Characteristics of 4th Generation War 

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Characteristics of 4th Generation War


Fourth Generation War is normally characterised by a “stateless” entity fighting a state or regime (the EUSSR). Fighting can be physically such as Hezbollah or the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) to use two modern examples. In this realm the 4GW entity uses all three levels of Fourth Generation War. These are the physical (actual combat; it is considered the least important), mental (the will to fight, belief in victory, etc) and moral (the most important, this includes cultural norms, etc) levels. Fighting can also be without the physical level of war. This is via non-violent means. Examples of this could be Gandhi’s opposition to the British Empire or by Martin Luther King’s marches. Both desired their factions to deescalate the conflict while the state escalates against them, the objective being to target the opponent on the moral and mental levels rather than the physical level. The state is then seen as a bully and loses support.


Another characteristic of 4GW is that as with 3rd Generation War the 4GW combatant’s forces are decentralised. With 4GW there may even be no one combatant and that smaller groups organise into impromptu alliances to target a bigger threat (that being the state armed forces or another faction). As a result these alliances are weak and if the state’s military leadership is smart enough they can split their enemy and cause them to fight amongst themselves (f example get the cultural conservatives (pro Israel) to fight the racial conservatives (anti-Jewish).



Fourth Generation Warfare Goals:



· Survival

· To convince the enemy’s political decision makers that their goals are either unachievable or too costly for the perceived benefit (The cost of Muslim mass immigration and continued efforts to undermine Western Culture (implementation of multiculturalism) will be too costly.

· To eventually replace the regime after weakening it (this process will take decades)



Disaggregated forces, such as paramilitaries, militias, guerrillas lacking a center of gravity, deny to their enemies a focal point at which to deliver a conflict ending blow. As a result strategy becomes more problematic while combating a 4GW entity.


Regime/state methods against 4GW


There are few examples of the state being effective in a 4GW conflict. The only major example is that of the British Army in Northern Ireland after the events of Bloody Sunday. A notable theorist of 4GW, William Lind, believes that the reason for the British being successful in that conflict was that the British Army did not use heavy weapons in that period and that the British Government forces attempted to get to know the areas involved in the conflict. Also according to Lind the British did not engage in collective punishment and desired to keep civilian casualties to a minimum. In other words they won over the population by reducing the risk of damage to civilians and their property and by getting to know the local area.



Mao once wrote "the guerrilla must swim in the people as the fish swims in the sea." The public opinion is crucial.



The Study of Revolutions


Note: this article was written by a Marxist and most of the sources/material is Marxist oriented and may not be relevant to the current Western European nationalist/ conservative revolution. I haven’t had time to review the relevancy of these works. Many of them are just Marxist propaganda and should be ignored while other works/case studies might be useful to the pan-European Conservative Revolutionary Movement. Although we, the Justiciar Knights, are conservative revolutionaries I believe that the specific approach in where we seize power will revolve around the concept/approach of a coup d’état instead of a so called “mass popular revolutionary overthrow” where hordes of people are storming the offices of power. However, certain lessons may be learned from traditional revolutionary thinking and approaches. Knowing that so many Marxists are anti-globalists, it should be our goal to contribute to create a scenario where many “Internationalist Marxists” are indirectly ideologically pacified or even join our forces, by manipulating them into changing their mentality from “internationalist” to “National Bolshevik” thought. AB



"Revolution" is a widely-used, and widely-abused, word. At its simplest, a revolution represents a situation where society transforms the state: when large numbers of people (usually) take action together in a (sometimes) successful action to change the nature of the state or (occasionally) do away with the state altogether. In this sense, revolutions (not always successful) have been an absolutely normal feature of European history over the last two hundred years, and of world history over the last fifty years or so. Revolutions are thus to a certain degree conceptually and practically distinct from military coups, terrorism and so on, which are not covered in this course.


The vast majority of contemporary states, including Ireland, Britain, the US, France, Germany, China, India, and many more, can be said to owe their existence to revolutions of one kind or another. Recent years have seen successful revolutions (Nationalist or Marxist) in Eastern Europe, the Soviet Union, South Africa, the Philippines, and elsewhere, as well as failed attempts at revolution, most notably in China and (arguably) in Indonesia. Revolutionary movements continue to have an important effect on society and politics in many parts of the world, most obviously in Mexico, Burma and the Arab world. There is thus every reason to expect revolutions to continue to play a significant role in world affairs in the new century.


This course sets out to do two things. Firstly, it aims to look at some concrete examples of revolution, including some of the "great" revolutions which have transformed world history as well as some less well-known ones which illustrate other aspects of the revolutionary experience. Secondly, it uses this material and other examples to cover a range of questions raised by the study of revolutions: "what is a revolution?", "why do revolutions happen?", "what happens in revolutions?", "why do some revolutions succeed and others fail?", "are revolutions legitimate?", etc. The reading list includes texts related to both themes.


