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Troops in the Streets
Sultan Knish ^ | November 03, 2012 | Daniel Greenfield

Posted on 11/04/2012 5:52:14 AM PST by expat1000

Every now and then an email comes my way warning about the day when the government unleashes the military against its own citizens. This day isn't likely to come because for one thing the current regime is not particularly fond of the military.

The Obama Administration isn't inflicting massive cuts on the military, cutting their health care and pushing veteran officers out the door because it likes the military as an institution. It doesn't. And it won't until it remakes it into a fully politically correct institution dedicated to promoting tolerance and fighting global warming. Progress has been made on that front, the Navy is cutting ships and spending money on Green Energy. The Marines are celebrating gay marriage. Any day now the Air Force will be announcing its first wheelchair pilot. But it's still a poor fit with the culture of the left.

If Obama has to have any kind of military, he prefers the kind where young men with college degrees sit in a room, push buttons and kill people thousands of miles away from remotely controlled aircraft. That kind of military is a closer cultural fit with a campaign that is in love with technocratic solutions and always looking for shortcuts to avoid the dangerous and dirty hard work that has to be done. It's also much less dangerous.

Unleashing the military on a civilian population carries a price. Once you call out the troops to protect your regime, one of two things happen. Either the troops don't do it and your government is done. Or they do it and your regime now lives or dies by the support of the military. Within the last few years the use of the military in Egypt and Iran turned generals into the arbiters of political succession. To the left, the idea of the people they despise deciding who should run the country and how is their biggest nightmare. It is one reason that we still have a democracy.

The more that a country depends on its military, the more likely it is to be run by the military. After the United States kept the Union together through a civil war, the first elected President after Lincoln was General Ulysses S Grant, the man credited by many with winning the war. His successor, Rutherford B. Hayes was a another general and a Civil War hero. As was Hayes' successor, James A. Garfield and his successor, Chester A. Arthur. Democratic draft dodger Grover Cleveland briefly broke the pattern, but then the Republicans were back with Benjamin Harrison. From 1869 to 1893, America was ruled by the Republican victors of the war who had at one time been able to put the title of general in front of their name. And that's in a democracy.

Popular wars have led to generals becoming presidents. The Revolutionary War gave us Washington. The War of 1812 gave us Andrew Jackson and Zachary Taylor. The Spanish-American War gave us Teddy Roosevelt, though he was only a Colonel. WW2 gave us Eisenhower. The Gulf War nearly gave us Colin Powell. The current war may yet give us Petraeus. But the Civil War gave us the largest amount of generals in the White House because it was an internal conflict.

Israel, another democracy which is heavily dependent on the military, has seated three generals in the Prime Minister's chair since the 1990's and far more who are involved in politics. The leader of the opposition is a general and there are five generals in Netanyahu's cabinet. This is a direct result of the elevation of the importance of the military as an institution. The more important the military is to the welfare of the country, the likelier it is to become a career track to prominent positions in the business world and in politics. And that's in a democracy. Imagine the situation in a dictatorship that depends on the military to stay in power.

The left might flirt with the idea of a people's military, but armies are their own institutions and their function forms their character. Communist attempts to create armies of the people still put guns in the hands of peasants who didn't have much in common with their rulers. After nearly a century of repression when the last dying gasp of the Soviet elite called on the military to protect them from the people, the military for the most part did nothing. It wasn't exactly the first hint that the Red Army might be unreliable. Not when 130,000 soldiers defected to the Vlasovites during WW2.

The Soviet Union did not depend on the Red Army, it did depend on the secret police. And the KGB took over. The KGB nearly seized power after Stalin's death and had to be suppressed by the Red Army. In 1982, power fell to an actual KGB Chairman. Today Russia is run by former KGB officers, including a fellow by the name of Vladimir Putin.

In a human body the part that is used the most is the part that develops. So too in a government. When a government relies on the military or the secret police, then those bodies will eventually become the government. But our governments are not all that dependent on the military. They don't rule through troops in the streets, but through bureaucrats in government offices.

Most people don't do things because they are forced to at the point of a gun, but because they have learned to follow regulations and to accept those regulations as second nature. Military planners may run through scenarios for suppressing a Tea Party uprising, but the people who actually run the country know that all they have to do is issue a bulletin and most people will go along with it.

Our dictatorship doesn't depend on men with guns, but men with pens and pocket protectors. Men who fill out forms all day and who know where our permanent record is. Our rule is under the empire of data. We are less worried about informers and more worried that a form that we filled out wasn't done the right way or was lost along the way. The American headquarters of the KGB isn't in a law enforcement building, it's in the EPA and the IRS and a thousand other bureaucratic institutions.

