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Old 01-17-2020, 10:13 AM
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A Hypothetical: When and where is the revolution?


The Prologue

To start, I'm not calling for a violent uprising. The purpose of this thread is to investigate the so-called claim by proponents of civilian firearm ownership that such ownership prevents a loss of other rights and freedoms.

I think that an actual violent uprising in the USA would be a colossal failure. This notion, held by some gun owners, is nothing more than a macho fantasy delusion. In reality, if there were a successful mass uprising, then many revolutionaries would be killed very early by poorly coordinated attacks (due in part to the macho fantasy). Of the remainder, some percentage would be lost to being unable to deal with the hardship of guerilla warfare, some percentage would be unable to kill another person. The remainder, probably less than 100,000 dispersed across the county would be branded terrorists, and the vast majority of the American public would believe it as they've be indoctrinated to accept government propaganda on this issue. They would then slowly be killed off, while inflicting certainly fair casaulties in return until the whole thing essentially collapsed.

Note, this assumption no mass starvation in the USA. People revolt when they're hungry, and Americans (like most of the anglosphere) are simply not hungry. The revolution, I'm afraid, is at home watching TV and surfing the internet for cat videos.

But this thread isn't about the likely success or failure of a revoluion. I'll concede to start that it would be succesful. No, this thread is about why haven't gun owners revolted? Where and when is the revolution to protect the USA?

While I will try to avoid it I may use the term "you" throughout. This is the general you not intended to address the reader.

Part I

The freedoms and democratic ideals of the USA are under attack. A partial list non-partisan list (this includes things done by Bush, Obama and Trump) includes:

- Patriot Act
-- Sneek and Peek warrants (section 213)
- Drones strikes on American citizens overseas
- NDAA (indefinite incarceration of Americans)
- FISA court
- Muslim ban
- Asylum seeking refugees in cages
- Severe gerrymandering
- Voter ID and other efforts to reduce the vote for likely political opponents
- Removal of voting machines from areas likely to vote for political opponents
- Explicit lies being told by American officials to the public
- Citizens United
- Proto-fascist president [1][2][3]
- Rise (again?) of authoritarian voters [4][5][6]
- Support for foreign interference in US elections
- Erosion of ADA
- Erosion of freedom of religious conscience
- etc.

So where's the revolution? America is under attack even if only the partial list is accurate or something, then shouldn't there be an uprising?

Well, I can see the objection being that none of those things quite rise to uprising worthiness. So if you're going to post that, then I can save you the trouble. Skip to Part II.

1. Giroux, H. A. (2017). White nationalism, armed culture and state violence in the age of Donald Trump. Philosophy & Social Criticism, 43(9), 887-910.

2. Norris, P., & Inglehart, R. (2019). Cultural backlash: Trump, Brexit, and authoritarian populism. Cambridge University Press.

3. Kellner, D. (2016). American nightmare: Donald Trump, media spectacle, and authoritarian populism (Vol. 117). Springer.

4. MacWilliams, M. C. (2016). Who decides when the party doesn’t? Authoritarian voters and the rise of Donald Trump. PS: Political Science & Politics, 49(4), 716-721.

5. Wrightsman Jr, L. S., Radloff, R. W., Horton, D. L., & Mecherikoff, M. (1961). Authoritarian attitudes and presidential voting preferences. Psychological Reports, 8(1), 43-46.

6. McCann, S. J. (2009). Political conservatism, authoritarianism, and societal threat: Voting for republican representatives in US Congressional Elections from 1946 to 1992. The Journal of Psychology, 143(4), 341-358.

Part II

If the list above is insufficient to be worth revolting over (and I would argue that some of those things have to be very concerning since there are direct attack on the democratic principles of the USA), then the question becomes "Then what is?" How do you know when it is time to revolt?

Now, before you answer this question lightly, keep in mind this needs some very careful reflection. If somebody revolts too early, then they're a lone wolf nut and are quickly arrested or killed by police. In 2014, Moncton, NB, Canada, a person attacked and kill three police officers. He thought he was sparking the revolution according to this own words [7]. He was very wrong. If you revolt too late, then your odds of success go way down (popular support rises over time, people get comfortable with the new way, military and police become more loyal to the regime).

So, what's that sweet spot? At what point, at least from a hypothetical point of view, is enough enough (again, for clarity, I'm not calling for violent uprising)?

And if that point cannot be identified, then how does civilian gun ownership help defend your freedoms? If the point of needing a revolt cannot be (easily) identified, then does civilian gun ownership really protect your freedom?

[7] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moncton_shooting

The Epilogue

While obviously I have no powers to control what people post I would ask the following:

A. Avoid arguments either way with regards to hunting and sport shooting. It is irrelevant either way.

B. Avoid arguments either way with regards to self defense, and crime reduction. It is irrelevant either way.
-- In other words, lets keep this focused exclusively on does civilian firearm ownership protect other freedoms.

C. It is conceded, as above, that an uprising would be successful, even though I personally think this is unlikely. So, I would ask any follow-up from a gun control/gun confiscation side to respect this concession so that the pro-gun ownership side does not have to try to defend that hypothetical.
-- If we get to the point where this needs to be addressed, then I will start another thread focused on that question

D. I would caution the pro-gun ownership side from using Venezula as an example. While a gun confiscation took place in Venezula in 2012, Venezula has not been a politically stable country for the past 100 years. It does not have a strong democratic history, so arguments that Venezula shows that a gun confiscation creates a dictatorship will be met with derision.
-- It would be best to stick with countries that are politically similar to the USA; i.e., with strong democratic traditions.

E. My own personal view is that civilian firearm ownership may have had some validity at some point in history, for a variety of reasons. I think that there are certain edges cases where civilian firearm ownership still has some limited validity. However, overall, I am very much in favor of banning civilian firearm ownership, in particular weapons like the AR-15. I have some modest experience with firearms (I'm certainly no expert) largely from my time in the military but also some use as a civilian at a shooting range, so my thoughts are not due to a lack of familiarity or fear of firearms. I personally find shooting a firearm to be quite fun, so I understand the appeal from that point of view. So any replies saying that I'm just a cowardly cuck libtard who is afraid of guns will be met with laughter.

