The Rough Men

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People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf.

 

George Orwell

 

 

 

Old George. The good do die young. The man left us with a veritable trove of wisdom, penned to thousands of pages and translated to hundreds of tongues across the planet. Yet of all those words which form the man’s legacy, few echo with greater profundity than this one sentence. It is a statement, like so many to have crossed his lips, that bears the burden of an uncomfortable truth.

 

This uncomfortable truth, like a red stain on white fabric, can not simply be removed: every ham-handed effort only turns the fabric pink. Even the most skilled excision still leaves at least a shadow of the truth. Some stains, like truths, no matter how hard you try to erase them just will not come out. The verity which refuses to be removed from this equation is that western man has become, by and large, emasculated.

 

The lifers live on first shift, as opposed to first watch which is an entirely different scale of time. Nine to five with an hour’s commute built to either side. Then home to a diet of high fructose corn syrup, preservatives and cable television subscriptions that only offer more toxins to be absorbed and stored in fatty tissues. Within the mounds of puffy, purulent flesh that result is formed that cocoon of conformity where they reside. Within hours of sunset they are reliably ensconced upon their sleep number beds and immersed into a fitful slumber. They never see those rough men or know of the deeds they perform. In their waking hours some may even go so far as to decry (if not deny) the very existence of those rough men. At the very least they question the need.

 

These serfs are content to accept the protections accorded to them within the castle walls of the state, unable or unwilling to assume any active role in their own defense. They eschew violence and any instruments designed for such purpose. These are the unsanitary tasks, like refuse collection and wastewater treatment, better left to the skilled hands of municipal or county employees. These things are regarded as part of the contract, included in the price of admission. This thinking leaves them unequipped for the gate crashers that will inevitably appear at any party that grows too large.

 

So they doze, secure in their knowledge that these matters are taken care of. Their only whiff of what happens outside of their doors at night is to be found in the fetid stench wafting from the TV screen’s morning offering. Most of it goes unreported because no one wants to know. These truths are too unpleasant to be digested with pop tarts or bran muffin either one, and certainly not to be served with cream, as it would surely curdle. No, these are tales better served with a heavy meal to help cushion the blow. And hard liquor, preferably whiskey. The kind of feast that is seldom prepared at home any more, thus the banquet of lighter fare goes unchanged.

 

There are many rough men who stand ready to do violence, but on no one’s behalf but their own. The age of heroes has passed; all the gilded armor is tarnished now. As Frank Herbert foretold men have become slaves to other men with machines, those too destined to ultimately become enslaved to the very machines they have wrought. The graveyard shift walks where the laws of the lifer’s bubble do not apply. Theory be damned! This is where the rubber meets the road. They are flawed and deeply. They comprise the vital defective components of the flawed reality that lives outside of suburban gates. Cab drivers and bartenders, junkies and dope dealers, whores and politicians, cops and nurses, all manner of miscreants and social refuse. Alcoholics and adrenaline junkies, smokers and atheists, cage fight enthusiasts and bookies, thieves, grifters…, they’re all there. Like the remora that rides upon a shark’s back in the sea, they live off of the bubble, but are not invited to the banquet being served inside, instead subsisting upon the bits of chum before they drift to the ocean floor.

 

When the bubble bursts the castle walls collapse with it, the protections of laws and a benign police force no longer on offer. The ramparts are breached nightly, in one quarter or another. The graveyard shift already know what to do when the whole fail goes live, every night a dress rehearsal. Unlike the lifers they can picture how it all comes down when this becomes a live ammo exercise. These were the people missing at Parkland and other tragedies like it. Screwheads and other merchants of mayhem prey upon the killing fields where these players are conspicuously absent. Screwheads are able to move in the midst of the graveyard, mostly unnoticed. They live where the graveyard comes to work, but like the lifers in the bubble they have no balls. The only true distinction between them is that one travels, unencumbered by gonads, by virtue of having surrendered theirs voluntarily: the other due to having been born without.

