Reflections on Revolution, Information & Civil Affairs

About the Idea, All Reflections & Story Boards, Cultural Intelligence

The globalisation of revolution

Taral Barlaawi

Al Jazeera, 21 March 2011

Revolutions are caused by human agency; not telecommunications technologies, scholar argues.

To listen to the hype about social networking websites and the Egyptian revolution, one would think it was Silicon Valley and not the Egyptian people who overthrew Mubarak.

Via its technologies, the West imagines itself to have been the real agent in the uprising. Since the internet developed out of a US Defense Department research project, it could be said the Pentagon did it, along with Egyptian youth imitating wired hipsters from London and Los Angeles.

Most narratives of globalisation are fantastically Eurocentric, stories of Western white men burdened with responsibility for interconnecting the world, by colonising it, providing it with economic theories and finance, and inventing communications technologies. Of course globalisation is about flows of people as well, about diasporas and cultural fusion.

But neither version is particularly useful for organising resistance to the local dictatorship. In any case, the internet was turned off at decisive moments in the Egyptian uprising, and it was ordinary Egyptians, mothers and fathers, daughters and sons, who toppled the regime, not the hybrid youth of the global professional classes.

Nothing new about globalisation

Are there other tales of globalisation, perhaps those told by rebels and guerrillas?

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Robert David STEELE Vivas
Click Here to See Personal Page

ROBERT STEELE: Revolution is about the combination of three things:  grotesque imbalance combined with evolutionary psychology of a public to the point that the cognitive dissonance is paradigm shattering; a precipitant or catalyst, and the Davies J-Curve, a “sense” on the part of sufficient numbers that there is light ahead, that they might actually win.

When they come–relatively infrequently–revolutions are best supported with information and civil affairs capabilities.  A massive public intelligence effort to help the people, the true custodians of their own commons, understand where the wealth is, where the opportunities are, whom to hold accountable; combined with a precision civil affairs effort, ideally manned by individuals who are ethnically and spiritually homogeneous with those they are helping, are the two best things well-intentioned external powers can provide.

Along with precision information–which no government is capable of today for failure to invest in the open source tri-fecta–comes precision stabilization & reconstruction assistance, of 21st Century Civil Affairs–a civil affairs cadre for a multiniational endeavor that is C4I heavy, truly multinational, and focused on delivering just enough just in time “peace from above.”  That too is beyond the capability of any government today, not for lack of capacity, but for lack of mind-set.

2012 is a year of Awakening.  The traditional colonial powers can remain comatose as they are now, or they can push the “re-set” button and actually participate in what could be the greatest renaissance of humanity in modern history.

See Also:

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Reflections on Integrity UPDATED + Integrity RECAP

All Reflections & Story Boards, Counter-Oppression/Counter-Dictatorship Practices, Cultural Intelligence, IO Sense-Making, Officers Call, Open Government, Reform
Amazon Books on Integrity

Updated 1 November 2012 to add core graphic: Graphic: Ethical Evidence-Based Decisions.  Updated 13 April 2012 to add new book: THE OPEN SOURCE EVERYTHING MANIFESTO: Transparency, Truth & Trust.  Updated 8 March 2012 to add underlying philosophical reference: 2012-03-08 GOD MAN INTERVAL Reformatted & Linked.  Updated 6 December 2011 to add this seminal reference: Journal: Politics & Intelligence–Partners Only When Integrity is Central to Both.  Updated 3 October 2011 to add Steven Johnson and Werner Ekard contributions on integrity. Updated 1 October 2011 to add excuses from colleagues, and a riposte.

Robert David STEELE Vivas
Click Here to See Personal Page


1.  Integrity is not just about honor–it is about wholeness of view, completeness of effort, and accuracy or reliability of all of the elements of the whole.

2.  Industrial-Era Systems do not adapt because they lack integrity and continue to pay for doing the wrong things righter–the Pentagon is a classic example of such as system.

3.  In the 21st Century, intelligence, design, and integrity are the triad that matters most.  The truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth is the non-negotiable starting position for getting it right, and this is crucially important with respect to the sustainability of the Earth as a home for humanity.

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4.  Integrity at the top requires clarity, diversity, and BALANCE–it makes no sense for a Secretary of Defense to continue to screw over the 4% that take 80% of the casualties, spending 80% of the Pentagon budget on the 20% that do not take casualties (occupants of really big expensive things that do not actually go into harm's way).

5.  Integrity can be compounded or discounted.  It is compounded when public understanding demands political accountability and flag officers ultimately understand that they have sworn an oath to uphold the Constitution, not support the chain of command.  It is discounted when flag officers are careerists, ascribe to rankism, and generally betray the public interest in favor of personal advancement.

6.  Integrity is ultimately a natural attribute of  large groups, and emerges from self-organizing over time.  The Declaration of Independence from the United Kingdom is one example; the break-up of the Balkans another; the pending secession of Hawaii and Vermont from the United STATES of America a third.  Legitimate grievances give the aggrieved the moral high ground–this is a power no government can repress.

7.  Universal access to connectivity and content is a means of accelerating both public access to the truth, and the power of the public to off-set “rule by secrecy,” which inherently lacks integrity across the board.

EXCUSES most commonly heard:

1)  I work for the government, we serve the public, I consider myself part of the government, not part of the public, and indeed, choose not to vote or otherwise be active as a citizen.

2)  The public elects the politicians, they appoint the leadership, serving the chain of command is how one serves the public.


