A modern day revolution.

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A modern day revolution.

Postby thicknavyrain » Sat Mar 29, 2008 4:39 pm UTC

Nowadays is seems that in most western countries living/working conditions are not so bad as to force the people to rebel and overthrow the governing force in Country X. But hypothetically, if for some reason the masses decided that the people in power we doing a terrible job and the only solution was for a huge revolution against the government and to riot and revolt how far would we succeed? I'm currently writing from England so I'm not sure how different the situation would be elsewhere but I imagine it wouldn't be too dissimilar. What I'm interested to know is how far could we get, would we succeed, what would aggravate people to resort to a revolution and how would it operate today? I mean, theres so many possibilities and who knows?
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Re: A modern day revolution.

Postby semicolon » Sat Mar 29, 2008 7:11 pm UTC

Royall wrote:You want to see a great example of the public taking justice into their own hands? Try Anonymous vs. Scientology.

Dressing up in a dumb mask and singing Never Gonna Give You Up in a crowd != taking up arms against a government with an armed military

I don't think it would ever happen. Our population is way too apathetic about their political situation/rights. But hey, they may have said that about France.

Also, I think our military would be able to put down any rebellions before they got big. Even with some amount of organization, you'd basically need a huge amount of people/guns to be successful, and I don't think that could happen.

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Re: A modern day revolution.

Postby Azrael001 » Sat Mar 29, 2008 7:16 pm UTC

Except that many soldiers would have major qualms about shooting their country(wo)men and it can safely be assumed that there would be soldiers in the rebel group. They are not mindless automatons... yet.
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Re: A modern day revolution.

Postby SpitValve » Sat Mar 29, 2008 8:17 pm UTC

Azrael001 wrote:Except that many soldiers would have major qualms about shooting their country(wo)men and it can safely be assumed that there would be soldiers in the rebel group. They are not mindless automatons... yet.


Shooting foreigners is still cool though, right?

Seriously though, I don't see why people who are willing to shoot Iraqis for freedom wouldn't be willing to shoot yanks for freedom, if need be.

Feel free to mentally insert quote marks around the word "freedom" there.

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Re: A modern day revolution.

Postby TheStranger » Sat Mar 29, 2008 9:52 pm UTC

Open, armed rebellion against a strong country is very hard to pull off. Taking the USA as an example... armed revolts are squashed quickly and easily by internal security forces (ATF/FBI vs crazy militias).

The problem is getting 'the masses' to do anything. It's not just something that everyone decides one day, it has to grow over time... gaining more followers through successful action.

Using England as an example...

Let's say a few towns in northern Scotland decide that they've had enough of those prissy Brits. They shoot all the Brits they can find, and then refuse to pay any more taxes. The government in London does nothing (does not send any troops, does not stop shipment of food, etc.). Now any other part of Scotland that rebels has less to fear from England, and successful allies). It's even worse if the government tries to suppress the rebels but fails.

It's also important to note that any successful revolution has to get some or all of the military on it's side.
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Re: A modern day revolution.

Postby Cooley » Sat Mar 29, 2008 10:55 pm UTC

It would be easier to pull off in England, I imagine, than America, due to the population densities. A major regime change, however, wouldn't be too hard to pull off if you wanted to maintain the system of government, if you have control of the military.

God forbid this ever happened, but let's say the Democrats in Congress were filibustering on some issue, and the Republicans got really tired of it, because it happens so often (in the hypothetical situation). All the Republicans kill off all the Democratic Senators, Congressmen, and major party leaders/icons. To take care of the lower branches of the government, all Democratic governors and state legislators are given an opportunity to pledge allegiance to the Republican party. Because the Army is loyal to the Republican party, they don't step in and aid the process.

From here, riots won't do any good because there won't be any centralized organization, and with the powers of the government in the hands of the Republicans, what is normally a stalemate in the numbers game (elections are still close in America) becomes overwhelmingly slanted towards a Republican win. With some planning beforehand, and no unforeseen errors, I can see this happening in a span of 10 minutes, with no one able to stop it.

Assuming the Republicans immediately suspend the freedom of the press upon assuming power, we could very easily fall into a Soviet-style party-led dictatorship with no hope of recourse, because who would take on America? Nukes make the biggest booms...



This is also assuming that Republicans would support this action, rather than condemning the party and punishing the conspirators.

/hypothetical situation.

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Re: A modern day revolution.

