The Free Speech Faction of the Alt Right

The Free Speech Faction is the first group that draws most people into the Alt Right. They are advocates for free speech and against censorship in all forms. They are the people who will get up in arms whenever they feel that people are being unfairly treated for their views — any views, even the ones that are objectively horrible. This is the faction of “I may disagree with what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.”

One group that I saw that attended the event was a group saying they were part of the Patriot movement. Besides the video I am unaware of them, and by the looks of them, they looked like a bunch of bikers, but what they said was interesting. They said they didn’t agree with the racism or the BLM or the Antifa, but they were there to fight for Free Speech, and nothing else. I was unaware of such a group and particularly unaware of it in the biker community, but they said they traveled very far for the protest, and did not communicate about them an heir of prejudicial behavior. They communicated a sentiment I am familiar with of many people I know from the South, that they did not support racism, but were against the silencing of history and were fighting for its protection.

This faction, including but not limited to those calling themselves the Patriot Movement is important to understand because they are still on the outer edges of the Alt Right, may not identify as Alt Right, and may not know that the community they are a part of is Alt Right. They just hear “Free Speech” and are like, “Yeah, I’m down with that.” It is something most of us might do, having no other sources of information. The problem is that once they enter that community, cross pollination seeds them with the ideas more central to the circle, which can get pretty nasty.

The Alt Right Dissected

My ultimate goal in writing this is to make people aware of the Alt Right as more than just the White Nationalists. There are many such individuals, but what I want is for common knowledge to exist about them so that the rest of us can parse the Alt Right, find common ground with the parts that most of us can agree with, reintegrate those factions back into mainstream political discussions, and eventually isolate out the White Nationalist factions, leaving them to wither on the vine absent a future source to recruit members and support from. I’m not Alt Right, but what I see in them is a very large and diverse group with some factions having valid arguments, and a very small group with radically terrible ideas. I’m concerned the overgeneralization of them, however, is playing into the hands of their worst elements in an effort to fundamentalize the entire movement. This is an identical process that I have communicated before with such radicalizing groups, and I see the trend as dangerous and damaging to the future of our country if we don’t make the right choices now in defeating it. Part of that process is information. For that reason, this answer will primarily be about communicating the views of the different factions within the Alt Right as best I can decipher. Parts will be uncomfortable to read, but know that they were equally difficult to research and write, in fact more so.

Let’s begin by examining the following image, because it pretty much explains everything you need to know about the Alt Right. It’s messy, it’s confusing, it’s convoluted, it’s weird, and there are parts that scare us into thinking everything else in it is terrible. But the lines within it are important. This is the best way I could break up the competing ideologies in the Alt Right, not to be representative of the relative sizes of each ideology, but of the ideologies that make them up.

General Commonalities — Disestablishmentarianism and Populism

The only thing I’ve found that seems common to all of the Alt Right is evident in the name. First, while they have a general resentment of the Left and its specific policies, the alternative Right was formed in response to what it viewed as “establishment” Right’s inability to act in what many of the Alt Right believed to be their interests or act in accordance with their stated principles. Which principles take priority differs from one group to another, but in general, they view the establishment as compromising too many of their principles in regard to either placating the Left or to big business interests as a requirement of playing the game.

Many were driven to the Alt Right as a result of the Presidency of George W. Bush, as they believed that the Neoconservative agenda was one that sought too many accommodations with the Democrats and shifted the country Leftward, while also entangling the world in what they viewed as unnecessary wars without focusing on the needs of the American culture. The Presidency of Barack Obama also saw numerous social changes that many in the Alt Right felt were direct attacks on their culture or their way of life.

For this reason, while still vehemently disagreeing with the Left, they disagreed with the way in which the Right represented itself, thereby in their mind necessitating a break from the “old” Right or Establishment Right. Seeing little chance to see real reforms done by the establishment Right, they joined the alternative one. In this thinking, they share a major vein with many who view the modern establishment Republicans, as well as Establishment Democrats, to be unable to practice the values of their constituencies, but instead have sold out to corporatist mentalities and a desire to appease uncompromising political enemies.

