Over the last several weeks we've seen a rapid diminishment in the fictive kinship that unites us as Americans. In fact, many of us don't just disagree with other Americans. We see them as existential threats.
Here are the existential threat narratives:
"crypto-fascist science deniers demanding a return to the racism and misogyny of the 1950's, while stripping away the rights of immigrants, on the way to sending brown people, LGBTs, and muslims to concentration camps"
"crypto-Stalinist thought police demanding compliance with fake science and virtue-signaling identity performance from all, on the way to Gulag World with straight white males at the bottom. Ideally killing millions along the way"
"Thirty-one percent (31%) of Likely U.S. Voters say it's likely that the United States will experience a second civil war sometime in the next five years"
"Democrats (37%) are more fearful than Republicans (32%)"
Here's a good example of global guerrilla tinkering and decentralized defense.
So far, the kites appear to be working, largely because they are:
To defend against these attacks:
The Real Threat to Israel
However, as interesting as these fire kites are, there is a twist. It's likely that these /pcdata> fire kites are good news for Israel. Here's why:/pcdata>
PS: The Fire Kites are also a good opportunity to run through the logic of making big jumps in innovation (ala "making snowmobiles" as John Boyd would say). I'm writing up my notes on this and will/pcdata> . /pcdata>
Here's a question you should be asking yourself:
What does 21st Century authoritarianism look like?
Given what we've seen so far, it isn't likely that we're going to see a return to the 20th Century model, with its absolute dictators, industrial scale bureaucracies, paramilitaries, ideologies, ubiquitous/vicious secret police, relentless propaganda, etc...
That model died when globalization and the Internet hollowed out the nation-state.
The new model of authoritarianism. The model that is sweeping the world is very different.
These networks aren't formal constructs. They don't rely on rigid ideologies or hierarchies. They don't even use the left/right spectrum.
Instead, they are open, amorphous, and participatory. Networks that are in constant motion... nominally led by political showmen with little real power.
These networks don't rely on government bureaucracies to coerce people. They coerce bureaucracies.
Moreover, they are more effective than bureaucracies in the elements of power that matter.
They are capable of spying on more people than the East German secret police and they can stifle free speech without recourse to a gulag.
They don't have any need for state produced propaganda or the media to control the narrative. They can produce a blinding blizzard of spin that can overwhelm official narratives.
In short, 21st Century authoritarianism is very different. It's not what the experts and the media pundits are warning against and that's why it will sneak up on us.
Think of it as/pcdata> data asylum . /pcdata>
We talked about many of the topics/pcdata> in greater detail with The Global Guerrillas Report. Topics such as China's tyrannical social credit system, open source political parties (they have already rolled the Republican party and they are about to do it to the Dems), how moral warfare works online (shaming and naming, etc.), and modern Tribalization./pcdata>
An online system that can work at scale?
I just saw something published on Twitter that moves this closer to reality.
It takes quotes that Brexit supporters have made on Twitter and attaches it to their pictures. Here's the result:
These "tombstones" are a pretty effective way to publish shame. In this case, speech violations, although it could be a pic of a gun owner or #me too violation. Here's how this could work at scale:
What happens when a person is IDed in a fully realized system like this? They are shunned - unemployed, disconnected, ostracized, etc.
Fast, dynamic, and at scale.
to figure out how we can adapt to the challenges we face without the radical simplification of societal collapse.
After I wrote the report, I sent it out to my friend David for feedback. He really liked one of my footnotes. In that footnote, I used TIMN to do some fun analysis of the struggle between Fascism, Communism, and Democracy in the 20th Century.
The analysis looked at each organizational form (the three that were active in the 20th Century were tribalism, institutions, and markets) as contributors to a societal decision making process (simplified by Boyd's OODA).
Through this lens, the 20th struggle between can be boiled down into a struggle between three different types of decision making systems:
Who won? The system that allowed that used all three decision making systems, the US (UK,etc). The US (and the brand of democratic capitalism it promoted) was a Swiss army knife of social decision making. It used what works. This flexibility provided it with more resilience than its competitors and the ability to exploit the opportunities made possible by complexity (from nuclear weapons to computers).
Another interesting observation is that institutions (bureaucratic decision making) don't generate orientation. They are reliant on tribalism for orientation. As we saw under Communism and Fascism, bureaucracies are equally at home implementing genocide as they are at providing social safety nets to the poor/elderly.