When to Deny the Rights of Neo-Nazi Militants

The tragedy in Charlottesville, VA requires real attention, deliberation, and action from all of us who believe in constitutional representative democracy; especially in the United States of America. Our political structure serves in the protection of economic and civil liberties, and we have a duty to uphold it. 

Unfortunately, our society has become self-obsessed with Spectacle, reactive to crisis, and does little about such real issues. Moreover, this is not a limited problem in the USA held by white supremacists. Instead, this is a global phenomenon of the postmodern era of financial capitalism. Ethnic-Nationalist sentiment is on the rise again and action is necessary. 
I wrote an essay in college entitled “Why Neo-Nazis Need Freedom of Speech Too” contrasting the philosophy of John Stuart Mill with the decision in Niles, Illinois, to grant a municipal parade license to a Neo-Nazi group (several decades ago). This essay was focused, primarily, on the idealistic liberalism of public discourse. I continue to believe that a rational nation must protect and encourage honest and peaceful discourse about even the most ludicrous and dangerous political, economic, and social views. 
Importantly, this freedom of speech for JS Mills especially applied to the Press and its role in criticizing the decisions of government – far from the pretense of “objectivity” that we occasionally expect of our media. 
More pragmatically today, as I describe in my book Continuous Experimentation, we as citizens do not want potential insurgencies, radical religions, civil terrorists, and other extremists festering in the isolation of their echo chambers. The more people speak about their anger, prejudice, and frustration in a calm and honest dialogue based on facts and beliefs, the less insane these conversations become. Moreover, a publicly-known group can be more easily secured and detained than a hidden, angry militia plotting in private. 
This is precisely what has worsened to a tipping point with “Neo-Nazis” in the the US, as has become extremely clear with the events in Charlottesville. The right to free speech and peaceful assembly are intentionally diametrically opposed to the right to bear arms and form a militia. The tension between these two seems to have been forgotten in the stupidity of partisan rhetoric. A fresh look is necessary. To better understand the distinction, we must look to John Locke, one of the most important influences of the United States’ founding fathers. 
For Locke, as rings loud and clear in the Bill of Rights, a Nation is formed as a Social Contract by persons with rights and freedoms intrinsic to being human. This contract is based on the Rights that any group of individuals would have in what is called the “State of Nature” – the right to life, freedom, and pursuit of property as a fruit of one’s labor. In contrast, Locke makes clear that when one person violates another’s right to life, freedom, or property, the individuals enter into the “State of War”. It is therefore one’s right in the State of War to kill someone who tries to kill you, to capture someone who tries to enslave you, and seek justice when someone steals or damages your property. The Social Contract of a nation is intended to prevent individuals from entering the State of War through collective preservation of civil liberties. In other words, the Nation preserves its people against the State of War, both internally and externally. 
Without freedom of speech, the ability to criticize and debate beliefs, and vocally remove the privilege of power from elected representatives, the government cannot be trusted to preserve our civil liberties. Moreover, the primary realm of social life and personal belief that has been a constant source of war is religion, so it is essential that the government not select or uphold one. Thus, our first amendment to the US Constitution: 

“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”
Next, when the government is no longer representing the will of the people or becomes ineffective in assuring national security, mutual defense, or domestic tranquility–especially when the representative power of the government has entered into tyranny–it is essential that the Citizens of the nation have the ability to re-enter the State of War, overthrow the government, and establish a new constitution. Likewise, remember that a formal State militia is likewise the right of the people in order to protect its citizens, including in case of revolution against the federal government. Thus, our Second Amendment:

“A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”
As we can see, the right to freedom of speech and assembly is specific to the natural rights preserved from the State of Nature and the preservation of natural Rights, while the right to arms and form a militia is specific to the State of War and its capacity as a credible threat of the people to overthrow an insolvent government. 
It is worth noting that this tradition in political philosophy is continued with the Thirteenth Amendment. Locke argued that Slavery is the right of an individual in the State of War, to the extent the individual is delaying the death they have a right to exercise. In other words, if someone tries to kill you, you have every right to take them captive and force them to follow orders until justice is resolved. This, like every other Natural Right of individuals in the State of War, is given up to the Nation in the Social Contract. Thus, while slavery is abolished based on “birthright” in the Thirteenth amendment, it is preserved for the justice system:

“Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.”
When we apply the philosophies of John Locke and Thomas Jefferson to the individuals in Charlottesville, VA there is a clear problem in defining who they believe themselves to be as a group. 
If they are a religion, they have the right to peacefully assemble and their views have no role in government. This is not who they are. 
If they are a charitable organization, they have clear State and Federal laws they must uphold as an entity separate from its members, with major restrictions against political actions. This is not who they are. 
If they are a Political Party, there are very clear restrictions on what they can and cannot do in the pursuit of campaign financing, signage display, and peaceful assembly. This is not who they are. 
If they are a militia, the individuals have the right amass weaponry, gain supporters, and take action against the government in an attempt to redress their grievances. However, the government has the authority, right, and power on behalf of its citizens to crush this insurgency, end their revolt, and eradicate the militia. 
So let me make something very clear. They have the right to their beliefs and speech, and they have a right to their guns and militia. However,
A militia does not have the right to freedom of speech once they take action against the State or Federal Government of the Citizens of United States of America. 
A militia does not have the right to freedom of assembly once they take action against the State or Federal Government of the Citizens of United States of America. 
A militia does not have the right to freedom of movement once they take action against the State or Federal Government of the Citizens of United States of America. 
In other words, anyone who shows up to a parade with a gun should be arrested immediately. The 2nd Amendment does not apply to parades, it applies to our right to war and revolution. Anyone claiming freedom of speech must do so without a gun, anyone claiming the right to peaceful assembly must do so without a gun. 
What to do?
First, we must petition our representatives to ensure that both of these rights–and their corresponding responsibilities–are upheld. A narrowly-defined but very clear rejection of militia-like petitions for parades and protests should be executed. Keep your swastika and your gun at home, if you have real nationalist, ethnic, or socialist grievances or ideas, the symbols of ancient religions and weapons of revolution are not allowed. 
Second, we need to engage individuals more directly in regards to their beliefs. We all have prejudices – the originate from the interpretation of disgust in the expressions of our parents as children – this will not disappear without very real effort because we all have cognitive biases, limited knowledge, and emotion-filled memories. If the only avenue for self-expression for those who believe their race, religion, gender, class, or rights are under attack is in violence in a municipal intersection, we have failed each other deeply. 
Third, there is a clear problem of identifying a militia in revolt in this country. Because ethno-nationalistic violence is on the rise worldwide, we cannot leave this unaddressed. The line between peaceful assembly and revolution must be clearly drawn, as a militia loses all other civil liberties once it violates the rights of Citizens. 

Gender in Technology

Today a Google employee is front-and-center in the Society of the Spectacle. He broke the rules of his universe, and the simulation has exiled him. Capitalism is predicated on reproduction, no longer of human life, but of the image. This employee crossed too far outside the normative boundaries of his simulacra. His image was not the copy of a copy of copy that society demands of liberal democracy’s Hegemonic Truth.

There are clear fallacies, poor assumptions, biases, prejudices in his words. However, as Hegel shows us, human progress is in the continual resolution of its conflicts. Like so many battles to control the image and simulacrum of absolutist truth-value, this moment is a polarizing loss for every “side” in this conflict of values. The only information gained when powerful corporations refuse a role in shaping society and morality is that Eros – the universal dipole moment toward the Other – has no place in the sanitized political economy of institutionalized knowledge creation.

This problem is far from a single “bad egg” that the rare bigot voices. This is a symptom of a machine that has no humanity, desperately ridding itself of the dirtiness and complexity of reality. If there is one critique shared by modern and contemporary philosophers across national, gender, orientation, political, and class boundaries, it is that we are not producing equality of Self and Other, we are only enforcing narcissism and Spectacle. We will awake one day, free and equal, but only because we are completely alone with our reflection. Karl Marx, Ayn Rand, Michele Foucault, Jean Baudrillard, Byung-Chul Han, Camilles Paglia, and the collective Tiqqun have been warning us for some time how dangerous it is to universally strip humans down to hours, dollars, and contracts in one sphere, likes, clicks, and views in the other.

Naturally, Google had no choice. Some infections require amputation. The real crisis of this moment is that the symptom is being treated without an authentic experience by anyone watching, of the sickness in the system. Unfortunately, when the circus of Spectacle is done torturing the employee and Google, nothing meaningful will have changed.