The general lack of confidence in the cultural cliques of government is a sentiment many are finding agreement with. It’s known historically as “Disestablishmentarianism” and has become a trend common in both the Right and Left, giving rise to the popular movements of today. Donald Trump was viewed as a completely foreign element to “the Establishment”, and in fact, the complete resentment he received from them, was an element he capitalized on in his bid for the Presidency, and continues to do so. Many people gravitate to his populist message in the belief that he will somehow be able to break-up the culture of government in Washington and “return power to the people.” They believe that by “Draining the Swamp” they will restore the Right to some ideal it has lost, and thereby dealing a major defeat against the Left.

The resentment of both Left leaning ideology and the “Established” Right, seem to be the only thing I see most of the Alt Right having in common. Beyond that they break up in many different ideologic sets, many competing ideologies, and a few that are mutually inconsistent with each other and which will be unable to exist together for long.

History of the Alt Right

Around 2008 the term “Alt Right” starting coming into use by a few extremists disaffected with Right wing and Conservative values. It was short for alternative Right meaning still against contradictory to Left wing beliefs, but not in line with Conservative values and “Establishment” Republicans. Most notable of these is Richard Spencer, a noted White Nationalist who founded the site Altright(dot)com. He communicates that he was led to joining a burgeoning revolutionary movement by his dismissal of Conservative values and the manner in which Republicans failed to live up to their mandate to protect “the culture”. He said this in a 2014 video describing what he believed the Alt Right to be. Around the timeframe of 2010 the Alt Right was really just a collection of various groups with the central theme of White Nationalism.

A number of years later, sensing this to be a failing strategy, the Alt Right collectively attempted to rebrand itself as a White Identity group, arguing that if identity politics rather than ideology was to be the direction of the nation, that if forming alliances based specifically on race, gender, sexuality and so on was what was needed to defend themselves, then whites needed identity advocacy, as well. This began the process of mainstreaming the movement.

Following this, there was a new wave of young, energetic, articulate speakers countering the Left and what is called SJW or Social Justice Warrior mentalities. This included criticisms based on the merits and necessity for free speech in society against advocacy for things like Safe Space, Trigger Warnings, but more broadly the inclusion of speech codes in college campuses and disinviting Conservative speakers on the premise of being hate mongers. This included names like Ben Shapiro, Steven Crowder, and even feminist Democrats such as Christina Hoff Sommers. Online, the growth of a “skeptic” community formed which questioned everything through analytic research and the dismantling of rhetorical devices instead of arguments. Examples of this would be the UK’s Carl Benjamin (Sargon of Akkad) and Paul Joseph Watson. They found a great deal wrong with some of the rhetoric of the Left and made it popularly available to the public. Many of these began referring to themselves as Classical Liberals, not fully embracing philosophical Conservatism, but completely disaffected with the Left. This new batch of young, articulate, intellectual right wing voices created a major groundswell in right wing pushback to the the Left.

The Alt Right capitalised on this groundswell by again attempting to broaden their definition to reach many of these groups. By doing so, they brought in many who felt that if they liked any of the people mentioned, they were Alt Right. If they hated the SJW culture, but weren’t all that happy with the Republicans or the “Establishment” Right, then you were Alt Right. If you hate speech codes or banning speakers because you feel we need Free Speech, you’re Alt Right. If you feel that the Left’s attacks on Western Culture are baseless because the world looks pretty good according to history, then you’re Alt Right. If you hate people countering arguments with baseless ad hominem attacks that people are simply racist or sexist, you’re Alt Right. If you like funny memes — you’re Alt Right. So many things were suddenly alternative Right — the cool Right.

So the term became so broad that people who were decent and benign fell into a lot of the groups associated with the Alt Right. This actually did have the effect of watering it down for a while. It brought together a lot of people who had never been able to interact and openly share their views because there had been such a long campaign of gaslighting such people into feelings that they were terrible people, driving them to isolation. The Alt Right used this to cross pollinate the new groups with radicalized ideologies and recruit into the core. They still do. The fact that it was so obscure and nebulous for so long played to this mentality.

Troll behavior was also common, whereby users in mostly anonymous forums are capable of saying things without consequences. This drives people to saying the most obscene things they can imagine for a game of trying to make others angry. Most know that these trolls don’t really care about anything they say. They are just out to get a desired response for the joy of manipulation. Many people learned to ignore the trolls, but in doing so became unaware of the many who weren’t just trolls, but actively seeking to find others who supported their hate speech in an atmosphere where saying such vitriol was unable to be policed.

