Saturday, February 20, 2010

Stack attack

I almost never post links to other blogs because I prefer to express personal observations. And to be honest, most people concerned with politics and religion are probably not interested in the incessant rants against Maury Povich or a lousy meal they just had. But I'm such a huge fan of the John Robb's Global Guerrilla blog and his recent post about Joseph Stack (the IRS airplane bomber) accurately reflects my thoughts concerning the inevitably of looting in the U.S.

Here's the link to one of the sharpest, most insightful individuals you'll ever come across. Robb analyzes everything without bias. The reading is occasionally heavy. It takes a while to fully appreciate concepts like resilient communities and decentralized platforms. The terms he uses are often unique, because he discusses concepts well ahead his time. Fortunately, his post about Stack is an easy read though. Sometimes, the comment section is equally enthralling. And I'll be honest - sometimes, it's over my head. When you strip it down, Robb and his faithful readers are discussing the future of societal breakdown and devising remedies for weathering the storm. If you're more concerned with the American Idol contestant who just came out of the closet, exit now.

Obviously, Joseph Stack was mentally ill and a lone wolf. But here's the underlying point made by Robb (and it's the same point I've often conveyed) -

"Will we see more of this violence? Most assuredly. Further, as this economic failure matures, damaging ever greater numbers of people, we may see less violence against people and more economic violence (disruption) in an attempt to extract from society as great a cost as they possibly can. A couple of hundred people, using the super-empowerment afforded by network disruption, could easily cause countless billions in economic damage. A thousand people?"

He doesn't mention looting specifically. But the looting model I've constructed is totally relevant. We've arrived at a point in history where "company loyalty" has vanished. This ain't the 1950's. People who have invested their entire lives into the blue collar work ethic have witnessed their pensions evaporate and their health care safety net disappear. The CEOs and attorneys walk away with millions. This is in direct contradiction to the American dream and the entire notions of capitalism and democracy. If you work hard, play by the rules (and the Palinites might want to include "love God and country"), you'll be rewarded. Well, now we all know that this is a complete fallacy. Perhaps their are still a few diehards who adhere to these principles. Some live right here in Wheeling, the others I'm guessing Bartlesville, Oklahoma.

Back to the looting. What would a hundred people do if they channeled their frustration toward corporate America? Well, let's try to build a model for straight smash and grab, pillage and plunder. Keep in mind, I'm not advocating violence against your local Walgreens. I'm telling you it's right around the corner. It is the future of the United States. Disaffected individuals in an inflated economy will ban together and exercise their focused wrath on corporate America. There's this underlying sense that the "little guy" is helpless and can't do anything against the overwhelming power of big government and corporate America. Well that's right... one "little guy" can't do shit. But 100 "little guys" is a TRIBE and can inflict massive destruction for their own personal gain.

I think the future will resemble something like the illegal drug market. Instead of people being defined by selling heroin or marijuana, they'll be defined by selling Prilosec and bacon. When looters assign themselves specific commodities for resale. Ohhh, you need an electric razor - you should pay a visit to Shaver Jim. He's got hundreds of them. That might sound a bit far fetched, but if time is of the essence and the looters are focused and have adequately game planned using basic military tactics... Well, that's a different story. You're in charge of disseminating the message and the timing. You're in charge of restricting traffic flow and first responders. You're in charge of smashing the security camera. You're in charge of stealing all the cigarettes. There just isn't much evidence left behind when the building gets torched.

So many beautiful glass storefront windows. Look at all those Macs. Ooooh, gaze lustily at that IPod. Well, let me tell you something. There's a downside to all that exquisite presentation. There's balance on this planet. You can't maintain this level of unabated retail sprawl. There are consequences.

As I see it, the difficulty is organizing and training your "looting tribe" without being infiltrated by corporate narcs and police detectives. Notification can be done via a simple text message. The technology to send untraceable messages and emails is available, just not widespread. That will soon change and society will respond accordingly. After a bunch of looting runs have been successful and reported in the media, the stigma of "stealing is wrong" will quickly dissipate. After all, it's just payback for the fat cats who stole our hard earned money in the first place.

1 comment:

Larry said...

I've noticed within the last ten years things are starting to be more about the haves and have nots. It's sort of a class warfare. I think that's why people like to see celebrities fail. Of course, around here we're always in a recession regardless of what the rest of the country is doing.