The hidden hierarchy of far-right digital guerrilla warfare

The polarizing tendency of politically leaned social media is usually claimed to be spontaneous, or a by-product of underlying platform algorithms. This contribution revisits both claims by articulating the digital world of social media and rules derived from capitalist accumulation in the post-Fordist age, from a transdisciplinary perspective articulating the human and exact sciences. Behind claims of individual freedom, there is a rigid pyramidal hierarchy of power heavily using military techniques developed in the late years of the cold war, namely Russia Reflexive Control and the Boyd’s decision cycle in the USA. This hierarchy is not the old-style “command-and-control” from Fordist times, but an “emergent” one, whereby individual agents respond to informational stimuli, coordinated to move as a swarm. Such a post-Fordist organizational structure resembles guerrilla warfare. In this new world, it is the far right who plays the revolutionaries by deploying avant-garde guerrilla methods, while the so-called left paradoxically appears as conservatives defending the existing structure of exploitation. Although the tactical goal is unclear, the strategic objective of far-right guerrillas is to hold on to power and benefit particular groups to accumulate more capital. We draw examples from the Brazilian far right to support our claims.

Tags: digital guerrilla warfare, Extreme Right, Social Media