Just as much was the fact that many came in from a sensation of resentment for being called racists, sexists, and such, that they developed a callous to calling things racist when it appeared they were. This also played to the Alt Right, in that many of the subtle suggestions were unchecked because these people who were unfairly judged as racist in the past were attempting to be open because of their unfair previous experiences. They wanted people to have open minds when dealing with their views, so they attempted to have open minds with others. When these people, however, were forced to have conversations outside of public forums because their views were not politically correct, it forced them into rooms with others whose views were legitimately hateful and had been relegated to these spheres for good reason. In these environments where jaded but decent people forced themselves to have open minds were forced to interact with extremists, leading many down a dark path towards rationalities of White Nationalism in the core of the movement.

Likewise, the White Nationalists were evolving in this new environment. Beyond the traditional arguments of White Nationalism and supremacy dating back hundreds of years, new groups provided revolutionary ideas almost out of accident. A group known as the Neoreactionaries evolved from a forum in what seems to be a benign website about discussing human rationality. They tried to employ a methodology to thinking and reason as if they were machines, devoid of emotion, empathy, or attachment to the subject of discussion. The mission was to use cognitive science to somehow transcend bias. What they came up with, though, were radical polemic arguments to most of the basis of human society. This included questioning the premises of democracy, egalitarianism, and continuing on to say that there was no basis behind the concept of equality under God and many other political philosophies necessary to the creation of a moral society.

The Alt Right core took this new way of thinking to evolve and rationalize arguments against the equality of other humans (a return to Eugenics) and using the arguments of history to show various cultures who haven’t had success like Western culture as being due not just to the inclusion of philosophies that don’t drive to success and prosperity, but also due to an inferiority of the races that constitute those cultures. This led to a radical political and moral philosophy within the core that radically rejects most of the basic principles of western civilization, while advocating outwardly for the need of its preservation and the race that created it. As yet, that core was still so isolated from the rapidly expanding fringe groups, this evolution was poorly understood by anyone.

That said, the comparisons to the Nazis or the KKK are inappropriate. It isn’t that they are inappropriate because they are mean, but because this is a new political ideology in its early phases we haven’t seen. Yes, in the Alt Right core there are Nazis, KKK, and all manner of such present, but what we are seeing is radically new, and if we dismiss that aspect, we won’t notice it’s resurgence elsewhere. Note, this is also bad, a terrible ideology, but different from Nazis or the KKK ideologically.

It was around mid to late 2016 that these mentalities became better understood by a majority of those who were starting to identify with the Alt Right fringe groups, which now constituted a majority of the movement. Many of those falling under their umbrella of Alt Right began to make it known that they no longer wanted to be associated with the brand and broke off forming the New Right. This groups is still pretty radical in their rejection of the modern political establishment, while accepting the basic premises of the way the government works. They are also defenders of Western Civilization, it’s ideals, and institutions and many support advocacy for various counter identity groups — such as advocacy for whites, men’s rights groups, and Christians, while rejecting arguments for white supremacy or nationalism.

Currently, the Alt Right is in a phase where the obscurity about them is diminishing. People are becoming more aware of their history and how they came to be networked together. But at the same time, people aren’t. People are seeing more information about the core come out, not realizing that most people who casually associated with them, vastly outnumber that group at that core. The problem with this is that the media and individuals are attacking “The Alt Right” as the same sort of racist bigots that drove many there in the first place. When 90% of the people who identify as a thing don’t fit the description of the stereotype, and are still unaware of the 10% who do, they become alienated, angered and fall closer to the support of the people who don’t call them names… the actual Alt Right. Again, this core group knows this and uses this ideology to create rifts between its fringe members and the outer society, drawing them in closer to the core. This process is fundamentalization and is outwardly identical to what we see with fundamentalized Left wing or fundamentalized Islamic radicals.

This is unfortunate, because I could myself falling into this trap if I had run into slightly different sources a few years ago. I became a big fan of Ben Shapiro, who is an outspoken in his condemnation towards the Alt Right while communicating that people who still don’t know think that because of the attributes I described before — young, smart, articulate, in your face and very much against Left wing culture, that made you Alt Right. I’m really glad I went that way, rather than become more of a fan of personalities like Milo Yiannopoulos, who I enjoyed for a while for his analytics and in your face polemics of the Left, but because of more information I’ve recently gained since then, I’ve been forced to change my views on him. I’m very glad, because I could see many like me falling into the trap, not to supporting the White Nationalism, but to looking the other way or living in denial about what the Alt Right is at it’s core. I could see doing this because I would be one of the many on the fringes trying desperately to make the conversation about the values of Free Speech and the values of Western Civilization’s institutions and ideals.