This is the kind of tyranny that the left understands and loves. A fully unionized and unarmed network of bureaucrats enforcing a constantly changing clothesline of rules whose full scope no one knows or understands. This is the tyranny of the byzantine, the chain of complexity and the power of baffling the citizen into submission with an incomprehensible system.

The system we live under is exactly the kind that bearded graduates debating dialectical materialism would build. A horrible Kafkaesque monster that few rebel against because few understand it or are capable of calculating the personal risks to them from the actions of the system. It does not require troops, only some police officers, and their task is less that of suppressing dissent and more of managing the disastrous social consequences of the system.

If this system were ever forced to resort to armed force to stay in power, it would have to undergo some fundamental changes. And that isn't likely to be in the cards. Bureaucracy is a virus, it depends not so much on who is in power, but on being the ones who run things for whoever is in power. Whether Bush or Obama are looking out of the Oval Office, the men and women who interpret their policies in line with the existing agenda are the ones who actually run the country.

The grand show of the American government with its presidents and senators, its elegant domes and assorted rituals, is a facade for the true power of a shadow government of committee meetings and think tanks who shape an agenda and then inject into organizations and associations of government workers who turn it into institutional policy long before the legislatures, governors and presidents have taken a single step.

This is where the true power lies and it is far more pervasive and potent than most people realize. But it is a power that is wholly dependent on our investment in its infrastructure. As long as the majority of the people want the order of working post offices, schools, health care programs, advisories and law enforcement, then the bureaucracy will wield its power until a strong chief executive backed by a united legislature confronts them. And meanwhile what we face are not troops in the streets, but a few million unionized public employees following policy as determined by think tanks, campaigned for by activists and enacted by courts. This is how we are ruled. This is where the danger lies.

If the people running this thing have to call out the military to enforce its latest round of EPA orders, health care mandates and affirmative action orders, then the system will not change that drastically. At least not outwardly. The number of generals running things however will increase and the kinds of people running things now, the smooth Ivy League grads who have never done anything harder than wait tables over summer break in their lives, will find themselves taking orders.

The revolution of the left will be over, not immediately, not overtly, but gradually the system of indirect power that the left has worked so hard to build will become something else. Behind the scenes the system will no longer have the same priorities. The Soviet Union stopped being Communist long before it fell. Had the generals overthrown Hitler, the Third Reich would have reverted back to a more conventional Prussian military dictatorship, even if the soldiers still marched under Swastikas. An America in which the power of the left is dependent on troops in the streets will mean their own defeat. And they know it.


TOPICS: Government; Politics; Society
KEYWORDS:

1 posted on 11/04/2012 5:52:17 AM PST by expat1000
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To: arasina; daisy mae for the usa; AdvisorB; wizardoz; free-in-nyc; Vendome; Louis Foxwell; ...


Sultan Knish/Daniel Greenfield Ping List (notification of new articles). FReepmail or drop me a comment to get on or off.
2 posted on 11/04/2012 5:53:32 AM PST by expat1000
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To: expat1000

Excellent read and on the money.


3 posted on 11/04/2012 5:59:28 AM PST by Mouton (Voting is an opiate of the electorate. Nothing changes no matter who wins..)
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To: expat1000


4 posted on 11/04/2012 5:59:42 AM PST by Diogenesis (Vi veri veniversum vivus vici)
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To: expat1000

Thanks for today’s ping, expat1000!

I hope the site is working better these days.

I really do appreciate these articles. :-)


5 posted on 11/04/2012 6:01:28 AM PST by left that other site (Worry is the Darkroom that Develops Negatives.)
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To: expat1000

Good article, but one that doesn’t deal with the possibility of the US being led by someone who actively intends to cause the collapse of the country so it can be brought into the harness of international socialist rule and the imposition of Islamic Shariah law.


6 posted on 11/04/2012 6:02:07 AM PST by Truth29
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To: Anoreth

ping


7 posted on 11/04/2012 6:05:00 AM PST by Tax-chick (Watch out for spiders.)
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To: expat1000

I agree Obama’s not a military guy. He never served. He plans on cutting the budget. But best to leave out the part about cutting health care and other benefits to veterans, because that parts not true. He actually increased the benefits to vets. If you start fudging in part of the article, that calls into question the rest of it. So it doesn’t do any good, when you have true facts, such as the rest of the post.


