history International Affairs Politics

Fourth Generation Sovereignty

Why doesn’t the US take over Canada?  It doesn’t need to.  Both are seamlessly plugged into the same mass economy and international Western political and cultural system.  On maps, there is an independent, internationally recognized nation known as Canada but taking that too seriously is to misunderstand how the system works.

Before the Western powers twice committed mass suicide, power relationships were more explicit and required more direct maintenance.  Canada was little different back then except it was aligned with Britain instead of the US.  Instead of pretending to be a truly independent entity it openly called itself an affiliate of the British Empire.  Back then, as now, they sent their young men on command to fight pointless wars for their hegemon.  To suppose such a political unit is really sovereign when it does not even have its own foreign policy is, of course, a joke.

Most non-Western political units in the world were explicit territories of colonial overlords run at least at the topmost levels by imperial administrators.
Then, after WW2, we are told, all these subservient satrapies suddenly found their independence and the world lived happily ever after.

The former colonies established their own political systems but the new empire was founded on economics rather than politics.  The colonial administrators went home because they were no longer necessary.

The major powers needed only to entice the new local leaders into loan agreements with puppet strings attached.  If the new nominal countries had strategic resources, they often had no local infrastructure to exploit them.  Then they became dependent on international corporations to do the drilling and mining in hope of getting some crumbs.  The local leaders then owed their power to the resource extractors with their expensive equipment and engineers more than to their own people.

The old colonialism collapsed because it had become a bulky ideological affair and a big money loser.  Keeping colonies became an ostentatious display of national prestige instead of a profitable venture like it used to be.  The depletion of wealth after the World Wars and a worldwide depression in between them finally made this arrangement untenable.  Minimizing overhead, and maximizing profit was in again.  Allowing subject peoples nominal independence imposed all the costs and dangers of keeping order onto the local figureheads while they got to passively reap the benefits as absentee owners.

 Since the end of WW2 the state of affairs has more in common with the heyday of the British and Dutch East India Companies or the United Fruit Company with foreign affairs carried out primarily by economic actors working in conjunction with great powers.
In the earlier eras of economic imperialism the great powers supporting international extractive commerce were obviously sovereign entities acting with their own benefit in mind.

What makes our own age different is that the great powers are no longer clearly connected to anything we would consider a nation-state or even a well-defined empire with concrete borders.  The whole planet is fair game.  It is appropriate that those affiliated with this system of power are now often referred to as “globalists.”

I have stated before the thesis that in our age of fracture, political organization is both smaller and larger than the centralized bureaucratic nation-states we’ve taken for granted since the 1860s.  On the large scale we have vast economic zones that swallow up mere nations.  On the smaller scale we see actual sovereignty re-emerging in the form of tribes.  I call them “tribes” to contrast with 18th to 19th century ideas of ethnic groups or cultural groups monolithically united within the borders of one nation-state’s territory.

So far I’ve seen the term “fourth generation” used to refer to decentralized, non-state warfare.  I think this concept will apply to everything, not just warfare.  I see ISIS trying to found an Islamic state, a bunch of Kurdish enclaves across several different countries declaring themselves Kurdistan, growing separatist movements within the European Union, or now the emergence of the alt-right as signs of where we’re heading.

In the 21st century, having a nation-state is a strategic liability and an easy target.  A nation intrinsically defined by an unchanging territory and population can be isolated, blockaded, bombarded, or invaded.  A bunch of soldiers who put on official uniforms can’t act without making their permanent territorial unit a target for retaliation.  Even when they attack much smaller and weaker groups, they open the whole of their much larger group to counter-attack.  Soon there are many small, cohesive organizations that begin to overwhelm a mega nation that fewer care to be associated with anymore until it finally only exists on paper. 

If 1 US soldier charges across the Russian border screaming with bayonet fixed and randomly spraying on full auto, Russia technically could reasonably contemplate attacking New York City as a legitimate reaction. That soldier, if acting on orders, is a representative of all 330 million Americans.  In stark contrast, if one jihadi suicide bomber blows up some US soldiers there may be no clear idea of who to counter-attack or how to find them.

