The fires of 4GW are burning Mexico

Summary: I have written for ten years about the deterioration of the Mexican state and its terrible implications for America. I stopped because too few cared. This year Mexico’s decline accelerated. Its people are staring into a bloody future. Whatever happens, the effects on us will be immense. We should pay attention.

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Mexico: A Big Win for 4GW

By William S. Lind at Traditional Right, 8 November 2019.
Posted with his generous permission.

A recent event in Culiacan, Mexico should have drawn a lot of attention but didn’t: a Fourth Generation entity, the Sinaloa Cartel, took on the Mexican state and beat it, not just strategically but tactically. It did so by demonstrating a remarkably rapid OODA Loop, far faster than the state’s. This is a sign of things to come, not just in Mexico but in many places.

The most perceptive piece I have seen on these events was in the October 20 Cleveland Plain Dealer, “Gun battle involving El Chapo’s son highlights challenges to government” by Mary Beth Sheridan of the Washington Post. It states …

“What happened this past week was unprecedented. When Mexican authorities tried to detain one of El Chapo’s sons, hundreds of gunmen with automatic weapons swept through the city, sealing off its exits, taking security officials hostage and battling authorities. After several hours, the besieged government forces released Ovidio Guzman, who was wanted on U.S. federal drug-trafficking charges. …

“The offensive in Culiacan. …exposed one of the country’s foremost problems: the government’s slipping control over parts of the territory. There are an increasing number of areas “where you effectively have a state presence, but under negotiated terms with whoever runs the show locally,” said Falko Ernst, the senior Mexico analyst for the International Crisis Group. …

“Thursday afternoon’s attack came on the heels of several incidents highlighting the ability of organized crime groups to challenge the government. On Monday, gunmen ambushed a convoy of state police in the western state of Michoacan, killing 14. Last month, the Northeast Cartel ordered gas stations in the border city of Nuevo Laredo to deny service to police or military vehicles, leaving them desperate for fuel.”

All this is happening not in the Hindu Kush but on our immediate southern border. That alone should have drawn greater attention from a defense establishment fixated on non-threats from Russia and China. But there is more here than meets the eye.

Normally, when states fight non-state forces in Fourth Generation war, the state loses strategically but wins tactically. Here, non-state forces won tactically as well, and won big. They were at least as well equipped as the Mexican state forces. But what was really impressive was their speed in the OODA Loop. Apparently caught by surprise by the state’s seizure of one of their leaders, they were able to respond massively within a few hours. They took complete control of a city of about a million people, isolating and surrounding the unit that had captured Ovidio Guzman. The President of Mexico was forced to order his release.

The cartel’s ability to observe, orient, decide, and act much faster than the state is not a surprise. Years ago, when John Boyd was still alive, a friend of mine who was a Marine officer was in Bolivia on a counter-drug mission.  I asked him how the Bolivian state’s OODA Loop compared with the traffickers. He said, “They go through it six times in the time it takes for us to go through it once.”  When I told Boyd that, he said, “Then you’re not even in the game.”

4GW forces’ superior speed through the OODA Loop, in turn, has several causes. They are fighting Second Generation militaries, where decision-making is centralized and therefore slow. States are bureaucratic entities, and bureaucrats avoid making decisions and acting because it can endanger their careers. The motivation of state forces is often poor because they have little loyalty to the corrupt and incompetent states they serve; mostly, to them its a job that offers a paycheck. In contrast, most 4GW forces have no bureaucracy, decentralize decision-making because they have to, and have fighters with genuine loyalty to what they represent. Why? Money, plus what local women cited in the PD article explained …

“She acknowledged that the cartel members were part of the social fabric, sometimes more effective at resolving problems than authorities. For example, if your car is stolen, it is more likely you would get it back by contacting cartel members through an acquaintance than by waiting for the police to crack the case, she said.”

