The Battle for the Internet that has been waged between the System and National Socialism is often conceptualized in terms of a battle between ‘free speech’ and ‘totalitarianism’. Reducing such an apocalyptic online battle to simple political abstracts such as ‘free speech’ and ‘totalitarianism’ has long seemed faintly ridiculous to me.
This is in large part because the System has long cherished the proverbial fig leaf of ‘democracy’ and sees itself as the ‘democratic will of the majority’ or at least as ‘serving the majority’, while the online foot soldiers of National Socialism see themselves as the political vanguard and the first wave of an awoken and enraged national consciousness.
Yet the System operates in a disjointed and largely knee jerk fashion in a self-defeating game of eternal whack-a-mole (or whack-a-nazi if you will) using its vastly superior power. The online foot soldiers of National Socialism by contrast operate in a highly organized and planned fashion – there are exceptions such as when someone influenced by the political struggle online maps that struggle onto the real world by ‘Embracing Infamy’ and performing a lone wolf berserker attack (similar to how serial rape is conceptualized as a berserker evolutionary strategy by Glenn Wilson in ‘The Great Sex Divide’) – but yet unlike the System they have no formal or even informal command structure or hierarchy.
How are we to solve this apparent contradiction in terms?
Louis Rosenberg’s recent work on the concept of ‘Human Swarming’ in relation to collective intelligence provides us with an adroit solution by explaining that:
‘For convenience I use the word “swarm” to refer to cohesive groupings of individual members, all working together as a unified dynamic system, their collective behavior tightly coordinated by real-time feedback loops. Unlike discordant groups (i.e. crowds), swarms behave as unique entities, operating as a coherent unit that displays emergent intelligence, even emergent personality.’ (1)
He gets more specific in 2015 paper when he explains that:
‘There is a growing need for new online platforms that facilitate collective intelligence and support collaborative decision-making without employing traditional asynchronous polling.
Even among small social groups, collaborators rarely congregate in the same place at the same time, decisions often being made via email and text. For larger groups, discussion forums are commonly used for distributed online decisions, with conclusions based on asynchronous user inputs such as “likes” and “up-votes”.’ (2)
In other words; the two central social spaces used by the online foot soldiers of National Socialism – i.e. 4 Chan and 8 Chan – directly facilitate ‘collective intelligence and support collaborative decision-making’ by ensuring that there is no ability to ‘brigade’ comments via up and down voting or use ‘personal influence/reputation’ (aka name-fagging).
All that works on these imageboards is what is in front of you and the quality of your arguments, sourcing and memetic presentation. This means that in practical terms 4 Chan and 8 Chan have become hubs of collective decision-making that is tightly coordinated by real-time feedback loops such as news feeds and responses/reactions/trophies during raids that in turn allows the ‘Nazi Swarm’ so-to-speak to develop both emergent intelligence – demonstrated in how the Anons on the Chans work closely together to work out how to successfully dox opponents without even knowing or caring who they are working with and thus are just part of the proverbial ‘Nazi Swarm’ – and its own personality. This is demonstrated by the extreme suspiciousness and borderline paranoia often demonstrated on threads on 4 Chan and 8 Chan towards ‘infiltrators’ and coordinated attempts to ‘influence’ the emergent collective intelligence.
The ‘Nazi Swarm’ is not the result of good propaganda or ‘brain washing’ either as Rosenberg explains:
‘In this way, each participant in a swarm is not expressing a singular view, but is continually assessing his own personal conviction across the range of possible options, weighing his confidence and preference in real-time. With all participants doing this in synchrony, the swarm quickly converges on solutions that seem to maximize the collective confidence and preference of the full group. We believe this is why swarms are able so efficiently capture the group’s wisdom.’ (3)
In other words; the emergent collective intelligence seen on 4 Chan and 8 Chan is in essence a form of biological supercomputer that combines a vast amount of brain power, experience and different ability sets within the greater whole of Chan and as such begins to investigate the world around it.
4 Chan and 8 Chan have quickly disregarded such pedestrian ‘ideologies’ as Conservatism, Liberalism and Marxism because they employ a lot of magical thinking and aren’t very logical from any view other than their partisans. National Socialism by contrast is heavily rooted within the scientific method itself and is also validated by the conclusions of science and observable reality.
Therefore it is of little surprise that the ‘Human Swarms’ of 4 Chan and 8 Chan are actually ‘Nazi Swarms’ and use their superior collective intelligence to ‘consistently perform better than even the most skilled individuals in each group.’ (4)
Thus when we see 4 Chan and 8 Chan successfully play ‘Capture the Flag’ with the jewish actor Shia Labeouf. We see both the power of the emergent collective intelligence and the ‘persecuting society’ mentality (5) of the ‘Human Swarm’ of National Socialism’s digital foot soldiers as they hunt jews through the streets of their own digital ghettos.
- Louis Rosenberg, 2015, ‘Human Swarms, a real-time method for collective intelligence’, Proceedings of the European Conference on Artificial Life 2015, p. 658
- Ibid, p. 659
- https://www.singularityweblog.com/human-swarming-and-the-future-of-collective-intelligence/; also see Rosenberg, 2015, ‘Human Swarms’, Op. Cit., pp. 658-659
- Cf. Robert Moore, 1987, ‘The Formation of a Persecuting Society: Power and Deviance in Western Europe, 950-1250’, 1st Edition, Blackwells: Oxford