globalguerillas | This year, an open source insurgency formed in the US and it took control of the White House. I didn't write much about it this fall because it hit too close to home. I knew what would happen.
What is an open source insurgency? An open source insurgency is how a very large and very diverse group of people empowered by modern technology and without any formal organization, can defeat a very powerful opponent.
I first started writing about open source insurgencies during the war in Iraq over a decade ago. During that war, over 100 insurgent groups with different motivations for fighting (tribal interests, pro-Baathist, pro-nationalist, pro-Saddam, and lots of jihadi flavors) used the dynamics of open source warfare to fight a global superpower to a standstill. We saw it again a few years later in the political world, when during the Arab Spring an open source fueled protest toppled governments in Tunisia, Egypt, Libya and Syria.
Open source insurgencies and protests can arise spontaneously and they are very hard to stop once they get going since they are impervious to most forms of repressive counter-attack and political subversion. For example, the open source movement propelling Trump forward made him impervious to attacks on his character. It also eliminated any need for "ground game" or standard political organization and obviated any need for information disclosure and detailed policy papers.
Of course, that doesn't mean you can't defeat an open source insurgency. You can, but it requires a different approach.