Friday, November 18, 2016

Donald Trump and "open source insurgency"

John Robb makes some interesting points about Donald Trump's "open source insurgency" presidential campaign - and how his own tactics might now be used against him by his enemies.  Here's an excerpt.

This year, an open source insurgency formed in the US and it took control of the White House.  I didn't write much about it this fall because it hit too close to home.  I knew what would happen.

What is an open source insurgency?  An open source insurgency is how a very large and very diverse group of people empowered by modern technology and without any formal organization, can defeat a very powerful opponent.

. . .

Open source insurgencies and protests can arise spontaneously and they are very hard to stop once they get going since they are impervious to most forms of repressive counter-attack and political subversion.  For example, the open source movement propelling Trump forward made him impervious to attacks on his character.  It also eliminated any need for "ground game" or standard political organization and obviated any need for information disclosure and detailed policy papers.

Of course, that doesn't mean you can't defeat an open source insurgency.  You can, but it requires a different approach.

. . .

My worry is that the next one we see won't operate within the confines of a political campaign.  This uptick in insults directed at minorities blamed on Trump, may be the tinder for setting off this next insurgency.  Social media amplifies every incident, spreading the anger it evokes like contagion across the country.  Just watch.  This suggests that the next open source protest we are likely to see will form to force Donald Trump from the Presidency before the next election -- a Tahrir square moment in cities all across the US.  A massive and diverse open source protest that has one simple goal: the immediate removal of Donald Trump from office.

There's more at the link.

Are we already seeing the beginning of such tactics in the anti-Trump demonstrations that are so clearly being organized and orchestrated around the USA?  It's food for thought.



August said...

Open source has a metric- does the software work?
Donald Trump and the legion of meme warriors had a similar metric.

The left has the metric of the narrative. If they betray the narrative they get kicked out.

And, of course, Soros and friends are funding this crap. I think they were involved in Tahrir too, but none of the color revolutions have any resemblance to open source. This 'software' doesn't work.

Especially not in America. If the government doesn't stop this crap, the people will. Egypt is rather strict on gun control, so this nonsense can be acted out for a lot longer.

Borepatch said...

I'm not buying the Open Source argument. The clearest thing to emerge from the election is the vast distrust of the traditional media channels, to the point that they seem not to be able to swing an election anymore. This is because Trump was excellent in his use of alternative media - there were tons of videos easily available about his speeches, making it trivial for anyone to double check ("fact check") the media reports of his "racism".

I really don't see how this fits the Open Source philosophy.

Sure, a paid astroturf army will attack him, as will the media, but nobody will listen for his first 6 months. If he delivers, people will give him another six; if he doesn't, then the hits will begin to take their toll.

Rolf said...

Between Twatter and FB, many on the left live in an echo chamber, where only left-leaning sounded enter to bounce around and amplify. I've got some smart but left-leaning friends who are absolutely convinced Trump is everything the media accuses him of, and think there really is a vast right-wing conspiracy smearing Clinton, and she would have been GREAT as president. But they have many institutional filters narrowing their view. The constant protest and all they simply refuse to believe are astro-turf.

Time will tell if anything can break through that insulation.

JohninMd.(HELP?!??) said...

The error in this is that Trump controlled this, somehow. He didn't. In a way, i don't think you can even call those who voted for him "supporters". I think a lot of the vote was more anti-establishment, anti-Hillary than any of the boffins realise, or accept. They didn't support Donnie, they wanted to destroy the system that has ignored and dissed the common folk for so long...

TheOtherSean said...

So, if there's such a thing as "open source insurgency," does that infer the possibility of "open source counterinsurgency" as well? If so, one wonders what it would entail.

Jonathan H said...

One key difference between Trump's election and what happened in Egypt is the level of support the he has; his level of support is more analogous to Qaddafi's in Libya where there was a civil war between opposing factions due to a side base of support instead of Egypt or Tunisia where the regime had a narrow base of support that fled or collapsed.
The people actually protesting and advocating violence against Trump are a VERY small part of the country, as is the portion loudly opposing him verbally as well - not to mention the fact that very few of them actually know what they are doing when it comes to fighting; most current and former military and law enforcement personnel support Trump or are too smart to actively oppose him.
If these protesters actually tried to stop him, it would be more quickly than they could imagine.

Rusty Gunner said...

A factor that works against the protests is the involvement of the ANSWER coalition. ANSWER has a reputation for muscling into leadership of any protest they can, as we saw in the runup to the Iraq invasion and the Occupy craze, and they are pathologically incapable of remaining on message. Whatever the protest was originally about is joined by anti-capitalism, Israel-bashing, freeing Mumia, and a flock of other trendy leftist causes until the signal-to-noise ratio craters.

Minecraft Chuck said...

I have a little list ...
Watch your opponent's traditional and social media. Write down which houses have which campaign signs. Track cosign bumper stickers and license plates. Keep track of names and positions. Record everything they say and do.

Use it against them when the time is right and the need arises.

COIN is simple, if not particularly easy. Identify and protect your allies. Identify and attack your enemies. Discover your enemy's plans and goals, so that you may frustrate them. Advance your plans and goals. And always remember that the end goal is to crush their will to resist so that you can institute your policies without effective opposition.

Major media organizations, education, and the entertanment industry are the intelligence and propaganda arms of the enemy. Unions and various left-wing thug groups are their direct action groups. Lawyers and some government employees/agencies are their indirect action groups.

Lefty politicians generally do as they are told by their true masters. Identify and neutralize them and their influence. There will always be others to take their place, but the enemy command structure is always a valid, high priority target.

Rhetorically and politically speaking, of course. No one would ever dream of using actual violence, like riots, assaults, and the occasional murder (Arkancide) to influence politics.

JK Brown said...

First off, there won't be anything organic on the Progressive side. The very nature of socialism is to be driven forward by their "betters".

Secondly, protests in cities will only cement Trump. He won't leave if they are trying to force him and his rural supporters won't abandon him for the lawless in the cities.

The conventional politician always proves feckless. They always cave at the slightest pressure. And once they are shown compliant, no one respects them and their new masters will destroy them.

kamas716 said...

I think the author doesn't give enough credit to just how much Trump trolled the mainstream media. He didn't have to have much for advertising because they kept him in the spotlight constantly. It also didn't hurt him that Hillary pretty much abandoned her campaign for weeks on end. And then when she did finally turn up in public she had a "medical" episode.

I see two major things that helped Trump that likely won't help future candidates.

1) Trump's cult of personality. He was able to get on TV all the time without buying ads. He had a large and very visible presence in the media even before running. His ability to troll the media into following him and reporting his every fart was genius campaigning. You're not likely to see someone like that come along again unless a major TV/movie actor or possibly a well known athlete or musician decides to run.

2) Hillary SUCKED as a candidate. She was the very embodiment of an insider in a year when people were looking for change. She had baggage in regards to criminal investigations, health issues, policy decisions (though Trump's talk wasn't much better), an unlikable personality and a history of suspicious involvements. I think there were a whole lot of people that voted against Hillary more than voted for Trump.

As I see it, Hillary's only chance against the GOP this year was likely running opposite Trump. He's not a very well liked candidate. Trump's only chance this year was that he was running against Hillary. She was an even worse candidate that he was.