Last edited by BeepKillBeep; 01-17-2020 at 10:17 AM.
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Old 01-17-2020, 10:21 AM
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P.s. - I'm trying to get a conference paper out the door today that is due at midnight tonight. So, I will be periodically very busy and may not be back right away. I'm not ignoring you, and I will return. Adiós, muchachos.
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Old 01-17-2020, 10:22 AM
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Any violent revolution in the US is doomed to failure unless it has the support of a very large chunk of the military. And any revolution with the support of a very large chunk of the military probably doesn't have much need for civilian firearms. I suppose there's the possibility of some revolution in which the military is evenly divided, and the great mass of civilian firearms might be enough to swing it one way or the other, but that seems like a pretty rare sort of revolution, and also assumes that all or most of the civilians with firearms would be on one side.

I don't think this is a particularly strong argument for the 2nd amendment at this time. It might have made sense in 1800, when a US soldier didn't have access to any better weaponry than US civilians, but that's not true any more, not by a long shot. Even beyond firearms, the military has tanks, jets, artillery, etc. -- all of which would be virtually invulnerable to civilian firearms.
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Old 01-17-2020, 10:38 AM
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Originally Posted by iiandyiiii View Post
Any violent revolution in the US is doomed to failure unless it has the support of a very large chunk of the military. And any revolution with the support of a very large chunk of the military probably doesn't have much need for civilian firearms. I suppose there's the possibility of some revolution in which the military is evenly divided, and the great mass of civilian firearms might be enough to swing it one way or the other, but that seems like a pretty rare sort of revolution, and also assumes that all or most of the civilians with firearms would be on one side.

I don't think this is a particularly strong argument for the 2nd amendment at this time. It might have made sense in 1800, when a US soldier didn't have access to any better weaponry than US civilians, but that's not true any more, not by a long shot. Even beyond firearms, the military has tanks, jets, artillery, etc. -- all of which would be virtually invulnerable to civilian firearms.
While I agree with you, it is conceded in the OP that an armed civilian uprising would be successful.
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Old 01-17-2020, 10:45 AM
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the thing is, it's never going to happen.

At the risk of sounding sanctimonious: The most effective "revolution" you can have is to just get out and vote. Plus this also has the benefit of not putting yourself in harms way or even having to change one's lifestyle.

I think deep down, most people understand this regardless of party affiliation.
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Old 01-17-2020, 10:51 AM
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Originally Posted by BeepKillBeep View Post
While I agree with you, it is conceded in the OP that an armed civilian uprising would be successful.
Sorry, that was a long OP.

Why haven't gun owners revolted? Because they're not desperate enough, I would estimate. Comfortable people generally don't revolt -- why risk one's life when one has a decent income, a nice house, a good family, a good quality of life, etc.?

For a successful revolution to occur, I think we'd need a very large chunk of the country to be in desperate circumstances -- maybe 20% or more. Desperate circumstances mean pretty much no legitimate chance at a decent quality of life for one's self and family.
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Old 01-17-2020, 10:55 AM
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Originally Posted by BeepKillBeep View Post
The Prologue

To start, I'm not calling for a violent uprising. The purpose of this thread is to investigate the so-called claim by proponents of civilian firearm ownership that such ownership prevents a loss of other rights and freedoms...
If you consider occupation by another country a loss of rights and freedoms it has worked in the past. Japan admitted part of the reason it didn't seriously consider landing troops on the mainland in WW2 was because it was fearful of facing a very large militia force.

Last edited by Dark Sponge; 01-17-2020 at 10:56 AM.
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Old 01-17-2020, 11:34 AM
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Is there any meaningful difference between what you would label as "armed revolution" and "domestic terrorism"? Or even "riots triggered by political upset"? Or those silly what if a civil war bits?

The only potential difference I can see is some critical mass of participants. The critical mass really has to be an overwhelmingly solid majority of the country in support of violent revolution. Less than that and it is just domestic terrorism or rioting. (Both of which we have had.) And thing is that even with gerrymandering and structural advantages that have allowed a minority of this country to impose a president and a Senate on the majority and to impose that minority's agenda on the majority, that "overwhelmingly solid majority of the country in support" is not there. Moreover if it was the revolution could and would (hopefully will) be in the voting booths. And it will be televised.
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Old 01-17-2020, 01:01 PM
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[QUOTE=iiandyiiii;22085696]Sorry, that was a long OP. /QUOTE]

No worries. In the improve GD thread quite a few people talked about having more formal rules. While difficult to enforce, I'm hoping to try something more akin to a formal debate. So including assumptions, axioms, forbidden directions, all to hopefully keep things more directed, but still somewhat open ended. I hope fun and engaging for all involved.
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Old 01-17-2020, 01:48 PM
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I don't understand the hypothetical


Is the hypothetical "if gun owners were guaranteed success, would they rebel?"

Or is it more like ""Why haven't they already?"

Regards,
Shodan
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Old 01-17-2020, 01:51 PM
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Before debating the When and Where of the Revolution, you might want to address the Who.

In many of the famous revolutions of the past, there was a huge underclass, often quite impoverished and willing to unite.

In the U.S. you have a very large middle-class, unlikely to despair enough for violence (except for wackos like Bundy) and certainly unlikely to unite. Consider the response to OWS if you think the middle-class have more interest in politics than getting out of bed once every 2 years on Election Day.

Among the middle-class, it is gun enthusiasts who are most likely to resort to violence. Yet the correlation between this group is for high support of the very issues listed in OP that you think America will be revolting against! @ OP — I think you need to rethink your thesis.

It is the lower class that would be desperate enough to serve a revolt if there is one. The lower-class divides rather neatly between poor whites and poor blacks (with perhaps poor browns). The former group is generally not fond of the latter.