 

The rough men ready to do violence are ever present. They do not place their trust, their homes or their families into the hands of other men. They are possessed of the clarity to see that laws and the existence of help at the other end of a telephone signal are not enough to insure their security. They accept with no illusions that much of the world is indeed within 96 hours of eating each other, a world in which the only protection resides in a lethal force in the hands of the sane. Should others benefit as a result it is wholly unintended, but they should ask themselves: am I alone?

 

Comments

Mark Hunter Added Mar 20, 2018 - 5:21am
I work with some of the people who match Orwell's quote, and I do consider them heroes, to a degree. But being rough takes a toll on a person, especially the ones keeping guard all night.
Doug Plumb Added Mar 20, 2018 - 6:59am
The world needs all kinds. Without the pencil necked mathematicians, accountants and engineers, most of us wouldn't be here.
Dave Volek Added Mar 20, 2018 - 11:27am
Lots to think about. Not sure I agree.
Mustafa Kemal Added Mar 20, 2018 - 11:48am
Burghal, I read your well done article with fascination.
 
When I first read Orwell’s quote I was quite disturbed; surely he doesnt mean the police or the US military?  Maybe he is speaking of those of us who are proactive in the boys scout motto (be prepared) and are ready and trained at defending our family and community, despite whether his/her family or community know it or not.  And I was not disappointed in that you found your way there.
 
Indeed,  I just spoke with my son in law, father of my two grandchildren , about such things. His response was “what use is there to fret and stress over such scenarios?”
My response was that there is none, the question is what action there is to take?. What preparations. Indeed, the stress that I feel is my grandchildren and children living in a world where their special snowflake status protects them, that and of course, their gated community.  They indeed prefer not to even think of such things.
They accuse me of being negative for my concern. I ask them; is it negative to own and know how to use a firearm? Is it negative to have  1 week of cash, food and water available?  Is it negative to have  a little stack of Au?
 
And what is ironic to me, is that the cost of preparation is not that large. The major hurdle appears to be psychological, namely being willing even to consider such things.  I ask him if he knows about 
 
Pascal’s Wager,
 
evidently not.
Dave Volek Added Mar 20, 2018 - 1:42pm
I think I understand why I am having problems with this piece: it clumps all roughmen into one entity. There are roughmen who are truly bad. There are roughmen looking for some kind of entertainment regular life cannot provide. And there are roughmen trying to put a lid on the boiling kettle. 
 
There is no doubt that many of us are shielded from the forces of anarchy. The 1969 police strike in Montreal brought out the bad people within hours, and this surprised many sociologists at how fragile our western society really is.
Tom C. Purcell Added Mar 20, 2018 - 1:55pm
Rough men, like my forefathers and so many others, don't live to the age of retirement.  My grandfathers both served and survived WWII, one in the Philippines and New Guinea for the U.S. Army, and the other in the Atlantic for the U.S. Navy, only to perish in their mid 50s after lives of rough-man work.  Farming, warring and firefighting will break men down.  They and their memories are treated the way the U.S. Gov still treats many war veterans and citizens.
Tom C. Purcell Added Mar 20, 2018 - 1:55pm
Fine article.
Benjamin Goldstein Added Mar 20, 2018 - 2:03pm
The quote is not from George Orwell. ;-)
Pardero Added Mar 20, 2018 - 2:34pm
Benjamin Goldstein,
The quote has an ambiguous origin. It could be said that it is Grenier paraphrasing Orwell.
Whether Kipling, Orwell, or John Le Carre inspired it, it seems as though Orwell usually gets credit. It could be, that all Grenier added was "rough men". Technically, that makes it his, I suppose.
Dino Manalis Added Mar 20, 2018 - 2:37pm
We need rough and tough individuals with morals to protect us from evil people, but individuals with morals are sometimes gentle; humane; and bring us together!
opher goodwin Added Mar 20, 2018 - 2:40pm
I just hope the rough men employed by the state are doing a job on our behalf and that the threat they exude is preventative so that one day in the future we might have a world which will have no need for rough men.
The Burghal Hidage Added Mar 20, 2018 - 2:49pm
Orwell said it and wrote it. Did he hear it somewhere else? Maybe, don't know; don't care. It does not make the statement any less true. You, Mr. Goldstein are blessed with that German gift for spitting in the soup. Danke!
The Burghal Hidage Added Mar 20, 2018 - 2:50pm
There are rough men of both stripes, yes. That is rather the point of the tale. 
The Burghal Hidage Added Mar 20, 2018 - 2:53pm
in the future we might have a world which will have no need for rough men.
 
case in point for : " to decry (if not deny) the very existence of those rough men. At the very least they question the need."
 
