutions: Someone has to pay more in, and/or someone has to take less out.

Bush didn’t go from explicitly denying this to explicitly admitting it. But he went from implicitly suggesting that his privatization scheme is a pain-free solution to implicitly endorsing a plan for serious benefit cuts. For a politician, that’s an admirable difference.

Even more to Bush’s credit, the plan he’s backing is highly progressive. Benefits for low-income workers would keep rising with average wages, as now, but benefits for middle- and high-income people would be geared more toward merely keeping up with inflation. This allows Bush to say that no one’s benefits will be cut, although some people will be getting as much as 40 percent less than they are currently promised. But in the swamp of Social Security politics, that is really minimal protection from the alligators.

What has happened? Answer: fourth generation insurgents have disrupted and partially disintegrated a second generation network. Further, the conservative agents have turned part of the “Democrat” network against itself, simultaneously radicalizing and weakening their enemy while growing in strength themselves.

Visually

medium_2gp_v_4gp_after1_sm.jpg
Key: Blue, rejectionists; Red, reformers; Orange, rejectionists ready to deal; Dark Blue, extreme rejectionists; solid lines, mutual support; arrow lines, mutual opposition

The Reformists have flanked the front-lines of the “No” camp, converting Statusquo leaders into fellow travelers for the reformers. More than just strengthening the reformist camp, this demoralizes and radicalizes some remaining rejectionists. They feel abandoned by their leadership, who are now making common cause with the enemy network. While the converted reformist leaders see themselves as “bridging the divide,” rejectionist true believers see them as traitors.

Visually

medium_2gp_v_4gp_after2_sm.jpg
Key: Blue, rejectionists; Red, reformers; Orange, “weak-kneed” rejectionists; solid lines, mutual support; arrow lines, mutual opposition

This is exactly the same network as the last one, but seem from the radicalized rejectionists perspective. The only blue friendlies are those actively opposing the reformist agenda. The converted leadership are seen as full-fledged members of the opposition. And the remaining leadership that is not fighting the enemy network are seen as potential quislings — when Democrat netroots talk about “Washington Democrats,” they mean the loyal leadership that is willing to compromise with those who have compromised. Note also that extremists do not distinguish between extremists and moderates, but only between “fellow-fighters” and others.

What does this all mean?

George Bush is leading the social security reformers to victory. He is splitting the network of doubt that is opposing him into a divided and weak opposition. He is converting those who he can. And he is winning.

Update: Blogs for Bush notes that now the New York Times is ready to deal

Democrats like to portray Mr. Bush as King George or Marie Antoinette. But on Thursday night, when he promised to improve benefits for the poor while limiting them for everyone else, he sounded more like Robin Hood, especially when he rhapsodized about poor people getting a chance to build up assets that they could pass along to their children.

It was the kind of talk you might expect to hear from a Democrat, except that Democrats don’t talk about much these days except the glories of the New Deal. They know that Social Security doesn’t even have the money to sustain a program that leaves millions of elderly people in poverty. But it’s their system, and they’re sticking to it.

Update 2: Chirol at Coming Anarchy notes what is another type of network fragmentation and radicalization in the face of a net-attack.


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

4GPS2 Network Disintegration (Netroots Homosexualists against Mainstream Liberals)

Bill Gates lies to National Public Radio,” by John, America Blog, 28 April 2005, http://americablog.blogspot.com/2005/04/bill-gates-lies-to-national-public.html (from Eshcaton).

Remember this?

medium_4gps2_after.jpg
Key: Red, Attacks; Blue, Defender Fighters; Yellow, Defender Deserters; Purple, Defender Quislings

The graphic shows a classic 4th Generation Politics / 2nd Stage network-on-network attack. The right network has seen an opening and it trying to tear apart the left network. For an example, I used Microsoft’s abandonment of the Washington State Homosexualist Rights Bill. The goal of this sort of attack is to split the opposing network into opposing camps, furthering the attacker’s cause.

which sees the left network near collapse.