ISIS could set up in Nebraska and call it the Islamic State.  The Kurds could have Kurdistan in Oklahoma if they wanted to.  The Federation of Occupy could just have some moving tent towns.  Any of these polities would have far more real control over their affairs than Canada does.

The emerging neo-tribal, techno-tribal state exists firstly as its people, not as a territory its people are tied to.  They can choose to conceal their presence, influence the politics or not, stand and fight or try to set up elsewhere, they can be urban or rural as they please, gather all together or distribute far and wide across national borders and economic zones alike and still be united. 

The new tribes even if their members few in number and poor have a wealth of strategic options nation-states simply do not have access to.  They trade brute strength for maneuverability and flexibility, advantages that have been super-augmented by the information age.  Making this tradeoff is a winning strategy when nuclear weapons make massed brute force much less decisive than it used to be. 

It should have been immediately clear the old ways were over when US forces could not reconquer all of Korea after they decisively defeated the Chinese in combat or why the US could not simply crush North Vietnam or even shut down the Ho Chi Minh Trail supply lines that crossed international boundaries without serious political consequences.

Since then, organizations that have adapted to the post-nuclear, post-agriculturalist, post-colonial rules have met with astonishing success despite their relatively small sizes and limited resources.  Meanwhile, the nation-states have grown ever more sclerotic and impotent even as they dump infinite wealth into weapons systems that just sit there as their roads, hospitals, and power grids crumble.

The old nations are now easily outmaneuvered by both the globalists who manage the economic zones and by the techno-tribalists.  It is now a question of who ends up with the upper hand in a 4th generation age.  The new tribes began their rise as a counter to nation-states hobbled by the threat of nuclear weapons.  Now their fluid nature makes them suited to challenge an economic colonialism that is also nebulous by design.

International Affairs Politics

Trump Foreign Policy: Post-Unilateralism

Coalition, or no, whether other nations were willing or not, the brand of America has been built on unilateral foreign policy.  The world’s only superpower was also the world’s policeman.
Power, however, is a tool and as with money even great amounts of it are easily squandered without clear objectives and a sensible strategy.
The collapse of the Soviet Union was seen as the ultimate legitimation of unilateral diplomacy, an eternal blank check for Wilsonian exceptional interventionism at the “end of history.”

Every president since Reagan doubled down on this nonsense until it reached a climax of absurdity under George W. Bush.  Obama finally toned it down a little bit, because he had to.  Meddling went on unabated, but with most of America’s once abundant international political capital finally frittered away there was only so much he could do.  By the end of his presidency he was a laughingstock openly mocked by the Chinese leadership, insulted by the leader of the Philippines, and regarded with thinly veiled contempt by Russia.

Trump leads a reaction to a political establishment that has been utterly discredited by its decades of relentless ineptitude and failure despite holding every possible strategic advantage.
It has been clear since Trump’s campaign he envisions a US that conducts foreign policy as a nation among nations, not as a bombastic world police that clumsily throws its weight around.

This will mean, thank goodness, far less meddling in the affairs of other nations and a restoration of balances of power.  By wielding power with a lighter hand, it will become possible to accomplish far more.

The US can begin to create a post-exceptionalist, post-unilateral world by simply withdrawing US military interference.
Having US bases while limiting the military power of the host countries has increased the burden on the US while merely infuriating neighboring powers needlessly.

If the US removes most of its troops and involvement in NATO it forces EU nations to spend far more of their wealth on defense.  If Europe insured itself against Russian aggression, Russia would possibly be more amenable to talking about its interests elsewhere…

With a stable balance of power between the EU bloc and Russia, the US could have more constructive conversations with Russia regarding its extremely long border with China.  China is the only world power with potential, besides a real United States of Europe, to be in the same league as the USA.
America and China are presently economic partners joined at the hip, but we must think towards the long game.  Even as the US-Chinese relationship exists now, why not encourage other powers to contain them, giving the US more bargaining leverage?
In light of this, the complete obsession of the USA’s establishment with the Middle East and anti-Russian sentiment is perplexing.  A major foreign policy coup of the 21st century will be to split Russia from China as Nixon once split China away from the Soviet Union.