So that’s a lot of why I wrote this series — Understanding and Dismantling the Alt Right — because I know there are many still in that ring of the circle. They are not hateful, but have been jaded by unfair experiences. They have good and decent ideas that they haven’t felt free to communicate outside for fear of being shouted down by a Left that, to them, has shown anything but its open and tolerant side. I’d like to be able to reach them and pull them away from a fundamentalist trap before the core philosophies of the Alt Right make their way into turning someone who was otherwise a fine person. It’s my opinion that there are still many, many people who would fit that description today, but I think that in the next three years, that won’t be the case. Fundamentalization happens fast, and while I think that many will shed their ties with the Alt Right, many decent people today who don’t see it as a hateful organization will be radicalized in that time. I believe that whoever is still in the Alt Right three years from now, if nothing more is done to stop it, will be radicalized into whatever their ideology truly is. At that point, depending on their size and how much influence they’ve maintained, they could be a very dangerous group. I want to ensure that they don’t get that influence by breaking off the groups that don’t want to head down that road and instead, be included in the modern political discussions and policy making platforms of today.

The Alt Right will still be around, but I want to keep it a group isolated and without the resources it needs to grow and affect change outside of its spheres of influence. My belief is that that can be done with outreach and education ourselves about both Alt Right as well as Left wing fanatics. By doing that, I think we can turn the direction of instability in the country from one of escalating violence and less understanding.

Understanding and Dismantling the Alt-Right

The Charlottesville Clashes of last month have inspired me to take the chance to do something I’ve had a mind to do for a while. I want to have an honest conversation about the Alt-Right.

I’ve held off because until recently I’ve known very little about them. I’m not a member and am not part of their information sharing networks. After some initial exploration to find out what they were about, I moved on to other sources. I really don’t like speaking on matters I know I don’t understand, so I left it at that. But this is an issue that is affecting the way people view and interact with the Right, the actual Right, so I felt it deserved my time to research. I’ve put a lot of research into what drives them, what their different factions represent, and most importantly, which factions the rest of us can reach common ground with and which factions need to be isolated and stamped out.

There is good and bad in there, but to dismiss everything, like with all other movements, is to invite greater hostility. It’s my belief that the current way we handle the alt-right, to label them all as racists and bigots, is working to empower them. Followers of my blog know that that sort of mentality is the kind of thing that enrages people, particularly those who haven’t deserved it. It builds chasms between people who could find a lot of common ground and pushes people towards radicalism — because the radicals don’t call them names.

“They say you’re a racist, huh? They said I was too.”

I had this same sympathy for the Alt-Right maybe a year or so ago. I got curious because I believed that most of the hysterical reporting was probably not true, as with so many other things. On the surface, they didn’t live up to the hype. That initial inspection, absent what hysteria and accusations puts you in touch with a lot of their surface ideas that many people would agree with. For example, they are strong advocates of free speech and fighting corruption in Washington, which I think most people can agree with.

I’ve heard that called “Alt-Lite” because eventually you get much deeper. At some point you come to the realization I did.

“Oh s***! These guys really are racists!”

Most of us high-tail it out at that point. I’m glad I realized this early on. I redirected to better sources, Ben Shapiro, Thomas Sowell, Dinesh D’Souza, as well as older philosophers in the Conservative field. That correction, led me into a deeper understanding of Conservatism and how the traditional Right is so much different than the alternative one, specifically the racist tones of it.

But now the alt-right is center stage, and it is my belief that the way the media portrays them, is driving more to their membership as well as helping to fantasize their core. There is a lot of misinformation that comes out after events such as Charlottesville. The story the media describes is often biased and one-sided, which is a problem because in an information rich age we live in, the other side is going to come out. When people feel they’ve been lied to, that information is being withheld, they sympathize and want to know more directly from the source.

