Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Not Shooting The Bastards

I kinda support the not-shooting thing, for a number of reasons which I may not have explained clearly enough; or perhaps my adherence to the zero-aggression principle makes me an "idiot."

Mind you, the simple notion that you don't start fights but you're free to end them is echoed by the late Col. Cooper, who replied to being told "violence only begets violence" with the observation that if he had anything to say about it, it most certainly did, and with overwhelming strength.

There are plenty of folks out there -- most famously the "Threepers" -- who are willing to draw their line in the sand and explain precisely where it is and what conditions consitute crossing it. By so doing, the very least damage they do is handing their opponents a road map. And depending on how one's resolve and response is stated, it can even be a criminal act in and of itself. "Making terroristic threats" is one of those Homeland Security crimes you don't want to commit, even if you were hoping to write your memoirs in jail. Not every Threeper has done so -- indeed, most are more circumspect than their PR would suggest -- but it's why I view them as the frailest canaries in the coal mine. When they start to vanish, things are heating up.

There's Reason One: 'Cos it's lousy tactics at best. "Hello? High Command? Mr. Rommel? Hey, we're gonna be landing at Normandy, early in June..." No. Do Not Do.

Reason Two: 'Cos "direct action" does not have a good track record. Weathermen? Made of fail. The various 20th Century assassinations of public figures? Huge fail; the most infamous one gave us LBJ and LBJ gave us, among other messes, Vietnam and the Great Society. You want a Euro-style Social Democrat government here, one way to get stuck with it is if some criminal starts taking potshots at Federal politicians: the survivors will get carte blanche. Shooting Archdukes has a proven track record of working out very badly. Check out the Balkans if you think I'm making it up. Heck, check out striking coal miners.

Reason Three: It's not time. It doesn't take much study of history of the American Revolution (or a quick read-through of The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress*) to grasp that to succeed, "direct action" requires a number of components. Among them:
- A degree of popular support -- not merely dissatisfaction with the way things are but a willingness to take drastic steps to change them. I'm not seein' that second thing. Oh, there's a willingness to take some steps, but they are steps in the direction of rallies and voting booths and that may yet be enough.
- Adversarial attitude of the existing government towards the governed. Ours is maybe at 50%.
- Organization. The Continental Congress didn't suddenly spring into being; it was built on a wide array of predecessor organizations. No corresponding group exists...yet.

The Statists have already "initiated force." They were busy doing it when Mr. Wilson was polluting the White House. They were snubbed by massive noncompliance when they tried Prohibition. They were initiating force in the 1930s, when Garet Garrett tried to wake your grandparents up. The governmental structures and traditions of this country have ensured that it has been very diffuse force, ramped up ever so slowly; but as anyone who has watched materials testing knows, it doesn't matter how slowly it is done: keep applying force and eventually there is a breaking point.

Quite often it's a lot more force past the bending point than you'd expect. But if the force keeps on increasing, it is reached, as inevitably as water runs downhill or communism collapses. You don't need to hurry it along. --And that's Reason Four: 'cos war zones suck. It's been a hundred and forty-five years since any Americans had to live in one right here at home and we've largely forgotten what it's like to be stuck in a post-Katrina wasteland that persists, waning and waxing, for years. I'm in no rush to open that can of worms, especially since I may end up having to choose between eating them and starving.

We're not out of options yet. Why take any irrevocable steps before you're obliged to?
* Robert A. Heinlein. You should own a copy. Buy it via the link at Tam's.


Phillip said...

You're awesome. You manage to say the things I wish I were eloquent enough to say. I have no need to start a blog of my own when there are people like you to say what I'm thinking, but more clearly defined.

Drang said...

Realisticaly, the Balkans were all f'd up long before Gavrilo Princip.

And it depresses me that it might actually have been necessary for you to tell anyone who wrote ...

Wayne Conrad said...

I don't want to become--I don't know if I can become--what it takes to make war. Politics has to become much much harder and more dismal before shooting people seems like better odds. If a man hasn't the stomach for politics, how will he bear the misery of war?

Bubblehead Les. said...

Posted another reply on this topic on Og's site yesterday, so I won't bore everyone with those details. But I do think that, unless things change for the better, that the Next American Revolution is inevitable. The problem is that a multi-generational effort to convert the Republic by a bunch of 60's Radicals into a Quasi-Communist State has brought us to the present Political Crisis. The Good News is that the Commies are the Intellectual/White Tower Collage types, not the hard-core, in and out of prison, guerilla warfare types like Stalin, Mao and Fidel. But like you, I don't want to have to live in a war zone like my Father did, nor wonder if there would be another Country willing to help us regain our Freedom. That is why I really hope that the Balance of Power shifts in the Mid-Terms, and BHO doesn't try to pull any Shenanigans.

But MY line in the Sand is one of DEFENSE, not OFFENSE. Too old and Broken Up to put on my Mall Ninja Gear and go play "Wolverines!" in the woods.

But having spent some time behind the Iron Curtain, I am NOT going into the Camps, if it ever gets that bad. Someone has to man the Barricades so the Youngin's can Bug Out and Live to Fight Another Day. I just Pray that it never gets that Bad, but we'll see what the Future Brings.

As to the "Committees of Correspondence", you might be mistaken. One might say the 21st. Century version could be something, like I don't know, "The Adventures of Roberta X" and other Blogs. After all, most of us aren't concerned about Designing a new form of Government, but just trying to get back to the Spirit of what was done by the Founding Fathers. Of course, this time, we also get the wisdom and advice of the 21st. Century Founding Mothers!

