Re: Are Guns Really a Friend of Freedom?

Charles L said:

>Let's look at it another way and let me ask you this: Can anyone come up
>with a historical example of an UNARMED citizenry successfully resisting

The Philipines, 1986. Poland, Czechoslovakia, East Germany and Hungary in
1989. Russia 2 years later. Eastern European Communism was buried by
massive yet unarmed demonstrations that showed the forces of dictatorship
just how illusory a thing power is, even when it is backed up by a large,
efficient military.

In post-communist Europe, there are three recent examples of an unarmed
citizenry successfully toppling a dictator. Slobodan Milosevic of
Yugoslavia, Eduard Shevardnadze in Georgia, and Leonid Kuchma in the

Mao's phrase about power coming out of the barrel of a gun may be catchy,
but it is not always true.

> It looked like non-violence sure worked for those killed in Tianamin
>in 1989.

Indeed. No theory of politics works 100% of the time. But then again, the
Hungarians tried in 1956 to fight those tanks with Molotov cocktails and
submachine guns, and look what happened to them.

>Actually the communist uprisings in 1919 were suppressed with help of
>Freikorps, which was made up of armed private citizens, usually returned
>German soldiers, and they did a damn good job too.

Did they? Last I checked, they then went on to set up the Third Reich.
Dictatorship again, hastened to power by an armed citizenry.

A better example is - to my mind at least - is the failure of the Kapp
putsch of 1919.

Dr Kapp tried to overthrow the legally-elected government and was stopped
in his tracks by a well-organized general strike. No railroads, no
telephones, no bratwurst? No putsch.

>Can you suggest how else freedom is be to be won? By people sacrificing
>themselves lying in front of armoured tanks?

Organization. Ask Vaclav Havel, Martin Luther King, and Viktor Yushchenko
what the secret to their success was, and they'll all say "getting out the
sumbers, and keeping them out".