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Latest users (2): pebar, tredbear, anonymous(12).
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#4710 - largenintimidating (07/20/2012) [-]
I don't get why people always point to government as the culprit in war and cruelty.

It takes two to tango. Blaming it all on "the government" instead of the people is like having some guy tell you to beat the shit out of someone else, and then tell the police that it was all that guy's fault. You were the one who followed his orders. You were the one whose fists were pummeling into the man's face.

Don't say that it's like the guy giving orders has a gun to your back, because in democracies (yes, the US is a democracy too), you gave the guy the gun after he said that he'd tell you to beat the guy up.

The best example of this bullshit is WWI. Everyone always says that it was the governments' fault that all those people died in 1914-1918. Yet it took a personal decision by each and every soldier to keep fighting. A personal decision by each and every factory worker to keep screwing the tops on artillery shells. For four years straight, Western Europe's governments waged that war, and committed the atrocities of genocide and trench warfare, with the consent, and co-operation, of their populations. You say the populations of Europe had no choice, but those same governments proved incapable of resisting when the populace eventually said "no" in 1917 in Russia, and in 1918 in Germany and Austria-Hungary; and these were the countries where the people's opinion supposedly had the least weight.

So the next time you're about to say "blame the government, not the people" or "governments alone commit atrocities", remember that power actually does reside with the people, but the people simply aren't willing to admit that.
User avatar #4773 to #4710 - techketzer (07/21/2012) [-]
"Don't say that it's like the guy giving orders has a gun to your back,"

Why not? It is a fact. I just recently came back from mandatory military service, and yes, they had several guns pointed into my back.
Laws that directly violated several of my human rights and the potential of violence to enforce them against me.

You grossly misrepresented what led to the end of WW1. Grossly.
It took nothing short but the Soviet revolution for the Russian government to fall out of the war and the complete failure and breakdown of both finance and industry for Germany and Austria.
That wasn't people rising up, that was the whole system failing because of attrition.

So remember, next time someone blames the government for sending troops and giving orders that end up costing human lives, shut your goddamn trap and let the man talk.
#4782 to #4773 - largenintimidating (07/21/2012) [-]
Didn't I explain exactly why it's not an excuse in the sentence immediately after that?

Mandatory military service also exists where I live, and I'll have to do it, because the majority of the population supports it, and will not their power by vote and/or protest to abolish it.

You do realize that the Russian Revolution was how the people exercised their power in a non-democratic country? You may have noticed how I actually said that the people's opinion had the least weight in non-democratic countries.

The failure of the system in Germany and Austria-Hungary was brought about by the collapse of confidence experienced by the populations of the aforementioned countries. Banks, soldiers, factory workers; you know, the people who that system was made up of, collectively said; "fuck this". The four years before that, and in the Allied countries until the very end, the population believed in their cause enough to keep supporting their government through loans, guns and lives. When they lost that belief; finally decided that they did not support the war, the system collapsed, and their governments were forced to fold.
User avatar #4789 to #4782 - techketzer (07/21/2012) [-]
Actually, no, you didn't. The sentence after that is a logical fallacy about how the governed supposedly control their governors.

Ah, yes, democracy. How I hate it. I have NO intention of living my life like the majority of some arbitrary group thinks I should. Or the ones those fools decide to appoint into some meaningless, flashy office. No one in this world has any right to rule over me or others, be it single person, institution or collective. Not even touching the flaws of representation and decision-making and I'm already done with democracy.

You are awfully quick to dismiss the immense degrees of power and control the governments have over the ones they govern. A revolution is not merely the people exacting their power, it is the people resorting to violence and bloodshed once they decide they cannot take the oppression of the government any longer.

I agree with you that there is power residing with the people, and very much of it.
The government however has the power do decide about war or peace.
When the government says war but the people want peace and stand up for it you get what is called public unrest and easily enough escalates into violent revolution and civil war.
#4794 to #4789 - largenintimidating (07/21/2012) [-]
Should I make the gun metaphor clearer?

In a democracy, the people give government to the person whose policies they deem best. They give the gun to the man whose suggestion for what to make you do with it most fit with you.

Yes, governments have immense power. I never said that saying "no" was easy. Especially if the majority of the population still says "yes", and believe in it enough to oppose those who say "no". They are given the power by the people to decide about the declaration of War. The point still stays that the final say is with the people. Once the people are fed up enough with it for the majority to say no, the war is usually over, whether the government likes it or not. A war may start without the people, but it's not going anywhere without them.
User avatar #4798 to #4794 - techketzer (07/21/2012) [-]
No, you should understand its implications.
Once the gun is given away, the guy who got it has no obligation or interest in keeping whatever he promised. He has the gun now, he can do whatever he wants to and the people can either obey or get shot.