The drug cartels represent the future in many respects. They do not seek to replace the state or openly capture it, which would make them vulnerable to other states; rather, they hide within its hollowed-out structures and are protected by its formal sovereignty. They make lots of money while states go begging. They provide social services the state is supposed to offer but does not. Their highly-motivated forces with flat command structures have a faster OODA Loop than the state’s. And locally, they often appear more legitimate than the state.

Again, all this is happening right next door. Why can our national security establishment not read the words already written on the border wall we so desperately need? Those words are, “Fourth Generation war.”


Editor’s afterword

I agree with all of this except for one aspect of Lind’s conclusion. The goals of individuals and organizations matter little. Events push us into unexpected futures. Nature abhors vacuums of all kinds, including vacuums of political power. The cartels might be happy as successful criminals, but the State’s weakness might force them to expand their power. That will inevitably force a cage match with the Mexican government. If so, then only one can survive. The leaders of the cartels know that It’s Good To Be King.

Whatever happens, the effects on the United States will be immense. Our influence on these events in Mexico will be slight.

Question:..“What nation poses the greatest threat to the sovereignty of the US?”
— Briefing circa 1994 by a geopolitical expert to the CIA. They were incredulous then; today they probably understand.

About the author

William S. Lind is director of the American Conservative Center for Public Transportation. He has a Master’s Degree in History from Princeton University in 1971. He worked as a legislative aide for armed services for Senator Robert Taft, Jr., of Ohio from 1973 to 1976 and held a similar position with Senator Gary Hart of Colorado from 1977 to 1986. See his bio at Wikipedia.

William Lind

Mr. Lind is author of the Maneuver Warfare Handbook (1985), co-author with Gary Hart of America Can Win: The Case for Military Reform (1986), and co-author with William H. Marshner of Cultural Conservatism: Toward a New National Agenda (1987). Most importantly, he is one of the co-authors of “Into the Fourth Generation“, the October 1989 article in the Marine Corps Gazette describing fourth-generation warfare.

He’s perhaps best known for his articles about the long war, now published as On War: The Collected Columns of William S. Lind 2003-2009. See his other articles about a broad range of subjects…

  1. His posts at TraditionalRight.
  2. His articles about geopolitics at The American Conservative.
  3. His articles about transportation at The American Conservative.

For More Information

Ideas! For some shopping ideas, see my recommended books and films at Amazon. Also, see Chapter One of a story about our future: “Ultra Violence: Tales from Venus.

Please like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter. Also see other posts about Mexico, about 4th generation war, (esp these about 4GW theory), and especially see these posts …

  1. STRATFOR gives A New Way to Think About Mexican Organized Crime.
  2. Stratfor looks at the drug cartel’s insurgency against Mexico.
  3. Stratfor: Mexico’s entrepreneurs provide the fentanyl that America wants!
  4. Trump wants to defend our borders. Democrats protest.

Two books about Mexico’s cartels

Books by Ioan Grillo, a journalist based in Mexico City. He has covered Latin America since 2001 for major news media. He was fascinated by these figures who made $30 billion a year, were idolized in popular songs, and eluded the Mexican army and DEA. He has visited endless murder scenes on bullet-ridden streets, mountains where drugs are born as pretty flowers, and scarred criminals in prison cells and luxury condos. See his website. See his columns in the New York Times.

El Narco: Inside Mexico’s Criminal Insurgency (2011).

Gangster Warlords: Drug Dollars, Killing Fields, and the New Politics of Latin America (2016).

El Narco: Inside Mexico's Criminal Insurgency
Available at Amazon.
Gangster Warlords: Drug Dollars, Killing Fields, and the New Politics of Latin America
Available at Amazon.

35 thoughts on “The fires of 4GW are burning Mexico”

  1. Two common responses to this post.

    (1)  Legalize drugs, in some form to some degree.

    Good idea. Not going to happen soon.

    (2) Close the border to drugs.