8 posted on 11/04/2012 6:08:01 AM PST by RepublicOfUSA
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To: RepublicOfUSA

I would love you to post that comment on the Sultan Knish blogsite. Almost certainly, Daniel will respond.

http://sultanknish.blogspot.com/


9 posted on 11/04/2012 6:12:13 AM PST by expat1000
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To: expat1000
Bureaucracy is a virus, it depends not so much on who is in power, but on being the ones who run things for whoever is in power. Whether Bush or Obama are looking out of the Oval Office, the men and women who interpret their policies in line with the existing agenda are the ones who actually run the country.

In 2000, shortly after Bush took office, a (very) liberal friend was loudly complaining that Bush was responsible for all of the problems with the State Department. That he should have fixed/changed the SD within a few weeks. Yes, he said literally a few weeks.

I pointed out to him that Presidents come and go, but the liberal intelligentsia that runs the SD never changes. The Pres swaps out a few of the people at the top of the pyramid, a little BS homage is paid to the intents and goals of the the leaders, and the SD continues doing everything just the way it wants to.

He didn't get it at all. No surprise there.

Many years ago in college it was pointed out by a smart prof that when a bureaucracy reaches a certain size, whatever the original intent/purpose of the organization was, it ceased to be. That bureaucracies, at that point, acquire the single purpose of *self preservation and perpetuation*.

10 posted on 11/04/2012 6:24:38 AM PST by ChildOfThe60s (If you can remember the 60s.....you weren't really there)
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To: RepublicOfUSA

When the man (or his lackeys) propose to raise the cost of health care to active duty and retired military, that’s the moral (and practical) equivalent of cutting the service.

Clinton claimed he wasn’t cutting Social Security benefits, but the Pubbies would. He then engineered an increase on the taxes of SS benefits. Everyone went rah rah, he protected us from the evil Pubbies.


11 posted on 11/04/2012 6:30:33 AM PST by ChildOfThe60s (If you can remember the 60s.....you weren't really there)
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To: expat1000
In the past, the U.S. President and Congress would not have dared to use the U.S. military to intimidate or attack U.S. citizens because the Federal Government was subservient to the U.S. citizens and the American people would have crushed even the idea of such a thing.

Today however, millions of Americans consider it wise to empower the Federal Government and the politicians who control it to the extent that the U.S. government is the master of the people and the people are the servants of the Government.

Government--the best government ever devised--is a necessary evil--necessary of course but also evil. It enforces its authority by violence or threat of violence.

For this reason, government must be kept under control. Government must be the servant of the people. If it is not the servant of the people, it will be the master of the people, and the people will be the slaves of the govenment and the politicians who control it.

The American people used to understand this. They were monolithic in their determination to control and remain the masters of government. They understood how real is the possibility that government can reduce the people to slavery.

Today--about half of the U.S. electorate does not understand this.

They do not understand the importance of keeping govenment small--so that it can be controlled by the people and cannot enlave the people.

This is the scariest thing of all about the United States today.

Anyone who thinks tanks in the streets--the midnight knock on the door--concentration camps--a praetorian guard protecting a dictator with absolute power--all the horrors that we thought could never happen in the United States-- Anyone who thinks such as that could never happen here is a fool.

12 posted on 11/04/2012 6:34:12 AM PST by Savage Beast (The forces of decadence are the forces of evil.)
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To: Savage Beast

“They do not understand the importance of keeping govenment small....”

They most certainly do.....and they recognize they “get more free stuff” with big government than small government.


13 posted on 11/04/2012 6:37:07 AM PST by mo (If you understand, no explanation is needed. If you don't understand, no explanation is possible.)
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To: mo
Of course they do.

But Americans in the past understood the price of all this "free stuff"--which, of course, is far from free.

Half the U.S. electorate today does not understand the heavy, heavy price.

Slavers used to rationalize slavery with the excuse that "they are fed, clothed, have all their needs provided"--and they probably still do in the parts of the world in which slavery exists today. What they ignored is the value of liberty. It's worth fighting and dying for. Our forefathers proved this--by fighting and dying for it.

Today--half of the American people do not understand the relative value of freedom and slavery.

This is probably the essence of decadence. Many who have always known plenty--including liberty--lack the wit to comprehend what it would be like not to have all that they're accustomed to and the price paid by those who provided them with all this plenty.

On the other hand, many who have known only plenty are well aware of its value and its cost and are determined to respect them and advise the witless of their folly. That's what you and I are doing now, but the eyes of the witless are willfully blind, and their ears are willfully deaf, and our task is a hard one.

14 posted on 11/04/2012 7:00:23 AM PST by Savage Beast (The forces of decadence are the forces of evil.)
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To: mo
Of course they do.

But Americans in the past understood the price of all this "free stuff"--which, of course, is far from free.

Half the U.S. electorate today does not understand the heavy, heavy price.

