Approximately five hundred years ago, the Spanish conquistadors arrived in the Americas. They had a long history as a conquering army serving a centrally controlled kingdom. When they encountered the Aztec empire, they followed their usual plan, and ended up killing the king, taking the gold, and destroying the empire. Roughly the same took place in their encounter with the Incas. The Spanish destroyed each of these stable empires with a few years.
As they moved northward, the conquistadors encountered the Apaches. Utilizing their normal plan, they attempted to find the leader, take the gold and destroy the empire. But in over two hundred years, the conquistadors were unable to destroy the Apaches or take over their territory. In fact, though they had no desire to actually do so, the Apaches wrested control of all of northern Mexico from the conquistadors.
So how did they survive, and even thrive when more sophisticated and powerful empires before them had fallen so quickly? The answer is surprising; the Apaches survived because they were decentralized. They distributed political power and control at the local level. They had no supreme leader who could be executed by the conquistadors, and no central power structure to destabilize. While centralized organizations are easy to understand, attack and destroy, this is not so with decentralized organizations.
Unlike the Aztecs and the Incas who organized themselves in a centralized governing structure, Apache warriors followed whomever they wanted. They were "led" by Nant'ans, spiritual and cultural leaders who led only by example and had no actual authority or coercive power. Members of a tribe followed a Nant'an because they wanted to, not because they had to. Not understanding this structure, the conquistadors would find the Nant'ans and kill them. But the remaining warriors just split into groups with new Nant'ans. Each time the Spanish captured or killed a leader, they found that there were ten more that became leaders.
In our society, we have a full understanding of centralized power structures (think of the hierarchy of political parties). But decentralized systems are much harder to understand, and thus to attack. In a decentralized organization, there's no clear leader, no hierarchy and no headquarters. As Brofman and Beckstrom say in their book, the Starfish and the Spider, "If and when a leader does emerge, that person has little power over others. The best that person can do to influence people is to lead by example." This has been referred to as an "open" system. And while it might sound like anarchy, it's not. Within such systems there are often accepted rules and norms, but they aren't enforced by any one person. Instead, the real power is distributed among all the people and across all geographic regions.
Flexibility, shared power, geographic diversity and all the other traits of a decentralized organization made the Apaches immune to attacks that would have destroyed a centralized society. When a coercive system based on centralized power takes on an open system, the coercive system cannot deal with the infinitely adaptable structure of an open system. Not only did the attacks by the conquistadors not destroy the Apaches, it made them stronger and even more decentralized. They were able to attack back from ever more diverse locations, and with an ever growing and diverse leadership.
Today, the Tea Party Patriots are the modern day Apaches. While people on the left and the right attack the organization and the movement in general as "splintering" and in need of more nationally visible leaders, centralization, unity and a cohesive strategy, instead, those who understand the movement grow and lead like Apaches. While the political establishment exists in coercive world of top down, party politics, the Tea Party Patriots are an open system; decentralized, geographically diverse, and without a single party leader.
As Tea Party Patriots, we understand the nature of coercive, centralized power structures such as the government or the political parties. We understand their vulnerabilities and how to bring them to heel to the will of the American people. By "we," I mean the millions of Nant'ans leading the movement across the nation. In every city across the nation they have naturally risen, leading by example, with no authority other than that example. And despite our opposition's increasingly desperate public pronouncements that we are "splintered," ineffective or worse, we grow more powerful each day in our quest to return this nation to its rightful owners, the individual citizens of the United States of America.