    “Quadruple the number of drug detection dogs at the border entry points, run every 18 wheeler through the vehicle scanners, add sensors and infrared CCTV to cover the entire wall, double the wall barrier in the 100 most traversed sectors, add helicopter borne quick reaction Border Patrol squads for every 100 miles of border, confiscate every vehicle carrying drugs (give to U.S. military for target practice), double the prison sentences for drug smugglers, etc., etc.!”

    That’s a dream. One that we’ve spent hundreds of billions (in real dollars) on over 48 years, with little to show for it. As they say in Alcholics Anonymous: “Insanity is repeating actions but expecting different outcomes.”

    The continental US border with Canada is almost 4 thousand miles. Almost 2 thousand miles with Mexico. That’s a lot of dogs and helicopters.

    There are no highly accurate measures of the coastlines. It varies by resolution, giving numbers from 20 to 70 thousand miles.  Note that the US – Canada border runs thru the Great Lakes, and does not include the much larger coastal border. The Coast Guard has less than 200 ships (ie, 65′ or more long), not counting tugs, icebreakers, buoy tenders, etc.

    The simple truth, unmentionable in polite company.

    So long as immigration from the South remains at high levels, the growth of the cartels in the SW US will continue.  People count.  Walls don’t work if we open the borders, as the Democrats proudly plan to do.

      1. info,

        Good question. My sources give little news about Mexico; my audience has even less interest. The rest of Latin America is “here be dragons” unless something interesting happens there to produce ten minutes of interest.

  2. Is there anything we could do to cut into the cartels’ profits? I thought that legalizing alcohol weakened organized crime here in the USA. Could legalizing or decriminalizing more drugs have a similar effect on Mexican organized crime? Or is it too late for that?

    1. Tice,

      You are, of course, correct. I should have mentioned that! But it seems so unlikely, that I forgot about that option.

      Keeping in mind that prohibition created the modern organized crime networks in the US – and legalization weakened them, but they remained far stronger than before prohibition.

    2. That would be my suggestion. The illegality is what created the cartels in the first place.

      It’s no different here in the UK, where the “punish them enough and they’ll relent” brigade hold sway even on the relatively innocuous drugs.

      But like Larry, I think you’ll see airborn pigs first.

  3. I heard from a source I deem reputable that the cartels actively recruit ex elite military to be their employees.

    Image if your local county sherriff had a gang of ex navy seals and green berets running all the crime in the county.

    The second comment is recently 4 mexican police were accused of raping a teen girl. Feminist riots and marches broke out all over the country. But when hundreds of politicians, police, journalists are murdered by the cartels they do nothing.

    1. The Campesenos are as fatalistic as Muslims. They’re like the sheep in Magnificent 7. The bandito was a cartellito.

  4. Very good guest post by Lind. Your afterword is as well.

    This war between the cartels and the government of Mexico is a race war between the descendants of the Conquistadors and descendents of the aboriginal tribes. Hence the tribal tattoos and Aztec symbology. It’s a Reconquista. They want the Southwest USA too.

    The suggestion of legalizing currently outlawed drugs is good because as all our “Wars On” are failures.

    Lind is correct to urge better protection of our Southern border because the traffickers are moving Hezbollah, al Queda and ISIS terrorists into USA. That corridor has been historically used to infiltrate USA by Nazi, Soviet and Chinese spies as well.

    Lastly, what a great point you made about Russia and China being non-threats!

    1. Lind: “That alone should have drawn greater attention from a defense establishment fixated on non-threats from Russia and China. But there is more here than meets the eye.”

      While I completely agree with Lind, Larry, and Longtrail on this, there is a very important element that is not being discussed here. The Defense establishment is interested solely in the money supply for their contractors and bureaucracy. They deal in futuristic war machines, NOT threats from 4GW groups. There are two very good reason for this:
      1) If you look at our involvement in 4GW wars (which is nearly every war since Vietnam), you find that we lose all of them. There is no benefit to the defense establishment for getting involved in Mexico.
      2) Since their product is futuristic machines that are useless in 4GW war, they can only suffer a cut in pay if the topic is raised. All they can do is discredit people who raise this topic and hope that the money supply from the US government won’t shrink before they retire (with very nice benefits).