The true universals of humanity are sanitized away from capitalist production in favor of the free and equal codification of consumable difference. If it is too mysterious to mass produce, what merit could it have? Today, one of the five major companies automating this codification of empty but equal significance showed us that humanity will be finish its journey to the artificial on the Day of the Singularity. When we move from a society of proud workers creating and using tools to a society of tools creating and using humans, we will see what the complete alienation of humanity from its survival has cost us.

First and foremost, we have lost the mystery of the ghost in the shell. What is universally human – love, sex, hope, fear, anger, disgust, wonder, loneliness, and doubt – these are all becoming an unacceptable deviation from the machines of capitalist democracy.

We mature in different ways, at different skills, with path-dependent challenges, unique knowledge, and a vast spectrum hopes and dreams. Gender, Orientation, Race, Religion, and Class are all constructs that we cobble together along the way, building an Ego out of whatever happens to be lying around in the moment of necessity.

We must shape a richer understanding of diversity to cultivate the creativity of humanity. We have seen clearly that the brain has sufficient plasticity to teach improvements to spatial reasoning well into adult life, regardless of sex, after which all engineering becomes more easily pursued. We know that small groups who gain exposure to diversity come away with a more holistic concern for humanity. We also know that our words define us and limit us, crystallizing successful personality traits into biased dispositions.

When we proactively engage in authentic dialogue, anchored biases can gain complexity. When we silence, suppress, and exile thoughts and emotions that do not fit the official image of the branded herd, no one benefits. It is reactive and meaningless to the bigger picture, but too late to do anything better.

Corporations today have unprecedented power in shaping the richness of human experience, but the responsibility of a resilient society, global peace, and environmental sustainability is demanded by very few. The dollar and the image have created us in its image, to ensure the liquidity and deregulation of the simulation. Diversity programs and active encouragement of women and minorities to take leadership roles in technology is an important first step, but it is not enough. If we bring more “female resources” into the technology workplace while enforcing they leave their motherhood, daughterhood, sisterhood, friendship, love, culture, and citizenship at home, we will make the world a far worse place.

The compartmentalization once expected of Straight White Men in the political economy of Calvin’s Protestant Work Ethic, if extended to a fully employed, generic, neutered adulthood of the capitalist system… that is a sociopathic humanity hellbent on its own emptiness.

If we do not take the time to participate in authentic dialogue, about power, responsibility, and our future, we will find that the history of human progress was the totalitarian loss of all humanity.

Transformation: Expected Retaliation

Another force that shapes the behavior of potential ideological entrants is the severity and nature of the retaliation the Clerics (consultants, teachers, evangelists, psychologists, priests) expect from entrenched incumbents. Likewise, for an ideological system that is an indirect substitute, the expected retaliation of incumbent systems may play a role in shaping the polarizing territorialization even if re-valuation is never sought – the avoidance of retaliation may be internalized or sublimated, miraculated back upon its doctrine.

If a potential entrant believes that victorious re-valuation is unlikely, or that losses will be protracted or catastrophic, the emergent profitability of will-to-power for the new entrant may fall below the cost to acquire genetic capital. Although a history of vigorous retaliation, combined with a level of capricious volatility, is the best way for an entrenched ideology to ensure the signification of re-valuation cost is high, the formal leadership of their organizations may also use direct signaling to the public at large as a passive aggressive threat to prospective new entrants.


Transformation: Barriers to Entry

To limit the introduction of new entrant Invasive Ideologies, the existing rivals, with their entrenched ideological production systems, must ensure that entering the competitive landscape is unattractive to outside groups. This may be done through explicit leadership by the largest ideological system, through direct collusion of existing systems, or implicitly through a similar response to a shared re-valuation threat. We should note that some ideological re-valuation efforts, feeling an imperative due to their Unlimited Sociopolitical Product, will ignore demand-side and supply-side barriers to entry; pursuing “missionary” work, cold sales, and consultative evangelism signals anyway. Any ideological system that treats evangelism with an imperative-based valuation, and treats rejection and barriers to belief as supporting signification, will certainly be an invasive mold, difficult to eradicate. In other words, if a production system views the rejection of its product as proof that its product is righteous, do not expect a simple resolution to your conflict with it.

