English articles

Hunter/Gatherer 1.4 – Organisation

John Jacobi, The Wildist Institute

From Hunter/Gatherer, Vol. 1, No. 4. Copyright © 2016 CC-BY 4.0 The Wildist Institute.

Abstract-Wildism is unique among radical ideologies in that it tends toward breaking organization apart rather than building it up. This makes the question of organization for the sake of political gains one inherently fraught with tension and special consideration. This article argues that since a leaderless resistance model should be obviously in accordance with wildist values, care should be placed on building up from there. It then attempts to legitimize some forms of organization useful for and not contradicting wildist goals and values, on the way establishing a loose outline of an eco-radical strategy for the next decade.

1      INTRODUCTION

By now wildist values have been established and elaborated to a sufficient degree, and the question that remains is the one of organization: how do we coordinate ourselves so that we can act on our values in the most effective way possible without betraying those same values?

The problem of organization is a major one for wildists, because one purpose behind any organized wildist effort is to inhibit organization itself, at least at an industrial scale. We must therefore be careful to maintain independence from the structures we seek to destroy or want to see destroyed.

Another problem particular to wildists is the simple, pragmatic fact that any push toward organized efforts will likely and justifiably be met with resistance because wildists themselves are “indomitable spirits,” and they are more likely to be difficult and strong-willed than they are to be well-suited to working within an organizational context. Indeed, although the extent of industry’s domination of nature is great, wildism requires a fierceness and bravery that is only likely to come from individuals who are the most intolerant of domination. This is indicated especially by the ubiquity and popularity of our slogan “live wild or die”-communicating our willingness to risk death for the sake of freedom.

Finally, there is the general “organization problem,” namely the tendency of any organization to become unwieldy, big, autonomous from individuals. It then suffers from bureaucratization and members sometimes begin to see it as existing for its own sake. Our challenge is to keep organizations instrumental where possible and desirable.

This article establishes a loose outline of an eco-radical strategy against industry and argues for the methods of organization necessary to achieve its goals. I first situate the organization question in the context of wildist values, clarifying our predicament, and then establish the cadre structure as obviously compatible with the ideology. Then I outline a general strategy to the extent necessary to tackle the question, moving on to legitimize several necessary organizational aspects of it. In all, these include ideological discipline, temporary reliance on industrial communications networks, and the creation of a combat party.

2      RESTATING AND CLARIFYING OUR VALUES

Individuals organize in order to more effectively act on shared values, and all the problems of organization are basically an attempt to prevent drifts away from those values and members’ allegiance to them. We would do well, then, to restate our values with clarity.

Wildism is an ideology[1] that unites individuals concerned with the autonomy of nature,[2] or wildness,[3] or, conversely, the lack of human and technical control. Specifically, wildist moral foundations see the nomadic hunter/gatherer mode of production as the level at which wildness is ideal. This means that regardless of human folly and want, nomadic hunter/gatherers face a hard material restriction on the amount of control they can have over nature. This ideal is why wildists belong to the “anti-civilization” movement and the “rewilding” movement.

However, after an analysis of our conditions, the individuals who call themselves wildists have recognized that the complete destruction of civilization is, clearly, impossible. There is no obvious way to stop humans from practicing agriculture, except perhaps through means that are contrary to the value of wildness. But it is possible, and in some cases likely, and in some cases inevitable, for industry to collapse wholesale, in large regions, or in small regions, respectively (see “The Question of Revolution“). This would be an overall good thing for the natural world that we value, as is indicated by multiple lines of evidence, such as the wildlife exclusion zone in Chernobyl or the fact that carbon emissions since the Industrial Revolution have so far only decreased in cases of economic decline or collapse. And to aid this process of collapse would only require a level of organization that has already been achieved in previous radical, revolutionary, and reactionary political efforts. As to whether it would be rebuilt, we note that there is plenty of evidence that it could not be, and in any case it would take hundreds or thousands of years to rebuild, at which point it would be the problem of the people living at that time.

