Trump Insurgency

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The following is from a key analysis at

On their media war

Jordan Greenhall:

"It is important for anyone planning in the contemporary environment to recognize that the activities of the Trump Insurgency are entirely different to all previous actors. Rather than endeavoring to establish control over the legacy infrastructure, the Trump Insurgency is in the process of destroying it entirely and replacing it with a very different architecture. One that is intrinsically compatible with its own form of collective intelligence.

It is clear to me that the Insurgency is engaged in “total war”. They are simultaneously attacking the legacy power structures on multiple fronts (access, business viability and, in particular, legitimacy) while innovating entirely novel approaches to the problem of large scale communications and control (e.g., direct tweets from POTUS). Their intent is not to play with or even dominate the legacy media — but to eliminate them from the field entirely and to replace them with something else altogether.

This approach is strategically optimal. The Trump Insurgency represents a novel model of collective intelligence in general. It is the first truly viable approach that is connected directly with the emergent decentralized attractor that has been driving technical/economic disruption for the last several decades. This form of governance is structurally incompatible with the legacy media architecture. It is intrinsically dissonant with the kind of top-down, slow, controlled, synchronized approach of the old media. It therefore both must dismantle this architecture and replace it with one that is in synch with its mode of operation and, thereby, benefits massively by hamstringing any collective intelligence that works in the old top-down fashion (i.e., all existing forces currently at play).

To use a concept from Gilles Deleuze, the Trump Insurgency is a nomadic war machine and it is in the process of smoothing the space of communication. To use a simpler metaphor, if you imagine the Trump Insurgency as highly effective desert guerrillas, they are currently in the process of turning everything into a desert. The Establishment, optimized for “jungle conflict”, is going to have a hard time.

From where I sit, it seems evident that the Insurgency’s ability to read-plan-react (their “OODA loop”) is simply of a higher order than the legacy power structures. For at least the past 18 months, the Insurgency has been running circles around the the Establishment and the old media. Accordingly, I fully expect the Insurgency to win this fight. Specifically, for all functional purposes, I expect the memetic efficacy of the New York Times, CNN, the Washington Post, MSNBC and related channels to be near zero within the next two to four years. I would not be surprised to see several of these entities actually out of business.

Note, the relative position of “new media” such as Twitter, Facebook and YouTube is harder to predict. I suspect that most of the important conflict of this front will take place here. Right now, all of new media is controlled by forces broadly opposed to the Insurgency. Yet the Insurgency must establish dominance on this territory. They can accomplish this either by capturing these existing platforms (aka “bend the knee” capitulation) or by moving the center of power to new platforms that are aligned with the Insurgency (e.g., replacing Twitter). If you think that this latter is highly unlikely, I strongly urge you to reexamine your models and assumptions.

My sense is that the decisive decision in this conflict is whether the “new media” remain coupled to the legacy power structures (and their OODA loops) or decouple and enter into a direct conflict for “decentralized supremacy” (see my last point below). If they choose the former, they will lose. If they choose the latter, the outcome is hard to predict." (

The Fight for control over the Deep State

Jordan Greenhall:

"My assessment is that the Trump Insurgency has identified the Deep State itself as its central antagonist and is engaged in a direct existential conflict with it.

Normally this would be an easy win for the Deep State. However, I expect this front to be the most challenging, uncertain and dangerous of the war. The Deep State is massive, has access to vast resources and capabilities and has been in the business of controlling power for decades. But two things are moving in the Insurgency’s favor.

First, the Deep State appears to be fragmented. For example, the “Russian Hacking” scenario of the past two months looks surprisingly uncoordinated and incompetent. I don’t know exactly what is going on here, but it is clearly not the product of a unified and smoothly operating Deep State.

Second, it seems highly likely that the Deep State is prepared to fight “the last war” while the Insurgency is bringing an entirely different kind of fight. The Deep State developed in and for the 20th Century. You might say that they are experts at fighting Trench Warfare. But this is the 21st Century and the Insurgency has innovated Blitzkrieg.

Let’s take a look at the “fake news” meme for example. This has all the earmarks of a Deep State initiative. Carefully planned, highly coordinated, coming from all authoritative directions, strategically targeted. My read is that this was a Deep State response to the Communications Infrastructure fight. But it looks like this initiative has not only failed, but that the Insurgency has been able to leverage its decisive OODA loop advantages to turn the entire thing around and make “fake news” its own tool. How? By moving rapidly, unconventionally, in a very decentralized fashion and with complete commitment to victory.

If my read is correct, the balance of the struggle between the Deep State and the Insurgency will be determined by how quickly the Deep State can dispense with old and dysfunctional doctrine and innovate novel approaches that are adequate to the war. In other words, is this the Western Front (France falling in six weeks) or the Eastern Front (the USSR bleeding and giving ground until it could innovate a new war machine that could outcompete the Wehrmacht).

If my read of the situation is correct (which, of course, it very well may not be), then the Deep State would be ill advised indeed to undertake any major efforts in the next 12–24 months. For example, an “impeach Trump” initiative, would almost certainly be an enormous strategic disaster. In spite of the apparent strength of the Deep State, the Insurgency’s superior OODA loop would likely result in an Insurgency victory in this fight — and victory here would greatly strengthen the Insurgency’s position. (Can you say “Emperor Trump?)