                Supply-Side Economies of Scale – an ideological system enjoys superior supply-side scale economies when the entrenched rivals can spread the cost of belief-information production across several believers. The benefits of scale economies to supply-side ideological production are multiple: network pressure to participate ties combined will-to-power with social status in a virtual community, prestige economies arise to the benefit of reinforcing the ideological system, the variable impact of losing a single believer is very low, the ability to create larger spectacles, while the history of believers and anecdotes materializes at a superior pace.

Supply-side economies of scale deter new ideological system new entrants to the extent the new entrant must reach a large tipping point very quickly in numbers of believers, attempting to dislodge an existing system or disrupt the entire market of ideas. Whether perceived or actual, supply side economies of scale tend to produce two kinds of new entrants: one that employs disruptive new means of recording production to lower the price of belief, another that treats its cost disadvantage as proof of righteousness. When a belief system is willing to accept its cost disadvantages, its evangelism typically focuses on the ease of adoption in comparison to entrenched systems, which may give rise to a large but fragmented pool of Clerics who sell the luxury version of the ideological system to existing believers. When cost disadvantage is processed by valuation-signification as a proof of righteousness, this sets its believer network up for a recursive reflexivity in favor of extremism, conspiracy theories, and fundamentalism

Demand-Side Benefits of Scale – In the spread and adoption of a new ideological systems, demand-side benefits of scale are also referred to as “network effects” – for example, the first-signifier disadvantage of the original telephone networks was not exclusive to the cost of installation – the ability to have someone to talk to was important. We have seen this repeat with iterations of postmodern social media networks. In an ideological system in which participation and information is the only cost of belief, significant scale economies exist for established rivals.

Like social media network effects, we would expect to see a gradual homogenization of evaluable belief-products from tightly focused verticals as an ideological industry matures. This has the effect of limiting the willingness of believers to experiment with new systems if their Sociopolitical Product is incompatible with a more established system. This not only erodes the bargaining power of the new entrant system’s Clerics, it may cause an unintended evolution of signification for both systems – for example, the interaction of believers in a both Protestant Christianity and Psychodynamic Clinical psychology not only reduce the power of the Psychologist, because the spiritual minister has a moral high ground imperative, but repeated exchanges between the two create a populace rendition of both cosmology and psychology that has merged but “bastardized” both systems.

One might also note that this is the overarching claim that Marx makes toward capitalism as an ideological system – the network effects of continued specialization and decoding of economic flow benefits the consumers of the system at the expense of alienating the social element of the laborer; as an ideological system, this capacity to appropriate re-sell any other ideology makes it unlikely that any “corrective” ideological system can produce a limit on the maximization of surplus value of labor. Despite all the efforts of Cold War era clerics on both sides, many “believers” at this point may see little difference between capitalist and materialist thinking.

                Believer Switching Costs – When the cost of switching from one ideological system to another is high, a new entrant will find it extremely difficult to evangelize believers. Believer Switching Costs may be real or perceived – the need to change information networks, loss or “reset” of social status, and an inability to switch back after leaving the system create high switching costs. Moreover, sunk cost fallacy can play a significant role in Believer Switching Costs, especially when process addictions and coping mechanisms adapted to the believer’s current system are incompatible with the behavioral expectations of the new system.

Here we can account for the difference in religious ideological systems versus political, financial, or labor ideological systems. The lower the switching costs of the believer, the more likely we will find complimentary Sociopolitical Product imperatives. For example, the ability to gain prestige in both plumbing and water systems construction as well as electrical systems construction in both residential and commercial applications – the switching costs are limited to additional education, tools, and technology, while the value network, respect of peers, and ability to rise as a Cleric may actually be improved through the synergy of multiple belief systems. The higher the switching costs of the believer, the less likely we will see that the believer’s valuation-signification processes will include choice of belief within their design set – in other words, the recursive impact of signifying faith as an external locus of valuation control actually limits their capacity to even consider another religion. In juxtaposition with the plumber-electrician general contractor, we could imagine a Jesuit Priest leaving Catholicism to pursue Islamic extremism then attempt to return to Christianity sounds ridiculous – we would consider planning aforethought the choice to switch incompatible with “true faith” in either system. This gives us the most important element of Believer Switching Cost – any system that takes network-switching as a sign of Bad Conscience will operationalize combined will-to-power to reject Believers who have switched, possibly including their family in the punishment.

                Incumbency Advantages Independent of Scale – Some advantages may benefit incumbents in ways not available to new entrants, regardless of the scale of ideological valuation-signification production. These advantages may stem from geographically superior access to believers and new information, economic rents from possession of a sacred site or totem, easily recognizable believer branding, or learning curve advantages in evangelism can all provide benefits to entrenched rivals that new entrants will be required to attain.