"A war may start without the people, but it's not going anywhere without them."
That's not true.
I'll only say one word: Stalin.
A government so powerful and ruthless it forced its people through the greatest war there ever was in the most inhumane fashion there ever was.
#4800 to #4798 - largenintimidating (07/21/2012) [-]
Yeah, except the gun was given to him by twenty people, who can definitely wrest it from him if they choose to do so. It may be bloody. It may end in deaths. But if the people so decide, that guy is losing the gun. He has a vested interest in doing what he said he'd do instead of attempting a coup, because he'd like to keep getting the gun, and because the people are a hell of a lot less likely to get pissed off enough to turn against and kill him for misconduct if he does.

Except the Nazis worked hard to keep the Russian people motivated. Stalin didn't do the grunt work in ensuring the Soviet war effort stayed alive, Hitler did by showing the Russian people that persecuting the war was much better than surrendering to those murderous fuckheads known as the Nazis. Stalin helped a little maybe, but the onus of the war's continuation was still on the majority of people hating the invader more than the war.
User avatar #4806 to #4800 - techketzer (07/21/2012) [-]
" Stalin helped a little maybe, but the onus of the war's continuation was still on the majority of people hating the invader more than the war."
That is so hopelessly dripping with Soviet-romanticism...

No. It was nothing but Stalin using his gun on his people.
Don't like working 20 hours a day? Shot.
Don't like being used as meat shield and cannon fodder? Shot.
Thinking about surrendering? Shot.
Getting caught by enemy forces and taken as POW? Traitor! We'll bomb your camp.

The entire Soviet war effort was backed by nothing but exorbitant amounts of governmental violence against its own people; propaganda being a part of that.

"Yeah, except the gun was given to him by twenty people, who can definitely wrest it from him if they choose to do so."
Very funny. This is exactly where the metaphor fails, we're not talking about a fucking pea-shooter. More like a nuclear bomb, enough power to lay everything in ruin and poison the very ground for decades and centuries.
#4808 to #4806 - largenintimidating (07/21/2012) [-]
Okay, Stalin helped more than a little. I'll give you that, and in a communist dictatorship, the people have it harder when they try to say "no", because there is no system in place to protect them. In a Soviet Government, you're nuclear bomb metaphor is probably right, apart from the fact that that government collapsed. In a Western Democracy however, and especially the US where a huge amount of people have personal weapons, it's still an assault rifle at most because of Constitutions, Free Press, less corrupt police, more educated people etc. etc.

If you're posting from the Western world, the government has that assault rifle at most. Elections are almost without doubt free and fair. And you're part of an angry minority that can't get the guy with the assault rifle because 19 out of 20 people still agree with what he's doing more than they disagree.
User avatar #4816 to #4808 - techketzer (07/21/2012) [-]
"in a communist dictatorship, the people have it harder when they try to say "no""
"Harder" is one hell of an euphemism here, it is nothing short of suicidal. Also please be precise, the Soviet Union was not communist but socialist. And yes, it collapsed, but because of the inborn economic flaws, not because the resistance of the people.

I agree the western governments are much less powerful, but are you truly argumenting it's okay to point a weapon at someone as long as it's an assault rifle and not a nuke?

Also yes, the elections themselves are technically free and fair, which is the greatest mockery of the people there is, considering everything you can vote for is corrupt to the core. So yes, every four years we have the free and fair choice which spineless traitorous swine will get to exploit and betray us for the next four. As I said, not with my consent.

I'm part of a minority, and yes, I'm goddamn angry. Not sure what you tried to say with the rest of the sentence, so I'll just explain what I'm all about here.

I consider myself an Anarchist, and a very radical one at that. I do not believe in government, not in laws, but in absolute self-determination of every single human being. I would never point a weapon at someone in order to get my way, and I will never accept someone else doing it, be it person or institution or collective.
#4817 to #4816 - largenintimidating (07/21/2012) [-]
You're a radical anarchist. I'm not zealous enough to argue with one whose already decided that all politicians are inhuman and corrupt on the supposed corruption of western politics.

Let's call it a day or we'll be here forever.
User avatar #4824 to #4817 - techketzer (07/21/2012) [-]
Hey, I merely said I don't believe in any kind of government and that I detest violence.
Everything else I said is a direct result of this central point.

If you want to call quits, then do so, I can't stop you.
Neither can I stop you believing in fairytales, gods, or the honesty of politicians.
#4719 to #4710 - repostsrepost (07/21/2012) [-]
Power does rest with the people at first. Because it is the people that put the government into power. Even in a monarchy it would cease to exist if it lacked internal legitimacy. Then the populists come along. They in the form of some grand champion of the people, offer unity, security, equality, justice and people willingly give up their sovereignty for these promises. All that results is absolute power. Whether its socialism, corporatism, fascism, communism, its all the same. By the time the people realize what they have unleashed, it is too late to do anything about it. Someone may not be responsible directly for the actions of their government but just remember, the Nazis were popularly elected.
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