It’s working

I hate to say “lie” because I wanted to trust Gates on all of this. He really has been great on gay issues, and his foundation has been tremendous on AIDS funding. And he personally supports the state gay rights bill. And all of that is great.

So WTF was Gates talking about with NPR today?

NPR: “Was it a mistake to make the steps on the gay rights bill that you did, changing your support.”

Gates: “We didn’t change… we chose not to get involved in that.”

Ok, that was an outright lie and an attempt to mislead NPR and the American public. Microsoft has for years supported this legislation and this year they changed their mind and are no longer supporting it. How in God’s name is that not “changing” your position?

I’d like to think Gates has just been misinformed by his staff, but he’s a smart man and appears to know what he’s talking about here. He seems to have intentionally lied to NPR, and that hardly bodes well for Microsoft’s goodwill in handling this entire affair.

As if Microsoft is the movement and homosexualists are the sponsor!

For homosexualism to win, it needs an peaceful ideological network willing to push its political agenda. To do this it needs sponsors and allies, such as Microsoft. The left’s attack on Microsoft is stupid — it alienates a key ally while splitting its own movement.

Good.

Update: More good news from America Blog. I’ll quote it in full

More worthless, spineless Democrats in name only. These are your own God damn constituents he sold out, not to mention he’s giving fuel to the religious right nationwide, and you couldn’t give a damn, could you, Senators? Then again, Gates is rich, and when it comes down to it, what really is the difference between Tom DeLay and you two – money talks, doesn’t it.

Sen. Maria Cantwell, D-Wash., said she was disappointed at the way the controversy has emerged — especially given Microsoft’s lengthy record in support of gay rights — but was satisfied with the Gates’ answers.

“They have a huge portfolio” of issues that are important to the company and cannot be expected to push all of them at the same time, she said.

Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., said she was reassured by Gates’ promise that Microsoft was looking at ways to “revisit” its decision to take a neutral stance on the gay-rights bill it had once championed.

The continuing collapse of the network of mainstream liberals and netroots libeals… Good.

The Final Days of the Third Stage of the 4GP Against Liberalism

All God’s Children Got Values, by Michael Walzer, Dissent, Spring 2005, http://www.dissentmagazine.org/menutest/articles/sp05/walzer.htm (from MyDD).

I’ve written before how Fourth Generation War is applied to Fourth Generation Politics, and its first and second stages. This post looks at the final significant battle in the fourth generation struggle against American Liberalism — the battle for the Courts — and the reasons we have arrived here.

Liberalism had won: to begin with. There is no doubt about that. The register of its victory was signed by FDR, Truman, Kennedy, and Johnson. Carter signed it. And those names were good upon Law, for any bill they chose to put their names too. Liberalism had won.

The long and slow collapse of liberalism is the greatest political song of our time. A movement that had begun in intelligence and optimism is fighting its last battles. Liberalism is empty of thoughts and visions. It is now merely anti-Conservatism, like the fighters in Saigon in 1975 were merely anti-Hanoi. We are in the final years, if not the final months, of third stage of this four generation political battle. This war began in the 1960s with high-profile attacks on individual initiatives and ends whens the Courts are taken.

Dissent Magazine’s Michael Walzer shares much of this analysis

In fact, ideology rules everywhere on the right, across the spectrum of issues in which right-wing intellectuals and activists take an interest (note the combination: it used to be only the left that had intellectuals and activists). Everywhere, we see radically coherent, single-causal analyses of social problems and radical proposals to deal with the problems once and for all: lower and lower taxes, privatized Social Security, tests and more tests in the public schools, torture for terrorists, war for Saddam, democracy for the Arabs. And everything will be wonderful, after the revolution.