 
TexasLynn Added Mar 20, 2018 - 2:55pm
I have always interpreted this quote in a reference to soldiers who are prepared to do the jobs required to keep evil men at bay.  I see it as a tribute to the Tom's grandfathers (and my grandfather) who do their duty to God, country, and family.
 
Imagine, for a moment that there were no such men between you and the Islamic terrorists or Communist dictators.  How soundly would you sleep?
 
God bless our military men and women!
 
Another quote (supposedly from Orwell) very pertinent to this day and age is...
 
"In a Time of Universal Deceit — Telling the Truth Is a Revolutionary Act"
The Burghal Hidage Added Mar 20, 2018 - 2:56pm
 this surprised many sociologists at how fragile our western society really is.
 
A sociologist surprised by people acting like animals? Who'd a thunk it?
Pardero Added Mar 20, 2018 - 3:02pm
TexasLynn,
You quoted one of my favorites. It is often used by those few that share similar political positions to me.
I am with you on our military men and women, though not necessarily the politicians that put them in harm's way. 
Doug Plumb Added Mar 20, 2018 - 3:17pm
I really think that the guy laying in a ditch with a needle stuck in his arm could be king in different circumstances or settings. I don't think you can say that, say, garbage men are largely stupid and brain surgeons are mostly smart. I don't think that is the case at all. One works hard, the other doesn't, that is it. Nothing wrong with being lazy - where the hell are the hard working people leading us ? Do they know ? For the most part, they got their heads buried in sand.
The Burghal Hidage Added Mar 20, 2018 - 3:29pm
Tex - thanks for your remarks. the sentiment does indeed apply to soldiers who serve in the defense of their people. There are ruffians who are good and those who are bad, indeed.  The "rough men" as I see them are anywhere. It is more about a mindset. Its the difference between those in New Orleans who sat upon their rooftops waiting to be rescued and those who heeded the warning and got the fuck outta Dodge
The Burghal Hidage Added Mar 20, 2018 - 3:31pm
Opher - you are our resident sci-fi specialist. Know anything about a publication called Future Visions?
opher goodwin Added Mar 20, 2018 - 3:54pm
Sorry Burger. I think there are a number of compendiums of short Sci-fi stories by that name. I might have a few in my collection but I don't remember too well.
Give us a clue?
Ian Thorpe Added Mar 20, 2018 - 4:06pm
I'll have to digest that overnight and comment tomorrow, for now I'll just say the rough men you portray made me think of the couplet we sang as schoolboys to the opening fanfare of the Colonel ogie march:
"We are the night shite shifters,
shifting shite by night."
The Burghal Hidage Added Mar 20, 2018 - 4:25pm
Ian - :)
The Burghal Hidage Added Mar 20, 2018 - 4:26pm
Opher - FutureVisions.io.....what is the .io?
Benjamin Goldstein Added Mar 20, 2018 - 4:57pm
Dino, yes Dino, and Lynn sum up very nicely what I think.
opher goodwin Added Mar 20, 2018 - 7:26pm
Burger - the only io I know is a gaming company.
Dave Volek Added Mar 20, 2018 - 9:49pm
TBH
THe Montreal police strike was in 1969. I think we had a very naive understanding of our social structure at the time. The authorities just let the police walk off the job because they believed citizenry would behave in a civil way until the strike was settled. Well, the Montrealers were not that civil. The bad ones with guns started robbing banks. Lots of shooting. Normal people headed home and stayed indoors. 
 
This incident has been cited often in sociology papers and has been instrumental is getting a better understanding of our nature. Our social order is not as strong as we would like to believe.  
 