Thus, our political goal is to disrupt industry beyond repair. This means industry will be so thoroughly broken that it could only regress technologically before any humans could attempt to rebuild it, as has been the case in previous collapsed civilizations. It also means that strictly speaking any organization we utilize to further our goals could be dependent, in the long term, on agricultural technics. However, because our ideal, which is determined by our values, is more stringent than our goal, which is determined by our values in the context of political possibility, any organization and associated strategy would be better off if it allowed independence from agricultural technics. It is an open question as to whether this is possible.

3      VALUES AND STRATEGY

Although this is not a document about strategy, organization is subordinate to strategy, so I will outline the wildist one in general and broad terms.

Our overall approach to strategy is devised through a “ladder method,” meaning each step builds up to the larger one. This not only allows us to most effectively interact with the “tactical spectrum,” explained below; it also allows our larger goal of an anti-industrial Reaction to be realized through present action; and it allows our present action to be beneficial to and effective in enacting our values even if we don’t achieve our larger goals.

The “tactical spectrum” is an abstraction used to talk about the composition of a healthy movement, which should host both radical and moderate factions that are “linked” to, or beneficial to, each other. For instance, Earth First! provided a radical wing to the conservation movement, allowing the Sierra Club to make more impressive demands and resulting in gains for both organizations.

Revolutionary or counter-revolutionary efforts are successful when they can pull many elements of the movement to the more radical end of the spectrum in a sustainable way. This is called “radicalization.” The wildist effort, then, is to build, link, and radicalize the spectrum. This allows us to launch ever-more-powerful attacks in the present and especially during times of crisis, when more extensive gains can be made.

The primary means by which we are linking various wildness-centered elements is through The Rewilding Program, based heavily upon the programs and methods devised by The Wildlands Network (Foreman, 2004). A major element of the program is the use of “megalinkages,” or huge wildlife corridors that span the entire continent. This program is scientifically supported and has legitimacy in the eyes of many biologists, but it is also inherently at odds with many large cities functioning as industrial centers, it is in direct conflict with road development, and other such things.

Because the program has such strong support and because it offers tangible benchmarks and goals, it is easy to rally organizations behind it and to mobilize individuals to work toward realizing it. It also has the added advantage of not being so explicitly counter to industrial society, even though full and fast realization of the program would require industrial collapse. Indeed, one of its great strengths is the way it frames industrial collapse in positive terms because of its focus on what is being conserved and rewilded, an especially important achievement because it keeps conservationists grounded in their values.

As wildness-centered organizations are linked through the program, the pool of individuals ready for mobilization will grow, and at any given moment it will be easier to rally them around specific targets. The internet and other communications technologies allow this mobilization to take the character of “swarming,” a tactic outlined by the RAND Corporation and practiced already by movements like those behind the 1999 Seattle Riots and the Zapatistas (Arquilla & Ronfeldt, 2001). It is important to realize that this strategy is so robust because not everyone mobilized needs to be ideologically supportive of the goals their mobilization may help achieve (Wasik, 2011); this means that potentially large populations of people may behave in ways that contribute to large-scale rewilding because of the involvement of only a small number of disciplined, coordinated, and unified individuals, usually in the form of cadres.

4      CADRES AND THE INDIVIDUAL

The basic building blocks of any wildist organization, which should not require justification, are the individual and the cadre, especially the former.

We know that regardless of the mythologies progressivists impose to maintain civilized order, an individual is bound to nothing other than himself and the restraints of his material condition. Materialist theory makes this clear and properly cut off the legs of various illegitimate masters, from kings claiming Divine Right to Divinity itself. But now we find even purported materialists bragging that without God they still act according to Christian morals, in solidarity with all humans, indiscriminately sympathetic for victimized classes, preaching the gospel of egalitarianism. That, truly, is the state of the humanist: he has killed his master, but kept his chains.

