Briefly: Fifth Generation Warfare and Super-Empowered Individuals

Let me state for the record, that while I think SEIs (Super-Empowered Individuals) are a type of actor that can undertake 5GW:

5GWers do not need to be SEIs.

SEIs can do more things then 5GW.

There is some overlap in the thinking and the people doing the thinking on 5GW and SEI.

They are not the same thing!

Note: This is my current working definition of 5GW

5GW is the secret deliberative manipulation of actors, networks, institutions, states or any 0GW/1GW/2GW/3GW/4GW forces to achieve a goal or set of goals across a combination of socio, economic, and political domains while attempting to avoid or minimize the retaliatory offensive or defensive actions/reactions of 0GW/1GW/2GW/3GW/4GW powered actors, networks, institutions, and/or states.

..and this is a good (as any) definition of an SEI (from ZenPundit)

A super empowered individual, in my view, is autonomously capable of creating a cascading event that grand strategist Dr. Thomas P.M. Barnett has termed a ” system perturbation”; a disruption of system function and invalidation of existing rule sets to at least the national but more likely the global scale. The key requirements to become “superempowered” are comprehension of a complex system’s connectivty and operation; access to critical network hubs; possession of a force that can be leveraged against the structure of the system and a willingness to use it.

…which is distinct from a Strategic Citizen

Ordinary individuals and/or Super-Empowered Individuals who
successfully make use of any of the technological, socio, economic, or political domains to have a strategic impact on the world.

…and Strategic Citizens may or may not undertake Strategic Citizen 5GW as a possible range of activities. The Strategic Citizen 5GW style is defined as:

The purposeful action of 5GW by Strategic Citizen (SC) actors who are unconnected in any way except for the desired related end effects to be achieved through the sum of the individual actions.

As Arherring wrote at Dreaming 5GW, SEIs have a range of possible activities:

This is how super-empowered individuals relate to Fifth Generation Warfare theory. Super-empowered individuals may choose to follow any doctrine they desire: 4GW, Global Guerillaism, socialism, tribalism, terrorism, anarchism or capitalism. They may apply their leveraged knowledge in the manner that best suits their goals and aspirations. It makes sense that Super-Empowered Angry Men are most likely to choose the most violent and destructive doctrine within their means. I do not think the essential nature of Fifth Generation Warfare with its long-term planning horizon fits that description. For super-empowered individuals with a strategic mindset, 5GW may be an attractive doctrine and super-empowered individuals may prove to be 5GWs most effective practitioners

Questions? Comments? Additions? Correction? Disagree? Agree? What say you?


13 Responses

  1. Very nice wrap-up of the topic. My only comment is that Zenpundit’s definition of an SEI is closer to that of Thomas L. Friedman’s Super-Empowered Angry Men than super-empowered individual.

    An SEI (in the inclusive sense of both angry and not angry) should be defined as an individual who has the ability to perturb a system, but also has an equal ability to stregthen the system. Just like the heads and tails sides of a coin you can’t have one without the other, which is why my post on the subject was entitled ‘Flipping the Coin’.

  2. Ar, your right. I should have used your evolution of the SEI concept.

    The other reason I wrote this real quick was so that I would have the link when commenting/referencing the issue.

  3. When you come down to it, that focus on the negative aspect of super-empowerment is a big part of what is clouding the issue.

  4. A repost of a newsletter I received. Superempowered individuals can be expressed in many different ways. The olden style of the gentleman-warrior-philosopher, who always had a plan to kill everybody in a room at any particular moment, is just as valid, even if a quaint anachronistic in today’s effete and Western decadent culture.

    Combat Training Principles — Secrets For Staying Alive
    When ‘Rules’ Don’t Apply

    “Is It Necessary To Know How To Kill?”

    “Violence is not always the answer, but when it is the
    answer, it’s the ONLY answer”
    – Author Unknown


    NOTE: I realize the subject of this issue is highly
    controversial but urge you to read through this entire
    issue before forming an opinion. I will revisit this
    subject more in the future.


    Lets start with a couple of questions:

    1.) In this day and age, what could possibly be the
    reason to teach someone how to kill another
    human with his or her bare hands?

    2.) Do I actually advocate instructing clients in
    this very specific, lethal material?

    The answer to the first question is that there are
    MANY reasons why it is essential one get this lethal
    knowledge. The answer to the second question is: not
    only do I advocate teaching it, I ABSOLUTELY teach it
    to all my clients.

    So, what are my reasons for taking this very
    controversial position?