If/when large-scale violence strikes the U.S. it will be dominated by poor whites and poor blacks fighting each other. The government will (we hope) try to serve as peace-maker.

Last edited by septimus; 01-17-2020 at 01:54 PM.
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Old 01-17-2020, 02:51 PM
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Originally Posted by BeepKillBeep View Post
Part I

The freedoms and democratic ideals of the USA are under attack. A partial list non-partisan list (this includes things done by Bush, Obama and Trump) includes:

- Patriot Act
-- Sneek and Peek warrants (section 213)
- Drones strikes on American citizens overseas
- NDAA (indefinite incarceration of Americans)
- FISA court
- Muslim ban
- Asylum seeking refugees in cages
- Severe gerrymandering
- Voter ID and other efforts to reduce the vote for likely political opponents
- Removal of voting machines from areas likely to vote for political opponents
- Explicit lies being told by American officials to the public
- Citizens United
- Proto-fascist president [1][2][3]
- Rise (again?) of authoritarian voters [4][5][6]
- Support for foreign interference in US elections
- Erosion of ADA
- Erosion of freedom of religious conscience
- etc.

So where's the revolution? America is under attack even if only the partial list is accurate or something, then shouldn't there be an uprising?

Well, I can see the objection being that none of those things quite rise to uprising worthiness.
That would seem to be the case.

One might also note that assassinations are more likely than large revolt. And, further, one might note that these do take place (e.g. the Congressional baseball shooting) but, obviously, the level of complaint among the general populace is far below the threshold necessary for any real, organized radical undertakings.

Quote:
So if you're going to post that, then I can save you the trouble. Skip to Part II.

1. Giroux, H. A. (2017). White nationalism, armed culture and state violence in the age of Donald Trump. Philosophy & Social Criticism, 43(9), 887-910.

2. Norris, P., & Inglehart, R. (2019). Cultural backlash: Trump, Brexit, and authoritarian populism. Cambridge University Press.

3. Kellner, D. (2016). American nightmare: Donald Trump, media spectacle, and authoritarian populism (Vol. 117). Springer.

4. MacWilliams, M. C. (2016). Who decides when the party doesn’t? Authoritarian voters and the rise of Donald Trump. PS: Political Science & Politics, 49(4), 716-721.

5. Wrightsman Jr, L. S., Radloff, R. W., Horton, D. L., & Mecherikoff, M. (1961). Authoritarian attitudes and presidential voting preferences. Psychological Reports, 8(1), 43-46.

6. McCann, S. J. (2009). Political conservatism, authoritarianism, and societal threat: Voting for republican representatives in US Congressional Elections from 1946 to 1992. The Journal of Psychology, 143(4), 341-358.

Part II

If the list above is insufficient to be worth revolting over (and I would argue that some of those things have to be very concerning since there are direct attack on the democratic principles of the USA), then the question becomes "Then what is?" How do you know when it is time to revolt?
My personal criteria would be far more sane than the average person's and far more strict.

For the average person, conceptual issues and philosophical arguments come into the fore as a post-hoc rationalization after having become unhappy.

If you look at the work of Ida B Wells, for example, she demonstrated that lynchings of African Americans tracked with financial instability in those areas. If you asked the locals, they would say that "Ol' Jimbo" raped a white woman or stole a horse or whatever. But, of course, there would be no evidence to support these accusations and it always seemed that the towns which started seeming to need to put the fear into the local African Americans always were places where the white people were falling on hard times financially.

When the revolutionary fervor overtook the US, France, or Russia, it's unlikely that the grand majority of the people of those nations strongly considering the underlying ideals of "basic human rights" or "socialism" that the leaders of the movement were talking about. It was a good excuse to force things to change and, surely, the guy who seems smart is smart and knows what he's talking about.

There will always be some idea that could form the theoretical basis of an uprising. As you have demonstrated, there is no shortage.

If you look at mass murderers, for example, we see some who kill because God told them to, others kill because they want to be like The Joker, another might think that he's The Highlander, it varies. Why the violent offender decided to pick that particular rationalization for his desire to do violence is just a piece of trivia that, realistically, has very little to do with anything. The real issue would generally be, simply, that they needed psychiatric care.

And, similarly, how uprisings choose a philosophy or rationalization for their violence is, realistically, little more than a piece of trivia. The cause will almost always be that they were unhappy and they felt like the leadership was sufficiently weak that they could get away with acting against them.

In the USA, we were lucky that a batch of good ideas happen to have been at the fore, and that encouraged some more reasonable people to take on leadership roles and displace the radical idiots who had initiated things. But that is not normally how it goes. In France, they were not so lucky. And, in Russia, the philosophy itself was severely flawed as well.

Last edited by Sage Rat; 01-17-2020 at 02:52 PM.
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Old 01-17-2020, 03:18 PM
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If you consider occupation by another country a loss of rights and freedoms it has worked in the past. Japan admitted part of the reason it didn't seriously consider landing troops on the mainland in WW2 was because it was fearful of facing a very large militia force.
We didn't invade the Japanese home islands for partially the same reason -- we didn't want to have to fight them to their last man, woman, and child, as they threatened we would have to (and I think this threat is much more credible coming from Imperial Japan than the United States). The reason Japan didn't invade the US Mainland is because at no point in the war were they capable of doing so, and I'd need a very reliable cite if you claim otherwise.
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Old 01-17-2020, 03:19 PM
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And I'll note that this was without the Japanese having high rates of personal gun ownership.
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Old 01-17-2020, 03:43 PM
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If the list above is insufficient to be worth revolting over (and I would argue that some of those things have to be very concerning since there are direct attack on the democratic principles of the USA), then the question becomes "Then what is?" How do you know when it is time to revolt?
Even ignoring your correct assessment regarding the liklihood of a revolution suceeding, a revolt only makes sense if the current status quo is worse than the likely result of a successful revolution. Even the worst abuses of the Trump administration current or future pale in comparison to the death, destruction, and shattering of morality that would accompany civil war 2.0. Take a look a Syria to see what the effects of civil war look like. Now if they start rounding brown people, gays and liberals into reeducation camps, then we can start talking.

