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Do people honestly believe that the governments of free western societies stand a chance against their own populace?
How could they?
"But, Joker, they have the military backing them up and they have all the weapons!"
No they don't.
There is no single button to launch all nukes and even if there was they aren't pointed at your countries own infrastructure anyway.
Military personel aren't brainwashed automatons.
They are members of the same population you are.
They are your brothers and fathers and sisters and mothers, they are your cousins and uncles and aunts and neices and nephews. And if they aren't your family members directly, they are damn sure someone elses!
Civil wars are still possible due to idealogical differences in the population.
But if (we'll use the U.S. as an example ) Bush woke up and announced that he was making himself Emporer of The United States and all should bow before him we would all have a good laugh as they carted him away to the mental institution.
Even if changes came gradually with the passage of subtle and unsubtle laws it would only mean voting in new representatives after summarily executing the offenders.
That doesn't mean some won't try, but as long as the population maintains an adequate level of awareness I just don't see it happening.
No free western government stands a chance against 'We, the people'
They only run the show because 'We' let them.
Don't ever kid yourself about that.
End of rant.
I have to agree and disagree.
I disagree with the fact that soldiers aren't brainwashed, they are. I would hope they are otherwise, where did all these souless killers come from.
I agree because I don't think soldiers are brainwashed that badly that they would follow something THAT horrendous.
I am reminded of an old army story. A private walks into his OC's office and starts to complain that his Sargeant hates him. He hates him SO much that the private wouldn't be surprised if he tells him to go jump in the lake. The captain looks at the private and says, "Son, if anything like that ever happens, you come tell me. But, you DAMN well better be wet".
Point being, we were brainwashed to follow orders, but, we were taught to think as well.
A little pain never hurt anyone - Larry
In fact this has always been the crux of my stance against interventionist wars. It is impossible for a government, dictator, whatever to oppress a people for any significant amount of time. If things get really, really bad and everyone in the society fears for themselves and their loved ones it pretty quickly becomes "everyone march on el presidente's palace and walk out with his head on a stick" time.
Now people may use examples such as Mao or Stalin to try to deflect me here, but those guys and their secret police posed a threat only to those who were actively trying to destroy their government such as rivals, intellectuals, etc. The average Russian or Chinese peasant's life was just as arbitrary and dismal as it always was during thier reigns. But look what happens when a government directly threatens the normal people for no real reason except "because we can." You get the French and Russian revolutions for starters.
Because of this I don't think any nation should try to overthrow the dictator of any other country. The people have to realize themselves that their situation is bad, and do something about it themselves. Any other way simply prolongs violence, ill-feeling and, basically, war. It just throws more guns into the mix, and gives the intervening country the opportunity to become the hated and nosy foreigners. Yay.
Fight them with information, in fact educating people speeds up their awareness of what constitutes a good or bad way to live. But you don't need to fight FOR them, just point them the way, and stand back, even if it hurts you to see suffering.
Heh heh I doubt this is what Joker was talking about but, yeah I agree, people always beat government if they really need to.
So your point is that interventionist wars are unneccessary since a populace can, and most likely will, revolt against that leader. I won't use Mao or Stalin. I think Saddam will do. How long should the Iraqi people have been left to suffer? How many years should they endure that cruelty because we free nations are sitting about twiddling our thumbs and saying, "Any day now, Iraqis, any day. C'mon, c'mon, let's have a revolt."Originally Posted by robotnik
And what do we hear from them in return? "Hey thanks for the pamphlet, dudes. That information really, really helped."
I know I'm coming across as sardonic, and for the record, I have opposed the Iraq war from the start, but I think that my point is valid. How much suffering should be permitted waiting for some possible revolt?
Joker, I think your example about the nuclear weapons is a bit of a strawman. It's not that I fear my government using a nuclear weapon on me or my country. I fear bullets, attack dogs, firehoses, and riot gear. That's a much more realisitic threat.
And despite all the corruption in US government, I think you're right, there's no room for Bush to declare his potentate. The legal mechanisms are in place to stop that and there'd have to be a massive deterioration in free speeech, journalism, universities, and so on before that would ever, ever work.