Slavers used to rationalize slavery with the excuse that "they are fed, clothed, have all their needs provided"--and they probably still do in the parts of the world in which slavery exists today. What they ignored is the value of liberty. It's worth fighting and dying for. Our forefathers proved this--by fighting and dying for it.

Today--half of the American people do not understand the relative value of freedom and slavery.

This is probably the essence of decadence. Many who have always known plenty--including liberty--lack the wit to comprehend what it would be like not to have all that they're accustomed to and the price paid by those who provided them with all this plenty.

On the other hand, many who have known only plenty are well aware of its value and its cost and are determined to respect them and advise the witless of their folly. That's what you and I are doing now, but the eyes of the witless are willfully blind, and their ears are willfully deaf, and our task is a hard one.

15 posted on 11/04/2012 7:00:27 AM PST by Savage Beast (The forces of decadence are the forces of evil.)
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To: expat1000

From the article:
“Our dictatorship doesn’t depend on men with guns, but men with pens and pocket protectors. Men who fill out forms all day and who know where our permanent record is. Our rule is under the empire of data. We are less worried about informers and more worried that a form that we filled out wasn’t done the right way or was lost along the way. The American headquarters of the KGB isn’t in a law enforcement building, it’s in the EPA and the IRS and a thousand other bureaucratic institutions.” snip

“The grand show of the American government with its presidents and senators, its elegant domes and assorted rituals, is a facade for the true power of a shadow government of committee meetings and think tanks who shape an agenda and then inject into organizations and associations of government workers who turn it into institutional policy long before the legislatures, governors and presidents have taken a single step.

This is where the true power lies and it is far more pervasive and potent than most people realize. But it is a power that is wholly dependent on our investment in its infrastructure.” snip

Thanks for the post!


16 posted on 11/04/2012 7:11:00 AM PST by TEXOKIE (Nobody made a greater mistake than he who did nothing because he could do only a little. EdmondBurke)
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To: Diogenesis

Don’t forget the purple shirted FEMA Corps army of young people and all those

munitions purchased by FEMA and the new FEMA special personnel carriers.

This is the Obot army that will engage civilians while the regular army is told

to stand down or be social workers to placate those who are uneasy instead of

engaging the true rebellious patriots FOR the Constitution. The Purples are

the enemy army.


17 posted on 11/04/2012 8:24:16 AM PST by Surrounded_too
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To: RepublicOfUSA

“But best to leave out the part about cutting health care and other benefits to veterans, because that parts not true.”

All evidence to the contrary:
http://www.navytimes.com/news/2012/10/military-tricare-prime-changes-west-region-101812w/

http://www.naus.org/main/NEWS/TRICARE_Health_Care_News/home/News/TRICARE_Health_Care_News.aspx

http://militaryadvantage.military.com/2012/01/report-looks-at-tricare-costs-from-new-angle/

http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=4&cad=rja&ved=0CDUQFjAD&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.politico.com%2Fnews%2Fstories%2F0412%2F74846_Page3.html&ei=Qp2WUOTUIorO2AWixYDIAg&usg=AFQjCNE9SkkXVhIEaZkp-7MJSuG9NCDEcw


18 posted on 11/04/2012 8:59:59 AM PST by Hulka
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To: expat1000
Another great article by Daniel. Thanks for the ping.

Here's one of my faves...

The American headquarters of the KGB isn't in a law enforcement building, it's in the EPA and the IRS and a thousand other bureaucratic institutions.

19 posted on 11/04/2012 9:45:30 AM PST by Jane Long (Soli Deo Gloria!)
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To: Hulka; RepublicOfUSA
Thanks for posting these links. Benefit fees increasing and salary caps are, in fact, cuts to the military families.

Oh, and welcome to FR, RepublicOfUSA.

20 posted on 11/04/2012 9:47:52 AM PST by Jane Long (Soli Deo Gloria!)
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To: RepublicOfUSA

Sniff, sniff....

You are a virus.

I see kitties in your future...


21 posted on 11/04/2012 12:12:38 PM PST by Vendome (Don't take life so seriously, you won't live through it anyway)
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To: Hulka

Thanx. I called the nOOb out a minute ago.

Snarky, not in doubt about his opinion but wrong never the less and probably willfully with out facts, maybe more by omission just to be some pointed voice that temporarily makes one stop and consider his intelectual paucity.

Ride the lightning....


22 posted on 11/04/2012 12:20:04 PM PST by Vendome (Don't take life so seriously, you won't live through it anyway)
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To: Vendome

http://www.dennyweb.com/viking_kittens.htm

Incoming!!

;-)


23 posted on 11/04/2012 1:36:41 PM PST by Hulka
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