As to how it will start, there seem to be two ways.

The grass roots way involves be mass protest, that grows to the point that it threatens the powers that be, who violently repress it. This repression is met with more more protests and violent resistance, which is further suppressed until the cycle of violence leads to widespread disorder an chaos, until: the rebellion successfully repressed, the rebels establishing their own highly restrictive government, or the state completely implodes with a bunch or warlords vying for control.

The simpler and probably healthier way involves a military coup in which the current regime is told to pack its bags, and then the generals decide how to proceed from there. Related to this would be succession where an already established government separates itself from the larger body, using the portions of military under its control to secure its departure, like in the revolutionary or civil war.

There is a third possibility of external invasion and regime change, but that seems unlikely given the strength of our military.

Last edited by Buck Godot; 01-17-2020 at 03:48 PM.
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Old 01-17-2020, 03:44 PM
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I thought I would jot down some of my own thoughts on this since I have a bit of time.

There are about 300,000,000 people in the USA. Suppose that 1% of the American population thinks that the list I provided (or whatever else) rises to an attack on America worthy of violent uprising. That, 3,000,000 people. It is estimated that about 40% of Americans own a firearm. [1] So, 40% of 3,000,000 is 1,200,000 revolutionaries. Let's say 1% is too high and lower it to 0.1%. That's still 120,000. or 0.01%, that's 12,000. Where are the revolutionaries?

There's only, in my mind, two possibilities. Neither are good for the argument that civilian firearm ownership stops a the American gov't from taking your rights and freedoms.

1. Civilian gun owners won't revolt over the erosion of rights and freedoms; or,
2. Nothing on the list rises to revolt worthy.

Obviously, if it is the first option, then civilian firearm ownership doesn't protect other rights and freedoms. So, let's examine the second option.

If the items on that list are not serious enough, then what is? And how does a gun owner know that's they've reached that critical point? How does a gun owner know they've reached the critical mass of people to be successful (yes I've conceded that a violent civilian uprising would succeed but certainly not by one dude with a red bandada and an M60)?

This is a really critical issue. It is already quite clear that the government is quite capable of intercepting and decrypting (domestic) terrorist messages. We just saw one on the news where they busted up a violent white nationalist cell (I'm disgusted to say a former Canadian soldier was involved). How do you get a resistance started when the government has already gone as far as they have? Is it already too late?

If you act on your own, then you lose. If you act too late, then you lose. There's a critical point where a resistance needs to act, but it seems impossible for such a resistance to start. The government is already capable of monitoring a hypothetical revolutionary cell and branding them terrorist. And Americans have already been indoctinated to accept that when the governments brands somebody terrorist, then they are a terrorist. Not that they would need much convincing. Certainly a news article say, 50 guys and gals with red bandanas and AR-15s planned to shoot up the, I don't know, state legislature aren't going to get much sympathy from the American public.

In other words, they time to act, enough is enough, is incredibly subjective. There's no real objective measure to say, ok, they've eroded enough of my freedoms. So for any individual gun owner to act is incredibly difficult. And for gun owners to organize is already very difficult. There's a whole apparatus designed to keep domestic terrorists from becoming a threat to the state.

So I maintain, that gun owners cannot act. There's never a clearly sensible objective point to go for it. No, rather is is subjective, and then requires coordination. It requires the would be revolutionary to gather like-minded people (ideally with their own red bandanas). It is very difficult, if not impossible, to organize with the actions already taken by the government. Soooooo, if I think this way, then where are the revolutionaries? Where are the people who think the government has already gone too far? They've taken away your right to violently rise up!

Ultimately, I just think this idea that a bunch of civilians with guns will rise up to overthrow a tyrannical government is impossible in practice in the real-world. It is quite clear that Americans, like everybody else I'm not picking on Americans, are quite content to have their rights eroded so long as they can have a 65" TV, potato chips and watch Bonanza reruns. People revolt when they're starving. People do not react to a slow erosion, as we're currently seeing, and by the time you might want to act, it is incredibly difficult. The entire government apparatus is already designed to stop small groups of terrorists.

1. https://www.statista.com/statistics/...ing-a-firearm/
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Old 01-17-2020, 03:47 PM
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Originally Posted by Shodan View Post
Is the hypothetical "if gun owners were guaranteed success, would they rebel?"

Or is it more like ""Why haven't they already?"

Regards,
Shodan
It is closer to "Why haven't they already?" At least this is the main point of Part I. The point of Part II is if the current situation isn't bad enough (the likely answer to "Where are the revolutionaries?", then what is bad enough? How can a would be revolutionary know when it is time to strike?
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Old 01-17-2020, 03:48 PM
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If you consider occupation by another country a loss of rights and freedoms it has worked in the past. Japan admitted part of the reason it didn't seriously consider landing troops on the mainland in WW2 was because it was fearful of facing a very large militia force.
An interesting thought; however, pro-gun ownership usually characterize it as preventing the US government from becoming tyrannical.
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Old 01-17-2020, 03:50 PM
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Originally Posted by BeepKillBeep View Post
So where's the revolution? America is under attack even if only the partial list is accurate or something, then shouldn't there be an uprising?

If the list above is insufficient to be worth revolting over (and I would argue that some of those things have to be very concerning since there are direct attack on the democratic principles of the USA), then the question becomes "Then what is?" How do you know when it is time to revolt?
I think it's another case of the "Real America" mentality.

To some people there's a national image that's separate from the actual United States of America. It's Real America. It's their idealized version of what America should be, distinct from what it actually is.

Many of the people who believe in the idea of personal firearms defending America are also Real America believers.

And Real America doesn't feel the things you listed as attacks against it. Laws against Muslims or Mexicans or blacks or gays or refugees? Those people aren't Real Americans. So Real Americans don't feel any need to fight for their rights. If anything, Real Americans support those laws as a defense against threats to Real Americans.
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Old 01-17-2020, 03:50 PM
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An interesting thought; however, pro-gun ownership usually characterize it as preventing the US government from becoming tyrannical.
Usually? I haven't heard one pro-gun person say "I own my guns to prevent the US government from becoming tyrannical".

