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View Diary: The Fantasy of "Government Tyranny" (211 comments)

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  •  In regards to your second point (3+ / 0-)
    Second, "government tyranny" is a contradiction in terms. When one considers what these words actually mean, government is not tyranny, and tyranny is not government. The word "government," as in the act and function of governing, implies lawful authority and accountability; "tyranny" implies lawless and/or unaccountable rule.
    No, tyranny implies extreme strict, unaccountable, and harsh rule.  There is no implication of lawlessness.  Tyranny is always done by the government.  It may be that the government doesn't observe the rule of law, but not observing the rule of law doesn't make a government not a government, or we'd have to call our own government not a government in regards to a lot of things.

    Tyranny is when the expectation of the government for its people are exceedingly onerous.  When it asks them to do immoral things as a matter of course.  It is a real concern in all countries, but especially in the US, from the right wing though, not the left.  The government has built a surveillance state which could be easily refocused and used as an incredible force of oppression, and there's little that we could do to stop it.  Shit, they monitor daily kos.

    Just because these guys are paranoid idiots doesn't mean that tyranny is a thing of the past.

    The revolution will not be televised. But it will be blogged, a lot. Probably more so than is necessary.

    by AoT on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 02:01:08 PM PST

    •  Thank you. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      happymisanthropy

      I was trying to figure out how to express this, and you nailed it:

      Tyranny is always done by the government.
    •  Only if "government is a count noun, and used as (0+ / 0-)

      a blanket term to refer to any sovereign entity that acts as, for lack of a better expression, the political leadership of a nation.

      [N.B.: Count nouns are those that can be prefaced by definite or nondefinite articles, pluralized and numeralized. E.g., the car, these trees, five books. Non-count nouns can't be pluralized or numeralized and often can't be prefaced by articles, e.g., literature (you can't say "those literatures"), honesty ("five honesties"), etc.]

      "Government," as a non-count noun, means the act and function of governing.

      "Government," as a count noun, refers to a sovereign entity that acts as the political leadership of a nation.

      •  Well, given that government is (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        happymisanthropy, JosephK74

        in fact a count noun and does in fact refer to a sovereign entity that acts as the political leadership of a country then you would be agreeing with me.

        And even under the alternate definition, you can still govern in a tyrannical way.  You're begging the question.

        The revolution will not be televised. But it will be blogged, a lot. Probably more so than is necessary.

        by AoT on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 02:41:21 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  To clarify (5+ / 0-)

        It is entirely possible for the US as a country to change our constitution in such a way as to be tyrannical in a completely legal manner.  I mean, we had slavery for years completely legally, if that isn't tyranny I don't know what is.

        The revolution will not be televised. But it will be blogged, a lot. Probably more so than is necessary.

        by AoT on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 02:44:55 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  OK, but I think the more salient point is (0+ / 0-)

          whether guns/an armed population is the solution, the way to prevent "tyranny"; whether this is the reason why we need guns/an armed population; whether this is the reason the Second Amendment was included in the Bill of Rights in the first place.

          •  I agree (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            fuzzyguy, happymisanthropy, JosephK74

            But that point gets lost when you have something that is so clearly wrong in the diary.

            The revolution will not be televised. But it will be blogged, a lot. Probably more so than is necessary.

            by AoT on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 03:24:55 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Agreed. (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              AoT

              And I've made a note to that effect in the diary. Thanks for pointing it out. This is why we have discussions as a community, and I appreciate it.

              •  But wait.... (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                JerryNA

                Even under the circumstance that the government does act tyrannically, individual gun ownership is NOT the answer. Even during the Civil War, there were two sides with armies and chains of command -- not individuals defending their homes with Bushmasters!!!!!

                I think that is the point of the diary.

                The civil rights, gay rights and women's movements, designed to allow others to reach for power previously grasped only by white men, have made a real difference, and the outlines of 21st century America have emerged. -- Paul West of LA Times

                by LiberalLady on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 04:31:51 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  Which is my ultimate point. (0+ / 0-)

                  See my comment above about "lawful remedies and recourse."

                  The fact that we have a tripartite government, not a singular governmental entity, means that "the government," per se, can't "act tyrannically" unless all three branches collude, simultaneously and in their entirety, to the same unlawful action. The Congress and the judiciary are there to prevent the president and law enforcement entities from "acting tyrannically;" the president/executive branch and the judiciary are there to prevent Congress from "acting tyrannically." And citizens have regular elections, and access to the courts, to hold them all accountable.

                  •  How many armored divisions do Congress and the (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    happymisanthropy, Jon Says

                    Supreme Court have?  

                    Who "controls the helicopters"?

                    http://www.washingtonpost.com/...