 
TexasLynn Added Mar 20, 2018 - 10:21pm
TBH >> The "rough men" as I see them are anywhere. It is more about a mindset.
 
I get your drift.  It's about men who don't stand around with the %^*(s in their hands while children are being shot yards away.
 
TBH >> Its the difference between those in New Orleans who sat upon their rooftops waiting to be rescued and those who heeded the warning and got the fuck outta Dodge
 
I remember the hurricane right after Katrina that hit East Texas.  I remember signs that read "FEMA GO Home... We Got This."
 
A lot of people think we can evolve or progress to a point where such men are not needed.  Some would hasten their demise... They're fools.
 
=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=
 
BG... You made me go back and read Dino's comment.
 
Your right!  Dino nailed it! Thanks for the honorable mention.
 
=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=
 
Pardero >> I am with you on our military men and women, though not necessarily the politicians that put them in harm's way.
 
Absolutely... reminds me of the verse from the poem "Forward, the Light Brigade".
 
“Forward, the Light Brigade!” 
Was there a man dismay’d?   
Not tho’ the soldier knew 
  Some one had blunder’d: 
Theirs not to make reply, 
Theirs not to reason why, 
Theirs but to do and die:    
Into the valley of Death 
  Rode the six hundred. 
 
The Burghal Hidage Added Mar 21, 2018 - 4:38am
A lot of people think we can evolve or progress to a point where such men are not needed.  Some would hasten their demise... They're fools.
 
this, Tex, speaks to :
 
This incident has been cited often in sociology papers and has been instrumental is getting a better understanding of our nature. Our social order is not as strong as we would like to believe.  
 
what have the sociologists and social engineers learned since 1969? Dave, your conclusion there is precisely correct: this order is not as strong as we would like to believe.
 
Let's go back to that New Orleans scenario again. Say that you are one of those left behind as the waters rose. You are approached by two men, one with a sturdy boat and one with some untested contraption in a box that promises deliverance. Which would you choose?
 
 
 
 
Dave Volek Added Mar 21, 2018 - 11:20am
TBH:
 
Probably the boat, but I fail to see your point.
 
On another note, there are likely more occupations of "rough men". Consider the garbage truck drivers that make trips to the landfill several times a day. They would gain a better understanding of the effects of waste than your average office worker. Emergency room nurses treating the underside of society. Social workers trying to find that incalculable balance of dysfunctional families in dysfunctional neighborhoods. Prison guards dealing with a high density of hardened minds.  All these are "good" roughmen, trying their best to keep society from slipping over the edge.
 
When you lump the "bad" and "good" under the one name, your essay confuses this reader.
 
Sociology is a fascinating science. Prior to the 1960s, urban development in Canada was based on the rich live here and the poor live over there. For the poor, this produced communities that seemed to have no hope for its residents. After that time, most cities (and most of the time) have mixed the economic strata in new urban communities. For example it's common to find $1m mansions a few blocks away from apartment blocks and townhouses. While the rich and poor still probably don't mix socially, they do rub shoulders. The rich gain a better understanding of the poor and become more sympathetic to their plight which then affects public policy; the poor can see other possibilities for life choices, which is more pronounced in their kids. And there is less dysfunctional behavior from the poor in these mixed communities as compared to the ghettos, which still exist. Sociologists are the ones collect the data to come to these conclusions. But you right-wingers would like to cast this whole science into the trashbin, right?
 