      You’ll notice that the US government response to 4GW is LESS useful than the Mexican government response. What does that say about the US ability to fight a 4GW war inside the US? I cannot say at this time but hopefully the US government will not be so inept in the next 20 years to allow 4GW groups to exist in larger than 10-50 person local groups (which can be handled by local law enforcement with assistance from the state and federal levels).

      Larry: “The cartels might be happy as successful criminals, but the State’s weakness might force them to expand their power. That will inevitably force a cage match with the Mexican government.”

      I’m not entirely certain that you’re correct about forcing a cage match between 4GW forces and the Mexican government. If the 4GW groups were external to Mexico I’d be in complete agreement but I’m not sure about it forcing a local vs. local death match. Please provide an example of such from fairly recent history if you have one in mind (which would not surprise me in the least).

      The primary determinant in forcing the showdown will probably be the local expectations set by the 4GW forces. If the 4GW groups set expectations that they can provide better social services at lower costs (for example), then I completely agree with you. If they can only be relied up for crime-related activities then I suspect that the Mexican government will officially stay in power (even if in name only). There’s no doubt which group wins if the Mexican government such a struggle starts.

      The insurgents will win but the question then becomes whether the can hold what they have taken or if they will spawn new 4GW forces that will take away what they didn’t want in the first place.

  5. “The cartels might be happy as successful criminals, but the State’s weakness might force them to expand their power.”

    I am no expert on the history of the growth of State power in Mexico but I would assume that the gradual creation of a monopoly on violence ( political control over the military) did not suddenly emerge but only was achieved at the end of a long historical process.

    The fact that Mexico, through the Cartels, is again experiencing a type of dispersed violence is indeed a powerful indicator of failing State power.

    “Nature abhors vacuums of all kinds, including vacuums of political power.” “The leaders of the cartels know it is good to be King”

    Really an excellent analysis Larry.

  6. What do you think would have happened if the Mexican Government had refused to give in and fought until the bitter end- if they hadn’t given up Ovidio?

    1. Mike,

      Good question, but impossible to reliably answer on the basis of the sketchy information from US public media. And that assumes that those accounts are accurate, an assumption I advise against.

  7. Any match between the Mexican government and the cartels is inherently unfair. As in much of the third world, the Mexican government is basically a racket: sclerotic, nepotistic, unmotivated, and deeply corrupt. It is something to be avoided at all costs; to work around, not with. The cartels are highly motivated, well-funded, meritocratic, bottom line-oriented, and adaptable. They are also utterly ruthless, and, increasingly, fearless. A pretty potent combination.

    Austin, where I live, is now close enough to the Border to feel its breath. Hardly a day goes by that I don’t see someone drive by and think: I’ll bet that guy works for the Cartel. The sound of gunshots in the night is increasingly common. Less than a five minute drive from here is a neighborhood of several square miles that was once solidly middle class. Now it is 100 per cent Hispanic, overwhelmingly undocumented. English isn’t even a second language there. The signs in front of the three public schools in the neighborhood are written in Spanish. When I drive through the area, I am met with open hostility. Giant Mexican flags, a common decorator item, are everywhere. Lately a few Guatemalan and Salvadoran flags have crept in. Bad news since those groups do not get along.

    We won’t admit that the nearly fifty-year old WOD, is a colossal failure (except for the criminal justice and blowhard-politician industries,) we won’t act unilaterally to oppose the cartels, and we won’t restrict the entry of Latin Americans, who accept corruption, crime and brutality as normal, so the future does not bode well for us.

    1. Scott,

      File all that under “Sad But True.” For years I posted intel about this, with little audience interest. My sources dried up in 2016, probably for the same reason.

      Now it is too late to do anything but live with the consequences. Research in the 1990s predicted the low levels of assimilation by migrants from Latin America (examples here). They bring with them their dysfunctional culture – of course.

