Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Al Qua'ida inspirations

Pundits and government toadies continue to talk about Al Qua'ida as if it were a trans-national corporation or a country.

Al Qua'ida is not a thing, it is a network. It has no leaders, it has no members. Al Qua'ida is the name for a kinship-based economic network, a system of debts, obligations and fulfillments that ties together disparate tribes and lineages in a complex kinship system. The system works to create mutual obligations among disparate groups and individuals and serves to reduce tensions and conflict among them.

The network was used to funnel funds undetectably to the Arab perpetrators of the attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon. The network continues to be used to funnel support for resistance to US invasion and occupation of the Middle East.

Strong, centralized governments have a difficult time dealing with strong, decentralized opposition. When the only tool you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail.

Effective opposition and dissent within the United States must take this decentralized model. Just as biodiversity is the key to biological and evolutionary success, so can organizational diversity aid in the struggle against US imperialism and domestic oppression.