At least, not any sane ones.
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Old 01-17-2020, 03:54 PM
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The grass roots way involves be mass protest, that grows to the point that it threatens the powers that be, who violently repress it. This repression is met with more more protests and violent resistance, which is further suppressed until the cycle of violence leads to widespread disorder an chaos, until: the rebellion successfully repressed, the rebels establishing their own highly restrictive government, or the state completely implodes with a bunch or warlords vying for control.
I like this thought. So, the cue to act is violence from the government against protest of the government. We've certainly seen some erosion of the right to protest. The so-called "Freedom Zones". And while not common in the USA, it certainly isn't underheard of for the police to crack down violently on protestors (Occupy movement, for example, had some unnecessary use of violence against some of the protestors).

I need to think about this some more. If this is accurate, then what does that mean with respect to the central question of civilian firearm ownership and preservation of other rights and freedoms.
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Old 01-17-2020, 03:55 PM
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Here you go:
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...it takes around 3.5% of the population actively participating in the protests to ensure serious political change.
NB that refers to active support; moral support will naturally be much higher. Also NB that non-violent campaigns are statistically twice as likely to succeed as violent uprisings.
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Old 01-17-2020, 03:56 PM
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Usually? I haven't heard one pro-gun person say "I own my guns to prevent the US government from becoming tyrannical".

At least, not any sane ones.
Hopefully, some of the ones on this board will reply to you.
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Old 01-17-2020, 04:09 PM
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One might also note that assassinations are more likely than large revolt. And, further, one might note that these do take place (e.g. the Congressional baseball shooting) but, obviously, the level of complaint among the general populace is far below the threshold necessary for any real, organized radical undertakings.
I don't think assassinations can be viewed as a political issue in American history. Most of our political assassinations can be traced back to mental health problems. We're a country where lone nuts commit assassinations not extremist groups.

There are a few exceptions; Abraham Lincoln and William Seward, James Hinds, William Goebel, Marcus Foster, the attempted assassination of Harry Truman, and the Galleanists. But most American assassins do not belong to any group. We haven't generally had equivalents of Direct Action, the Black Hand, the Black September, the Red Army Faction, or the People's Will.
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Old 01-17-2020, 04:10 PM
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I thought I would jot down some of my own thoughts on this since I have a bit of time.

There are about 300,000,000 people in the USA. Suppose that 1% of the American population thinks that the list I provided (or whatever else) rises to an attack on America worthy of violent uprising. That, 3,000,000 people. It is estimated that about 40% of Americans own a firearm. [1] So, 40% of 3,000,000 is 1,200,000 revolutionaries. Let's say 1% is too high and lower it to 0.1%. That's still 120,000. or 0.01%, that's 12,000. Where are the revolutionaries?

There's only, in my mind, two possibilities. Neither are good for the argument that civilian firearm ownership stops a the American gov't from taking your rights and freedoms.

1. Civilian gun owners won't revolt over the erosion of rights and freedoms; or,
2. Nothing on the list rises to revolt worthy.

Obviously, if it is the first option, then civilian firearm ownership doesn't protect other rights and freedoms. So, let's examine the second option.

If the items on that list are not serious enough, then what is? And how does a gun owner know that's they've reached that critical point? How does a gun owner know they've reached the critical mass of people to be successful (yes I've conceded that a violent civilian uprising would succeed but certainly not by one dude with a red bandada and an M60)?
You're not doing a great job of selling the idea that you're not obsessed with the idea that guns can't kill people and thus can't be used in modern times to affect change, and that we should discuss something else other than that.

If that is what you want to discuss, I would say that it is better to start a thread about scenarios that would allow an armed group to succeed and see if no one can write a single potentiality.

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Old 01-17-2020, 04:14 PM
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I haven't heard one pro-gun person say "I own my guns to prevent the US government from becoming tyrannical".
Those exact words? Maybe not. But I saw somebody post just this week that if we didn't have the Second Amendment, we'd also lose the First Amendment. That seems to be the same position; it's saying that personally owned forearms are what prevents the government from taking away our other freedoms.

I'll grant you it's not the usual argument among pro-gun people. I feel that most pro-gun people give priority to the self-defense against crime argument.
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Old 01-17-2020, 04:21 PM
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Usually? I haven't heard one pro-gun person say "I own my guns to prevent the US government from becoming tyrannical".

At least, not any sane ones.
You've never attended a Texas gun show, have ya?
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Old 01-17-2020, 04:44 PM
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For a successful revolution to occur, I think we'd need a very large chunk of the country to be in desperate circumstances -- maybe 20% or more. Desperate circumstances mean pretty much no legitimate chance at a decent quality of life for one's self and family.
Hah. Haha. Hahahahaha.
*wipes away crazyness tear*

Anyway, leaving this here without comment.
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Old 01-17-2020, 04:47 PM
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The reason Japan didn't invade the US Mainland is because at no point in the war were they capable of doing so, and I'd need a very reliable cite if you claim otherwise.
Also that was never ever their plan, ever ; and it's aggressively silly to talk about it.
The whole Japanese plan was "we'll get them to fuck off their colonies, and then they'll just say "oh, well" if we growl hard enough".
Blind and stupid, sure. But that's really as far as their most fevered ambitions ever got. Not a single soul in Japan dreamt of an invasion of the US. If anything, they wouldn't have seen the point.

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Old 01-17-2020, 04:52 PM
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You're not doing a great job of selling the idea that you're not obsessed with the idea that guns can't kill people and thus can't be used in modern times to affect change, and that we should discuss something else other than that.

If that is what you want to discuss, I would say that it is better to start a thread about scenarios that would allow an armed group to succeed and see if no one can write a single potentiality.
No, I'm absolutely 100% willing to concede that given a certain critical number (I don't know what that it is, and it isn't important. It is greater than 1 and less than 300,000,000) that a group of true American patriots can win the day against the USA military and police forces! U-S-A! U-S-A! U-S-A!