      Next: Mexico might get a positive feedback cycle between internal disintegration and outmigration. Bad for them, bad for us. But worst of all, our ruling elites still don’t see the problem. All they see are docile cheap workers and votes for the Democratic Party.

    2. Scott: “we won’t act unilaterally to oppose the cartels, and we won’t restrict the entry of Latin Americans, who accept corruption, crime and brutality as normal”

      1) Acting unilaterally in a military way, as noted several times to oppose the cartels would end in disaster. Both in Mexico and the US, which is why we don’t do it.

      2) “restrict the entry of Latin Americans, who accept corruption, crime and brutality as normal.” I’m very uncomfortable with this phrase for historical reasons.

      The US was a hotbed of corruption, crime, and brutality in the early/mid Gilded Age (1880-1900) and there no special pill we can take to prevent it from happening again. Also, crime and corruption are on the rise across the world as we hit the maximum possible population the world can support with our current technology (particularly in Africa and South Asia where the tech levels and infrastructure are not as developed), there’s no need to single out Hispanics.

      Most people come to the US for the same reason, seeking a better life. Some seek to blend in, some seek to stand out. Some use violence, some do not. I see economic but not ethnic trends in the mix of violence and corruption. None of our current National-level politicians are currently able to address the very real issues you raise. I’d advise looking at the state and local political parties and see if their solutions are workable. If not, speak up and tell them why not. You might start a useful and sustainable trend.

      1. Pluto,

        “I see economic but not ethnic trends in the mix of violence and corruption.”

        Yes, ideology determines how Americans see the world. Tribal blinders. It’s an expensive luxury, one that I doubt we can afford.

        It’s quite delusional to believe these traits are equivalent among nations, or that people do not bring their cultural beliefs and behaviors to America when they migrate. Since our ruling doctrine is multiculturalism, it would be fascist to ask that they don’t do so.

        Ample research from the 1990s (and since) warned that immigrants from Latin America were assimilating at far slower rates than those from other regions. This is obvious to anyone traveling through the US southwest. But it is ideologically impossible, so few Americans – esp the educated ones – see it.

      2. Pluto,

        Shorter version of my reply —

        “I’m very uncomfortable with this phrase …”

        Experience has taught me that this phrase precedes a truth that is ideologically impossible and so will not be seen.

      3. Larry: “It’s quite delusional to believe these traits are equivalent among nations, or that people do not bring their cultural beliefs and behaviors to America when they migrate.”

        Agreed and I mentioned it in my post (and this one as well) but I had not seen any research that specified that Hispanics are necessarily more prone to violence and corruption than other immigrants.

        Larry: “Ample research from the 1990s (and since) warned that immigrants from Latin America were assimilating at far slower rates than those from other regions.”

        I haven’t seen the research but don’t really have any troubles believing it. This was true in many large US cities from 1870-1940 (“Little Italy” in Chicago and New York for example). The Mafia, which still exists in the US today was also imported from Italy around the same time.

        I’ve also not traveled in the Southwest in well over 20 years so I’ve not had a chance to see the trend first hand. Thanks for the update.

    3. “Giant Mexican flags, a common decorator item, are everywhere. Lately a few Guatemalan and Salvadoran flags have crept in. Bad news since those groups do not get along.”

      As the Central Americans continue to pile in, things will get “interesting.” MS-13 vs.Mexican gangs, etc. Per wikipedia, Austin was 35% Hispanic in 2010, I assume it’s approaching 40% now. You will definitely feel the “border’s breath” with those numbers, I suppose the suburbs are less “diverse”.

      1. Writing and talking about these rather fraught topics are a real balancing act for me. I don’t want to come across as a race-baiting misanthrope. All my life I have lived among Hispanic people, and have had a familiarity with them that is actually quite rare among white folks. I have been friends and colleagues with many, lovers with a few, almost married a couple. When you spend that much time around a group you come to understand what makes them tick. You also come to understand that they are indeed different than you and your kind. Not better or worse; just different.

