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  •  Yeah, and? (4+ / 0-)

    Let's assume for a second that you're right, that the United States may at some point devolve into tyranny. That's never happened in an English-speaking, common law jurisdiction, but let's assume it may, arguendo.

    That tyrannical government would control disciplined mass fighting forces capable of acting in large units, equipped with cutting-edge weapons. They would be acting against an atomized, scattered group of individuals more likely to hurt themselves than anyone else. They would also be capable of incinerating entire cities.

    I'd go further and say that this hypothetical government wouldn't bind itself to any conventions of warfare, and if it followed historical precedent, it wouldn't just be fighting you, it would go after your family, your wife, your children, long before you ever grabbed your gun.

    That's reality, if you really want to go that route. Red Dawn is a piece of fiction, and a not a particularly good one at that :-)

    They're not "assault weapons"; just call them "Freedom Sparklers".

    by MBNYC on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 08:03:30 AM PST

    [ Parent ]

    •  English speaking...means something? nt (7+ / 0-)

      Republicans cause more damage than guns ever will. Share Our Wealth

      by KVoimakas on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 08:07:21 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  It's broadly accepted (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Miss Blue, Glacial Erratic, vcmvo2

        in historiography that English-speaking – shorthand for the entire panoply of societies that developed over time out of the British Empire, e.g. the U.S., Canada, etc. – have extraordinarily stable and participatory political and societal models of governance, yes. This not because of some innate or ethnic superiority, but due to the absence in our collective history of autocracies and the presence of a tradition of independent civil society institutions.

        Which do not require us as citizens to be armed. If anything, the inverse is true.

        They're not "assault weapons"; just call them "Freedom Sparklers".

        by MBNYC on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 08:17:42 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  So that whole American Revolution thing... (5+ / 0-)

          yeah, we didn't need arms for that...

          Republicans cause more damage than guns ever will. Share Our Wealth

          by KVoimakas on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 08:27:50 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  We prevailed in our revolution (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            vcmvo2

            not because we out-gunned Britain, we didn't, but because of a combination of our geography, some sophisticated diplomacy – we had allies, they didn't, absent minor German principalities that were more of a drain on the Exchequer than anything else – and the awkward fact that the war was ruinous for the British economy. This is not the story we like to tell ourselves, but it has the virtue of being accurate.

            Next?

            They're not "assault weapons"; just call them "Freedom Sparklers".

            by MBNYC on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 08:38:52 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  And because we were armed. (4+ / 0-)

              Or do you think we could've won without arms?

              Republicans cause more damage than guns ever will. Share Our Wealth

              by KVoimakas on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 08:52:47 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Of course not. (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                vcmvo2, mahakali overdrive

                But absent all the other factors, we could have lost. There's a reason Washington sent Jefferson to Paris and not to some musket smithy in the hills; in part, to get the French navy to blockade Yorktown.

                Not that any of this has anything to do with the matter at hand, the question of national gun registration, of course.

                They're not "assault weapons"; just call them "Freedom Sparklers".

                by MBNYC on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 09:00:55 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  Heh. I love arguing the French thing with (5+ / 0-)

                  some right wing extremists I know here in Bum-fuck-nowheresville, Mi.

                  "We still would've won without the French!"

                  WTF history are you reading dude?

                  I'm not arguing that it was just the strength of arms that won us the war. Far from it.

                  Republicans cause more damage than guns ever will. Share Our Wealth

                  by KVoimakas on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 09:07:56 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  But seriously... are we looking for (3+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    MBNYC, oldpunk, 43north

                    another American Revolution? Because otherwise, the point is fairly moot. If so, it's not. If not, it is.

                    Why are we arguing about Washington's troops here? I was just at Mount Vernon last year. It was interesting. He seems to have lead a good military campaign to me. I like that he declined to become King of America. I'm less keen on his slave-owning whether or not it was prevalent in his time; seeing the slave-quarters out there made me sad, and worse, inside in the museum, there's a huge attempt to rationalize it as "normal" for the period. How so? I must illustrate to share the lengths the rationalizations were made. The museum curators dealt with this issue not by saying, "Sorry, it was pretty fucked up of the guy to beat his slaves. We know." Instead, they made scale models of the cornmeal that he fed them daily, from plastic, scented it like "real slave cornmeal," and put up a sign about "Look how much the good general fed his slaves, here, have a whiff! It was more than most slave owners of his day!"

                    Five minutes later, we went to the restaurant and all the help, I shit you not, was African-American. All of the museum staff were white!