Through this self investigation, they are introduced to the outward aspects that many can agree with— the “Alt Lite”. They find they have common ground and that the news reports must have been lying. The Alt-Right is a diverse group, with many powerful thinkers able to articulate their views. They become sympathizers. Many groups within are benign, but through cross pollination with other groups, before long, they fall closer to the core and into the hardline beliefs of the Alt Right’s more dangerous elements. The few that reach the center start adopting irrational and dangerous practices and stop hearing the views of others. This process is identical to the fundamentalization I’ve described in both the far-Left and with radical Islamic fundamentalists. Call them extremists if you like, but fundamentalism knows no religion or ideology, but is a process of converting minds and ideologies to hateful degrees.

The way we inoculate ourselves from fundamentalism is through the sharing of knowledge about them. That’s real knowledge and not more fear and hatred. It’s my belief that many who are beginning the path by growing curious about the alt-right can be turned and be better citizens by finding common ground with better ideas, like Conservatism, which I proudly stand for. What won’t work is broadly shaming them, as I’ve described already. The truth is that the Alt-Right is still a loose group of many competing ideas, even so much to the point that within them rages a civil war for the future of the Alt-Right. But painting them all as every kind of evil only serves to strengthen their common bonds and pushes more potential members to them.

The thing is, they know this. The extremists in the Alt-Right know what they are doing. They are professional provocateurs who use public outrage to their advantage. They chose Charlottesville, and protested in a very particularly way because they knew what they were doing. They trolled everyone. They use events like this week to recruit more members. Events like Charlottesville were good for the hardline alt-right, particularly when other parts of their story start reaching out which go against many of the narratives of the popular media. The violence wasn’t one-sided and that simple fact will make many people curious about them and skeptical of where they get their information. Make no mistake, I’m not a supporter of the Alt-Right, but they will grow from this because the information coming out about Charlottesville is simply missing a lot of key details.

So I want to do something very different. I want to try to surface what I think represents a good picture of what the alt-Right really is. I want to dismantle its ideologies and empower people to recognize them, debate with those who might be influenced by them, and recruit them away before they fall into the Alt-Right trap. Many on the fringes need to be brought back into the political fabric of the United States.

Like so many have said, we can’t paint with wide brushes, and “The Alt-Right” can’t become the new buzzword for “Evil people we disagree with.” That’s only going to help them radicalize more. I’m a firm believer that what lives in the dark dies in the light, so I would like to take the next week to apply my methodology to bringing light to what the alt-right actually is to help others fight it.

I hope to change the narrative to one of understanding so that people like me, the rational debaters, can do more than scream and throw rocks, as people like that only serve to empower those who wish to remain in the dark.

Google Employees Blacklisting Conservative Peers

Image result for Goolag

The context of this is an Inc article which states that Google is not specifically blacklisting conservatives as much as there are a documented number of Google employees and managers who are internally blacklisting fellow employees from working as part of teams with them.

From the article Google’s Other Ugly Secret: Some Managers Keep Blacklists

… An unknown number of Google managers maintain blacklists of fellow employees, evidently refusing to work with those people. The blacklists are based on personal experiences of others’ behavior, including views expressed on politics, social justice issues, and Google’s diversity efforts.

Inc. reviewed screenshots documenting several managers attesting to this practice, both in the past and currently, explicitly using the term “blacklist.”

It also states, to reiterate, that this isn’t condoned by Google officially.

A Google spokesperson told Inc. that the practice of keeping blacklists is not condoned by upper management, and that Google employees who discriminate against members of protected classes will be terminated. It’s not clear whether that principle applies in Damore’s case. Although political affiliation is a protected class according to California labor law, the views expressed in the manifesto and echoed by others who oppose political correctness do not seem to merit legal protection.

That should be enough information to place this in a proper frame of reference, as the question itself is a little misleading.

The question with what most of the Right usually thinks comes down to whether or not we agree that a business has a right to do whatever it wants. I would fall into that camp, however, I believe in the law that is already set forth and that companies have an obligation to follow that law. California law treats political affiliation as a protected class, therefore, being that we’re now seeing employees fired for “views that are inconsistent with the mainstream”, as the article puts it, then we are dealing with a question of if Google need to rethink its internal positions before it starts suffering some major legal problems. We also need to contend with the fact that Google itself isn’t the one acting in a partisan discriminatory manner by refusing to hire based on partisan lines, but rather, it’s employees coordinating internally to discriminate other employees by way of denying them access to projects or future promotion opportunities.

