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January 16, 2013

Having raised the topic of asymmetrical warfare recently, considering some associated terminology seems appropriate. As it happens, Wikipedia is a good starting point.

Since communications is all important, I’ve chosen five terms to explore: narrative, netwar, psywar, solidarity and spectacle. To kick things off, I’ll quote briefly from the five Wikipedia articles, then let readers dig through each at their leisure.

Hopefully, this will initiate some discussion about the application of these ideas to current indigenous nation-modern state conflicts. Then, in the weeks ahead, perhaps we can get into some discussions about the pursuit of self-determination and the science of coercion.


The Four Rhetorical Modes of Discourse:

Humans in all cultures cast their own identity in some sort of narrative form. Narrative has also been used in knowledge management, as a way to disseminate knowledge, encourage collaboration, generate new ideas, and ignite change. Narrative may also refer to psychological processes in self-identity, memory and meaning-making.


Low intensity conflict, crime, and activism waged by social networked actors that deploy decentralized, flexible network structures. Information warfare focuses too narrowly on technological issues while missing the broader social transformation enabled by technological advances. Networks may maintain coordination through a combination of powerful doctrine, ideology, shared beliefs, and/or communal interests.


Techniques used to influence a target audience’s value systems, belief systems, emotions, motives, reasoning, or behavior.


Integration, ties, social relations that bind. Unity, group consciousness, and social cohesion.


Spectacle refers to an event that is memorable for the appearance it creates. The term was borrowed from the Roman practice of staging circuses to maintain civil order due to an inability to solve underlying social and economic problems.



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