                    Okay, so I'm getting off track. My point being that I don't see what Washington's revolution and armed military success has to do with the price of tea in China here.

                    Click the ♥ to join us on the Black Kos front porch to review news & views written from a black pov - everyone is welcome.

                    by mahakali overdrive on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 09:55:33 AM PST

                    [ Parent ]

        •  Wait, "devolve into tyranny", right? (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          oldpunk, PavePusher

          Why would they devolve into what they already have?  They have a divine sovereign and they are still subjects, are they not?

          I think you're missing a point here or two.

          Their sovereign is still in total control there. Their government officials still swear an oath to her, to this day.

          The comparisons begin and end there, don't they?

          Our unitary executive hasn't been put back into the box, has he?

          The concentration of authority into less and less hands still is occurring, is it not?

          DHS is still alive and well, right?  

          One of the things that prevented us from becoming a military dictatorship was the diffusion of power throughout the country.  From municipality, to village, to town, to city to county to State.  

          Those barriers are almost gone through Federalization and the rise of the American Police State.

          1. Indefinite military detentions of U.S. citizens

          2. Targeting U.S. citizens for killing

          3. Arresting witnesses for recording police actions

          4. Using GPS to track your every move

          5. Surveillance drones spying on American soil

          Maybe you need to watch this:

          Naomi Wolf's, End of America.

          -7.62; -5.95 The scientists of today think deeply instead of clearly. One must be sane to think clearly, but one can think deeply and be quite insane.~Tesla

          by gerrilea on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 09:35:05 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Maybe... (0+ / 0-)

            ...you need to put down Soldier of Fortune or whatever it is you read and learn a little bit about the world.

            Why would they devolve into what they already have?  They have a divine sovereign and they are still subjects, are they not?

            I think you're missing a point here or two.

            Their sovereign is still in total control there. Their government officials still swear an oath to her, to this day.

            HMQ doesn't actually have 'total control'. The standard formulation is that she 'reigns, but does not rule'. In the UK, parliament, not the monarch, is sovereign. Technically, it's called The Crown in Parliament, both houses acting under Royal Assent, which hasn't been denied since 1747, IIRC. In practice, that means the House of Commons, by and large. Which is an elected body acting through a Prime Minister and his or her cabinet. There are more subtleties, but those are the basics.

            The Queen is the head of state, not of the government. It is called Her Majesty's Government or HMG, of course. HM even has a web site, which you might want to consult before you opine further.

            All told, though, this is frankly one of the stupidest things I've ever read on this site. Stunning.

            They're not "assault weapons"; just call them "Freedom Sparklers".

            by MBNYC on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 10:02:01 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Sweet, compliments will get you no where with me. (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              KenBee, oldpunk, PavePusher

              I'm not that easy.

              ;)

              Does she approve of her governments agenda each and every year? Yes.

              She does appoint the Prime Minister.

              She can dissolve parliament if she so desires.

              http://suite101.com/...

              The best assessment of the Royal Prerogative would seem to be that it still exists, although it is rarely exercised. I ask for Bagehot’s pardon, but the idea that the Queen holds real potential power cannot be easily dismissed.

              Just because she many not exercise it, does not mean she cannot or that if is she did there would be a revolution.

              The power is still there, ignore it if you will, I don't.

              -7.62; -5.95 The scientists of today think deeply instead of clearly. One must be sane to think clearly, but one can think deeply and be quite insane.~Tesla

              by gerrilea on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 10:22:26 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Yeah, I'm sorry. (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                gerrilea, oldpunk

                I didn't mean to be rude, and I apologize for that.

                That said, you don't understand how the UK government works. Some residual powers aside, The Queen can't act unless at the advice of Her ministers. That's nowhere spelled out in a document like our constitution and very much a matter of precedent, tradition and what not else, and she's certainly personally popular, but it's nowhere near what you claimed.

                Anyway. It's been lovely, but I'm out of a job if I spend too much more time here :-)

                They're not "assault weapons"; just call them "Freedom Sparklers".

                by MBNYC on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 10:53:12 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

    •  This, assumes, that military discipline is (9+ / 0-)

      maintained, and forces do not factionalize, or decline to participate.

      In unsuccessful insurrections against tyrannical regimes, this is the case. In successful ones, either the military factionalizes, or, more commonly, the bulk of the armed forces remains in their barracks (though whether out of a reluctance to attack the citizenry, or a desire not to run afoul of whoever ends up on top is an arguable point).