Aims of the course:


This course aims to enable you to:



· Know more about the variety of revolutions past and present and the different processes involved in revolutionary situations

· Understand more about the nature of revolution, its relationship to the social order, and the issues determining the outcomes of revolution

· Think concretely about revolution and counter-revolution as skilled human activities and relate your own experience to that of contemporary revolutions around the globe and past revolutions which have shaped Irish and European society




By the end of this course you should be able to:



· Give an account of the processes involved in at least one significant revolution

· Explain coherently what revolutions are, when they happen and what kinds of social relationships are involved

· Argue intelligently about the normative and practical issues involved in revolutions

· Draw on the general sociology of revolutions to think about your own situation and desires


Reading list


The study of revolutions is inherently political, and this is very much reflected in the available literature. At present, the subject is rather unfashionable in academia. Hence an unusually high proportion of the academic books listed in this handout either date from earlier decades when the concept of revolution was less unfamiliar to English-speaking academics, or come from conference proceedings etc. I have tried as far as possible to include the key figures that contemporary sociologists of revolution would make reference to.


The people who have done most thinking about revolutions, of course, have been revolutionaries, and this handout draws strongly on "primary sources" - the words of practicing revolutionaries. Again, you will notice a certain sociology of knowledge reflected in the list: the "classical" revolutionaries are by now of interest to academia, and so remain in print, while literature by contemporary revolutionaries is of course currently in print. For the former, you may have to search through various collections of their writings to locate copies of pieces which were originally published as pamphlets or newspaper articles, etc.


Anything between these two extremes is routinely difficult to find, since revolutionary groups rarely have the money to reprint their favourite authors in readily accessible editions. This is partly remedied by the relatively low costs of the Internet (someone still has to transcribe or scan a text, and turn it into HTML format), and I have included a certain number of Web sites. If you are interested, you will find a good range out there!



The best single textbook for this course is


· John Foran (ed.), Theorizing revolutions (London: Routledge, 1997). This is a collection of essays on the sociology of revolution, covering some of the most important theoretical approaches and a range of specific examples.



A good alternative is



· Willie Thompson, The left in history. Revolution and reform in twentieth-century politics (London: Pluto, 1997). This is a very good overview of the history of revolutionary politics in the last 100 years.


I recommend you start the course by choosing either of these, or one of the books listed below, and reading it through slowly:



· Kolya Abramsky (ed.), Restructuring and resistance: diverse voices of struggle in western Europe (2001) is an up-to-date collection of writings by contemporary activists in and around the "anti-globalisation movement".

· Hannah Arendt, On revolution (London: Penguin, 1973) is a classic discussion by this well-known political philosopher.

· Todd Gitlin, The sixties: years of hope, days of rage. (New York: Bantam, 1993) is a classic history of the "revolutionary moment" of the 1960s.

· Antonio Gramsci, Selections from prison notebooks (London: Lawrence and Wishart, 1971) is the classic English-language selection of this difficult but rewarding theorist: the leader of the Italian Communist Party, writing as a political prisoner in the face of rising fascism in Europe, and asking "Where did we go wrong?"

· Karl Marx, The civil war in France. (many different editions; also available online via the Marxists Internet Archive) is his classic account of the Paris Commune of 1871.

· Daniel Singer, Whose millennium? Theirs or ours? (New York: Monthly Review Press, 1999) is an intensely readable book by this veteran American journalist considering the issue of revolution at the start of the 21st century, with discussions of a wide range of different countries.

· Theda Skocpol, Social revolutions in the modern world (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1994) is a recent collection of articles by the doyenne of the study of revolutions.

· Starhawk, Webs of power: notes from the global uprising. (Gabriola, BC: New Society, 2002; much of this material is available online at her own web pages) is a very readable collection of essays from this leading anti-globalisation campaigner.

· Mark Steel, Reasons to be cheerful: from punk to New Labour through the eyes of a dedicated troublemaker (London: Simon and Schuster, 2001) is a very funny personal history of activism by this well-known stand-up comedian.

· Sidney Tarrow, Power in movement: social movements and contentious politics (Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1998) is a very wide-ranging discussion which places the subject of revolution firmly in relation to other kinds of social movements.

· Charles Tilly, European revolutions 1492 - 1992 (Oxford: Blackwell, 1995) is an overview of the revolutionary history of Europe in the last half-millennium by this well-known scholar of social movements.



Other starting points for this course might include:



· the Marxists Internet Archive at, which has a massive collection of writing from classic and more recent authors in the Marxist tradition;

· the Struggle collection at includes a wide range of material from anarchist and other popular movements in Ireland and abroad;

· my own Tools for change pages at this site, particularly the section on revolutions;

· The counter-cultural On-line Infoshop with a wide range of relevant resources:;

· Connolly Books, East Essex St., Temple Bar, Dublin 2 is one of the better sources in Dublin for literature on revolutions;

· Red Banner is currently the only non-aligned revolutionary magazine I know of in Ireland(2 an issue);

· The annual Alternative futures and popular protest conference in Manchester is perhaps the only regular academic conference which focuses on revolutions and related issues such as social movements and utopias. A number of photocopied papers from this conference are available in the library, and I hope to make some at least of the collected proceedings available;

· A number of revolutionary groups of course exist in Ireland, several of which have extensive bookshops available at their conferences etc. Events organised by groups such as the Socialist Workers Party, the Socialist Party, the Workers Solidarity Movement, etc. often include discussion of issues relevant to the study of revolutions!



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