Wildist organization seeks to convert the chained individual to an unchained one, from a mere pawn following orders to an actor capable of making decisions autonomously and with surety, but trained to be effective. But of course our purpose is not to free the masses indiscriminately; unchaining individuals is only a step to fulfill the larger imperative to rewild. Not everyone is helpful for this goal. Aldo Leopold wrote, “There are some who can live without wild things, and some who cannot.” Our targets are those who cannot.

These individuals are called “indomitable spirits.” They are distinguished not because they feel unease resulting from the technical domination of their natures. Nearly all industrial humans feel that. But the indomitables, the wildists, have a much lower tolerance for domination; their unease cannot be quelled with petty advertisements and industrial amenities, because their spirits demand the freedom of wilderness. Predictably, too, they tend to inhabit the margins of societies where they can slip through the cracks most easily.

Our targets are also those whose spirits have been broken from the thoroughness of industrial domination, but who crave wildness nonetheless. Seligman (1978) illustrated the state of such men by running experiments on rats and dogs. He would place two groups of animals in cages or harnesses where he would administer electric shocks to them. Some groups had the means to stop the shocks and did. Others, however, found themselves completely unable to change the circumstances they were in, and after facing a seemingly random series of shocks were cast into a state of “learned helplessness.” After that, they were unwilling to change their condition even when they were placed in situations where they could. This only changed once experimenters showed them they had autonomy again.

Some, I would even say many, industrial humans feel enough unease about their condition that they would like to remove themselves from it. But they feel so utterly dependent on the technics that sustain their life that they do not properly revolt. Only organization and training can change this. This is the meaning of the phrase, “the cadre’s purpose is to raise the individual.” The task of the most indomitable of wildists is to thrust individuals into a social context where they are taught how to be independent and assured of their own spirits. They are to be the boisterous friend coaxing the shy one to dance at a party.

This involves, first and foremost, weakening the influence of the dominant ideology. In his book Propaganda, Ellul explains that an individual who has broken free from propaganda’s influence finds himself in an anxious state: “[A] terrible silence…suddenly surrounds him… He who permitted himself to be led, no longer knows where to go; and all around him he hears the violent clamor of other propagandas seeking to influence him…” If, however, he can resist the clamor, a main purpose of cadres, then he “acquires a conviction of his [own] trustworthiness much more violent than before because for a while he has believed in his worth.”

Cadres consist of three to ten individuals and can either be public or secret, although they are mostly secret or at most implicit. An example of a public cadre is the one running The Wildist Institute, its purpose being to lay the foundations of an effective wildist movement.

There can also be both “active cadres” and “sleeper cadres.” In general, sleeper cadres are a bad idea, but for particularly specialized needs they may be important.

Strategically most cadres embark on autonomous campaigns, in line with the ideology of course (see section V.), and to the extent possible coordinated with what they know other cadres are doing. For instance, cadres of conservation biologists may decide to utilize their influence on a conservation organization to focus work on a neglected but helpful part of The Rewilding Program. Others may decide to write and distribute pamphlets, manage journals, or publish communiques. Still others may organize meetups akin to Earth First!’s Round River Rendezvous.

But obviously this level of coordination requires something other than a loose cadre structure. While certainly capable of achieving significant things, such a loose structure is hardly the most effective means of rewilding available. So to fix this problem, we have ideology, communications networks, and the party.

5      IDEOLOGY AND DISCIPLINE

Wildists are ultimately disorganizers, seeking to break industry down into smaller parts. Paradoxically, organization is helpful for this goal. Inherent in this tension, of course, is the simple fact that wildist organization must always be at least one level simpler than the organization it seeks to disrupt. Otherwise, the intended disruption would be fatal to it.