I am saying that they won't act, because they haven't acted. The freedoms cherished by Americans are under attack right now and have been for at least 20ish years. So, where are they?

Furthermore, even if there were some critical level of erosion of rights that might spur some to action then how do you get such a violent uprising to start in the first place. Every individual clearly has their own level of enough is enough (and the absence of revolutionaries suggest that we've not reached that level). So, it is far more likely that if things continue to get worse, you might see individuals acting out. As with what happened in Moncton, NB. Thinking that they're going to spark the revolt. Only to be arrested or gunned down. They will be branded a conspiracy theorist lone wolf or a terrorist. The government is already very capable of stopping a small group of terrorists. So in some sense, the gun owners have already missed their cue to strike. If this is accurate, then civilian firearm ownership didn't do anything to prevent the erosion of rights past the point of no return. Freedom has already been traded for security, and civilian gun owners didn't even flinch.

Like, I recognize that Part II is very speculative. I mainly find it odd that despite the attack on America's freedoms, the civilian gun owners are inactive. Certainly, there must be a couple of hundred patriots who think the government has gone too far right? Where are they? Why haven't they banded together and attacked?

Overall, there doesn't seem to be any compelling evidence that civilian gun owners would rise up. There's no compelling evidence that there would be a critical point at which they would collectively rise up in large numbers (and small groups and individuals will fail). Thus, civilian gun ownership doesn't prevent the erosion of other rights and freedoms.

Although I'm still thinking about if there were government violence against protestors... it is an interesting thought.
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Old 01-17-2020, 05:58 PM
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I don't think assassinations can be viewed as a political issue in American history. Most of our political assassinations can be traced back to mental health problems. We're a country where lone nuts commit assassinations not extremist groups.

There are a few exceptions; Abraham Lincoln and William Seward, James Hinds, William Goebel, Marcus Foster, the attempted assassination of Harry Truman, and the Galleanists. But most American assassins do not belong to any group. We haven't generally had equivalents of Direct Action, the Black Hand, the Black September, the Red Army Faction, or the People's Will.
AIM, Black Panthers, etc.

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  #32  
Old 01-17-2020, 07:25 PM
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I am saying that they won't act, because they haven't acted. The freedoms cherished by Americans are under attack right now and have been for at least 20ish years. So, where are they?
As has been said, the majority of guns are owned by people who don't cherish those freedoms. At all.

About the only threat-to-freedom I think has a credible chance of getting the majority of gun owners to revolt would be a threat to the freedom to own guns themselves. Suggestions that that freedom might be a threatened have been an effective marketing ploy for the sale of the supposed rebellion instruments.

Of course, the type of rebellion this would instigate would be wholly ineffective at toppling the government - the outraged gun owners would be dispersed and disorganized. And, lacking supply lines, having fifty tons of gun and ammunition in your barn is only useful if you want to mount a very violent defense of that barn.
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Old 01-17-2020, 07:43 PM
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If there is an armed insurrection by gun owners, ideologically it'll be the same movement as was behind the civil war. An effort to promote white supremacy. I don't see that group getting huge support from the public in their war efforts. If there is an armed insurrection in the US, it won't be in defense of freedom, it'll be to promote white nationalism and christian fascism. People who want to undermine democracy and multiculturalism to create a white ethnostate. Because of that, I'm not sure how much support they'll have from the public. Probably 10-25%, but even with that a lot of people will be willing to turn them in.

But more importantly, in the civil war the south has generals and other military officers, institutions, military hardware, etc and they still couldn't win. The southern military was 1 million soldiers strong while the north was 2 million solders strong. The north had a bigger economy, more people and international support.

Also I think if white nationalists tried to overthrow democracy, there would be a heavy pushback from people who believe in democracy and multiculturalism. This idea that non-whites, non-christians, liberals, etc would all just cower in fear while 55 year old white men armed with pistols tried to overthrow democracy isn't true. A lot of those white nationalists would be beaten to death in the street.

Best case scenario, the insurgents cause enough chaos that the US government gives them a plot of land to live in that is free from federal law if they agree to stop their domestic terrorism.
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  #34  
Old 01-17-2020, 07:54 PM
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Here you go:

NB that refers to active support; moral support will naturally be much higher. Also NB that non-violent campaigns are statistically twice as likely to succeed as violent uprisings.
Sadly that doesn't seem to be working in Hong Kong. Then again, I don't know how you measure it.

Is 1/3 of the public rebelling in Hong Kong, or do you combine the population of Hong Kong and China together? If the latter, its barely 1% of the public rebelling.

Also sadly it doesn't seem to be working in Venezuela either.
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  #35  
Old 01-17-2020, 09:08 PM
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No, I'm absolutely 100% willing to concede that given a certain critical number (I don't know what that it is, and it isn't important. It is greater than 1 and less than 300,000,000) that a group of true American patriots can win the day against the USA military and police forces! U-S-A! U-S-A! U-S-A!
Given that you seem to have no respect for your own rule, I am going to give up being bound by it or trying to convince you to hold to it.

But so, yes, I will concede that if one day the military, the FBI, state and city police, and US government all turned on a dime against the people of the United States of America, and the people all lined up on one side of a very large field and the US military lined up on the opposite side, and the government decided that they didn't mind nuking their own land and killing the people that they hoped to rule over, that the US military would win that battle.

I would suggest to you that this is not the most likely avenue by which things would unfold and that it is bizarre to put forward that sort of scenario.

As just one of several million scenarios, let's say that General Mattis decides that he will not be part of ending the Constitution. General Esper decides to go along with the President. Esper and Mattis start duking it out with their halves of the military, all around the planet. Here in the US it's the people of the country versus the combined military might of the Coast Guard.