Walzer sees clearly. And he describes what many regimes have seen: an ideological opponent. Liberalism is facing an ideological insurgency. Further, American Liberalism is not like homosexualism, which is an insurgency fighting an insurgency. It is an entrenched regime composed of corrupt (self-interested) factions

This is the first crossover: ideological certainty and zeal have migrated to the right. Of course, there are still people on the left who are absolutely sure about their political position and zealous in its defense. But they don’t set the tone; they are off on the margins, a frequent annoyance, but not a political force. Most of us on the near-left live in a complex world, which we are not sure we understand, and we move around in that world pragmatically, practicing a politics of trial and error [though of course all politicians practice trial and error tactically. — tdaxp]. We defend policies like Social Security, which have worked pretty well, and try to make them work a little better. We want more redistributive tax and welfare systems, but we are not Bolshevik egalitarians-even if our opponents are Bolshevik inegalitarians. We opposed the Iraq War but are painfully unsure about how to get out and when. National health insurance is the most radical proposal that I’ve heard from American liberals in recent years, and it’s a European commonplace.

Make that a dispirited, entrenched, and corrupt regime

So this is the second crossover: ideological uncertainty and skepticism about all-out solutions to social problems have migrated to the left. This must have something to do with 1989 and the collapse of communism-though I don’t think that the left, near or far, has even begun to come to grips with the disaster that was communism. Perhaps the second crossover is also the product of the (very incomplete) success of social democracy in Europe and New Deal liberalism here, of civil rights and feminism, even of multiculturalism. Successes of this sort don’t leave us without an agenda, but they may leave us without the kind of agenda that makes for passionate conviction and zealous endeavor. A lot of near-left energy over the last fifteen years has been spent defending past victories, whose problematic features we know only too well.

Add on to this the inflexibility of the left and maneuverability of the right. Conservatives are more likely to be horizontal thinkers, able to fight where needed, rather than vertical thinkers, able to defend only their own turf. (The comparison to France 1940, and the Panzers against the Marginot Line, is unavoidable.)

Intellectuals on the left certainly lack certainty: we no longer have a general theory, such as Marxism once was, that tells us how things are going and what ought to be done. Does that mean that we are no longer “general intellectuals” but only locally and particularly engaged-“specialists,” as Michel Foucault argued? This left intellectual writes about education, this one about city planning, this one about health care, this one about the labor market, this one about civil liberties-and all of them are policy wonks. Is that our world? Well, maybe it is ours, but it isn’t theirs. Here is the crossover again: there are definitely general intellectuals on the right. The theory of the free market isn’t a world-historical theory exactly; one might say that it is a world-ahistorical theory. But it does have extraordinary reach; it allows its believers to have an opinion about pretty much everything. In this sense, it is an imperial doctrine, like Marxism. And combined with a theory of American-led democratization (and, for many people on the right today, with a conviction of divine support), it is also an imperialist doctrine: it allows believers to have an opinion about pretty much everywhere.

Add to this the four-to-three numerical advantage conservatives have over liberals in the United States, and you see something like this

medium_size_and_organization_small.jpg
Inflexible, Dispirited, Self-Interested, the Left Defends

In the diagram, the force on the left is in trouble. It doesn’t have a coherent program — it is not an ideological network. Rather, it is a series of fiefdoms which have their own internal structure. These networklets can fight only their direct enemy on the right. Meanwhile, the right is an idelogical network with much cross-communication. Authoritative nodes communicate with their peers more, and even follower peers reach out to their fellow travelers. The network of the right fights where the battle is, while the groups on the left must wait for the battle to come to them.

When faced with a dedicated and networks Fourth Generation program, even powerful regimes can fail. When the fourth generation network is larger than the regime, the war is all but lost. As indeed, it is.

Remember that the final stage of fourth generation politics is lawfully coopting the government. In 4GPS3, the government is used to further the movement’s agenda. This has happened — America has a Conservative President and a Conservative Congress. The only branch of government that still gives liberalism regular victories is the courts, and that is the target. The battle of the courts is the last battle in the third stage of this fourth generation war.

medium_fall_of_south_vietnam_small.jpg
Having seized most of the countryside,
the 4GWarriors prepare to annihilate
the remnant of the Ancien Regime

When we hear about the battles for the courts, this must be remembered. It is not just another battle that the parties are fighting. It is the last gain from Left-Liberalism’s rise it has to defend. After this, the war is over.