        Alas, these differences, some cultural, some almost certainly hard-wired, cause conflict with our system, such as it is. Not a problem in small numbers. But in large concentrations, such as we are seeing, these very real differences warp and eventually displace the existing culture, to the overall detriment.

        Our system has worked pretty well overall, providing an agreeable and prosperous society for the vast majority of its citizens. The society that is emerging due to massive immigration will likely not do that. There is no shame in wanting to preserve what has been, in fact, a pretty good system.The world will not be a better place if a well-functioning first-world culture is replaced by a dystopian third-world one.

        I don’t care what color your skin is or what language your ancestors spoke. All I care about is your willingness to get down with our program and join our ongoing experiment in a positive way. The keyword is “join.”

      2. Scott,

        “I don’t want to come across as a race-baiting misanthrope.”

        Europe was a hellhole for a long time – while much of the Middle East, the Indian subcontinent, and East Asia (north to south) were highly civilized. It’s not a matter of race. It’s a matter of culture. We have a nice culture now, acquired through centuries of hard work. Most American, esp on the Left, consider this our just due for our awesomeness. Which is nuts. Every society is one generation from barbarism. Ceaseless attention and effort is necessary to keep a civilization going.

        “All I care about is your willingness to get down with our program and join our ongoing experiment in a positive way.”

        That was how we assimilated previous waves of immigrants. It wasn’t a pretty process. But you must be aware that this has not been the ruling doctrine in the US for decades. We don’t require that. In fact, we tell them to not assimilate – and cherish their home culture. As is obvious to anyone who leaves the giant enclaves of the upper middle class on the coasts, in much of the southwest – and other areas where the Fed have created zones of foreign cultures – they don’t.

        The likely consequences are obvious. But Americans prefer to live in a dreamworld. The awakening will be painful. But I’m confident that we’ll whine loudly and blame others.

      3. Something that NEVER gets reported in the US media is that the bulk of the south of the border immigrants are the dregs of their societies. Mexico has long used the US as an escape valve to rid itself of its excess population,the bottom of the barrel people: the least educated, least productive and most violent. When I lived in Mexico I witnessed the scorn that was projected on the “ilegales” by anyone who was middle class and up. They were seen as a source of national shame but at the same time there was also a “if the gabachos will take them, better them than us” attitude in Mexico.

        Mexico has been violent and dangerous for quite some time, but at least during the previous 3 administrations (18 years) there was steady economic growth and rising wages for those with skills. Now that AMLO and his left leaning party MORENA are running the show, economic growth as slowed to zero and is expected by many to turn negative as foreign and domestic investors are slamming their checkbooks shut out of fear of anarchy and high taxation. I fear that this means the Mexodus will soon dramatically increase. Combined with a Democrat admin’s open borders policy we could see another “fundamental transformation” coming our way.

        But as Larry would say, this is not something discussed in polite company. Go 49er’s! Or should I say “Vivan los 49er’s!”

  8. On a related note, Mexico sent a Mexican Air Force Gulfstream to pick up Evo Morales in Bolivia and bring him to Mexico, after offering him political asylum.

    This has angered many Mexicans, who are asking why could the government be quick and decisive when it came to this, but was slow and incompetent when it came to the “Culiacanzo”? AMLO had a work trip to Oaxaca already scheduled, which he didn’t cancel as the Culiacan situation (where Chapo’s cartel took a city of one million people hostage) unfolded. Others are accusing AMLO of doing this to deflect attention away from what happened in Culiacan and his capitulation, where he paid the ransom (releasing Chapo’s son) to recover control in Culiacan.

    Some Mexicans are joking that the Gulfstream should made a stop in Caracas to pick up Maduro (to save a trip later). AMLO’s support for Maduro and Morales removes any doubt that he’s a Marxist. This should do wonders for future foreign investment in Mexico.