One of the most effective means of decreasing dependence on bureaucracy, hierarchy, and the usual pitfalls of organization is ideology (Arquilla & Ronfeldt, 2001; Corman & Schiefelbein, 2006; Kaczynski, Forthcoming; Sageman, 2004). Mind you, this is different from dogma, although common language sometimes makes no distinction between the two. Instead, wildists mean by “ideology” a set of values, beliefs, and deductions that outline the greater and lesser bounds of their collective work. It helps determine who will actually move forward in achieving the goals when the time comes to act unequivocally, and who would probably waver; who to work with and who not (see “Ideology and Revisionism”).

Ideology is powerful especially in the age of media because it is able to “sit” on the internet, in books, or on other means of communication “waiting” for self-motivated actors to take it up. This self-initiation factor is exacerbated when an existing ideology is known to have wide support from groups who are achieving tangible goals. Furthermore, ideology is a means of coordinating cadres that are otherwise unable to communicate with each other. This is especially true in regards to target selection. Finally, relying on ideology allows many movement operations to remain undetectable by network analysis, a commonly-used technique for surveilling social movements and radical or terrorist movements.

However, relying on ideology to determine the boundaries of a movement also means being especially vigilant against the threat of revisionism, or the perversion of the basic aspects of an ideology, especially the basic values. For instance, in the conservation movement the concept of “rewilding,” which initially meant destroying the idols of civilization and removing artificial influence, has been coopted by the so-called “ecomodernists” who now use the term to reference “de-extinction” experiments through biotechnology, increased management over the land, and other such things (Wuerthner, Crist, & Butler, 2014). This fundamentally threatens the movement by siphoning off less grounded or intelligent parts of the movement, individuals who are captured and mobilized based on symbols more than content. It also produces rifts in otherwise strong organizations.

In a more radical context, among terrorism experts the strategy of introducing a revisionist concept of jihad and Islam is gaining favor (Corman & Schiefelbein, 2006). That is, these experts suggest that industrial countries, especially the US, put a substantial amount of effort into uniting the Muslim community under progressivist variations of Islam and then arguing that what the jihadists practice is not “true Islam.” This is a very effective tactic, since the jihadists rely heavily on ideology and self-starters.

In order to combat ideological drift, then, wildists must discipline themselves, something that should be aided by the support of cadres. Ideological discipline is important not just to combat revisionism from the outside; sometimes improper discipline can result in drift from the inside. For instance, the Earth Liberation Front began as a quite coherent and powerful phenomenon (Garfinkle, 2003). The three explicit aspects of their ideology were (1) to cause as much economic damage as possible to any entity profiting off of the destruction of nature; (2) to educate the public on environmental issues; (3) to take all necessary precautions against harming life. Implicit aspects of the movement were the use of arson and the leaderless resistance model. However, as time passed the actions became less and less economically impactful, sometimes devolving into petty crime with no real environmental message. And then one of the ELF press officers, Craig Rosebraugh, diluted the ideology entirely by trying to link it to the anti-war movement, later motivating one or more ELF cells to vandalize military weaponry.

However, it is clear that instilling discipline and guarding against revisionism are tasks that require more than just naïve trust in individuals and cadres to remain grounded. This is when actual organizational elements become necessary.

6      COMMUNICATIONS NETWORKS

A movement can begin with just a few cadres, an ideology, and a few successful, high-profile actions. After this, public support groups, mailing lists, websites, and a general milieu will begin to form around the ideology. For instance, Earth First! got its start with several pranks that got a good deal of media attention, the most famous of which involved four men rolling a piece of plastic down Glen Canyon Dam to make it appear as though it had cracked (Lee, 1995). This jump-started the Earth First! movement, which then started seeing its membership slowly grow.

Around the time that more than only a few cadres are active, communications networks become necessary. Traditionally this was done through a movement journal. The Bolsheviks had Iskra, the jihadists have Inspire and a few others, the Occupy movement had Adbusters, Earth First! has The Earth First! Journal, and so on. In each of these cases, the journal was a method of coordination that improved the obviously limited ability of cadres to coordinate through ideology.