This is the state of contemporary ideological politics in the United States.

4GPS2 (Not): Network Autoshutdown and The Opposition Party

An Opposition Party Opposes,” by Chris Bowers, MyDD, 24 April 2005, http://www.mydd.com/story/2005/4/24/171111/845.

A post on MyDD demonstrates the path to suicide for a Fourth Generation Politic.

I think it is this different persepctive that is the source of the current party divide over whether Demcorats should oppose the Republican agenda by offering a competing set of policy proposals, or whether, at lesat right now, they should just stand as a fervent opposition to prevent the installment of as much of the Republican agenda as possible. We have all heard this debate manifest itself on a number of recent issues. Demcorats shouldn’t just oppose Bush’s Social Secrity ideas, they should offer some of their own. Democrats shouldn’t just oppose tort “reform” and the class action bill, the should offer a tort reform proposal of their own. Democrats shouldn’t just oppose the repeal of the estate tax, they should present a counter tax reform package. Don’t just oppose, propose, we are told ad nauseum.

As someone who is pretty firmly in the “just oppose” camp, I fail to see the point of Demcoratic policy alternatives at this time. What is the point of developing policy alternatives that will never even have a chance of leaving Congressional committee? What is the point of developing policy alternatives that will reify hysterical Republican claims about a Social Security crisis, a litigation crisis, or all of the other invented crisises that Republicans create as a pretense of uber-conservative reform? Further, what is the point of developing policy alternatives that will do little else except serve as an excuse of Republicans to serve up slightly altered versions of their “reforms” (remember, Republicans don’t pass pieces of legilsation, they pass reforms) as reasonable compromises? Still further, what is the point of developing policy alternatives when there is very little chance of Demcorats regaining power of the House, the Seante and the Presidency before 2008? It is going to be nearly impossible for Demcorats to gain control of the Senate in the 2006 elections, and our prospects in the House are not much better. Right now, our job is not to develop policy, because there is really no chance that we will go on to govern, thus making that policy of any use.

To the extent that the Democrat Party believes in anything, this advice would end their status as a 4GP movement.

At first this advice looks similar to the second stage of fourth generation peace described earlier. After all, aren’t legislative battles the classic example of network contestment?

The answer is no. 4GP is nonviolent ideological net-struggle because it is a fight between ideologies. Fourth Generation Politics is an attempt to enforce an ideology on a government. A 4GP network exists only to further the ideology, and it is sustained at base by that ideology.

Chris Bower’s solution is not a path to 4GP victory — it is network autoshutdown. It abandons the ideological struggle, and asks its members to either be just against the rulers or for the party bureaucracy. This is similar to some aspects of the Iraqi insurgency — the worst aspects of it (from the point of view of sustainability).

The MyDD article may be the path for kicking the Republican Party out of power. But it cedes the war of idea to conservatives — the opposite of what Chris intends. The post argues for a slide back into a previous generation of peaceful struggle — one unsuited to today’s environment.

Network Centric Politics and The Opposition Party

The Pentagon’s Debate Over What Iraq Means,” by Thomas P.M. Barnett, The Command Post, http://www.command-post.org/oped/2_archives/018611.html, 24 January 2005.

An Opposition Party Opposes,” by Chris Bowers, MyDD, 24 April 2005, http://www.mydd.com/story/2005/4/24/171111/845.

Just as 4GP is the peaceful application of 4GW, Net-Centered Politics is the nonviolent from of Network Centric Warfare. According to Dr. Barnett,

Net-centric operations are a long-term effort by the military to understand how the rise of the information age alters the fundamental nature of war. In the vernacular of NCO advocates, the past force was platform-centric, meaning we organized ourselves around the major “platforms”, the machines we created to wage war (aircraft, ships, tanks, etc.). The future, by contrast, is network – centric: platforms are nothing more than nodes in a larger network whose main power isn’t its massed fire, but its ability to wield that force with pinpoint accuracy.