    First off, I’ve carefully laid out the principles
    behind the training I advocate for life-or-death
    situations. You have read in previous newsletters
    about the disastrous effects of training with rules
    against THE OTHER GUYS who don’t observe those same rules.

    It is very clear that using violence is appropriate in
    very few situations. To use violence for any reason
    other than hurting an other guy who would otherwise
    harm you is extremely risky.

    You see, with proper knowledge of the nervous system
    of the human body one can effectively attack any
    assailant, regardless of size, strength or athletic

    So it is inconceivable that one could train a client
    for self-protection yet ignore the subject of killing.
    If faced with a life-or-death struggle you need
    clear, concise information on how to systematically
    shut down the other guy’s central nervous system

    This is especially true for male-on-female violence,
    which females MUST treat as a lethal situation. Also
    any fighter facing a potentially lethal attack by a
    larger, stronger or faster other guy must be able to
    immediately shut down that other guy’s CNS.

    Still, very few instructors directly teach this
    knowledge. Why? It has been my experience few actually
    have the skill and expertise to do so. To hide this
    deficiency they state legal issues and spiritual
    reasons for not teaching such principles.

    Yet many of the techniques they show will directly
    result in potentially lethal outcomes — SOMETHING

    In fact, most clients go through training with no
    clear knowledge of which strikes and techniques ARE
    lethal and what the impact is on the human body from
    these blows and manipulations.

    I find it far more dangerous not to know how to kill
    when you consider the flip side of that knowledge is
    the fact that any time you put your hands on another
    human being to inflict violence you have no idea
    whatsoever how that person will respond to the blow.

    A person built like Arnold Schwarzenegger may have a
    bad heart and your punch to the solar plexus to ‘teach
    him a lesson’ may, in fact, kill him. That is why I
    stress the difference between EGO THREAT situations
    and LIFE-OR-DEATH THREAT situations.

    You probably heard about the ‘Hockey Dad’ trial in
    Massachusetts. A man ended up going to jail
    for manslaughter over an argument with his son’s
    hockey coach. By all accounts the smaller coach was a
    real jerk and made the kids do some useless and
    dangerous training on the ice.

    This ‘Hockey Dad’ voiced his concern and the verbal
    exchange led to a fight. ‘Hockey Dad’ ended up killing
    the smaller coach by repeated blows to the head.

    It was not intentional, both were wrong. But the one
    common factor here was this: neither had any idea of
    the effects of those strikes upon the other! Both
    families lost their dads that day — one was killed,
    the other is in jail.

    It is my goal with a client to give you ALL the lethal
    knowledge necessary so you can make the decision on
    whether or not it is worth the potential legal hassles
    to fight over an EGO THREAT or to instantly be able to
    destroy the other guy’s CNS in a LIFE-OR-DEATH THREAT.

    I can’t tell you how many testimonials I get from
    clients who have easily avoided the ‘Hockey Dad’
    scenarios by having the clear knowledge of the
    appropriate use of violence. I value those
    testimonials as highly as the ones received from those
    who used the very same knowledge to save their lives
    in a life-or-death scenario.

    Truly knowing how to kill another human places total
    responsibility on the trained individual, makes you a
    far better citizen and, in my experience, far less
    likely to use violence as an answer to any situation
    that is not life threatening.

    Until next time,

    Tim Larkin
    Creator of Target-Focus(TM) Training

  5. That is interesting ymarsakar. I take away two very important lessons from it than can be directly tied to Super-empowerment.

    1) Applied knowledge is the essssential element of true super-empowerment.

    2) Knowing you are super-empowered does not necessarily go along with having the knowledge that super-empowers you. It is the ability to effectively apply your knowledge that is truly super-empowering.

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  8. From :


    “11. Cannoneer No. 4:

    Y’all remember the youtube video of the dying Iranian girl, Neda?

    Iranian Civilian Irregular Combat Camera captured that footage.

    American Civilian Irregular Combat Cameramen James O’Keefe and Hannah Giles just demonstrated what 5GW Super Empowered Individuals can do with self-financed, privately-owned Commercial Off The Shelf gear, imagination and guts.”

  9. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Zaq Mosher, Zaq Mosher and IFF Praxis, Jana Steingass. Jana Steingass said: RT @wwjimd: Fifth Generation Warfare and #SuperEmpowered Individuals: #5gw #Jan25 #warfare […]

  10. […] Briefly: Fifth Generation Warfare and Super-Empowered Individuals « PurpleSlog – Breathing My Nam… interesting collection of definitions here.. (tags: 5gw super-empowered) […]

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