All Politics Are Now Insurgencies
Because electoral politics depend on media and communications to develop popular support, the advent of Internet media technologies is an additional factor in the evolution of insurgency as it was, to 4th GW, since now media production and broadcast is distributed, easy to access with a Low COE and high ROI. This eliminated the traditional mainstream media stovepipes available to larger actors like national political parties and other wealthy groups. These stovepipes were a critical control in keeping other political groups contained, either through optics or denial of service.
This may partially explain why previous insurgencies and 4GW differ, Scale and accessible media allows every group develop a popular support base, as evidenced on social media during the Charlottesville and BLM protests.
As a background, Guerilla Warfare (insurgency) has the same needs, dynamics and mechanics that that wars between nations express, but in a “non-state” environment, not simply at a smaller scale. The differences between guerilla warfare and state warfare are differences in resource infrastructure—-from people to physical logistics and organizational resources and mostly, the attitude of the public towards the group, which is legitimacy. The State commands infrastructure beyond what the insurgent has, who has to develop and vertically integrate their own infrastructure to challenge the State.
Insurgency is not a short-cut to political end-states. It’s a mechanism, like the electoral mechanism, where a group may obtain political end-states and or some part of the political apparatus without the electorate pers se.
Insurgency is the low-cost, DIY alternative to electoral politics.
Whether electoral or insurgent mechanisms to acquire political power, both require popular support and that is the function of the groups influence apparatus. In U.S. Army Special Forces, the psychological warfare battalion is that influence resource. The Non-State Group has the Internet and other traditional means. Established groups like Hezbollah have a long-standing dedicated media organization that maintains a popular support base.
It is popular support that is the foundation of Movement, a people going in some political direction to affect social, cultural, etc. changes. The concept here is a mass of people, driven to some broad objective accomplish that objective through pressuring the incumbent government. That pressure must carry a threat of violence otherwise it is impotent.
The View Looking Up (status-quo)
Now, any Non-State Actor now has the capability to influence and organize their respective resistances. Here is the crux of “all politics are now insurgencies.” Where mainstream media historically was able to control and shape the narrative of the Non-State Actor, and would work with the State (and parties) for mutually profitable ends, now, that capability is much diminished and profitable influence is now possible for any group.
Since 4GW describes itself as “crisis of legitimacy,” then we can see that every identity group can become a Non-State Actor since no group is satisfied with an election and they have self-made media to present that dissatisfaction. Legitimacy derives from perception and perception management is the propaganda Center of Gravity.
The ecosystem is the Incumbent Government, Other Groups, Corporations, the Insurgent and the People. Other groups are competitors but hostile groups threaten the Insurgent as a belligerent, non-hostile Groups consume resources, like public perception, that contribute to Insurgent inefficient and greater work for existing resources that could be directed at the Incumbent Government and threat groups. Corporations have taken sides and demonstrated traditional media control by denying far-right groups communications access and that makes them belligerents in Low Intensity Conflict.
It is popular support that accomplishes the goals of the insurgency, violence is only a tool to support the will of the popular support, like military force is only a tool to substantiate diplomacy.
Insurgency or insurgent-like politics has demonstrated effectiveness against the State (the incumbent government) not only in installing a government, but also as a mechanism of social change for groups challenging the elected government at any level of U.S. government. The Civil Rights protests and recent BLM protests are examples.
The Lateral View
Guerilla warfare is the future Course of Action for group competition in the post-modern world. Since groups that view the elected government as illegitimate may share some commonality, the overall worldview and endstates are opposite. Since these groups seek a better world without the other (moral/ethical reasons) and are in competition with each other for the perception and the government resource (technical reasons), then intergroup conflict is expected and observable as in the case between the right-wing groups and Antifa.
Since the State may not have the will or resources to intercede, or be quick enough to deploy police, then each group will develop self-defense functionality. In insurgency, this functionality is applicable as a force behind their politics and also the force needed to survive in intergroup competition.
In light of the Big Tech and Big Finance shutting out various right-wing groups, there are efforts to vertically integrate alternative social media and finance in order to survive. Here are early attempts at infrastructure development—-the vital requirement for autonomous movements and regions, to evolve resources that cannot be denied.
If groups seeking the resources of the State, resources nominally available to an election winner, do not obtain sufficient access to these resources (the entirety of the government as a resource), then they’ll continue to agitate until satisfaction, become dormant or merge with similar groups.
Every identity group is in this sphere now. This essay maintains that any group with a shared identity will employ insurgent methods as the seek political and social goals.
As groups employ insurgency to accomplish political endstates, the State will have to employ counter-insurgency methods beyond policing. This was evidenced in the BLM protests when national guard units were deployed and began various employing influence techniques to non-kinetically resolve the protest, non-kinetic techniques are influence operations, are a vital part of counter-insurgency. This can only amplify as non-state actors continue to scale and agitate.
The future social mean is Low Intensity Conflict as each group competitor seeks satisfaction in their political and social goals while engaging in intergroup competition and other groups seek to maintain their position.