Instead of being an struggle between ideologies, like Fourth Generation Operations, Net-Centric Operations is a struggle between corporations. These corps can be states, bureaucracies, or political parties. Ideology isn’t an issue – there is a class of professional fighters who can be trusted to fight for their bosses. While 4GO aims to destroy the enemy’s will to fight, NCO destroys the enemy’s ability to fight. While 4GOs are new types of struggles, NCO attempts to use better technology to win Third Generation Struggles.

So given that, does the MyDD article make sense

I think it is this different persepctive that is the source of the current party divide over whether Demcorats should oppose the Republican agenda by offering a competing set of policy proposals, or whether, at lesat right now, they should just stand as a fervent opposition to prevent the installment of as much of the Republican agenda as possible. We have all heard this debate manifest itself on a number of recent issues. Demcorats shouldn’t just oppose Bush’s Social Secrity ideas, they should offer some of their own. Democrats shouldn’t just oppose tort “reform” and the class action bill, the should offer a tort reform proposal of their own. Democrats shouldn’t just oppose the repeal of the estate tax, they should present a counter tax reform package. Don’t just oppose, propose, we are told ad nauseum.

As someone who is pretty firmly in the “just oppose” camp, I fail to see the point of Demcoratic policy alternatives at this time. What is the point of developing policy alternatives that will never even have a chance of leaving Congressional committee? What is the point of developing policy alternatives that will reify hysterical Republican claims about a Social Security crisis, a litigation crisis, or all of the other invented crisises that Republicans create as a pretense of uber-conservative reform? Further, what is the point of developing policy alternatives that will do little else except serve as an excuse of Republicans to serve up slightly altered versions of their “reforms” (remember, Republicans don’t pass pieces of legilsation, they pass reforms) as reasonable compromises? Still further, what is the point of developing policy alternatives when there is very little chance of Demcorats regaining power of the House, the Seante and the Presidency before 2008? It is going to be nearly impossible for Demcorats to gain control of the Senate in the 2006 elections, and our prospects in the House are not much better. Right now, our job is not to develop policy, because there is really no chance that we will go on to govern, thus making that policy of any use.

Looking at it from a Net-Centered perspective, is this advise smart? No, it’s still wrong.

The problem is that Chris Bowers wants Democrats to fight on political maneuvering, trickery, and other party machinations. In other words, Bowers wants the Democrat Party to attack the GOP on its point of greatest strength. Democrats fight with lobbyists? Republicans have more lobbyists. Democrats fight with ground troops? Republicans have more ground troops. Democrats have aid campaigns? Republicans can raise more money.

Leaving ideology aside, the Democrat Party is weaker than the Republican Party. Flukes aside, “fair” fights are guaranteed to be losing fights for the DNC.

If a Democrats are going to rebuild a structural majority, they need to win the battle of ideas. Democrats need to be ideological insurgents. They need ideas.. They need the politics of political insurgency.

4GPS1: Node Takedown and the Politics of Personal Destruction

‘Reactive’ Politics,” by Hunter, Daily Kos, 23 April 2005, http://www.dailykos.com/story/2005/4/23/231512/044.
by Hunter
Sat Apr 23rd, 2005 at 20:15:12 PDT

Earlier I wrote about the 4GP: the fourth generation of modern politics or modern peace. 4GP has three stages

  1. Terrorize Enemy Network while building your Network
  2. Contest Enemy Network
  3. (Peacefully) Control Governmental Policy

This allows a peaceful ideological network to grow from a scattered collections of individuals to a ruling idea-governed party.

The “Politics of Personal Destruction” is a classic 4GPS1 tactic

That means, for example, making the exposure of the multi-headed DeLay chain of corruption a primary goal of Democratic strategists — and more importantly, it means following the money trail back to every single one of the House members that have been sucking at that trough. It means embracing the politics of personal destruction, until such point as it loses its Rovian charms for the other side. It means following the continuing fiasco of far-right religious conservatives demonizing everyone around them in a Taliban-like insistence that the religions you, and I, and most of America share are Wrong, and theirs — only theirs — is Right…

So be reactive, and be personal, and be tuned to respond to each outrage en masse. Maybe, after a year or two or three in which the Democrats prove themselves to be capable of the same kinds of warfare as the Republicans, the moderates in this world can spank the children, send them home, and start governing like adults again.