That's not what would happen? No? How did you determine that this scenario is less plausible than the one where the US military and the citizens run across a field, into a pitched battle?
  #36  
Old 01-17-2020, 10:28 PM
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AIM, Black Panthers, etc.
AIM and the Black Panthers have committed a lot of violent crimes but I don't recall them ever getting involved in assassinations.
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Old 01-17-2020, 11:08 PM
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Those exact words? Maybe not. But I saw somebody post just this week that if we didn't have the Second Amendment, we'd also lose the First Amendment.
Do you have a link to this post? Is it a sane poster?
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Old 01-17-2020, 11:22 PM
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Do you have a link to this post? Is it a sane poster?
Does he have a kilt ?
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Old 01-17-2020, 11:34 PM
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The revolution has already occurred. We're living in the New World Order right now and it's the best we'll see in our lifetimes. Meet the new boss, same as the old boss.
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Old 01-18-2020, 12:56 AM
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Do you have a link to this post? Is it a sane poster?
I saw it too:

https://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb...0&postcount=35
  #41  
Old 01-18-2020, 02:28 AM
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AIM and the Black Panthers have committed a lot of violent crimes but I don't recall them ever getting involved in assassinations.
True. Sorry, I just saw the list of names and missed the context of your post. I was in a hurry.

The KKK, did, I believe.

I'm not sure if the Revolutionaries committed any assassinations, but I wouldn't be overly astonished.

And then there were the Indian Wars, but that's a bit more questionable since the Native Americans weren't necessarily Americans (and I don't know if they assassinated anyone).
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Old 01-18-2020, 02:45 AM
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The KKK, did, I believe.
It's a hard one to call. I did mention James Hinds which was an example of the KKK carrying out what was clearly a political assassination. But in general their crimes are harder to classify.

In most cases of extremist groups using assassination as a weapon, they're targeting the existing regime. They're trying to tear down the power structure from below.

The Ku Klux Klan was attacking in the opposite direction. They targeted people who were below them in the social order in an effort to keep those people from trying to rise higher. So I guess I would call them more reactionary terrorists rather then revolutionary terrorists. But I can understand if somebody feels this distinction isn't crucial.

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  #43  
Old 01-18-2020, 10:09 AM
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Given that you seem to have no respect for your own rule, I am going to give up being bound by it or trying to convince you to hold to it.
Yeah, well, man, that's just like your opinion.

Quote:
But so, yes, I will concede that if one day the military, the FBI, state and city police, and US government all turned on a dime against the people of the United States of America, and the people all lined up on one side of a very large field and the US military lined up on the opposite side, and the government decided that they didn't mind nuking their own land and killing the people that they hoped to rule over, that the US military would win that battle.

That's not the point of this thread. I've already specified it a few times. But the primary point of this thread is:

If civilian firearm owners are a bulwark against the lost of American rights and freedoms, and would rise up in violence against the government, then where are they?

Even if you accept that the list above isn't so bad, this isn't about you. This is about the statistical number of firearm owners in the USA. Certainly, there must be some percentage who do? Some of the things on that list are really bad. So where are these revolutionaries?

The secondary point is a possible reason, in my opinion, why we don't see any revolutionaries is two-fold. One, the revolutionaries are at home watching TV and eating potato chips. Americans might protest but they will not revolt over the erosion of their rights because they're too comfortable. People revolt when they're starving. Additionally, it is incredibly difficult to nearly impossible to start a revolution. The government is very well equipped to deal with individual and small groups, so the first few people who might want to revolt are going to get crushed. This keeps the civilian gun owners from revolting even if they wanted to, which they clearly don't. The notion that suddenly civilian firearm owners are going to rise up en masse and then defeat the government (which I'm conceding they would) doesn't seem very plausible.

The only realistic scenario I've seen presented that this could happen would be a violent retaliation against protestors, causing them to arm themselves and this spiralling out of control. This works because if you have a large unarmed protest, it can become a large armed protest very quickly giving it that core nucleus to get over that initial hurdle to spark a revolution with sufficient numbers to overthrow the government (which I'm conceding would happen).

So that's the last time I'm going to explain it. I don't do loops online. If you don't get it from this post, then I'm not going to repeat it again.

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  #44  
Old 01-18-2020, 03:17 PM
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Yeah, well, man, that's just like your opinion.




That's not the point of this thread. I've already specified it a few times. But the primary point of this thread is:

If civilian firearm owners are a bulwark against the lost of American rights and freedoms, and would rise up in violence against the government, then where are they?

Even if you accept that the list above isn't so bad, this isn't about you. This is about the statistical number of firearm owners in the USA. Certainly, there must be some percentage who do? Some of the things on that list are really bad. So where are these revolutionaries? ...
Bolding mine.

Well, man, that's just like your opinion.

The thread is your op but isn't about you. Still let's imagine it was: you think these things are "really bad" ... are they bad enough that you'd be willing to potentially die in a trying to overpower the government to undo it?

But this is about firearm owners who believe that their role is to be a free-standing militia force against the government taking away their rights. These are not people who care about drone strikes on American citizens abroad or brown kids in cages. These are the people who see Trump as their man. What you are asking really is why more are not in the militia movement and why more of them have not acted.

They have, in acts of domestic terrorism, already been driven to revolt against the (((globalist))) cabal, the elitists, and the uppity others, that undermine real America's rights.

Trump in October at least had his speculation on what would drive these gun owners to action:
Quote:
On Sunday, Trump tweeted a comment that the Rev. Robert Jeffress made on “Fox & Friends Weekend” that same day. “....If the Democrats are successful in removing the President from office (which they will never be), it will cause a Civil War like fracture in this Nation from which our Country will never heal.” ... Talk of civil war among militia groups has been ongoing for years. Whether it’s anger over immigration and the lack of a wall across the southern border, or concern over a socialist takeover and gun regulation, militias have long taken to social media to pledge they’re ready for a fight. ...
The militia movement had 50,000 members in the Michigan Militia alone at its peak and after years of decline started growing again in response to a Black president.