 
Ian Thorpe Added Mar 21, 2018 - 12:17pm
Like all great writers Orwell crafted his words to be capable of differing interpretations. I think both the soldiers / cops / vigilantes interpretation and the 'night shite shifters' I mentioned above, the men (and women) who are prepared to carry out unpleasant tasks so that more delicate souls are not confronted with too much reality are valid.
There are other meanings to rough of course, e.g. 'effin 'ell she's rough, I wouldn't touch her with someone else's" or "the entire family is dog rough, I've seen his mother at eight thirty in the morning, sat outside the town hall, rat arsed and swigging cheap cider from a plastic bottle."
such are the realities in some downmarket suburbs. I recall an incident from my time in Stockholm, when a group of us on the way to eat, passed two guys, let's guess they were druggies, huddled in a shop doorway with bundles of ragged clothing and possessions. One of them had taken on that unmistakable pallor of the near dead.
Being decent guys we asked the conscious one could we help. "No," he said, "No police, no ambulance, forget you saw us."
A little later we were returning having been unable to get a table in our preferred restaurant, and noticed the doorway was empty, the tiles were wet and there was a strong smell of disinfectant.
At the time I was spending most of my working day at Karolinska Hospital so next day I described the incident and one of the managers explained that there was a patrol of certain areas, including the stairwells of cheap apartment blocks, to pick up those in urgent need of help and those beyond help. A job for another kind of rough men.
Another type of roughs are the finance and commodity traders in The City and Wall Street. I've worked among these people also and their proverbial greed it a myth. Most work incredibly long hours seven days a week and have an easy come, easy go attitude to money, what drives them is ultra competitiveness. Most are also aware that their hard drinking, coke snorting, high pressure lifestyle is not a recipe for longevity and they don't care.
They may not appear to fit the job description for 'rough men' but what they do, and the fact that they do it ruthlessly and well is what keeps the wheels of industry and commerce turning. And no matter how much anyone hates the financial system, it's the one we must live with for now. If they suddenly went all politically correct and 'right on' the Chinese, Japanese, India, Russia, the Arabs and other emerging economies would carve us up.
In ,any ways the virtue signalling of the powers that be have allowed the barbarians has allowed the barbarians to besiege the city gates. Let's hope we have enough 'rough men' to hold them off on many fronts.
 
The Burghal Hidage Added Mar 21, 2018 - 12:25pm
 'effin 'ell she's rough, I wouldn't touch her with someone else's" or "the entire family is dog rough, I've seen his mother at eight thirty in the morning, sat outside the town hall, rat arsed and swigging cheap cider from a plastic bottle."
 
See you've met some of my distant cousins over there :)
The Burghal Hidage Added Mar 21, 2018 - 12:28pm
Thanks, as always Ian, for reading and your comments
Dave Volek Added Mar 21, 2018 - 12:31pm
Ian
And no matter how much anyone hates the financial system, it's the one we must live with for now. If they suddenly went all politically correct and 'right on' the Chinese, Japanese, India, Russia, the Arabs and other emerging economies would carve us up.
This sounds interesting! Would you write an article on this theme?
The Burghal Hidage Added Mar 21, 2018 - 12:37pm
Dave -
You answer the question yet still fail to see the point. Or choose not to, doesn't matter. There is nothing to be confused over. Good or bad, those who fend for themselves are survivors, while those who do not must trust to chance or the good graces of a defender. Highly unlikely that I would ever persuade you, but clearly there are others who know what I mean. And others still who may yet see.
 
Thanks for reading and joining the thread.
Even A Broken Clock Added Mar 21, 2018 - 1:28pm
Burghal - a very good but very dark post. Civilization always has a thin veneer, the 96 hour figure may be just about right to enable complete breakdown. Although Dave alludes to an even faster breakdown in Montreal.
 
There will always be those in society who have no desire to study literature, or science, or music, or any of the supposed arts of civilization. They often perform the "dirty" work of society as your piece emphasizes. What we've seen with income inequality is that those who perform the necessary work of society, are no longer being paid enough to live in the locations they protect. At some point, the rough ones who do not respect other's rights will push on the door or the gate house, and finding it open, will overwhelm the inhabitants of the bubble.
The Burghal Hidage Added Mar 21, 2018 - 1:47pm
Unless, Clock, the inhabitants are somehow able to grow a pair. In your scenario what other choice have they, but extinction? If all of the remaining roughs are of ill intent and the minders of the bubble corrupted to only look after themselves, then who is left?
The Burghal Hidage Added Mar 21, 2018 - 1:56pm
Put another way, among the living there are the Good, the Bad and the Ugly. The only other category of people are the dead, in which instance neither their morality nor their appearance are of any consequence
Ian Thorpe Added Mar 21, 2018 - 2:09pm
Dave, thanks for the challenge, I might be too far away from the action now to do it justice but I'll try. Just as a teaser, in the stock markets there are bulls and bears, in the currency trading market it's more like wolves versus hyenas :-)
Dave Volek Added Mar 21, 2018 - 2:43pm
According to this article, the Montreal Police Strike lasted 16 hours. The city would have likely gone under in 96 hours.
 
