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Black Globalization

LOL. Dan misses out on the global part of global guerrillas (again):

global guerrillas (n., pl.) are non-state actors who violently oppose a state. They seek to create and maintain a bazaar of violence and lead the state to extreme weakness or failure. Contrast against insurgents, who are non-state actors who violently oppose a state in order to replace or modify a government.

For a much better “working definition” go to Wiggins:

Robb’s Global Guerrilla writings focus on how GG’s use “black globalization” to disconnect a target state from the positive flows of “good globalization.” Tactics such as system disruptions erode the legitimacy of the state and establish temporary autonomous zones (TAZ) that can then be used as hubs in globalization’s “black” network. TAZs are to black globalization what free-trade zones are to good globalization.

 More later.



-Shlok
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9 Comments
  • Nice – I’ve been following the diatribe over there too. Perhaps you’ve read the whole ‘comments’ sections in the 2 (or is it 3?) threads. I wish Robb would weigh in directly. I think Dan’s a very smart guy, who’s done great work in war theory – his relating the OODA loop to the GWs was brilliant, for but one example. But his problems with GG, and John, seem to go (or stem from something) beyond intellectual debate due to the level of vitriol.
    I also am glad to see your mention of Nigeria. I’ve been following/researching the Nigeria situation for some time. Seems very GG to me. I’ll spare you the long list of reasons how and why – I’m sure you see them (as evidenced by your comment over at OSD). I will say this, however… MEND has both classically insurgent aims/qualities in their grievances with Obasanjo and Co. (Nigeria’s government is so corrupt it makes other corrupt governments (e.g. Mexico) look like utopian versions of ancient Greece), AND Robbsian (?, sounds cool) GG qualities – as I’ve listed elsewhere. I don’t see that as a theoretical dilemma. Rather, it just makes for more robust GGs.

    Reply
  • Dan tdaxp
    Feb 1, 2007

    Shloky,

    How would you incorporate the “global” into the definition? (Honestly curious.)

    Isaac,

    Thanks for the kind words. There’s no vitriol — only enthusiasm and skepticism. 🙂

    Reply
  • Dan,
    “incoherent gibberish” goes a bit far, no? No big deal, I just think it obscures your otherwise scholarly style. So, what, then, of a group like ELF? Global reach/acts, global concerns etc. Mere vandals? Too large an operation. Not the best example perhaps, but, hey, just spilling thoughts.
    Both of you – on the definition. Just because GGs are non-state, why must they oppose just states? Why not corporations (MEND and Shell) or practices (ELF and building/industrial practices or ALF and the treatment of animals)? Both tap into global resources for funding and such. Or Sea Shepherd (took on Japan, Norway etc. and whaling generally)? Mere pirate? Vandal? They blew up ships in harbor – somewhat major.
    As to the global question, specifically, GGs simply have (and employ) the entire world as both a resource and a stage. That too simple? From that, as a start, Robb’s ideas can be worked in or extrapolated. Gotta go work. More later.

    Reply
  • Curtis Gale Weeks
    Feb 2, 2007

    If the debate over at TDAXP has gone astray, in the Gibberish thread, I wonder if it’s because GG is more a prediction of the end of the nation-state than a prediction of the end of globalization. Wiggins’ description seems to suggest that globalization will still occur, it just won’t be imposed by nation-states — so the entire argument is really an argument against the possibility (nevermind the morality) of imposing global rule-sets or any sort of top-down system. Certainly the issues of top-down control, hegemony, Barnettian Globalization (as archetyped in such debates), etc., point at a disbelief that imposed or finely directed globalization is possible (with the implication also, often, that it is immoral.)

    I know the subtitle of the forthcoming book declares the end of globalization; but I wonder if it is inapt, since the word seems to have been used in the sense, “to [willfully] globalize” rather than to describe whatever might emerge globally. Then again, there appears to be an assumption that these GG’s which operate globally to establish ‘black globalization’ will unwittingly end ALL globalization in the process; but that’s a point I’d argue against.

    Reply
  • Isaac –

    Agree fully. The Nigeria situation is actually how I stumbled across Robb’s work.

    Dan –

    I can’t really think of a better way than Wiggins’ of succinctly describing GGs. It can pull in the OSW, Bazaar etc without focusing too much on the mechanics.

    Curtis –

    I think the “end of globalization” bit describes the end of the “white” variety which is what mainstream commonly refers to simply as globalization. I sincerely doubt Robb thinks GG’s will kill both types of globalization (especially since the Global hinges on black globalization).

    Reply
  • Dan tdaxp
    Feb 2, 2007

    Shlok,

    Where is Wiggins’ definition of GGs? I am scanning the page and not seeing it. (An honest question, not rhetoric.)

    Reply
  • Curtis Gale Weeks
    Feb 2, 2007

    Shloky,

    Then it would seem that the dichotomous Order vs Chaos debate may have been off-track, since this introduces the question of how a relatively stable (if not utopian) global system might emerge as GG’s and other non-state forces gain more apparent influence &/or control while nation-states lose influence/control within the global system. That ‘pivot’ might effect not only the composition and role of whatever nation-states persist, but also the composition and role of these non-state actors, who I imagine will begin to act somewhat like states for managing the global system. Knowing beforehand the degree of stability (or balances?) such a system might produce would be difficult, however, which may be why the issue of Order vs Chaos rears its head in any discussion of GG off JR’s sites.

    Reply
  • Shloky
    Feb 2, 2007

    Dan –

    It’s in my original post at the top of this page (click on Wiggins to get there). Or here – http://opposedsystemsdesign.blogsome.com/2005/12/15/9/ .

    Yeah, I’m using a description as a definition. But with some minor shape shifting it could fit the mold of a definition.

    Curtis –

    Yep. The uncertainty you’re talking about is likely to govern most big name international relations thinking for the short term future.

    But that’s my take, at least until the book comes out.

    Reply
  • Dan tdaxp
    Feb 2, 2007

    Shlok – I didn’t think there was a definition there. Not sure what “minor shape shifting” you’re thinking of, but feel free to provide an example. (Unless you’re using “minor” to mean “major” as you used “description” to mean “definition”, heh 🙂 )

    Reply
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