                    "The leaders agitated to get out of their bunker and back to Washington, but Cheney resisted. Terrorist threats persisted and there was no way to guarantee their security, he said. Sen. Don Nickles (R-Okla.) protested. We're a separate branch of government -- why do we need the approval of the White House, he complained.

                    "Don," the vice president replied, "we control the helicopters."

                    •  Andrew Jackson asked that same question (0+ / 0-)

                      after the Supreme Court repeatedly ruled that the Cherokee Nation was a sovereign nation and that the State of Georgia, supported by Jackson, couldn't sue it or do anything to encroach upon its territory.  (see the Cherokee Cases).

                      Old Hickory basically told the SCOTUS that if they had an army to match his, they could try and stop him.  

                      And yet... the American people did not rise up in arms, and the government did not collapse into a tyrannical dystopia.

                      Conservatives need to realize that their Silent Moral Majority is neither silent, nor moral, nor a majority.

                      by nominalize on Thu Jan 10, 2013 at 11:57:57 AM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                •  Well , yes. A disorganized mob will get cut (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Silvia Nightshade

                  apart by a disciplined, trained combat unit.   But those things can be learned quickly --much of the army basic training is admin stuff.

                  The argument for the militia arms being dispersed among millions of homes instead of stored in a few armories is that they are invulnerable to seizure by a dictator or evil coup faction -- the British atttempt to to seize the Patriot armory at Concord is what kicked off the Revolution.

                  http://en.wikipedia.org/...

                  The US Code says all US male citizens 17-45? years of age are in the Militia.  But the Constitution also says that Militia is subject to the discipline ordered by Congress.   Even if someone believes in the individual right interpretation of the Second Amendment, I don't see how they can object to any military discipline Congress imposes -- that the arms be secured in safes,etc.  I don't think the Sandy Hook massacre could have been carried out by a kid on a military base.

                  •  know your recent history, bmastiff (0+ / 0-)

                    Fort Hood shooting, 42 shot, 13 killed, Nov. 5, 2009.  
                    That was on an Army base.  

                    The whole mythology of an armed population being safer is dumb.  Do you really think that untrained armed civilians will do a better job than trained military personnel?  I do not.  Neither does a combat veteran named Jim Wright- check out his blog at http://www.stonekettlestation.com especially the last few, "Bang Bang Crazy", as well as one post of the Aurora theater shooting called "The Seven Stages of Gun Violence".  The short version is that armed civilians would have made things much worse, either by not knowing when to hold fire, risking others, or being mistaken by the police as accomplices.  CWO Wright owns guns and knows what he is talking about.  You, bmastiff, do not.

                    •  You missed my point --but your point is valid as (0+ / 0-)

                      well.
                      1) On a military base, the 20 year civilian dependent like the one at Sandy Hook would not have been able to pick up a personal Bushmaster and shoot his mom while she was sleeping --because personal firearms as well as issued firearms are kept under control in the armory.

                      Probably Congress could use its Militia powers to require civilians who own guns to keep them locked up in safes.

                      2) The Ft Hood shooter , however, bought a personal firearm off base and then bought it in.   Which a 20 year old civilian might have been able to do as well --maybe depends on security level.
                      3) But an important point is that the Ft Hood shooter  was an officer on active duty.   As I recall active duty military --like police -- are exempt from many gun control laws that apply to civilians (but are subject to military law.)
                      4) Certainly unarmed military personal are as vulnerable to armed attackers  as are unarmed civilians.
                      5) One question is whether the Ft Hood shooter would have been able to get access to a service pistol -- the 9 mm Beretta that holds 17? rounds.   I believe the Army requires even people in medical MOSs to take pistol training so that they can provide some protection to their patients overseas.  

                      Your link doesn't work.
                      6) I believe that schoolchildren should be protected by covert armed guards --possibly teacher volunteers who take and pass the required training.   I don't have any opinion about how to protect unarmed military personnel on military bases-- the government's anti-terrorist security forces  already handle that problem.

                      •  corrected link (0+ / 0-)

                        http://www.stonekettle.com
                        The name of the blog is Stonekettle Station.  

                        Given that the military is not perfectly safe from angry people with guns despite being in armed camps (literally), then your idea to have gun-toting teachers in schools is an absurd fantasy.  Read the posts on Stonekettle Station, especially the Bang Bang Crazy series (of 4) and the one on Aurora CO, then come back here with a real argument.  Your comment #6 (copying the NRA's talking points) is a poorly thought out idea based upon a paranoid person's fantasy of what a safe world would be like.  We do not live in the Wild West anymore, pardner.  It's time to put away the six-gun.

    •  I've updated the diary to clarify. (0+ / 0-)

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