Unlike New Orleans, there was no natural disaster.
The Burghal Hidage Added Mar 21, 2018 - 2:46pm
Natural disasters are cake compared to human disasters. At least when Mother Nature is done venting her fury she moves on. In human disasters the creators just keep on digging
Doug Plumb Added Mar 22, 2018 - 5:29am
@Dave re "But you right-wingers would like to cast this whole science into the trashbin, right?"
 
No, just the current batch of champagne socialists belong in the trash bin.
 
The Burghal Hidage Added Mar 22, 2018 - 9:15am
I don't wish to disparage the science, Dave. I just see much of it as superfluous. If you understand animal behavior you understand human behavior. I am not being facile; I know that indeed humans are more complex. I contend, however, that the complex elements of the human make up are the result of their animalistic instincts in reaction to a social construct of their own making.
 
Time and again the social construct presents contradictions, dictates action which is in fact counter-intuitive to the survival and furtherance of the species. When confronted with these, whether conscious or unconsciously, our "factory default settings" are triggered. The will to survival, that most animal of our nature, always kicks in despite all of our denial. Here is your conclusion for sociology: there are sheep, wolves and sheepdogs. And the eternal quest to determine which is which 
Dave Volek Added Mar 22, 2018 - 11:55am
Doug
 
I'm not sure exactly what "champagne socialists" mean, but I will contend there are too many left- and right-wing thinkers who shouldn't be too close to making public decisions.
 
TBH
I could bring up some examples of where intuition from right-wing thinkers has been proven wrong. But I suspect you won't listen to it.
 
For example, if we want to reduce the effects of poverty, we need to create neighborhood that don't exacerbate those those effects.
 
Psychology is kind of related to sociology. One interesting tenet of psychology is that people tend to seek evidence that supports their current viewpoint--and disregard contrary evidence. That is just part of human nature--and we all are guilty. 
 
 
The Burghal Hidage Added Mar 22, 2018 - 1:31pm
I could bring up some examples of where intuition from right-wing thinkers has been proven wrong. But I suspect you won't listen to it.
 
you are correct that I would not listen because you make the distinction of right wing. this demonstrates that your outrage is selective. because I am critical of liberal fallacies you leap to the assumption that I am part of some right wing cabal. I assure you that although I am and will forever remain a vocal and sharp critic of liberal hypocrisy, I am hardly welcomed within the tents of your opposite camp. 
 
I will credit you that you remain engaged in the discussion and listen more than most. We can even find some things where we may agree, but our worldviews are divorced from one another by one principal difference. You are among a company who still view the role of the state as the vehicle for solving problems. There are plenty in both right or left wing who adhere to this. I am of the camp who believe that the state is the principal architect of most of said problems. 
 
You can say anything. when you can demonstrate to me a body of evidence that supports your premise then I can consider it. Until then I guess we can just disagree
 
 
Doug Plumb Added Mar 22, 2018 - 1:49pm
re "I'm not sure exactly what "champagne socialists" mean, but I will contend there are too many left- and right-wing thinkers who shouldn't be too close to making public decisions."
 
Champagne socialists they should sit in the shade and drink champagne while watching you and me work in the fields.

 
Doug Plumb Added Mar 22, 2018 - 1:50pm
BH re " I am of the camp who believe that the state is the principal architect of most of said problems. "
 
You are not one of those anarchists though...right?
Ian Thorpe Added Mar 22, 2018 - 5:06pm
Champagne socialists? You're on the right track Doug but you need a bit more. For example, Champagne socialists do indeed sit in the shade drinking champagne and debating the evils of capitalism and the injustices of the class system as they watch the agricultural workers labouring in the fields under a scorching sun, to earn a pittance.
 