Unequal Access to Distribution – when potential believers are sufficiently isolated and fragmented, unequal access to distribution will limit the spread of an Invasive Ideology and simplify the retaliatory maneuvers of an established system. Consider, for example, the continued strength and apparent unity of will-to-power exhibited by the Vatican in the control of Christian ideology, first relying on the Roman Empire’s political system then monarchies of feudalism that followed – because the bargaining power of believers was low and the bargaining power of Clerics was controlled by the Vatican, unequal access to distribution of ideas prevented a major schism (relying on rhizomatic spread instead) until it became politically advantageous for socioeconomic systems development (consider Henry VIII).

The Threat of New Ideologies

It is an all-too-human tendency to mitigate risks only against extreme threats, and position bureaucracy remains in denial altogether, hoping “they” who are above will protect the system against major threats; in reality, the threat of a new ideology, and its strength in focusing the cost structure of an ideological system, is typically imaginary – far smaller threats of operationalization creep into the fissures of the Body Without Organs, exploiting and exacerbating the gap it gradually, accretively fills and expands, like a fungal invasion of an Oak tree.  When the Threat of New Ideologies is low, pressure to unite doctrine is low, so the component production factors are prone to sibling rivalry and ongoing schisms.

High threat of new entrants on an Invasive Ideology recording surface gradually erodes the cost of belief demanded by each existing rival. Consider the erosion of belief expectations, in the form of socioeconomic and behavioral changes, exhibited progressively by the people of Judea after the repeated defilement and destruction of the Temple of Jerusalem, and the progressive schisms of the Roman Catholic Church post-appropriation by the Empire, and the protestant sects that followed. The more an ideological industry complex perceives a new Invasive Ideology gaining a foothold, the more its internal rivals compete based either upon lowering the lifetime cost of belief (mainstream, relativism) with a minority of existing rivals pursuing pure differentiation (fundamentalism) or even narrow focus on luxury ideological offerings (monasteries, ivory towers).

This pressure to reduce barriers to belief can only be re-territorialized against through collusion, maintaining the price of belief, or through increased investment in doctrinal soundness. Collusion to maintain the price of belief goes beyond the emergent “lowest common denominator” of faith in order to ensure believers are beholden to the will of the Clerics, as may be seen in the ideological systems of paternalistic penal law, despotic state taxation, and the investment firms of financial capitalism. If the role of Clerics tends to subjugate to the role of the unifying body-system, collusion is viewed externally as a standardization of processes – one that actors outside the struggle for Information Dominance are unbothered in their ignorance – consider specialized guilds on the frontier middle-class materialism: residential and commercial plumbing or electrical guilds, veterinary medicine and psychology or marriage counseling. Sacred texts with no contemporary presiding visionary produces a slow-moving bureaucracy of best practices. Guild-based practices of arborescent information and prestige networks are the typical method of raising barriers to entry for new entrants with a homogenous Sociopolitical Product.

In contradistinction, many belief systems have unavoidably (or even intentionally) low barriers to entry, and may spread through indoctrination (focusing on the exploitation of state’s education institutionalization complex) or by economic rents guaranteed openly by the state (patent-law or the length of a standardized measure of inches, centimeters) or can only be actively documented by a minority of production process recording producers, who win the long-run game simply through distributed, decentralized, “caring when no one else cares” (dictionaries, lexicons, encyclopedias, journals, and wikis).

We must remain cognizant that it is not the “intrinsic value” of an ideology nor the cumulative will-to-power its macro-organic proponents potentiate; nor is it the actual invasive actions that matter in indirectly shaping, through the recursive reflexivity of valuation-signification, the decisions of entrenched ideological rivalry. Likewise, it is not the objectivity of valuation of the external threat of a new ideological rivalry, it is the signification of its implications for current tensions with entrenched rivals that shapes adversarial decisions in the marketplaces of truth-ideas. Due to this, the threat of a new ideological entrant need not exist at all, nor even be based upon a real ideological system as believed-in, by an actual population of coordinated believers; an outside system that makes no attempt to invade, or exists exclusively in the imagination of an entrenched ideology’s believers, is more than sufficient to shape the nature of ideological warfare amongst existing rivals.

