Politics, Foreign Policy, Current Events and Occasional Outbursts Lacking Couth

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Picking Up What Others Have Put Down

I've been peeling back the onion and researching the earlier initiatives of both D5GW and other blogs that delve into the theories of xGW. The more I dig the more I realize that my own ideologies regarding xGW become something of a situation where I am reading the book my predecessors/cohorts have written:

"I think Lind’s general thinking on generations is pretty good, although I’ve also argued against seeing a neat division of time periods and the ‘generations.’" Curtis' commentary at Shloky (10/30/06)

Compare the above to my own early criticism of the xGW framework sans knowledge of Shloky's blog.

"Can the human strategic ability be Darwinized in the same fashion as that of genetic advantage? Is the difference between Hannibal and Patten inclusive of combat evolution? This theory seems to work fine as long as one generalizes warfare throughout the ages and ignores or marginalizes the human aspect of ingenuity."
Same position, different context.


Dan tdaxp said...

We all agree!

Lind is a Hegelian idealist, and this puts a lot of what he writes in context (his emphasis on time-sequenced dialectical quality shifts in the generations model, his hatred of the Marxist idealists of the Frankfurt school, etc.)

Curtis Gale Weeks said...

Hah, I've been going back to try and contextualize the bit you've quoted.

Another link in that comment led me back to "Skinning the Gap", which included a look at Coreness and Gapness as considered throughout history rather than just now, and drew up this quick sketch for how the Core might combat the Gap:

I.e., a consideration of fundamental human dynamics might lead us to realize that human interactions, and general social emergences — or, call them social emergencies — recur, throughout human history. And this might lead us to assume that there really is nothing new under the sun.

While I find these notions persuasive, I am not convinced. I myself will no doubt continue to dissolve new theories in my attempt to find the common themes behind them and behind human history, but at the same time, I think that the tendency to dissolve all into one may also lead us astray. I had mentioned, in response to Federalist X’s assertions, that I would rather view hard expansion and soft expansion (of Core and/or Gap) as a continuum, which I would also do when considering 4GW and 5GW and other human dynamics. I.e., in the case of expansion of the Core, I might look at it like this

10% Hard / 90% Soft
20% Hard / 80% Soft
30% Hard / 70% Soft
40% Hard / 60% Soft
50% Hard / 50% Soft
60% Hard / 40% Soft
70% Hard / 30% Soft
80% Hard / 20% Soft
90% Hard / 10% Soft

—only, time has produced a tendency, in human dynamics, for resolution of friction in an opposite direction to the list above, from more Hard to more Soft, in the Barnettian theory, for various reasons related to what we might call “progress” or can call, if we do not like metaphorical use of that word, a change in capabilities, ground realities, etc.

That was some time before Dan postulated a G which advances as kinetics drops for conflict.

Interesting that I had said I would contemplate xGW in terms of such a progression, or as a continuum which, nonetheless, does advance forward. The Lindian time-sequencing may be disagreeable, but (at the time I left that comment) I probably also considered a progression, but one which was not so neatly cut into distinct and non-overlapping generations. I might (at that time) have thought of it like this:

1G X 20, 2G X 1
1G X 10, 2G X 5
1G X 5, 2G X 10
1G X 1, 2G X 20

-- in which the multiplier here is meant only to express to what level 1G or 2G strategies were used in this transition from 1G to 2G. (So that even at 2G X 10, some bit of 1G style of fighting would continue.)

Hmmm. I think that's close to the way I was thinking of it at the time, not sure though.
1G X 5, 2G X 10,

subadei said...

An idediological offset, perhaps, Curtis:

Have you considered how the Gap will combat the Core? Chirol invoked this line of thought with his D8 post a while back[1]. I jumped onboard and further explored the ideology employing the label: Counter Core to the resisting (yet increasingly connected) seam/sub-seam states that currently resist or cannot realize a framework (economically nor sociologically) that meets Core status.

[1] Heh. Funny I can't find Chirol's post. If interest persists I'll contact CA and request the link.

Curtis Gale Weeks said...


A late response, and unfortunately I'm short on time at the moment.

I have considered a "counter-core," and, for lack of better terminology, I'm inclined to say that Barnett's "New Core" may actually be forming specifically to act counter to the Old Core.

Brazil, China, Russia: BRIC. Not that those are the only ones; but see how with the second two perhaps certain Gap nations are bribing or being bribed to draw closer to them and away from Gapness yet not toward Old Coreness.

For lack of better terminology...

Barnett's dream of the New Core may be right; but we might also consider the possibility that its primary motivation and utility/modus operandi will be in opposing the Old Core rather than gradually assimilating and becoming more like the "old core".

Hope I'm not rambling.. (low on sleep!)

Curtis Gale Weeks said...

P.S., at the end of that linked post, I hypothesized three possible futures, planning to write them up in more detail but never actually doing so:

Three scenarios:

1. Hard expansion of the Core

2. Soft expansion of the Core

3. Failing these, the expansion of the Gap into the Core.

Three corresponding outcomes:

1. Mostly Old Core homogeneity worldwide

2. Mostly Core homogeneity worldwide, but this is New Core rather than Old Core

3. Something else not quite the other two; a synthesis of Core and Gap. (Think: the American Revolutionary’s incorporation of Gap warfare and Gap social structure — opposing the Old Core hierarchical structures of Britain, France, and Spain.)

subadei said...


An intriguing set of scenarios. Specifically, outcome 2:

"2. Mostly Core homogeneity worldwide, but this is New Core rather than Old Core"

Where does this leave the Old Core?

Chirols D8 and my own version of it, the counter core, entail Gap states forming economic and strategic alliances in spite of the Core or perhaps as a result of the Core's own sanctions against various states. Iran's cozy relationship with Venezuela in light of sanctions stemming from their nuke program would be a start.

I think we're seeing the emergence of something like a countercore element, specifically in South America what with both ALBA and South-South Economics[1].