So I have to ask where the line is. The law is the law, and while most Conservatives or Libertarians might argue whether a law should exist, they agree that a law that is in the books is to be honored. This is especially true of the Conservatives as a major vein of Conservatism is respect for the law as without it, society descends into anarchy. The question comes in whether the employees have crossed the line in blacklisting people for holding Conservative views and more so than this, if Google itself is to be held as complicit with this discrimination on grounds of being unresponsive to the continued behavior of their employees to systematically limit the potential of its employees who have dissenting opinions.

As far as what do Conservatives think, obviously it sucks. There is a growing body of evidence that Silicon Valley culture has an intolerance to anything which fails to fall in-line with it’s Progressive Technocratic culture. While rarely do we see explicit intolerance stated by the companies, we do see numerous times where individual employees or even teams have the ability to exercise their intolerance over crucial elements of various products, such as manipulating Google’s pagerank, the Facebook feed, or Twitter’s trending topics. Given the overwhelming power these companies have over daily life, and the dominance of what appears to be a monocultural atmosphere with expressed amity with the rest of the country, I’m wondering if the tech bubble is going to burst when words like “anti-trust” start being raised more seriously. Companies who don’t take this form of expressed ideological intolerance seriously, such as Google with their blacklists, may see a day where they meet the fate of companies like Standard Oil.

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Uncertain Future – Part XV – The Black Swan

The last leg of this answer to, “What are the biggest ways in which the world 20 years from now will probably be different from today?” is the Black Swan.

Black Swan events, as defined by the guy who proposed their theory are thus:

  1. The disproportionate role of high-profile, hard-to-predict, and rare events that are beyond the realm of normal expectations in history, science, finance, and technology.
  2. The non-computability of the probability of the consequential rare events using scientific methods (owing to the very nature of small probabilities).
  3. The psychological biases that blind people, both individually and collectively, to uncertainty and to a rare event’s massive role in historical affairs.

This is the stuff no one saw coming that will, more or less, invalidate every prediction we have had so far. They are the agents of chaos, and the disorder in ordered states. They are events which cannot be predicted with ease, never predicted together, and barely explained even in hindsight, but which have monumental effects on the hereafter. They are the surprises God throws at us that both level and unlevel the playing fields as industries rise up out of nowhere, nations fall into memory, and cities crumble as the earth shakes. Consider technology, the surprise we all see coming, but no one guesses quite right. Technology is still growing at an exponential pace. Every day it continues to change the way we live, the way we communicate, and how we conduct business. The rise of social media, perhaps the most unexpected event of the last ten years, and the rise of cellular communications in general over the last twenty certainly fits the ticket. Unfortunately, as technology has become a tool which has empowered literally billions of people into a better, more enlightened and more productive life, so too has it empowered millions of others to pursue their own interests at the detriment of everyone else. Twitter, something that was only founded exactly 10 years to this month helped spur revolution in states like Libya and Syria. Of course, now it also serves as a recruiting tool for Islamic State radicals. Drones, the weapons that were only in their infancy during my first deployment to Iraq, are now toys for children and delivery tools for Amazon. Of course, they too have a dark side which many, many already fear.

For that reason, from Swarm of Things to Human Augmentation, Crowd-sourcing to Autonomous vehicles, 3D Printing to Genetic Engineering, the brave new world we are all ready to embrace will empower those of ill-aims so greatly that only an equally aggressive improvement in the means by which we secure our safety, both bodily and the information about us, will ensure the dream of tomorrow the builder’s of this technology wish to provide today.

Beyond technology, Black Swans are the wills of billions of people; competing, converging, colliding. Nearly all you will never meet, but a few of which, will shape your future.

A Black Swan is former fighter of the Soviet Union, setting his sights on his former ally. [83]

Black Swans are are planes filled with people crashing into buildings on a clear day in September, and from the visceral reaction, war in two nations erupts.

As those wars drug on, the Black Swan was an angry and deeply confused young Army private, with a desire to punish the world. He let slip the largest stockpile of military secrets in history. Some were secrets of the United States, but more importantly was what we had learned of everyone else.

In the aftermath, a Black Swan was a wave of democratic energy and revolution. Spurred by the leaks, and the revelations about their dictators, millions went to the streets demanding reform.

Amidst the cheering, the sounds of bullets rang out and three civil wars began.

In the void that arose, one of these saw the Blackest of Swans, a resurrected medieval empire of hate rising from the desert sands to engulf and overwhelm the Levant.

In the terror it brought millions set to flight, many overwhelming Europe.

And terror following them in.

