James Rogers wrote:
> On Wed, 14 Jun 2000, Damien Broderick wrote:
> > Last night I watched a chilling BBC program by a journo who infiltrated a
> > bunch of soccer thugs in Britain and furtively filmed their antics and
> > boasts. These were not stupid men, by and large. Some of them had (or once
> > had) reasonably demanding jobs. They just lerrrrved smacking and bashing
> > the shit out of other people. Their blood was up, it boiled with rage and
> > delight, they had flow and peak experience. There's going to be a lot of it
> > going around, even if Banks's Culture emerges.
> > And please don't tell me this won't happen if everyone's packing heat (as
> > they used to say on the mean streets)
> Ummm...I *do* spend a lot of time in places where most everyone "packs
> heat" (and where the local populations consume more than their fair
> share of alcohol I might add). The blood does not run in the streets and
> people are generally very polite in their behavior. These people
> are *very* aware of the weapon they carry and the responsibility that goes
> with it. As is often noted, the American "wild west" had a lower incident
> of violent crime than the not-so-wild west ever had.
> Your claim is frequently made, but has proven to be invalid in the
> numerous cases where everyone does in fact "pack heat". I don't
> understand how this assertion can be made any more, given the large body of
> evidence that refutes it.
> Perhaps populations that "pack heat" have more evolved level of maturity,
> or at least personal responsibility, than those that don't. One thing is
> for certain: broadly armed populations definitely select for these traits.
Very much so. Its much like nuclear deterrence. Note the lack of World
Wars since the creation of the atom bomb, at a time when one would
expect such basically incompatible political systems to be slogging it
out toe to toe on an ongoing, full bore, basis. Nukes stood them off
until one side collapsed as a result of its own memetic unfitness in the
marketplace. The same process will occur with the future confrontation
between China and the US, which I predict will be a far more dangerous
period, while at the same time, China will have a greater capacity to
collapse if treated right.
An armed society creates an implied threat that shuts up loudmouths,
tones down the emotionally heated, and essentially spontaneously
organizes a polite society. Of course, there are those that think that
their right to wantonly assault or insult anyone that annoys them
exceeds an individuals right to defend his life, love, liberty and
property. Such individuals do not last where there is evolution in
action, and they clearly resent the pressure.
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