America could also withdraw from Japan forming a new, more equal relationship and encouraging Japanese re-armament and cooperation with Taiwan to counterbalance Chinese naval ambitions.
Hopefully, a post-exceptional international order would see the US and Europe able to freely operate with the emerging great power of China hampered by its nervous neighbors.  Why meddle when we need only encourage them to do what serves themselves?  The Daoist maxim to “do without doing” will be very appropriate in coming years.

Regarding Korea, it is ironic that if the US renounced its military commitments in the South, it’s possible the Chinese would become suddenly more amenable to discussing phasing out a client state of North Korea they have no special love for, but have kept around as a buffer against a clumsily over-aggressive US.  Add some diplomatic pressure from  neighboring powers, and perhaps an understanding could be arrived at where none is possible now…

Much of the benefits of a post-unilateral foreign policy come from simply undoing the heavy-handed status quo that counter-productively plays at imperialism.  From now on we may see the US doing more with less or in other words, “under budget and ahead of schedule.”

International Affairs Societies

North Korea Black Markets Could Take Over Economy, Undermine Kim Regime

“North Korean citizens, unable to count on a stable income or rationing, are moonlighting as security guards or coal haulers to make ends meet, eroding their allegiance to state authorities.

A South Korean research institute estimates that unauthorized economic activities, such as side businesses, account for 40-70 percent of citizens’ daily lives.

Experts say as much as 75 percent of the North Korean population does not depend on the state-owned economy at all.

The prevailing view is that the regime will lose more of its ruling power unless Kim Jong Un, who succeeded Kim Jong Il as North Korea’s new leader after his death on Dec. 17, reforms and opens up the economy…

At a shoe factory outside Pyongyang, only about 100 of the 750 employees report to the factory. Others buy materials, make shoes on their own and sell them in markets…

North Koreans at the dinner table used to talk about what Kim Il Sung, who founded the country, did and said. Today, they talk about how to make money instead.”


International Affairs Politics

North Korean Film Exposes Western Propaganda

>North Koreans in charge of the truth

They even call South Korea “our limp wristed brothers and sisters”. It’s better than 95% of the films from the alt-left/alt-right entertainment pundits who make a career out of  pretending to scrutinize the “powers that be”.

Edit: Someone is saying there is a third voice, a slowed down version of the woman’s voice? Also, part 9 at 10:30 says there are 38 million homeless Americans. 1.8 million Iraqi civilian casualities? Polls in the US show that 87% of Americans think 9/11 was a false flag designed to take their rights? Oh North Korea, you’ve always been the most entertaining Korea.


Apparently this was made by a New Zealander named Slavko Martinov

economics International Affairs Societies

The Logic of North Korea

Assuming that North Korea is insane and illogical is a counter-productive approach. Once one has given in to such a sentiment, there can be no reasoning, no progress, and no predictions of what will happen next.

Famine conditions serve a purpose:
-The state concentrates its resources in and around the capital.
-The state keeps its most valuable and loyal citizens in the capital
-The less loyal and less valuable you are, the further away you have to live from the capital.
-The further away from the capital you are, the less state resources you receive, the poorer the farmland and farming equipment becomes.
-Thus the less loyal and valuable you are to the state, the less likely you or your progeny will survive.
-Thus the state all but breeds its citizens for obedience and productivity.

Insane or chillingly rational?”

*Kim Jong Il was alive when this article was written but the principles of the North Korean state are unchanged.*

Truly nothing is permanent, the site I posted this article was posted on was deleted by yahoo over a year ago. And perhaps all of wordpress is deleted 10 years from now or less?  I remember working in an archives once, their worship of paper documents that cannot be changed or deleted except by fire or decay:

Here’s the original text updated 11/28/2015:

Confused with the state of North Korea, many foreigners dismiss the country, its Dear leader, and everything in its borders as ‘insane.’

