Monday, September 20, 2010
On Starfish, Spiders and Cells
Borepatch provides a link to this article, the smartest analysis of the Tea Party movement that either he or I have seen. Absolutely worth the time to read. Let me also credit the source he found it at, Too Old To Work, Too Young To Retire (a feeling I get at, oh, just around 6:00 AM at least five days a week). I've been to his blog, too, but not very often.
Peggy Noonan, whom I had almost given up on, seems to be the first of her peers with an incredibly valuable insight. "So far, the tea party is not a wing of the GOP but a critique of it".
The starfish organization fits well with modern 4G, open source warfare ideas, as John Robb writes about on Global Guerrillas. With a widely de-centralized structure, it is impossible to stop a rebellion by killing the leader. The entrenched powers have to wage destruction on such a scale that they will radically increase the number of citizens opposed to them. The Marines' document "FMFM 1-A Fourth Generation War" teaches at length on this.
R.A. Heinlein's classic, "The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress", (and here) was the first place I read of revolutionary cells. Each cell has a small number of members, three to five, so that everyone is thoroughly known before they're admitted. His organization, though, had a vertical component as well: each cell had someone who contacted someone in another cell. Eventually, this organization had a head.
In the "Dune" series of books, the Fremen are organized similarly. Each small tribe, or "sietch", has a leader chosen by hand to hand with the previous leader. Leaders cooperate but little overall structure is present, until the events of the (original) first book take place.
The Dune books are measured by the pound. I read the original three, then another three. A look around Amazon shows many newer books I haven't heard of. Heinlein's book is a single volume. It's also a fun read, and the originator of the now-commonly used phrase TANSTAAFL (There Ain't No Such Thing As A Free Lunch). Is that enough for you? (std. disclaimer: I don't make any money from Amazon links - or anything else on my blog for that matter).