We can likewise see that a macro-organic behavioral jump discontinuity can occur if the audience of believers, perceiving an immense threat, is exploited for the purposes of a Substitute that is not perceived as a threat – even when the “threat” of a coordinated sociopolitical threat is a group delusion. The perception of threat, even in the absence of a coordinated or actual threat, can have powerful implications in the lives of its believers and previously uninvolved bystanders unrelated to the issues at hand (as seen in the countless religion-based or ethnic genocides that occur as a generalization of an ideological threat).

This capitalist system of information production thereby creates truth-ideas in ever-scaling spatiotemporal fractals until direct rivalry perceives an external threat. The surplus value of believer-labor is thereby destroyed by the unifying body-system that can maintain information dominance in order to maintain the tension of adversarial knowledge production – through “Keynesian” investment of surplus ideological value in public works (exploiting patrons into building chapels or funding painters in exchange for salvation), through externalization into a body-system military-industrial complex (the European Crusades, the invasion of third-world countries in the Cold War), or through the investment in applied science, technology, or induced general intellect, typically displacing will-to-power into the Invasive Ideology of a subsequent generation. In each case, we can see that the perception of a sociopolitical threat from a new ideological system, when exploited by the socioeconomic actors with the existing rivalry, may result in sudden physical violence with catastrophic results – war, poverty, genocide, book-burning, and mass indoctrination among them.

This has important pragmatic implications for transformation of an enterprise, as a conglomeration of value-add ideological systems – legal, contract, accounting, tax, finance, operations, et cetera. To the extent we can induce demand for new methods of signaling and signification without the appearance of danger, superficially, to any entrenched ideological system, the more freely we can move among the indigenous knowledge workers unnoticed.

Direct Ideological Rivalry

Direct Rivalry among established ideological production systems is the most common perspective taken, especially when the sociopolitical stakes are high, as directly and openly competing belief paradigms invest heavily in juxtaposition; a critical role in continued re-territorialization. In this sense, we can see there is a Diachronic Operability in addition to the Synchronic Operability of the production processes of valuation-signification and its capacity for Polarizing Territorialization. Diachronic Operability weaves a narrative of valuation-signification based on the history of critical truth-ideas, their evolution of meaning, and records a new re-valuation based on the contradistinction of materialist history over-against the current necessity of belief. Synchronic Operability takes a static representation of The Moment as perceived by the valuation-signification of that context for justification against the present re-valuation effort, likewise treated as a static point.

Despite this tendency toward direct juxtaposition, it should be clear that the socioeconomic forces external to the conflict between two or more ideological systems shape the nature of decisions made within the conflict, with a recursive reflexivity over-against forces applied within the direct conflict. Direct Rivalry between ideological adversary-systems that are in open, direct competition for the same “customer” should likewise be the easiest to imagine: for instance, religious institutions that take a similar view of “faith” and “the soul” but a polarizing view of “salvation”, or professional guilds that can raise economic rents distributed to their members through an increase in barriers to entry. To whatever extent ideological industries share constructs across competitors, the role of direct rivalry may increase or decrease based on isolation from the other socioeconomic forces. For instance, differentiated extremist political platforms, narrow in their Sociopolitical Product, that find some temporary and cyclical common ground in their opposition of several other political platforms, giving rise to a bi-partisan dialectic that largely ignores the fragmented parties that refuse to “pick a side”.

We can see that Confusion of Levels plays an enormous role, as an apparent conflict at one level may seem extremist and violent viewed in isolation, but appears to be little more than a sibling rivalry to outsiders at a “higher” level of observation: for example, the continued rivalry, schisms, and fragmentation of American sects of Protestantism after World War II due to the sudden sentiment of Christian moral high-ground, exhibited in the stories told of “saving the world from the Nazis”; contrast this with the sudden unity of these same ideological systems once Islamic fundamentalist extremism made its threat as an externality clear by attacking “Capitalism, Democracy, and Christianity” simultaneously – manifest when two airplanes were crashed in the World Trade Center.

The same problem should be thoroughly evaluated in the creation of ideological strategy – whether “Lean” or “Digital” or “Agile” transformation is the goal. Ideological systems produce information that is exchanged by those who believe their production of information to be true to reality – a careful view of the organization from the perspective of each entrenched ideological system at play, and their sunk cost establishing their territorial boundaries, will make clear how to exploit Maneuver Economics to shift the overarching balance of power in favor of your new ideology.