It's they hypocrisy that defines them.
The Burghal Hidage Added Mar 22, 2018 - 7:46pm
If believing there should be no state makes me an anarchist then I suppose I am. I do not agree however that the absence of a state automatically equates complete chaos. In the places where these extremes are most likely to occur there are states now and the places are already chaos! Mexico, where nearly 2/3 of the country is under the control of cartels or their agents and a significant number of the federalis are on the take.
 
Left alone people form their own orders. If we all had the chance to start over why would any choose the same folly over again? If any of us are ever to have that choice it will be because we acted as our own rough men or cast our fortunes to some champion, some reluctant hero who would succumb to the shame of doing nothing and thus do what others could not. You don't have to like it. That does not make it any less true.
Doug Plumb Added Mar 22, 2018 - 8:44pm
re "Mexico, where nearly 2/3 of the country is under the control of cartels or their agents and a significant number of the federalis are on the take."
 
That is why we have a state. States also prevent lynch mobs. They protect the currency from counterfeiters and protect trade from pirates. Common law states protect your rights by giving you right of action, and only right of action against those who encroach on your rights. Commie states give you swift and immediate "remedy".
 
The Burghal Hidage Added Mar 22, 2018 - 9:09pm
The states arent working. theyve been coopted
Ian Thorpe Added Mar 23, 2018 - 11:51am
Burghal, states have been coopted, two recent incidents in Britain illustrate this.
First is of course the provocations of Russia over the attempt on the life of double agent Sergei Skripal, which shows that the UK state, like the US state is being manipulated by the supra national military - industrial complex.
With tensions running as high as they are between east and west it is absolutely idiotic to pick a fight with Russia, especially when we remember that not only did Skripal work for both Russian and UK intelligense services but was also mixed up in some very dodgy private security work. Such people tend to have a lot of enemies. For once I'm in agreement with leftie Jeremy Corbyn who points out that there is no evidence of direct Kremlin involvement.
The other was the detention without charge of an American writer and her companion to prevent them recording and broadcasting an interview with anti - immigration campaigner Tommy Robinson.
You and I are not anarchists, we are anarchic because we share the belief (also held by Neil Lock I guess) that small government and minimal intervention works best.
We need more rough men at the borders and less smooth faced backroom fixers in the centre.
The Burghal Hidage Added Mar 23, 2018 - 12:05pm
hear hear!
Dave Volek Added Mar 23, 2018 - 1:03pm
Doug
 
Thanks for the explanation of champagne socialists. Yep they are definitely out there.
 
Many years ago I heard a good definition of a liberal: someone who writes a book on how the rich exploit the poor, the book becomes a best seller, and the author starts looking for tax loopholes.
 
TBH
Your original essay is quite provocative, which has generated some  great discussion.
 
As far as my political leanings, I believe there are situations where we need to let individuals make their own choices and there are situations where, through democratic due process, we need to take collective action to better society. If you want to label me on the extreme left, I guess that would be your prerogative.
 
A much smaller state may be possible some day--and even with a TDG. But a lot of people need to grow up to make this work.
 
If we make a smaller state now, we wouldn't have as many roughmen to do all the dirty work because government wouldn't be big enough to pay them. Maybe there are some volunteers. Maybe there are some ultra-rich who can afford to pay their own roughmen. Maybe some communities  would set their own local co-operatives to create their own roughmen force, but this protection would disappear outside the community.
 
In essence, I see your smaller state ideology as eventually creating a state similar to Mexico, with lots of informal laws run by nefarious social forces. Your post seems to deplore Mexico, yet I wonder if you would prefer Mexico to western society. After Mexico is indeed less government, right?
 
 
 
 
 
The Burghal Hidage Added Mar 23, 2018 - 1:34pm
I did not say that you are in the extreme, Dave. I would say that you are quite clearly not of that stripe. But I will say this:  you exhibit one of the hallmarks of the liberal thought process that demonstrates itself in nearly every policy position. That is a separation from reality. You continue to insist that the world must alter itself to conform to the reality you wish were true
 
If we make a smaller state now, we wouldn't have as many roughmen to do all the dirty work because government wouldn't be big enough to pay them
 
IF....always if. If we did this.... NO! Stop the doing. Your social engineers and planners have done ENOUGH. Even when you are speaking of hypothetical rough men look at your first choice where you assign them: Government.
 
