Saturday, January 07, 2012

Post 911 Terrorism post

This is the 912nd post, see? :) And it is about terrorism.

It has just occurred to me that Anonymous, the hacker continuum that has humiliated security and financial companies and even governments, has the structure that would allow a terrorist organization to survive. Look at Al-Qaida: a news article described how the death of Osama bin-Laden has alienated the financial backers of the organization. Well, yes, it makes sense, because Al-Qaida is (and will always be) a corporation. Terror is a means to an end, not the reason for the existence of the group. The point of this top-to-bottom led movement is to gain support; ideological and political would be nice, but money would do even better. When power and money are concerned, people always tend to organize in a hierarchical fashion, thus the US strategy of targeting the leaders rather than the drones. It's funny that these feared terror kings of the East have not thought of going the same way against their enemies corporations, but let's not give them ideas.

Now look at my friends at Anonymous: their purpose, more or less, is to have fun. They don't really have leaders, only more or less involved individuals, doing their part as they see fit. I've previously found similarities between Anonymous and Ghost in the Shell's the Laughing Man, but it goes further than that. There were studies into the reasons why people are happy and motivated and the result was that money is only a motivation for repetitive non creative tasks, while for intelligent creative tasks the motivation comes from a job well done. So here we have a peer-to-peer network of people, motivated by a job well done, the perfect organization model for free happy people.

I know it does show similarities with communism, but the main difference is that communism was supposed to be a closed, self sustaining system, while "anonymism" is like a parallel system, based on hobby, like playing a complex multiplayer online game. You don't earn your money out of it, you earn your freedom, motivation and self-esteem, which are more important for an individual. The problem with this model from a terrorism standpoint is that terror doesn't motivate anyone. You might hate someone to really enjoy doing a great job harming them, but it is a method doomed to fail in the long run. Who has ever heard of flourishing organizations based on hate (except ridiculous super-hero movies)?

Oh, I have many more connections in my head right now, with the software piracy epidemic, for example, and the (futile, in my opinion) attempts of governments to regulate the Internet. The same conflict between corporation (as a larger concept, including churches, governments, Al-Qaida and all large top-down organizations) and the individual is linking all of these. And from all of these, the model of peer-to-peer sharing of time and passion for a common cause seems the only one which preserves individual freedom inside a group. And besides, I've added so many keywords in this post that I am sure some US security group is going to read it, I don't want to give them ideas either. (Hi, guys!) Anyway, I am sure that even CIA agents go home and play an online game from time to time and may even partake in software peer-to-peer piracy and could even feel like individuals from time to time ;)