1)  Citizenship trumps occupational role.  Every employee is supposed to be a citizen first, a public servant second.  They swear an oath to support and defend the Constitution, that includes a responsibility to protect the public from predatory government actions – the recent assassination of a US citizen without due process is a reprehensible example of what happens with uniformed officers and civil servants become morally disengaged.

2)  Information asymmetries between the public and the government are such that a democracy demands whistle-blowers and open government.  Rule by secrecy is a form of tyranny, a means of avoiding accountability, and ultimately a clear and present danger to the Constitution, the Republic, and the public interest.  Because of their Oath, it can be said that government employees have a special responsibility to detect and confront fraud, waste, and abuse – and certainly to disobey and declare illegal orders and plans or programs inconsistent with the Constitution, such as wars not authorized by Congress, or assassinations not based on the rule of law.

In brief, all of our government employees have been “coping out” and failing to live up to their fullest potential as citizens and human beings.  To be silent and complacent is to be a slave, not a citizen.  Any employee of the government that fails to think about the Constitution and their role in defending the Constitution at every level on every day across every issue area, is failing to honor their Oath of office.

See Also:

2012 Manifesto for Truth: Expanding the Open Source Revolution (Evolver Editions, July 2012)

2010 The Ultimate Hack Re-Inventing Intelligence to Re-Engineer Earth (Chapter for Counter-Terrorism Book Out of Denmark)

2010: Human Intelligence (HUMINT) Trilogy Updated

2010 INTELLIGENCE FOR EARTH: Clarity, Diversity, Integrity, & Sustainability

2009 Perhaps We Should Have Shouted: A Twenty-Year Restrospective

2008 World Brain as EarthGame

2008: Creating a Smart Nation

2008 ELECTION 2008: Lipstick on the Pig

2008 COLLECTIVE INTELLIGENCE: Creating a Prosperous World at Peace

2006 THE SMART NATION ACT: Public Intelligence in the Public Interest

About: EarthGame and World Brain

Connecting the Dots: ALL of Them

DefDog: The Importance of Selection Bias in Statistics

Dr. Russell Ackoff on IC and DoD + Design RECAP

Election 2008 Chapter: The Substance of Governance

Graphic: Medard Gabel’s Cost of Peace versus War

Graphic: Tom Atlee on Whole-System Intelligence

Integrity is Essential

Open Source Agency: Executive Access Point

Paul Fernhout: Comments on Integrity at Scale

Reference: Cyber-Intelligence–Restore the Republic Of, By, and For…

Reference: Earth Intelligence Network Concept for Execution

Reference: Integrity–Without it Nothing Works

Reference: Integrity–Without it Nothing Works II

Reference: Russell Ackoff on Doing Right Things Righter

Reference: Strategic Analytic Model for Creating a Prosperous World at Peace

Review: Designing A World That Works For All

Review: Ideas and Integrities–A Spontaneous Autobiographical Disclosure

Review: Knowledge As Design

Review: Reflexive Practice–Professional Thinking for a Turbulent World

Review: Rethink–A Business Manifesto for Cutting Costs and Boosting Innovation

Review: The Collapse of Complex Societies

Review: The Design of Business–Why Design Thinking is the Next Competitive Advantage

Review: The Leader’s Guide to Radical Management–Reinventing the Workplace for the 21st Century

Robert Garigue: Feedback for Dynamic System Change

Search: design thinking and public administratio

Search: holistic cybernetic integral

Search: whole earth models

Seven Promises to America–Who Will Do This?

Steven Howard Johnson: Integrity as a Profit Multiplier

Stuart Umpleby: Papers on Reflexivity, Soros Reviews

USA: Thirteen Big Lies — Needed Counter-Narrative

Who’s Who in Collective Intelligence: John N. Warfield

Who’s Who in Collective Intelligence: Robert David STEELE Vivas

Who’s Who in Earth Intelligence: Medard Gabel

Who’s Who in Public Intelligence: Steven Howard Johnson

Worth a Look: Medard Gabel, EarthGame and More

Worth a Look: Systems Community of Inquiry

Reflections on Peace & Prosperity

All Reflections & Story Boards, Collaboration Zones, Communities of Practice, Ethics, Key Players, Policies, Real Time, Threats
Robert David STEELE Vivas
Robert David STEELE Vivas

Interestingly, the fraud of Al Gore and the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) combine with the total ineptitude of the Nobel Peace Prize “Committee” to jointly demonstrate that the fragmentation of scientific, economic, and political knowledge has now become catastrophic, and that “top-down” elite organizations such as the Nobel Preace Prize Committee pretends to be, are so ignorant of reality as to be counter-productive.  Below is an illustration of our current vision.  As we suggested recently to key United Nations officials and a select number of Ambassadors in Washington, D.C., crisis is an opportunity for innovation.  Brazil, India, China, and Russia certainly understand this.  In Copenhagen, the leaders can choose to bury the IPCC and commit instead to creating the World Brain Institute with an embedded Global Game that connects all human minds to all relevant information in all languages all the time.

UN Good & UN Bad
United Nations Potential

UN World Brain Institute and Global Game Talking Points (2 pages)

2008 COLLECTIVE INTELLIGENCE: Creating a Prosperous World at Peace

Review: A More Secure World–Our Shared Responsibility–Report of the Secretary-General’s High-level Panel on Threats, Challenges and Change

Review: The Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid–Eradicating Poverty Through Profits (Hardcover)

Review: All Rise–Somebodies, Nobodies, and the Politics of Dignity

Review: Creating a World Without Poverty–Social Business and the Future of Capitalism

Review: The Wealth of Networks–How Social Production Transforms Markets and Freedom (Hardcover)