Saturday, September 13, 2008

What Happens Next (10) - Collapse of the Beast

Daniel’s great insight is that all human government is evil. All human political power will have to be swept away, before the Kingdom of God. The good news in his message is that first three beasts are signs that the collapse of human government is getting close. The time when the the Holy Spirit is able to bring in the Kingdom of God is also near.

The collapse of the fourth beast will be very messy. The Bible refers to this as the Time of Distress. This will be a very short period of time, but it will be quite unpleasant. The world economy will go into decline causing much pain for everyone. Christians will rejoice in these trials, because will they see the fullness of the Kingdom of God springing fourth.

Christians do not need to fight human political power. God will sweep away human political power by bringing judgment against it. The four winged leopard will contribute to the destruction of the fourth beast.

William Lind recently commented about the impact of economic troubles on fourth generation warfare on the legitimacy of the state.

We must remind ourselves that the root and origin of Fourth Generation war is a crisis of legitimacy of the state. One of the functions the state is now expected to perform, in free market as well as socialist countries, is to ensure that the economy functions as well. A world-wide financial panic followed by a world recession or depression would mean the state was failing in one of its core functions. That in turn would further diminish the legitimacy of the state.
He notes that a state’s legitimacy is a not a function of elections, but depends on the ability of the state to provide vital services. Fourth generation warfare will play an important role in undermining human faith in human government.
Intelligent Fourth Generation entities, ranging from some drug gangs through organizations such as Hezbollah, are competing directly with the state for people’s primary loyalty. If those Fourth Generation entities can provide basic services, including food, when the state can no longer do so, they will gain the legitimacy that state is losing. In Fourth Generation war, that is a bigger win than any potential military victory.

In terms of 4GW theory, the lessons here are two. First, a global economic crisis is likely to lead to a much deeper crisis, a widespread existential crisis of the state itself. Second, the Fourth Generation entities that benefit from this crisis will be those that provide basic services more effectively than can the state. Once again, just as from a military perspective, we see that the "Hezbollah model" is the most promising model for Fourth Generation, non-state organizations. That model includes a highly competent military that can defeat state armed forces. But it employs its military capability sparingly, fighting only when attacked or when a low-risk, high-payoff military opportunity presents itself, which will be seldom.

For 4GW entities, the outcome of wars will remain unpredictable. Instead, the Hezbollah model focuses day-to-day on providing services to the people, building its legitimacy vis-à-vis the state and gaining the population’s primary loyalty. At some point, that loyalty will become so strong that not even military defeat by a state’s armed forces will destroy it.
The four winged leopard will undermine the empire set up to defeat it by undermining its legitimacy. People will wake up and realise that their governments are not delivering the security that they promised. They will resent paying taxes to a government that does not deliver. Human government will eventually collapse when people no longer trust it to care for them.

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