And they have continued to grow with the stated plan to defend Trump and real America with arms since Trump was elected.
Quote:
... Militia groups, meanwhile, seem eager to serve Trump's agenda. A recent report by AP claimed that while activity by such organizations historically drops under Republican presidents (and rises with Democratic ones, particularly if their name is Barack Obama) – activity under Trump doesn’t seem to follow the same pattern.

The militias, in fact, are recruiting. According to Mic.com, Oath Keepers — one of the largest militia groups in the U.S. — and similar groups have been enlisting new members through online communities like 4Chan, sites that have served as a hotbed for the growth of the alt-right and tend to attract disaffected young men. This, in itself, is not particularly shocking: Much like other far-right movements, militias were early adopters of the internet, says Arie Perliger, a professor at the School of Criminology and Justice Studies at the University of Massachusetts – Lowell, and an expert on far-right extremists and domestic terrorism. These groups have been using it to promote their ideology, solidify ranks and coordinate activities.

“They have hundreds of thousands of subscribers to their websites. They’re extremely active,” the professor notes. “This is why when people are talking about 'lone wolves,' I think they need to be very careful. People may act by themselves, but they never see themselves as acting alone. They see themselves as people who represent a wider community.” ...

... In trying to defend the police’s passive response to the violence on Saturday, Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe revealed just how intimidating these militias have become: “It’s easy to criticize, but I can tell you this: 80 percent of the people there had semiautomatic weapons,” said McAuliffe, who went on to say that the militias had better equipment than the State Police. ...

... Spurred by the seeming government encroachment on civil liberties, as well as by the conspiracy-laden paranoia that followed George H.W. Bush’s 1990 declaration of a “New World Order,” many took up arms and began training, under a rigid military-style regimen, believing that an armed conflict between them and the federal government was sure to come.

The rise of the militia movement in the last two decades can essentially be divided into two waves, says Perliger, the expert on extremism. One wave followed Ruby Ridge and Waco, he says, while the other one evolved during the last decade or so.

“The principal agenda of these groups didn’t really change,” says Perliger. “Many of them believe that the U.S. government is controlled by a foreign agent, that it doesn’t serve the interests of the American people. Eventually, they believe, a violent confrontation with the U.S. government will occur, so they are preparing for that by conducting military training, stockpiling weapons and so on.” ...
This is where they are.
  #45  
Old 01-18-2020, 08:52 PM
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I think we're not seeing armed revolution because it's missing a catalyst: widespread economic insecurity. The damage done to public confidence in democratic and administrative institutions is problematic already, but it's a powder keg if (okay, when) there is an economic collapse.

Why did Arab spring happen? Why did Al Qaeda happen? Because young, mostly unmarried, men couldn't find work - couldn't even pay for basic essentials. Telling millions and millions of young men that not only are there no jobs but that they have no hope of having a life and a future of their own as most of us would imagine it growing up...is a recipe for political unrest. Why did ISIS grow so fast? Because they actually paid young men when local governments and legitimate businesses couldn't, and gave them a sense of community.

People are thinking that things are bad now. Nah, nuh uh. Ain't seen nothing yet - trust me on that one.

But that brings me back to the issue of a revolution and what it would look like. My take is that the revolution might end up fracturing America as we know it into different pieces, leaving the "United" States broken, never to recover again.

Mind you, despite all my doom and gloom, it doesn't necessarily have to end this way. But there are going to be major challenges in preserving the American state as we know it. Our constitution is antiquated, and unfortunately, it's hard to fix its flaws.
  #46  
Old 01-19-2020, 09:18 AM
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I think we're not seeing armed revolution because it's missing a catalyst: widespread economic insecurity. The damage done to public confidence in democratic and administrative institutions is problematic already, but it's a powder keg if (okay, when) there is an economic collapse.
^^^ That. Capitalistic economies typically average a recession every 5-7 years, we are in unprecedented 10 year run (121 months now) run of growth, the longest, although not one of the strongest. Typically when capitalist economies go into a recession, generally they do two things: the government will cut interest rates, and borrow more more money in the form of debt. It was done this time although we were already were in a long economic expansion.

When the next recession happens, what is going to be done? Cut interest rates so much it goes into negative returns? Stimulate the economy by doubling the trillion dollar annual debt to two trillion? Let's hope the next one is just a recession, and it doesn't pop like the Hindenburg leading us into a depression.
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Old 01-19-2020, 10:24 AM
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^^^ That. Capitalistic economies typically average a recession every 5-7 years, we are in unprecedented 10 year run (121 months now) run of growth, the longest, although not one of the strongest. Typically when capitalist economies go into a recession, generally they do two things: the government will cut interest rates, and borrow more more money in the form of debt. It was done this time although we were already were in a long economic expansion.

When the next recession happens, what is going to be done? Cut interest rates so much it goes into negative returns? Stimulate the economy by doubling the trillion dollar annual debt to two trillion? Let's hope the next one is just a recession, and it doesn't pop like the Hindenburg leading us into a depression.
There's another factor: in an economic crisis, there has to be a way to arrive at some sort of political consensus on what the "solution" is, and the people who are in a position to respond to the crisis (i.e. Treasury Sec and other officials) have to be competent on a macroeconomic level.

In the middle of the Great Recession, we were fortunate that the Republican party hadn't been completely hijacked by total nut bars. Remember that there was notable opposition to TARP and to bailouts (I acknowledge some Democrats also opposed bailouts to spite 'evil' corporations). The point is, the Republicans in power at the time understood that their brand of free market capitalism was failing and that it was in the best interests of the country to swallow their ideology for a bit and inject capital into the system before a total system collapse occurred.

I'm going to assume that in almost any scenario this November, Republicans will have enough power to disrupt and obstruct against Democratic proposals. Regardless of which side of the political fence, it's the intent to obstruct and disrupt that would be lethal during an economic crisis.

And yes, this is in addition to a number of factors that promise to intensify our economic crisis. Our growing debt is a problem. And paradoxically, our current economic strength on the surface is fueling irresponsible borrowing.
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