Forces That Shape Transformation

The market of competing ideas is produced by valuation production systems and encoded by signification recording processes; manifesting the machinic operability of Invasive Ideologies. The market of competing ideas is full of misinformation and bad conscience, but the competitive position an Invasive Ideology takes is frequently shaped by market forces rather than an intrinsic quality of the ideology itself. In our assessment of why an ideological system that might have been friendly has now become fundamentalist and adversarial, we are foolish to believe it is an innate problem of race, gender, sexuality, politics, or sacred texts. These elements may have recursive influence, certainly; but the unilateral pursuit of ideological monopoly, the forceful struggle toward Hegemonic Truth, is a result of the socioeconomic forces of ideological system exchanges in which polarizing re-territorialization is accomplished.

There are six primary forces influencing the strategic positioning of an Invasive Ideology:

1) Direct Rivalry with adversary-systems that are in open, direct competition for the same “customer”

2) The Bargaining Power of Believers

3) The Bargaining Power of Clerics

4) The Threat of New Ideologies

5) The Threat of Substitute Beliefs

6) The Genetic Capital of Will-to-Power.

These six forces, in addition to the stage of ideological maturity and the constraints of liquidity and resources, provide a comprehensive framework of analysis for predicting the macro-organic trajectory of an ideology’s Sociopolitical Product strategy and operationalization.

Re-Valuation and The War Machine

Excerpt from upcoming book by Andrew T Keener

Ideology Re-valuation Factors

Invasive Ideology is characterized by the complex interaction of macro-organic, economic, psychological, and intellectual factors of signification-production. The market characteristics of innovation are generally easily seen, understood, and measured: equipment capabilities, resources and capital, market objectives, number of members, losses of finance or layoffs, market share (or believers) lost or gained, patents or key assets obtained.

The psychological characteristics of totalitarian re-valuation are less tangible. Complete re-valuation of all values rewrites history by disrupting the signification of all signals, the same way we can never complete an accurate cognitive signification of the Greek myths as they were understood by Alexander The Great, or the writings of the prophets Isaiah as understood by the People of Judea during the terrorism of Antiochus IV Epiphanes. This is the destructive instantiation of The War Machine that Invasive Ideology manifests – it is not enough for fundamentalist to win power, they want to ensure the access to all power, capital, truth, spirit, libido by any future belligerents is utterly unraveled.

Now we see clearly­ that the genesis of The War Machine lies precisely in the collective madness of any totality that is willing to invoke it. Neither the Judge-Priest nor the Magician-King of the Organs of Power can extend their vision to a past or a future in which each alternative dimension of Hegemonic Truth has been eradicated. Only selling the collective over-soul to The War Machine can achieve the unravelling of all adversarial valuation-signification; thus, the Capitalist needs the Singularity, the Christian needs the Apocalypse, the Communist needs the idealism-totality of Universal History, and Freud needed the death instinct more than the libido.

It is precisely the problem of the multi-construct, multi-dimensional complex adaptive recording system that makes the psychological factors of production-valuation dauntingly difficult to grasp and impossible to quantify. We cannot easily gauge the role of resolve, conscience, emotion, fear, courage, morale, leadership, or will-to-power. Every calculi in the effort observe a single causal chain is riddled with jump discontinuity.

Innovation also involves a significant intellectual component. Intellect provides the ability to grasp complex systems; to make effective estimates, calculations, and decisions; to devise tactics and strategies; and to develop plans. Although material factors are more easily quantified, the psychological and intellectual factors of production exert a greater influence on the nature and outcome of innovation.

Karl Marx vs Dan Pink

Somewhere between Karl Marx and Dan Pink, we see a loss of “code coverage” in the behavioral economics of the knowledge worker. On the one hand, postmodern capitalism has largely mitigated the strength of the Marxist surplus labor value argument. Everything is now becoming so progressively commoditized that capitalism has turned rhizomatically back toward shock, grit, and authenticity as a customizable product. Meanwhile, the intrinsic motivation to create exhibited by the knowledge worker leads Pink to conclude that we only need to provide financial sustainability that is roughly triple the poverty line and money ceases to play a motivational role.

