Thursday, December 21, 2006

To Love Your Work

Throughout the course of a long life I have rarely held what most people would call a real job. I make the necessary amount of money to survive and to save for my further ridiculous adventures in swamp world, and then I put in my time reading, listening to the living, seeing the wonders of the world. What a great life it is. Often, even in the midst of terror and pain, it simply embraces me and makes me wonderful. I don't know what to make of it, but I sometimes, even often, laugh like an idiot, overwhelmed by the wonder and the mysteries of it all. I have to work at it sometimes, but the cold hard world seems to love me. I hope it's the same with you. Whatever your life's work, I hope it loves you too.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Filibuster for Universal Modernity (2)

In his book from 1971, The Day of the Jackal, Frederick Forsyth writes in passing of Executive Operations, a company known outside the closed world of mercenaries and their dodgy employers only to a handful of journalists and curious folks of some other sort. E.O. provides services for what one might call a niche market but a market that is often more real than most: private security for private businesses and low-rent governments at risk from serious criminal enterprises. In the business of the real world of the living one accepts that there is good and that there is dangerous. It's not a world for the delusional or the sentimental.

This is not a new story, nor is it one likely to go away any time soon or perhaps ever: Executive Outcomes (EO), a private military company (PMC), was founded in apartheid South Africa by Lt-Col. Eeben Barlow in 1989. Controlled by the South Africa-based Strategic Resource Corporation (SRC), EO's role was described by Barlow as offering: "A variety of services to legitimate governments, including infantry training, clandestine warfare, counter-intelligence programs, reconnaissance, escape and evasion, special forces selection and training, and parachuting."

In the archives here one will find numerous pieces on American filibustering and Manifest Destiny, the belief that America was given by God to settlers to expand as far as the oceans and beyond. There are many references to "school teachers with guns," the idea of Modernist filibusters going into the world at large as a project of free enterprise to colonize the world and create an America of of the mind in every place, school teachers living in foreign lands, marrying foreigners, raising children to be American in the world today, backed up with guns. In the face of cultural relativism here there are many posts on the International Brigades of the Spanish Civil War. This blog, my blog, is clear that men and women of the Modern West must go into the world and colonise it all, taking over lands in the same way colonists in early America took the land and moved on the Indians who were here before the Europeans and other world setters came. Life is tough, and it only gets better when Modernists introduce Modernity into lands even against the will of the locals, for whom I have little but contempt. Call me insensitive if you must. I can bear it. Better that than to stand by and excuse the primitivism that passes for culture in our world. So long as parents raise their children to be primitives I will continue to call on school teachers with guns to colonize the world to give children the chance to learn to think for themselves, come of it what may. Yes, I suggest, I exhort men and women to settle in foreign lands, that they raise children to be American in the mind, and that those who would preserve primitivism should be shot if they interfere in the teaching of, for example, germ theory.

Is it a cranky man's daydream? The post below is part one excerpted from Tech Central Station.

Al Qaeda for the Good Guys: The Road to Anti-Qaeda
By Josh Manchester

Stateless warfighting organizations are all the rage these days. From Al Qaeda to Blackwater, they come in all shapes and sizes and pursue all varieties of ends. Consider: Al Qaeda is an organization funded by a Saudi tycoon's heir, and exists to pursue strategies that are wholly outside the realm of policies of any given state. Indeed, it seeks to topple the governments of many states in the Middle East, from which it draws many of its recruits and funding.

The Mahdi Army is a large, subnational Iraqi militia of something on the order of 30,000. It gives loyalty to a Shi'ite cleric, Moqtada al-Sadr, whose motives are suspect to say the least. Does he merely desire to defend Shi'ites, or does he wish to seize power in Iraq?

Now shift gears a bit and consider Blackwater, the world's foremost private security company. A recent article in the Weekly Standard described its capabilities:

*A burgeoning logistics operation that can deliver 100- or 200-ton self-contained humanitarian relief response packages faster than the Red Cross.

*A Florida aviation division with 26 different platforms, from helicopter gunships to a massive Boeing 767. The company even has a Zeppelin.

*The country's largest tactical driving track, with multi-surface, multi-elevation positive and negative cambered turns, a skid pad, and a ram pad for drivers learning how to escape ambushes.

*A 20-acre manmade lake with shipping containers that have been mocked up with ship rails and portholes, floating on pontoons, used to teach how to board a hostile ship.

*A K-9 training facility that currently has 80 dog teams deployed around the world. Ever wondered how to rappel down the side of nine stacked shipping containers with a bomb-sniffing German shepherd dog strapped to your chest? Blackwater can teach you.

What's the purpose of this organization? In a nutshell, the Standard article reports that it is "supporting humane democracy around the world."

What is the future of the relationship between states and such stateless warfighting organizations as those mentioned above? Why might states come to rely more and more upon stateless proxies? Here are a few reasons:


Aside from the interests of states, consider the future of private security and stateless warfighting organizations from the perspectives of those organizations themselves. Here are some considerations:


One of the biggest public relations problems for companies such as Blackwater is the recurring taint of being considered a firm full of mercenaries....

The world of stateless warfighting organizations - many of which will become state proxies - is here to stay. It will be fraught with controversy as the issues delineated above seep in and out of the news.

In the part two of this series, I'll look at what an al-Qaeda for the good guys would look like.

Stephen Austin founded the Mexican state of Texas and went on to found the Republic of Texas before it became the American state of Texas. Austin didn't call forth settlers to change the world for the benefit of Mexicans in Texas. He called forth men and women to make money and to live better lives than they lived in Arkansas, for example; and to Texas people went to live and to be alive as individuals. People went to live and to work and to create. Many Mexicans resisted the American settlement of Texas. So what? Today they die trying to go to the America Texicans have made. Take America to the world. Make every place America. And in so doing, not one place will be anything more the same than is New York to Alaska. It takes men and women who want to build for themselves a new life in far away places for personal reasons. It's been done many times before, and it will be done again, in our world at large, in outer space and beyond. There will be those who don't like it. They can stay behind. If they try to prevent it, shoot the bastards.