  9. Please keep articles like this one coming.

    And count me among the section of readers who would like to see more articles about the Americas. It has far more bearing on our future than anything happening in the Middle East or Europe.

    1. Christopher,

      Thank you for the feedback!

      “It has far more bearing on our future than anything happening in the Middle East or Europe.”

      As the great journalist James Reston (1990 – 1995) said: “The people of the United States will do anything for Latin America, except read about it.”

  10. One more comment–I have read some of Lind’s columns here and on “Traditional Right,” and the same pattern seems consistent: good (and sometimes funny) analysis, followed by a terrible prescription for action. Perhaps that just shows where our thinking diverges.

    BTW, I know I rarely post here anymore, but saying “Dittos Larry” seems pretty pointless after a while.

    I spend that energy trying to spread the FM gospel to the unconverted. I’m learning to be mellow about the denunciations. :) Changing minds requires the viewpoint of a mountain stream, not a chainsaw.

    1. Christopher,

      Applause is always welcomed!

      “followed by a terrible prescription for action.”

      For an extreme example, read his post-revolution novel Victoria. The professors of Dartmouth are executed. Atlanta is run by African-Americans, so it gets nuked.

      1. I have put it down here before. I think I compared it to the “Turner Diaries.”

        Another little bit of praise, then–here G.B. Shaw reminds us why the FB project will always be an uphill battle (up until the moment it is no longer needed–a man can hope):

        “You have learnt something. That always feels at first as if you had lost something.”

        from Major Barbara.

        It’s a damn tough sell, eh sir?

      2. Christopher,

        I’m a big Shaw fan – and had forgotten that quote. Last year I got the full collection of his plays – six volumes – and am slowly working through them. Have not got to Major B yet. It’s one of my favorites. I’ve quoted from it in some posts.

        We have two problems with the FM post as currently structured. The first I’m working on. The content is too …academic or complex for a mass audience. The second is more intractable. We are becoming a tribal society, with people interested only in their tribal truths – and will stop reading anything which challenges those. Successful websites are nodes in these tribal networks.

        The FM website was conceived as a tiny means to experiment with breaking this trend. In that it has been a total failure. We get an audience based on the themes being pursued. When times change and theme evolve, the audience reacts like Vampires at dawn – fleeing. I have not a clue how to work around this. The audience in the middle has proven to be a chimera. Suggestions welcomed.

      3. I hope I am posting this in the right spot.

        The problem with me (or any of the long-term daily FM readers) giving feedback on expanding the readership of the site is that the current structure worked great for us. If FM was much different than it is now, you never would have had the chance to change my mind on quite a few issues. The things you identify as problems are why the site was effective in capturing my attention in the first place, as well as keeping me here for the years necessary to actually shift my opinions.

        However, I was raised with intellectual combat (with my father) as a “fun” activity. I have a feeling many regular posters here have similar proclivities.

        To rewrite a famous quote:”My favorite thing is engaging in debate and feeling like I’ve ‘won.’ But my second favorite thing is engaging in debate and throughly understanding the depth of my ignorance and misunderstanding.”

        The unique thing about FM is your complete willingness to rake anyone over the “coals” of “think better!” You make no differentiation between posters who are outright hostile and ignorant, and those who give mindless “positive” comments. I have no idea how you “sell” that.

      4. Christopher – Follow-up comment.

        The most frequent reply by me in comments is “thanks (or thank you).” My reply to you above was the 4800th time I’ve said that in comments since the website opened in 2007. An interesting coincidence.

  11. If I had to hazard a guess the geopolitical expert in 1994 is Martin van Creveld.

    All this turmoil over Immigration, The National Question, Who Are We?, etc. is endlessly frustrating, people are unlikely to ever change their opinion because it would cause a cascade of changes to their worldview. Reading works like Albion’s Seed or The Cousins’ Wars should make people skeptical of massive demographic change considering the enmity between extremely similar peoples. As always with immigration it’s worth a look at what Garett Jones has to say.

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