Between the two, we see the same problem that has always plagued the time-value of money and the surplus value produced. Some institutions, housing elite knowledge professions well-established as such, understand this remuneration is not monetary. It is not cash that miraculates capital; it is equity, patents, and partial ownership of economic rents. Only a very small number of knowledge workers can trace their right to the surplus value of information-capital, the remaining few that capture it own (or partially own) their company.

This post is not a critique of capitalism and the perplexing behavioral economics of surplus value, socialism has already made immense retributive efforts in that regard and belongs to a separate debate.

No, what’s missing from Marx and Pink is mediocre middle – the knowledge workers with untraceable but recognized value-add that accumulates as surplus despite the reduction of the duration of hands-on time. The salaries of the middle America typically purchase the surplus value of responsiveness, not the active time spent producing new value.

Marx is noticeably, and rightfully, outraged by the coal miner that is all but whipped to chisel and hammer on a death march 16 hours per day, while Pink romanticizes the owner-artist building Apache and Linux for free. In between the are the billions of postmodern knowledge workers who produce value in their availability for 8hrs, not through 8hrs of economic productivity.

Our universal obsession with equating all labor back to hours and dollars is the problem; we haven’t even begun asking the right questions, despite all the passionate fundamentalist rhetoric we hear based on our incomplete assessment of the situation.

Don’t forget Social Media in your Digital Transformation

If you’ve seen my YouTube playlist on the market-based view of lean-agile in digital transformation or read my posts on the necessity of operationalization metrics then you already aware that I don’t measure the responsiveness of a brand based on the lead time from golf course to cash, I measure the feedback cycle time from Twitter to production release. This isn’t just a lean-agile approach to connecting marketing with consumer technology, of course, this is about the ability of an enterprise to graduate from DevOps to Hypothesis-Driven Continuous Delivery.

The human body, in all its wonder, is the perfect metaphor that shows how this works. Let’s pretend for a moment that the human body is a post- Digital Transformation learning organization:

  • The hardware of the body = bones, tendons, ligaments, muscles, etc
  • The firmware of the body = the endocrine system (hormones), neurological system, and sensory organs (including proprioception)
  • The software of the body = the human mind, in its infinite creativity and imagination

So let’s say you decide to lift a boulder. The software directs the hardware using the firmware, passing along motivating signals and messages – but the boulder is too heavy. You know it immediately, and decide not to hurt yourself. Incredibly complex processes in the golgi-tendon organ, proprioceptive system, and visual cortex aligned spontaneously to tell the mind “don’t try it, buddy!” Despite all that complexity and fuzzy-weighted algorithms, the feedback cycle time is instant.

We can imagine other great examples, like our ability to feel when a basketball is stolen mid-dribble (without even seeing it happen!) causing an instant pivot to find it. When we catch a baseball, the glove prevents us from seeing if we have a firm grip on the ball, and we’re watching the runner on second attempt to steal – but the familiar snap sound of the leather of the ball against the softer leather of the glove, the sting in the hand, and the well-practiced recoil of the arm are fully sufficient.

So why are we so bad at hand-eye coordination in the enterprise?

In dozens of organizations I’ve helped through their digital and lean-agile transformation, the numbers are never “added up”. Deep learning occurs through hypothesis-error-backpropogation; but no one is will to look like their hypothesis failed. There is no experimentation, so there is no innovation.

If the leadership of the company is the mind, it seems like most enterprises have a serious proprioceptive delay.  A strong sensory system combines and related all “the numbers” – the technical metrics (webservice availability, response times, page loads errors), user behavior / product metrics (completion rates, dropoffs, conversion funnels), social listening (not only on social media, but also the chat widget, feedback form, call center, and even UX interviews), and finally strategic KPI and accounting measures.

If these don’t come together, or take a very long time to make sense, the only way to manage coordination is visually – with the mind specifically thinking through each action of the body. That’s alright if you’re competing with players who are similarly bad at proprioception, but you’re guaranteed to lose against the “professional athlete” of your industry.

So don’t treat complaints and requests on social media as a closed dialogue, treat it is a signal from the market; check for information asymmetry. Don’t keep Twitter analytics in a private folder or let your social media analysts sit in a silo. Connect those brand marketers directly to enterprise operations, sales, digital media, and consumer product technology.  The cohesive view of how well the enterprise operationalizes leadership strategy should be a matter of proprioception, not visual observation.

PS – The social-to-production feedback cycle time for Keener Strategy is less than 24hrs.