Nowadays the internet may offer more innovative ways of coordinating through texts, but usually only one website or journal is dominant in a movement at any given time. All that modern conditions require is redundancy, meaning the movement must be able to replace the staff of the journal. Because of this requirement for redundancy and because of the importance of the journal for coordination, it is wise to teach all possible members how to run, edit, print, distribute, and otherwise manage the publication. Lenin even utilized these tasks as an effective means of organizing the Bolshevik party (Selznick, 1952).

Other than a central journal, coordination can occur through email, letters, phone calls, chat rooms, social media, and other technologies. However, it is important to remember that given the nature of the wildist project, these means of coordination will not necessarily always be available, and they can only be a dependable part of strategy for globalizing the movement’s reach. While this globalization of the ideology occurs, these means of communication can also be used to spread artistic and audiovisual symbolism that coheres and coordinates the movement in a similar way as ideology (Winter, 2015).

7      THE COMBAT PARTY

The ideas so far have been on the whole a variation of the “leaderless resistance” strategy (Garfinkle, 2003). Colonel Urius Amos first espoused the concept during the Cold War as a means of combatting communists, and it was later revived by Louis Beam as a means for far-right nationalists to carry on their fight within heavily surveilled countries like the US (Beam, 1992). Since then it has been put to heavy use within the eco-radical, animal rights, and jihadist movements, and terrorism analysts have written about potentially more effective and sophisticated variants like “netwar” (Arquilla & Ronfeldt, 2001).

But the usefulness of leaderless resistance is limited. Alone, it has never achieved anything significant, and it seems mostly effective as a means to jump-start a movement and then to supplement it. It also inevitably leads to its demise: when it becomes successful, the resulting support networks and surrounding communities that then host to-be-radicalized individuals are all susceptible to network analysis techniques that are the main strategic advantage of leaderless resistance in the first place. This is not to say that the strategy is useless; to the contrary, it is clearly necessary in this age-but also necessarily limited.

Robust resistance eventually builds an entire network that occupies the whole of the tactical spectrum; that hosts leaderless cadres and leadered clusters of cadres; and, crucially, that has a high degree of redundancy. In previous radical efforts, resilience was more important, and hierarchical organization was more effective. However, surveillance and the power of modern technics in general have changed the landscape. Note that specialization is still necessary, but where specialization is needed, it should go no higher than the cluster level, and whatever is specialized should be characterized by a high degree of resilience. The network overall, however, must be characterized by redundancy.

We should also be careful to distinguish between organization and coordination. Coordination is possible without organization, especially in this age. Indeed, as mentioned earlier, Arquilla and Rondfeldt (2001) point out that modern society is particularly vulnerable to powerful “swarming” tactics that require very little organization at all, as actions by jihadists and the hacker network Anonymous have already demonstrated. Organization is of course useful for coordination, but for our cases this dependency should mostly be reserved for local revolt.

All this established, we know that through the aforementioned means we can globalize our ideology and resistance on the basis of that ideology and we can coordinate large swaths of cadres. But this does not ensure that the actions are effective nor is this the most reliable way to build a redundant network. These are the primary roles of the combat party.

The combat party is not a normal party, but a core of highly dedicated and trained individuals whose primary goal is to make themselves disposable by ensuring that others can easily take their place. They, like other cadres, will take the time to build, link, and radicalize the movement, especially the latter; but they are at first unique in that they crusade through the network training any and all individuals within it to the highest degree possible.

The combat party is the primary means by which individuals and cadres are made capable autonomous actors. For wildists this is important because as infrastructure breaks down and coordination is harder to achieve globally and in large regions, we can at least be sure that there is a great potential for one or more cadres to effectively respond to the new conditions with whatever organization, strategy, and tactics are required. It also scales. Some thinkers have pointed out that new technologies grant greater power to large institutions, but they just as surely give tremendous power to individuals and small groups. Friedman (2000) called these individuals “super-empowered” individuals and counts them among the foremost threats to modern industrial society. The role, then, of the combat party and its combat cadres is to super-empower the individual. This is meant in both the material and behavioral sense, but just as importantly in the psychological sense as well.