Those of us alive in 1996 remember that time before the towers fell and not a single one could have predicted any of this. Then we lived in a world of plenty where we were all still cheering the fall of the last evil empire which crumbled when its reach was greater than its capabilities. We were building relationships and the world was going closer together. “They were simpler times,” is something old ones always say of when they were young, but looking back to the last two decades, do we not all feel old now? Who, in their most honest self could have predicted any of the events of chaos which bears fruit only to more chaos like it? Who standing back before would have suspected a future like we have seen in his next 20 years?

What we can be sure of is that not everything will turn out as we hope. Change will come, but not like we expect. We can’t turn away from it. It’s coming whether we like it or not. And as soon as think we have it all figured out, a black swan will swoop down to remind us how little foresight we had. This post isn’t meant to scare or to paint a dark cloud on the future because of a few of the nightmares that exist today. It is simply a reminder that the unexpected is a factor, and that running from it, or being afraid of it, we need to prepare for it. The best we can do is prepare. Learn the threats that exist today and prepare as best we can so that when change come, we… you, me, us, are able to embrace it. Only those who build their houses on solid rock will weather the coming storms or terror, hacking, disasters, cyberware, and the dark abyss of humanity behind a mask of anonymity and a jihadist’s mask. Don’t be afraid. I’m sure, exactly because of all the answers which existed to this question, that the world of tomorrow will be as a utopia to the one I live in today, but only if we are collectively prepared for the changes utopia brings along the way. That’s why, above all else, those who look to their own security, their adaptability, and their capacity to embrace change and endure disruption… they will be the x factor in the next 20 years.

Uncertain Future – Part X -Private Security Companies

Beyond the need for standard training, which will introduce a new vocabulary and the mindset to go with it, is traditional security, which is getting a remarkably untraditional makeover. Companies today are forming which are consolidating the need for security. Less and less often are you seeing security divisions within companies which are not in the business of providing security. Instead, the role of security guard for most companies is often filled by an agent of companies which specialize in the outsourcing of such skillsets. What this means for the future is that we won’t see the old mall cops drifting around on their segways, whose only real talents don’t actually center on tactics and prevention, but on finding a job where they are being paid to stand there.

Instead, these jobs are going to be going more and more to the larger security companies who specialize in the role. Soon, we will likely see a time where all private security for public places, such as malls, workplaces, and schools, all wear an inconspicuous similar uniform labeled with the same logo throughout. Instead of working directly for the companies that employ them, they will be contracted in, all centrally trained and networked with their other satellite offices and local police, all working under a centralized headquarters somewhere in the city, or perhaps across the globe. One such example is Sweden’s Securitas, a logo known throughout the West.

A recent article followed Securitas and the year it has had [53]. According to the Association for Financial Professionals, Securitas experienced “a sharp rise in profits for 2015 amid an increased threat of terrorism and the European migrant crisis.”

Net profit for the full-year rose by 18 percent to 2.44 billion kronor (258 million euros, $288 million), or eight percent excluding currency effects.

Sales climbed by 15 percent to 80.8 billion kronor.

In Europe, sales rose by eight percent to 37.5 billion for 2015 and by 11 percent in the fourth quarter, bolstered by the November 13 attacks in Paris and the arrival of hundreds of thousands of migrants in Europe.

The company earnings report cites the increased need for security services owed to terrorism alerts and the refugee situation has impacted organic sales growth in Western Europe, mostly in countries like France, Belgium, Germany and Sweden. They also reported a similar rise in Turkey, a country which has welcomed around two million Syrian refugees and saw numerous terrorist attacks within the last year. Securitas also saw a 24 percent increase in North American sales, as well.

Securitas isn’t alone, however. Spain’s Prosegur has a healthy share of the European public security market along with an American based security firm G4S. G4S started becoming more known for its role as the principal security provider for the 2012 London Summer Olympics, a significant role ever since the Munich massacre where eleven members of the Israeli Olympic team were killed. They have also been called by some the largest company you’ve never heard of [54], since they maintain the third largest corporate workforce of any company Earth (660,000 employees) and are considered (loosely) by some to be the largest private military that has ever existed. [55]

While training for you and me will be mandated behavior to attempt to control and mitigate threats, and very large, very structured private security companies will provide for the broader public to help prevent the dangers, another tier of security will create a phenomenon never before seen – the million dollar bodyguard.