Some of the article veers into Stupid Party rhetoric, but the article specifically advises 4GPS1

  • Terrorize the enemy network
  • Respond with a distributed network

The politics of personal destruction — node takedown — has no chance of altering the structure of the enemy network. It’s like randomly zapping web sites off the internet — it wouldn’t effect the sustainability of the internet. But it nusances the enemy network, grows the home network’s reputation, and hopefully allows the movement to grow into 4GPS2.

medium_imperfect_4gp_net_top.jpg
The Top-Level of a Not-Fully-Connected 4GP Network
Even with Supernodes, Node Takedowns Do No Structural Harm

Unless the Democrat Party shifts significantly to the Clinton Right, this is their best hope. The ideological Republican Party has nearly succeeded in 4GPS3: they have the executive and legislature, and almost have the courts. The Democrat netroots are a classic Fourth Generation Peace insurgency. Let’s hope they fail.

4GPS2: Structural Network Attacks and Antihomosexualism

Gay group wants award back from Microsoft,” by Kim Peterson, Seattle Times, 23 April 2005, http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/businesstechnology/2002250799_microsoft23.html (from Democratic Underground).

I have written about the Fourth Generation of Modern Politics and 4GP: Stage One. 4GPS1 can involve node takedown — the political assassination of members of enemy networks. I used the Democrat netroot’s attacks on Tom Delay as an example. Once a peaceful insurgency has built up enough strength, it moves into 4GPS2: Contesting the Enemy Network.

4GPS2 involves attacks that try to structurally degrade the enemy network. The example for this is the fallout from the successful attempt to make Microsoft abandon 1515 — a homosexualist rights bill.

Microsoft’s public-relations troubles intensified yesterday as news spread that the company had withdrawn support for state legislation banning discrimination against gays and lesbians.

The legislation, House Bill 1515, was voted down Thursday by a single vote in the state Senate, prompting frustration and anger that continued to build yesterday among some gay-rights activists.

The Los Angeles Gay & Lesbian Center asked Microsoft yesterday to return an award it gave the company in 2001, saying the company is no longer worthy of its highest corporate honor. The center had given Microsoft its “corporate vision award,” which it bestows on one company every year.

Also yesterday, national lobbying group Human Rights Campaign sent a letter to Microsoft expressing disappointment with the company.

John Aravosis, who has been covering the issue on his Web log after the news of Microsoft withdrawing support was broken by local alternative newsweekly The Stranger, said some people still remember a boycott organized by gays and lesbians against Coors beer in the late 1970s. The boycott reportedly stemmed from Coors’ moves to screen out prospective employees who were gay.

As comments on Democratic Underground, this is an alienation strategy for homosexualist activists — exactly the wrong sort of strategy in Fourth Generation Peace.

At the beginning of the homosexualist rights Fourth Generation Politic, around 2001, both sides could be thought of as roughly equal network strength. Both were insurgencies against the legal status quo, which was decided non ideological.

medium_4gps2_before.jpg
Two Opposing 4GP networks
Each is in 4GPS1, and unable to truly change the other

Microsoft’s abandonment of 1515 was a dilemma for the pro-homosexualist camp. Do they shrug this off, and take the losses? Or do they fight, and risk splintering their network (what Pope Benedict XVI might call “shrinking the faith to strengthen the faith”)?

They chose the latter. Dumb.

medium_4gps2_after.jpg
Two Opposing 4GP Networks
An enemy 4GPS2 attack has caused two nodes to become neutral (“yellow”)
Additionally, retaliation has made one node friendly to the Enemy (“purple”)
Additionally, severed relationships has structurally harmed the network

One network is closer to closer to 4GPS3, and “winning.” Its enemy it closer to obliteration and irrelevance.