Recall also that there is a pressing need to guard against revisionism as the ideology is globalized. This is one of the most important tasks of the party. If or when things begin breaking down, revisionism becomes both a less pressing threat and so practically difficult to guard against at a large scale that it is not worth undertaking. Regional struggles, like those we see in the Democratic Republic of Congo or some Latin American countries, are characterized by more psychological and structural factors and are less propelled by ideology (TED, 2014). Thus, although the combat party is unlikely to exist for decades once resistance intensifies, it should exist at least so long as is required to guard against revisionism while the ideology is being globalized. At a minimum, the initial composition of the party should work to make sure the next generation is fully prepared to preserve the ideology; in this case, while some changes are inevitable, at least unity and cohesiveness will be preserved.

The combat party should not be a singular organization with membership records and so forth. In other words, it is not a singular node on the network. Rather, it should be what is called a “dense cluster” of highly networked individuals and cadres with a high degree of resilience. The only part of the cluster that should be “thin” is the relationship between the aboveground combat cadres and the more conspiratorial ones.

The party should consist of individuals who are fully willing to make large personal sacrifices for the sake of rewilding. This means individuals who are prepared to go underground if what they are doing is made illegal or especially dangerous, and for the initial, crusading combat party it means recognizing that they will almost certainly be stamped out, and that their task before that point is making sure that anything they leave after will be capable of carrying on their work.

There are at least two extant references for the idea of the combat party. The first was an animal rights organization called Stop Huntingdon Animal Cruelty (SHAC), which utilized a leaderless resistance model and several innovative tactics to attack the animal-testing laboratory Huntingdon Life Sciences (HLS; Garfinkle, 2003). They had an extensive underground network of cadres and individuals who carried out conspiratorial activity, but no one knows how or if these were spurred on by one or more combat cadres. All that we know is that there were a handful of individuals who belonged to the aboveground faction of the combat party, formulating and elucidating the ideology, running the website and publications, and distributing appropriate literature.

The campaign became very successful, and without the government support it received in response, HLS would probably have had to shut down. Resultingly, the state arrested and charged seven individuals involved in the organization for their aboveground work, contending that they were in conspiracy with the illegalist cadres. In other words, the government argued that even though the seven (later six) individuals did not actually carry out illegal acts, they were responsible for those that were carried out. And in an ethics class this is perhaps a valid argument; legally it was unheard of. Nevertheless, the government won the case, and the six activists each faced up to six years’ jail time. Later, even after the SHAC 7 were successfully prosecuted under the AEPA, the state passed the Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act (AETA), which gave it broader authority to punish those involved in radical animal rights activism (Engelhardt, 2007).

SHAC made several mistakes. The first was that the aboveground individuals were quite possibly involved in actual illegal activity. This means that not only did the SHAC network allegedly fail to make the relationship between above- and below-ground combat cadres “thin,” they also allegedly had a total relationship distance of zero. This is obviously a problem. Second, SHAC activists failed to go underground. This is undoubtedly in part caused by practical restrictions, but it should also have been apparent when the campaign had intensified greatly that the time was near for some kind of change, whether that meant going underground or not.

Al Qaeda offers another example of an effective combat party (Sageman, 2004).[4] Westerners do not generally understand the Al Qaeda phenomenon, but with some study it is clear that the large network that it eventually became was instigated by a much smaller network of very dedicated jihadists who represented only one faction of the overall jihadist movement (which has several sects and competing organizations). This dense inner-network almost immediately began its work underground because of its espousal of a terroristic strategy, and it spent time building training camps, organizing actions, and trying its best to network with already-existing, regional jihadist struggles so that these would adopt the Al Qaeda “brand” (or ideology), mutually benefitting everyone and adding cohesion. Bin Laden spent much of his time making himself expendable, and although he was not wholly successful, he was to an impressive degree. This may also not even matter because of how effective Al Qaeda was at globalizing the ideology and paving the way for other jihadists like the Islamic State (even though the former does not ideologically agree with the latter).