And no, you don't get to get out of it. YOU are on too many databases and Posts to be allowed to get out of the job. Tough to be an "Enemy of the State", ain't it?

Roberta X said...

I believe being an "enemy of the State" -- or at least it's internal opposition -- is part of a citizen's duties. Otherwise, why bother with elections?

Attempting to overturn the result of an election by force is a tripping point for most folks (I think). It's been a familiar Autumn refrain since at least Mr. Clinton's time and while I don't think it is likely to happen, I know it wouldn't happen without generating a powerful reaction. And if it does happen? --That's when you find out where folks actually stand.

Roberta X said...

D.W. -- The Balkans were indeed all messed up before Archduke Ferdinand was shot; but the aftermath spread the mess far and wide.

Stranger said...

I tend to agree with a long drink of water from Kentuck, who picked up the town bully, held him over his head, and shook him. Setting the bully down, Mr. Abe Lincoln is said to have commented, "I will not stir myself to start something of this nature, but I will exert myself to the utmost to stop it."

No threats, no promises, just be upright at the end.

But unless there is a major course change, those who demand will find themselves facing those of whom demands are made.


Sendarius said...

Roberta asks:

"... why bother with elections?"

I respond:

If elections could make a difference, they would already be illegal.

Any time we go to the polls, we really only get to choose between different faces of the same monster.

perlhaqr said...

I agree that drawing a line in the sand is--like calling the Nazis up ahead of time and making an appointment for Normandy--foolish.

The differences, as I see them (and no telling if anyone else agrees with me) are first that in that case, we were already at war, whereas here we have the opportunity to avoid war; and second that these are not some faceless enemy but rather our own countrymen.

Honor (and yes, I know in the eyes of some I have just definitively branded myself a fool) demands that we give adequate warning that they might at least see that their actions will have consequences, in order to give them the opportunity to change their ways.

LC Scotty said...

Speaking of canary in the coalmine...

perlhaqr said...

And sometimes, "they" make it real hard to not take up arms:

Money quote: Lt. Fran Healy, special adviser to the police commissioner, acknowledged that some city cops apparently are unfamiliar with some concealed-carry permits. But he said that it’s better for cops to “err on the side of caution.”

“Officers’ safety comes first, and not infringing on people’s rights comes second,” Healy said.

thedweeze said...

Have you ever considered that your dismissal of the Threepers is simply enabling yet more of the OpFor's actions?

I agree that announcing one's "line in the sand" is at least tacticticlly, if not strategically foolish.

But your, and others, continual dismissal of the Threepers is doing much more damage than help, despite what you might think. At best, you're arranging that they come for you later, rather than sooner.

Wayne Conrad said...

@thedweeze, Can one not be a threeper without announcing one's line in the sand? Not announcing is not the same as not having.

Roberta X said...

thedweeze said..."Have you ever considered that your dismissal of the Threepers is simply enabling yet more of the OpFor's actions?"

1. WTF is an "OpFor? And does it come with a matching set of noids?

2. I do not "dismiss" the Threepers any more than I would "dismiss" the guys who went Over The Top in WW I -- and even less so since they have chosen to be the first targets.
That said, they're not the battle. They're the starter's pistol.

As for arranging that "they'll come for me later," I'll reiterate that Threepers have chosen to be out front. Me, I'm an old lady and not much of a shot; I need plenty of warning and those fine fellows will provide it.

Wayne, we all have a line. The big deal isn't announcing where it is or even knowing in advance where it is; the big deal is recognizing when it's about to be too late for any line but the one for the cattle cars. We are not at that point. We are, in fact, winning, and better yet, winning by gathering hearts and minds. 'Cos it really doesn't matter all that much how many of the "bastards" you shoot if the public still loathes you.

Tam said...

You know, I can't read some of that stuff without thinking that I hear an awful lot of talking and surprisingly little cap busting.

If I was on the other side, I know what conclusion I'd draw from that: "Are you gonna bark all day, little doggies? Or are you going to bite?"

Roberta X said...

LC Scotty: As one commenter wrote, "We all think very highly of Mike, but at this stage of the game, his bloody death by the side of the road would not be the spark to kick off a civil war. It would be a spectacle on the nightly news, and a convenient excuse to turn the heat up on you."



A) "Road rage?" Jeez. What's next, hand-grenade duels? You do realize the energy profile of a car is equivalent to that of very heavy artillery, don't you?

B) Loaded carry with no permit in a state where it is required? Yeah, coloring outside the lines is a brilliant plan when you are espousing ideas unpopular with the Gummit. 'Cos getting arrested for low-grade BS is such a blow for freedom. C'mon, if you're gonna do "petty," at least handcuff yourself to a government building or something.

Roberta X said...

French 75mm cannon, about 4 x 10^7 ft-lbs (a tick over).

Toyota Camry at highway speeds, about 4x10^7 ft-lbs (a tick less).

If you would not duel with French 75s at a range of zero to 30 feet, don't let road rage escalate past swearing to yourself.

Phillip said...

Not to mention the whole "one gallon of gasoline has the explosive energy of 1/5th of a stick of dynamite" thing. People forget how dangerous cars really are until they're on the wrong end of an ohnosecond.

(Ohnosecond. The smallest, yet largest, period of time discernible to a human being. The instant when you realize that you've made a very painful mistake and you cannot avoid the consequences. Seen parodied in cartoons as a character steps off a cliff and hangs in mid-air for a moment before falling a great distance.)