Assuming that North Korea is insane and illogical is a counter-productive approach. Once one has given in to such a sentiment, there can be no reasoning, no progress, and no predictions of what will happen next.
There is in fact a method to the ‘madness’ and assuming insanity constitutes a refusal to analyze or understand a potentially dangerous government and its policies.

* Firstly, the North Korean government very much has a purpose in mind when it menaces its neighbors with weapons tests and undertakes nuclear development.


-Wishes to give the impression of erratic, frightening behavior so it can be more intimidating.

-Wishes to be more intimidating so it can get what it wants through threats.

-Wishes to make threats because:
It is a relatively easy way to increase the resources, income, and political clout of the regime.
Intimidation is a deterrent to invasion.
It Is a way for a nation perpetually on the brink of famine to feed itself.

* Even a state with a weak centrally planned economy is not implemented irrationally. Famine conditions serve a purpose:
-The state concentrates its resources in and around the capital.
-The state keeps its most valuable and loyal citizens in the capital
-The less loyal and less valuable you are, the further away you have to live from the capital.
-The further away from the capital you are, the less state resources you receive, the poorer the farmland and farming equipment becomes.
-Thus the less loyal and valuable you are to the state, the less likely you or your progeny will survive.
-Thus the state all but breeds its citizens for obedience and productivity.

Insane or chillingly rational?

* The cult surrounding Kim Jong Il and his family is not insanity, but rather a continuation of tradition.

-Extravagant stories of a ruler’s birth were common in historical East Asian monarchies.
-The Kim family is essentially a modern day Korean dynasty. Korea was traditionally the most Neo-Confucian state on earth. In this system, the common people owed obedience to their ruler just as a child did to its father. This relationship of ‘filial piety’ was regarded as the foundation of society. Exceptional obedience of the populace was not insanity but the proper order.
-‘The great Juche idea’ is in part a modern continuation of the philosophies behind traditional Korean monarchies.

* Much of the North Korean approach is determined from the perspective of Korean history:

-Korea was historically caught in between larger neighbors and periodically suffered devastating invasions. This fostered an attitude of fear towards the outside world. Korea, even more than other East Asian nations has been known as a ‘hermit kingdom.’ This tendency towards xenophobia and isolation continues in both modern day Koreas. It is only much more pronounced in the North.

-The twentieth century was incredibly traumatizing for Korea. Resistance groups under Kim Il Sung spent years fighting the Japanese in both Korea and in China. In the Korean war, conflict surged repeatedly up and down the peninsula. By the end Korean civilization, was in ruins. The North especially had been bombed back into the stone age by the Americans, mostly with lots and lots of napalm. Millions of civilians were killed during the war. The bitter resentment caused by this death and destruction endures to the present day.

— Korean pursuit of nuclear weapons is in part a reaction to precedent set by the Americans:
-Macarthur requested about thirty nukes with the intention of turning the entire border region of North Korea into a radioactive no man’s land through which no Chinese or Russian troops could possibly pass.
-Truman kept the possibility of nukes open even after he fired Macarthur.
-North Korea is loathe to stop its nuclear program when it has already come so close to being nuked.

* Playing the role of North Korea satisfies the needs of its most important client. There is market demand for a North Korea.
-The last thing China wants is to share a border with a staunch US ally that hosts a large garrison of US troops. North Korea is a friendly socialist government that serves as a buffer zone.
-The collapse of North Korea would result in millions of refugees flooding into China.
-The recalcitrance of North Korea serves as a distraction and ties down US troops.
-The ability of North Korea to brazenly stand up to US demands makes the US lose face. The US loses clout when it makes ultimatum after empty ultimatum.
-North Korea is a litmus test that allows the Chinese to see how far the Americans can be pushed. Brinksmanship is risky, it is grand to have someone who’s willing to do it for you.

So long as North Korea serves Chinese interests (it serves as a buffer zone just by existing), it will continue to receive plenty of energy and food aid from China. China might publicly scold the DPRK and even briefly place sanctions, but it will just be for show.