8      THE FUTURE

The strategy outlined here is a temporary one and will not last for the entire wildist project. It also, like all rational blueprints, is subject to change according to on-the-ground material and political realities. It is likely to evolve according to these and the disposition of involved characters. But assuming that things go as planned, a number of events are likely to follow.

For the foreseeable future, complete collapse is improbable, and where it does occur it won’t be completely sustained. This is both the reality of our current condition and a strategic necessity: powerful-enough states will dedicate resources and energy to combatting any deterioration in their own territory or in foreign territory if the threat is big enough; and some level of regional infrastructure is important for wildists if they are to be effective on a global scale (recall that the political possibility they discern is the collapse of industry, not all of civilization, even if the latter is ideal and to be strived for where possible).

With this in mind, an overarching concern should be establishing territorial strongholds. This does not and likely will not mean complete control, only notable presence. For instance, in the US, places like Detroit, New Mexico, and New Orleans host weaker infrastructures that make surveillance and policing more difficult, which also means that inhabitants are more prone to rowdiness. If enough of a stronghold can be established that wildists can carry on effective operations in these and similar areas, that would be enough.

Litigating for wilderness areas should also be a concern. Edward Abbey (1990) describes why:

…I would like to introduce here an entirely new argument in what has now become a stylized debate: the wilderness should be preserved for political reasons. We may need it someday not only as a refuge from excessive industrialism but also as a refuge from authoritarian government, from political oppression. Grand Canyon, Big Bend, Yellowstone and the High Sierras may be required to function as bases for guerrilla warfare against tyranny. What reason have we Americans to think that our own society will necessarily escape the world-wide drift toward the totalitarian organization of men and institutions?

This may seem, at the moment, like a fantastic thesis. Yet history demonstrates that personal liberty is a rare and precious thing, that all societies tend toward the absolute until attack from without or collapse from within breaks up the social machine and makes freedom and innovation again possible. Technology adds a new dimension to the process by providing modern despots with instruments far more efficient than any available to their classical counterparts…

The value of wilderness, on the other hand, as a base for resistance to centralized domination is demonstrated by recent history. In Budapest and Santo Domingo, for example, popular revolts were easily and quickly crushed because an urbanized environment gives the advantage to the power with the technological equipment. But in Cuba, Algeria and Vietnam the revolutionaries, operating in mountain, desert and jungle hinterlands with the active or tacit support of a thinly dispersed population, have been able to overcome or at least fight to a draw official establishment forces equipped with all of the terrible weapons of twentieth century militarism. Rural insurrections can then be suppressed only by bombing and burning villages and countryside so thoroughly that the mass of the population is forced to take refuge in the cities; there the people are then policed and if necessary starved into submission. The city, which should be the symbol and center of civilization, can also be made to function as a concentration camp. This is one of the significant discoveries of contemporary political science.

The rest of Abbey’s idea is worth reading. This in mind, the call for bigger, more connected wilderness becomes an even more pressing concern for radicals, as it confers obvious strategic advantages. Apart from the moral argument, this is a primary reason why I strongly advocate unifying the conservation movement behind The Rewilding Program.

Furthermore, having specific territorial demands allows the leaderless resistance stage to have direction and to achieve actual material demands. This kind of direction is precisely what has made most movements into lasting ones, as is apparent in most radical movements in Africa and the currently relevant shift in the jihadi movement from an exclusively terroristic strategy to a territorial one, thanks to the rise of the Islamic State.

If or when wildists do achieve a real stronghold on territory, the focus of many cadres will necessarily shift from a leaderless resistance model to an insurgent one. It will require more extensive and professional training, more resources, and a good deal of luck. This, however, is far in the future, if it is ever achieved at all, and it is a question for the wildists of the time.

