Preparing For Conflict In The Information Age
an article in The Futurist by Alvin and Heidi Toffler
(our site's article review)
This article is taken from the Tofflers’ foreword to In Athena’s Camp: Preparing for Conflict in the Information Age, by John Arquilla and David Ronfeldt. It stresses several challenges for the military in the Knowledge Age, including media power, individual and small-group power, and dealing with info-glut and knowledge management. The context is how the military must change in transcending Second Wave ways in favor of adopting Third Wave war-forms. The authors give their wave theory of conflict from their book War and Anti-War. The future will have its biggest potential for conflict contained in the fact of its trisection into three civilizations: agricultural, industrial and knowledge-based. “The overarching question of how the wave conflicts of the future will be mitigated will have much to do with whether world disorder will remain within ‘tolerable’ bounds in the decades to come.”
We need to keep disorder within ‘tolerable’ bounds in our country and in the world
Of course, disorder is a more complex issue than just stated. Had the Nazis gained world control, we would have an incredibly disorder-free world—it would be order squared. The people in North Korea are so oppressed and afraid that disorder is nearly impossible. Obviously what we need is both order and freedom. That is a difficult challenge. So world disorder will remain within ‘tolerable’ bounds if order and freedom are correctly balanced. Nations need to have enough freedom so that people are not afraid to speak their minds and protest against the governmental policies. Otherwise, if leaders take a nation down negative or unfair paths, where would the feedback come from that would help the path be adjusted?
The people in North Korea are so oppressed and afraid that disorder or change is nearly impossible
We love to think the U.S. has a democracy with order and freedom. Think it as we may, it doesn't change the fact that the democracy ship has sailed—we're now a rights-limited oligarchy
We love to think the U.S. has a democracy with order and freedom. Think it as we may, it doesn't change the fact that the democracy ship has sailed. We have the freedom to bitch all we want, but no matter who or what we vote for, the situation of being in an oligarchy persists. The voting right is simply a patronizing pacification strategy whose goal is to keep us nonviolent. But since the oligarchy isn't convinced we will not become unruly, we are spied on by our own government via the Internet and drones.
The government realizes that you can only screw the citizens so long before they begin to screw back
The government realizes that you can only screw the citizens so long before they begin to screw back. Anyone who tries will be labeled a terrorist and can look forward to some waterboarding fun. Face it: the corruption has gone too far and for too long for any political solution to be possible, and antigovernment violence will only make things worse. Neither voting nor violence is the answer. Only peaceful grassroots solutions can deal with the issue, not from above but from below.
This website's role is to inform, guide and inspire so you'll know how to act peacefully from the grassroots. Other websites like AlterNet are doing their parts too. See Get Up, Stand Up: Uniting Populists, Energizing the Defeated, and Battling the Corporate Elite and 8 Reasons Young Americans Don't Fight Back: How the U.S. Crushed Youth Resistance.
To confirm all this oligarchy and 'getting screwed' stuff for yourself, consult these books (or merely our comments about them):
- Den of Thieves
- A Dream Deferred
- The Politics of Rich and Poor
- Who Will Tell The People: The Betrayal of American Democracy
- Perverse Incentives
- Post-Capitalist Society
- The Quickening of America
- America: What Went Wrong?
- The Content of America’s Character
- Moral Politics
- The Dream and the Nightmare
- Fooling America
- A House Divided
- The Guru Papers
- Arrogant Capital
- The Way We Never Were
- Get Up, Stand Up: Uniting Populists, Energizing the Defeated, and Battling the Corporate Elite
- 8 Reasons Young Americans Don't Fight Back: How the U.S. Crushed Youth Resistance
- The Road to Serfdom
- The Next Century
- Bankruptcy 1995: The Coming Collapse of America and How to Stop It
- Head to Head: The Coming Economic Battle Among Japan, Europe, and America
- Hey, You're Doing Great
- The Responsive Communitarian Platform
- The Rapids of Change: Social Entrepreneurship in Turbulent Times
- Bold New World: The Essential Road Map to the 21st Century
Get the picture?
If you read the above book comments and saw Deliverance, you'll know what the above swinging banjo means