From the opposite direction, the Insurgency would be well advised to Blitzkrieg. Right now it has the advantage of an approach and a model that its opponent doesn’t understand and can’t react to effectively. But the Deep State is deep. Given time it could learn how to win this fight. If the Insurgency wants to win, it needs to radically reduce the Deep State’s strategic agency quickly. This means moving fast and moving decisively. I cannot overstate how deeply dangerous this fight is. Classically, when a long-standing hegemony (cf “Pax Americana) is weakened and distracted by intra-elite conflict, rivals like Russia and China will see an opportunity to move from a hegemonic to a multi-polar world and can be tempted into adventurism. In these conditions, even the slightest mistake can push the system into nearly catastrophic conflict." (

The Fight over Globalism

Jordan Greenhall:

"I don’t give the globalists much of a chance. Of all of the major world powers, only the EU is currently dominated by globalists, and with the victory of Brexit and the surge of nationalism in France, the Netherlands, etc., even the Eurocrats are on the run.

By moving quickly and decisively against the Deep State allies of globalism at home and erecting nationalist resilience to global institutional influence (e.g, high tariffs and protectionist monetary policy), combined with shaping a narrative that points all bad economic news directly at globalists, the Insurgency might well be able to cut most globalist power off at the knees.

Notably, even large multi-national corporations — until recently appearing to be pulling the strings of political policy — seem to be rapidly capitulating to the Insurgency. The two major globalist forces that have not yet been publicly tested are the energy companies and the banks. What will happen here remains to be seen. A cynic might suggest that the Insurgency itself is only superficially populist and in fact really simply represents the interests of Energy and Banks against other elites. That cynic might be right, we shall see. The net-net result of this front will be a significant weakening of the post-War global institutional order and a rebalancing of power along not yet fully understood nationalist alignments. It is not clear what effect this change will have. For example, one might expect “global scale” issues like climate disruption or terrorism to lose focus and efficacy — but that isn’t clear. It is certainly plausible that nation-to-nation alliances can make significant forward progress in even these areas of interest. Particularly if you assume that globalist agendas were extracting value from global scale crises rather than resolving them.

Moreover, there is no reason to believe that a multi-polar nationalism will be less stable over the long term than a hegemony. History has certainly cut both ways. Perhaps what is most clear is this: the period of transition as globalist forces struggle to maintain power while nationalist forces are not yet in any form of stable equilibrium with each-other is a moment (possibly lasting years) of extreme danger." (

A new culture war against left-liberal POMO culture

Jordan Greenhall:

"As of 2016, the shoe is on the other foot — the counter culture has become the mainstream and the Insurgents are the new counter culture.

Similar to the other battles, this Culture War front is characterized by a distinction between a more powerful and established Blue team organized around and fighting “the last war” and a Red team still in flux but beginning to figure out how to fight from the future. And, as per the other fronts, until the Blue team figures this out, it will continue to lose ground without understanding why.

In this case, however, the superior OODA loop of the Insurgency is only part of the strategic shift. Of far more importance is the fact that the Insurgency evolved within a culture broadly dominated by the values and techniques of the Blue Church and therefore, by simple natural selection, is now almost entirely immune to the total set of “Blue critique”.

In other words, if we map the arc of the culture war from the 1950’s through to the 1990’s we will see the slow emergence of a set of strategies, techniques and alliances on the part of the emerging Blue Church that became increasingly perfected and effective over time. For example, the critical power of the epithets “racist” or “sexist” which had little or no traction in the 1930’s and 1940’s had, by the 1990’s become decisive.

Yet, even as the Blue Church was achieving dominance, the roots of the Insurgency were being laid. And, like bacteria becoming increasingly immune to an antibiotic after constant exposure, those aspects of the emergent “Red Religion” that were able to survive at all began to coalesce and expand. What has now erupted into the zeitgeist is something new and almost completely immune to the rhetorical and political techniques of the Blue Church. To call an adherent of the Red Religion “racist” is unlikely to elicit much more than a “kek” and a derisive dismissal. The old weapons have no more sting.

Moreover, the Red Religion does not intend to engage the Blue Church in any way other than “outright rejection.” It considers the Church and its adherents to be acting in bad faith by default and the doctrines of the Church to be little more than a form of mental illness. Accordingly, the Red Religion has no intention of dialogue, conversation or even sharing power with the Church.

The Blue Church should expect to meet the Red Religion in war. And in this conflict the Red Religion has the advantage.

In the nature of every movement that has endured the crucible of selection, the Red Religion is much more coherent and focused than the dominant Church which is criss-crossed with internal conflict and in-fighting. The Red Religion was born into and optimized for new media (e.g, optimized for memes rather than films) and as the balance of power shifts from 20th Century media to 21st Century media, this inures to the advantage of the Reds. Going deeper, even as the Red Religion has developed an immunity to most of the primary techniques of the Blue Church, it has simultaneously developed its own memetic/values structure connected with deep human values that stem from ancient “tribal selection” and are highly attractive to the portions of the human family (men and women) who are focused on protecting and defending their tribe (hence the Red Religions’ intrinsic focus on Nationalism).

In other words, over the short to mid term, most of the humans who are best prepared to wage war — who are most attuned to and psychologically ready for war — will be attracted to the Red Religion. They will be focused, almost entirely immune to the entire portfolio of Blue weapons and they will be armed with and optimized for 21st Century techniques of waging culture war.

As a consequence, the result of this conflict will almost certainly be fatal for the Blue Church. We are already witnessing it, in the form of both an increasingly desperate “doubling down” on obviously impotent attacks and a creeping demoralization within the fabric of the Church. I expect to see this accelerate and as the Insurgency wins on other fronts, the set of alliances that hold the Church together will begin to unravel and the Church will collapse." (