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July 16, 2006


mark safranski

I don't think that the frame or paradigm of networks for political organizations at this scale of activity has sunk in with the political class or the media. "State" is the traditional conception so it is the commonly used yardstick.

Such yardsticks tend to hang on for decades ( or centuries) after they have lost their original usefulness or situational relevance. Look how long aristocratic norms prevailed in Europe after the nobility ceased to wield independent military power ( or even political power). Once vibrant institutions decline into hollow ecclesias.

Tom Griffin

It looks like the question in Lind's recent piece has been answered big time.

'To be or not to be a state, that is the question – for Hamas and soon enough for other 4GW entities as well.'

John Robb

Being a state is overrated.

Tom Griffin

That is also one of the conclusions of Immanuel Wallerstein's world-systems theory.
I wonder if there aren't some synergies between his theory and Van Creveld's.

What is wrong with the strategy the world left evolved in the course of the nineteenth century? There must be many things, since the strategy has not been successful. The centerpiece of the overall strategy was the concept of "two steps": first obtain state power, then transform the world.


phil jones

John. Can you give *any* kind of story under which the current Israeli invasion of South Lebanon makes sense?

phil jones

Tom, that link just takes me to a Network Solutions "coming soon" page.

Tom Griffin

Phil, try this link:


John Robb

Taking out (or at least temporarily incapacitating) Hiz before the US hits Iran.

phil jones

Anyone like to play this game?

I went to this prediction market :


and made a couple of bets which should be consistent with a GGish way of thinking. (eg. "the Israeli invasion of Lebanon will strengthen Hezbollah" and "US casualties will be up in 2007")

The useful thing about a market like this is that it creates a cheap sort of accountability : it keeps track of your predictions and how they actually turned out. You, and everyone else, can see whether your biases are leading you into error.

phil jones

John. That almost sounds like you see a conspiracy going on : ie. Israel are starting the war against Iran in readiness for the US entry. Is that how you really see it?

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