I did want to make sure people understood that I was refering to free western nations.
There are numerous examples of other governments in this world that are stifleingly oppressive and have the backing of their police and military that the normal populace would never be able to claw it's way out from under without help.
I just don't see Tony Blair being able to seize absolute power in the U.K.
or Jacque Chirac assuming Napolean's long vacant seat of Emperor.
Middle Eastern, Central American, and most Asian and African nations aren't in the same position we are.
Robotnik and DavidVC04 you both have great points, but I only was referring mainly to western societies. Sorry.
Sure there could be a few rogue police departments or even a couple of battalions of the military that might need some 'attitude adjustments'.
But overall I think you'll find most people in those departments and military would refuse to act against their civilian populace and would more likely directly rebel against the institutions that order such transgressions.
Yes, to some degree the military personnel undergo intense training to help shorten the amount of time they spend contemplating the lawfulness, ethical, and moral consequences of the orders they are given to make them more efficient killers. To assume this means they're under some 'magical spell' of complete faithfulness to whatever orders they are given is a falacy.
It's important that people realize that their military isn't made up of mindless automatons that can be used against them at will here in free western socity, that attitude breeds unwarranted animosity.
Those guys take their oaths to protect you from enemies both foreign and domestic. They know the difference.
I know it's cliche, but the government really would have a problem conquering the redneck south. Weapons proliferation is astounding. A good number of those weapons are long-range precision weapons for hunting, depite the oft-imagined shotgun. Many areas are mountainous and/or heavily wooded, providing a problem for deployment. In addition, such terrain gives a massive advantage to those familiar with it. The people are rather rebellious and tend to be extremely self-sufficient, preventing an easy demoralization or supply cutoff. The area is sparsely populated, meaning that troops have to cover a lot of ground with limited resources. A large percentage of the populace is expert at woodland stealth, tracking, long-range shooting, and long-term field operations from hunting. These skills can rapidly and effectively be turned to guerilla operations.
Truly a strategic nightmare.
Quote for probably forever 'cause it rocks:
"Slaughter them, men, and bring me their hats."
I would have to disagree; Obviously not everyone in the south is a gun-toting redneck, in fact many are educated citizens, these people would not follow some demagogue just because he was charismatic. Also, I would say that the majority of people in the south are fiercely patriotic and will stand for the principles that America is known for. I really doubt that the south will just stand up one day and say: "We want <insert example of illegal thing here>, Screw the government in the north" or something along those lines.Originally Posted by neosonichdghg
And even if they did do that, it's not the citizens that causes the most worry, its the military stationed there that support the new regime (for lack of a better word). A few woodland shots does not compare to a squadron of F-22's armed to the teeth. If this were to happen, America would really be screwed.
Of course it's equally likely that the military do not follow, and simply crushes the resistance with the insane amount of firepower that the United States is known for...
Dreams give us a vision of a world unlike any we have seen. They present us with a glimpse of a better life; a goal to aspire to, and in the face of insurmountable odds, they provide us with the power to overcome, to live on, and to succeed where we would have otherwise failed.
I'm not saying the South is going to rebel again. I'm saying that if it did come down to war the area would be a difficult target.
Quote for probably forever 'cause it rocks:
"Slaughter them, men, and bring me their hats."
What happened to the viet-kongs when the military couldn't find them? the raised the whole area with napalm.Originally Posted by neosonichdghg
As to the goverment Vs the people, the political awerness is the big issue here, as far as I know, it is dangerously low. I think that too many citizens loose fate in democracy as it goes, wich explains to dramatically low percentage of the population participation to elections.
A more concrete approche would be an example: Up here in Canada, We regularly hear of political scandals, both on the federal and provincial levels, and it isn't uncommon that I hear people snapign and say: That's it, I ain't caring to vote anymore. In a system where a single party is viable, what can you do? The last elections up here have proven so. The party in power, wich as been stealing 500 millions and more from the public funds, and as gone unpunished (up here you can simply say you don't remember and you'll go on just fine), was reelected, (although as a minority goverment)as people were still voting for them while pinching their nozes.
Now will a revolution take place? unlikely, as it would mean a total breakdown is systems who are too heavy to simply replace.