9      CONCLUSION

Recall that the problems of organization are threefold: first, wildists need to be independent of any organization that they are trying to dismantle; second, wildists are unlikely to be willing to sacrifice themselves to organization requiring extensive regulation; and third, all organization is susceptible to bureaucratization, inertia, and drift.

All of these problems are mostly avoided with a cadre structure and a leaderless resistance strategy. The price, however, is effectiveness and according to history any chance at victory. Thus, I argue that several extra elements can be built on top of the cadre structure to increase the effectiveness of any individual act of rewilding as well as the Reaction overall.

The first of these elements is ideology and discipline, with the inherent imperatives to globalize the ideology and guard against revisionism. I point out that ideology is a powerful force in modern resistance movements because it can exist externally to the individuals and easily be exported to all regions of the globe. Furthermore, it permits the possibility of self-starter cadres and other wholly autonomous actors who are difficult to detect. Ideology also coordinates and organizes cadres to a limited degree.

Second, I argue that organization through communications networks, temporary or lasting, is conducive to both imperatives. Not only is it a cheap way to brand and popularize the ideology; it is also an easy way to foster symbols and culture that reinforce cohesiveness between cadres that would otherwise have no contact with each other.

Third, I argue for the biggest organizational jump necessary, namely, the creation of the combat party. The party is to consist of only the most dedicated individuals and its overriding goal is to make itself disposable by making the movement network redundant. It will achieve this through training individuals so that they are capable of autonomous action and so that they are fit to replace party functions should it disappear, as the first “crusading” party probably will.

Finally, I cover some goals any future movement utilizing this strategy will likely have. In particular, I note the need for territorial strongholds, total or not, and their importance for a movement attempting to move beyond leaderless resistance. Crucially, however, I note a caveat that all those reading should take care to remember: like all rational blueprints, this one is subject to change, so it is the responsibility of wildists themselves to decide what is best for effective rewilding. It is accepting this responsibility and acting on it in a capable manner that will initiate our first real move toward unchained, indomitable resistance.

10  BIBLIOGRAPHY

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[1] “Ideology” is a specific set of values, ideas, and deductions that unite groups of individuals who are contained by its ideological spectrum. Moderate ideologies can usually afford to be vaguer and accept more people, whereas moderate ideology tend to require conformity in a way that restricts the numerical power of its groups, but not so much as to make the groups ineffective. See “Ideology and Revisionism.”

[2] “Nature” means “not made or controlled by humans or their technical systems.” It is in contrast to “artifice,” which is just the opposite. This is a meaning of nature common environmental ethics and conservation, as well as everyday speech. It should be differentiated from the meaning of “Nature,” which is equivalent to the material world, or the Cosmos, or all that exists. That definition is common in the physical sciences in order to distinguish the domain of science from the supernatural. Much of wildist discourse would not make sense if individuals understand “nature-the-non-artificial” to mean “nature-the-cosmos.” See “The Foundations of Wildist Ethics,” pp. 15-17.

[3] “Wild” means “not controlled by humans or their technical systems.” It is the core aspect of naturalness. For instance, caging a wild animal decreases its naturalness insofar as it has decreased its wildness, but it is still largely natural. Still, ever-decreasing wildness also decreases the animal’s naturalness as it becomes domesticated. Conversely, removing a dam does not immediately restore a river ecosystem’s naturalness, but by rewilding it, the naturalness will eventually be restored. Hettinger & Throop (1999) call this phenomenon “wash-out.”

[4] If it is not already clear, wildism and jihadism in any form are utterly incompatible. Jihadist movements are only interesting because they provide strategic and tactical cues to any radical political movement in an age of intense surveillance and powerful technologies like drones. These strategies and tactics are not tied exclusively to the jihadi ideology, and are possibly transferable to any movement, just as leaderless resistance, for instance, transferred from the US government to the far right to environmentalist movements.

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