      No one is arguing for the strawman scenario you're mocking.

      Non enim propter gloriam, diuicias aut honores pugnamus set propter libertatem solummodo quam Nemo bonus nisi simul cum vita amittit. -Declaration of Arbroath

      by Robobagpiper on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 08:09:00 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Again... (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Glacial Erratic, mamamedusa, vcmvo2

        ...you're talking, in all seriousness, about a tyrannical government. Okay, fine, we have some idea of how they work.

        I did quite a bit of travel as a teen in the East Bloc. You assume, wrongly, that the only or even chief method of coercion such a government would have is armed force. That assumption could not be further from the truth. Armed force is the last, not the first resort.

        Rather, such a government – the USSR, the PRC, North Korea – rely on systemic surveillance and a very sophisticated system of enforced ideological conformity coupled with rewards and penalties.

        Historically, what brought such regimes down wasn't some romantic patriot militia, it was the collapse of ideological legitimacy. That's the common thread, not armed revolution.

        They're not "assault weapons"; just call them "Freedom Sparklers".

        by MBNYC on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 08:28:49 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Was making no such assumptions. (9+ / 0-)

          I was simply demonstrating a prime fallacy of your derisive strawman.

          Non enim propter gloriam, diuicias aut honores pugnamus set propter libertatem solummodo quam Nemo bonus nisi simul cum vita amittit. -Declaration of Arbroath

          by Robobagpiper on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 08:40:38 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  The only fallacies (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Glacial Erratic, mamamedusa, vcmvo2

            emphasis on the plural, I see here are these: one,

            your claim that we need to, today, in all seriousness, prepare against our own government turning against us at some unspecified time in the future, by arming civilians to the teeth,

            and two,

            that this hypothetical totalitarian government would be measurably deterred by said armed civilians in some way rendering the actual armed forces ineffective.

            I'm very much trying to be polite, but this appears to me at least to be the standard ahistorical NRA fabulation.

            They're not "assault weapons"; just call them "Freedom Sparklers".

            by MBNYC on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 08:55:41 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

    •  So, the historical record... (6+ / 0-)

      ...is of no interest to you -- at least when it comes to this subject.

      That's fine.  Really.

      If you don't think such a thing could ever, possibly happen, that's your choice.

      I was simply pointing out the fact that discussing the reality of armed insurrection is not the same as advocating for it.  

      That's an accusation that's been made before, in fact -- that merely discussing asymmetric warfare is the same as calling for it.

      It is not -- and, as I said, this is meant to be a reality-based site.  What's wrong with discussing reality?

      It may not be a subject that you're interested in, but that doesn't mean that others can't discuss facts and history.

      Yes, I often dress as a pirate. Your point?

      by theatre goon on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 08:13:05 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Not at all. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        vcmvo2

        It's just really clear that I know quite a bit more about the historical record than you do. Pity, really.

        They're not "assault weapons"; just call them "Freedom Sparklers".

        by MBNYC on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 08:29:46 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Really? (4+ / 0-)

          Even when you dismiss the reality of the effectiveness of asymmetric warfare?

          If you say so.

          Yes, I often dress as a pirate. Your point?

          by theatre goon on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 09:09:43 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Asymetric warfare is effective. (0+ / 0-)

            Against an armed force not bound by the laws of war, public opinion, and so forth, that is. Your hypothetical tyrannical government presumably would not be. If it were, you'd have avenues of recourse other than armed rebellion, obviously.

            But if we play your dystopian game according to the normal rules that apply to a situation like that, e.g. partisan resistance to the Nazis during WWII, we arrive at a place where we're talking about your hypothetical tyranny wiping out entire villages in reprisals on civilians. Historically, that is exactly what happens.

            Say it happens to you, Kossack theatre goon. You have a gun, you pick it up. That's a death sentence for you, your family and maybe your entire neighborhood. Or maybe just a forced labor camp where you and yours slowly or quickly starve to death.

            A little history is a dangerous thing, my friend.

            They're not "assault weapons"; just call them "Freedom Sparklers".

            by MBNYC on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 09:24:21 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

        •  Huh. I suspect that (7+ / 0-)

          there are some historically well-versed English speakers who wonder where you got the bizarre idea that there's a total historical absence autocratic governments in Britain and its one-time colonies.

    •  South Africa? nt (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Tom Seaview, oldpunk, PavePusher

      "I'm a progressive man and I like progressive people" Peter Tosh

      by Texas Lefty on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 09:55:35 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

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