You just don't get it. I don't want your state. I don't need your state. You want to live in a community go ahead. Not all of us do. Those of us who do not frankly don't give a shit what you do in your fool's paradise, just leave us alone. 
 
with lots of informal laws run by nefarious social forces
 
You mean like we have now? 
Doug Plumb Added Mar 23, 2018 - 5:53pm
@Dave re "Thanks for the explanation of champagne socialists. Yep they are definitely out there."
 
Ian is right though - there is more to it. Its about materialism and sort of the monkey religion, man worships earthy things as a consequence of being a member in the monkey religion. Rationalism goes out the window unless it serves current immediate needs.
 
Dave Volek Added Mar 24, 2018 - 8:24pm
TBH
You brought up the system in Mexico where various nefarious forces seem to be running the show more than the government.
 
Is this a preferable system for you than the current state the United States? 
The Burghal Hidage Added Mar 25, 2018 - 2:50am
You mean the same United States that is , according to most, also run more by nefarious forces running the show than government? Thugs in camo or thugs in suits. Government becomes a vehicle for these types. Mexico is but one of many examples
Dave Volek Added Mar 25, 2018 - 12:56pm
I'll take it that you see little difference between organized crime and democratically elected governments. 
The Burghal Hidage Added Mar 25, 2018 - 1:27pm
No, not really :) You know what? Just go             govern yourself :)
 
The difference between one government and another lies only in their scale of criminality. Surely you must agree with that? Aren't you of the camp that the US is criminal on the grandest scale? Never heard it said in so many words, but is that fair to say that this would be your prevailing sentiment?
Dave Volek Added Mar 25, 2018 - 8:11pm
The difference between one government and another lies only in their scale of criminality. Surely you must agree with that?
 
Not at all. Government is a very necessary part of an organized society. Organized crime is a parasite. 
 
Aren't you of the camp that the US is criminal on the grandest scale?
 
This is a good question. It is easy to point to the flaws, yet it is harder to find the good things. For example, the USA was the first true western democracy, and many other nations learned from that example, even Britain. USA is probably no better or worse than other nations trying to dominate other nations. The USA is just an extension of European history: when in a dominant position, take advantage of it. Conquer or be conquered! If not militarily, then economically. The fact that the USA has attained this dominance is a sign of its better system of governance. 
 
 Just go             govern yourself
 
As I said earlier in this thread, many citizens will need to grow up before we can govern ourselves. It still amazes me how many dog poops are on our local walking trail. Most dog owners are responsible, but the few need to dealt with eventually by government.
The Burghal Hidage Added Mar 26, 2018 - 4:11am
I can always count on you for further evidence Dave, thanks :)
Dave Volek Added Mar 26, 2018 - 11:07am
I guess in your utopia you would just shoot the owner of the dog who poops on your lawn. Not much government needed there, right?
The Burghal Hidage Added Mar 26, 2018 - 1:00pm
LOL....are you for real? OMG.....call in the government, theres shit on my lawn! In my utopia I would not care because I would not be cultivating and fertilizing weeds to create a golf course lawn. My lawn would be whatever nature decided to put there and while walking outside I will most likely be wearing boots (if working). Otherwise I would have little use of shoes and the areas where I might walk would not be readily accessible for just anyone or their dogs, cats or wombats to walk in and take a dump. 
The Burghal Hidage Added Mar 26, 2018 - 1:02pm
IF I am ever in the market for a home where there is a Ministry of Fecal Detection I'll look you up :)
Dave Volek Added Mar 26, 2018 - 3:32pm
I'm smelling some red herrings cooking!
 
So let's take out the metaphor of a dog taking a dump on a neighbor's lawn and reframe the intent of the question:
 
Two citizens have a dispute and cannot come to some resolution. How do they resolve it in a world of much less government?
 
 
 
The Burghal Hidage Added Mar 26, 2018 - 3:36pm
You attempt to suggest that absent government no resolution may be reached. I don't accept that premise. Here's your red herring back. 

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