Postby idont_know12 » Sun Mar 30, 2008 2:02 am UTC

It's possible to have a revolution in America. You'd have to spend years of preparation, of course; establish an extensive, underground network of members, have everyone independently acquire several high-powered firearms with loads of ammunition and get expertly trained in each of them, construct/acquire lightweight body armour, then organize a single event in which many attacks are launched simultaneously against major centres of government. The most effective way of taking out the capital itself wouldn't be infantry, of course; you'd need to build a bomb. I don't personally know the channels to obtaion materials for making a nuclear or vacuum bomb, but it would ideally take out the entire city and the surrounding areas in one go. The bomb would probably have to be airdropped, not delivered "by hand".
The key to the success would be the continued cooperation of the rebel group, through a series of such events. The intent of the revolution would have to be publicly stated - the participation of the masses is vital. As such, it is also entirely possible to cause a revolution without violence - but it's easier in the U.S. to find people skilled in firearms than subversion.

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Re: A modern day revolution.

Postby Cycle » Sun Mar 30, 2008 5:45 am UTC

Like any revolution, its success depends on the number of supporters. If 90% of the population wants the government to change, and they're willing to use violent means, you better believe things are going to change.

Today, I don't think this is possible. But that doesn't have much to do with the strength of the government. The vast majority feels that the government is doing a good job (in the sense that they wouldn't shoot people to make the government different). Thus, no revolution.

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Re: A modern day revolution.

Postby Strilanc » Sun Mar 30, 2008 6:14 am UTC

The great thing about democracies is that before the people get pissed off enough for a revolution, an election comes around.
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Re: A modern day revolution.

Postby btilly » Sun Mar 30, 2008 7:57 am UTC

We may discover what it takes the hard way. One of the more interesting books that I've read in the last few years is Wealth and Democracy. Based on historical analogs of the current state of the USA, it suggests that with even odds or better there will be a revolution in the USA somewhere around 2015 or so.

Be warned, it is not an easy book to read. Much of it is a detailed history of great fortunes and their political impact that can easily glaze your eyes over. Some of its predictions have already come true. For example the USA did get into a war that subsequently proved to be more expensive than anticipated, and we haven't even had a final accounting. True, the book was published after 9/11. But I have a feeling that those chapters were actually written before 9/11. And I've been shocked at how quickly the country has moved.

But if I had to project based only on what was in that book, I wouldn't buy the thesis. However Kevin Phillips has a history of making bold predictions that seemed absolutely absurd which then happened. That alone would give me pause.

For example he was the first commentator to make the prediction that Democratic race policy would provide the wedge that would make the South vote Republican for generations to come. In hindsight this prediction seems obvious, but at that point for generations nobody in the South even dreamed of voting Republican because of the Civil War (Lincoln was a Republican). But Nixon cited Phillips' book, took the strategy to heart, and the South is now looks to be solidly Republican for the indefinite future.

For another example he was the person who, right after the first Iraq war, predicted that Bush was vulnerable and outlined the exact electoral strategy that could beat him. Given that Bush had something like 80% approval ratings, this seemed absurd. But Bill Clinton followed the strategy and you can see how that works.

So when Kevin Phillips suggests that we could see a civil war in the USA within a decade from now, I'm not going to lightly dismiss him. And I have to say that the prediction seems much more likely to me now than it once did. If 2008 sees a manipulation of the vote as egregious as what happened in 2000 and 2004, followed by, say, the US currency collapsing, a civil war doesn't seem at all far fetched.

I'm still hoping that he's wrong on this one, of course.
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Re: A modern day revolution.

Postby joeframbach » Sun Mar 30, 2008 8:18 am UTC

A lot could be said for not allowing history to repeat itself.
One example: Attempts on Hitler's life. Although it was carried out very well and carefully planned, there was always some deciding factor that nobody could have foreseen. I'd say there's a lot of the "luck" factor in things like this.

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Re: A modern day revolution.

Postby Ours » Sun Mar 30, 2008 10:22 am UTC

thicknavyrain wrote:But hypothetically, if for some reason the masses decided that the people in power we doing a terrible job and the only solution was for a huge revolution against the government and to riot and revolt how far would we succeed?


I assume by masses u mean a high percentage of the population at least exceeding 50% but more likely to be somewhere around two thirds?

I assume by western civilization you mean democratic?
Then no revolution is necessary. There are elections. If the next election is too far away, people go on the streets, forcing the government to resign or to change their politics to a more accepted way. Happens frequently.

If you do not have a democracy, it will come down to the question what kind of disciplinary measures the government will take to maintain power. Non-democratic governments usually install preemptive measures to prevent masses to organize (media control, etc..). If masses can organize nevertheless and it ensured that the revolution is peaceful, there is a good chance of succeeding (Former Democratic Republic of Germany, Ukraine,..).
The likelihood of violent retaliation rises if there are ethnic or other obvious differences between law enforcement and protesting population. It is always harder to execute an order to shoot at your neighbor, with who you had a bear yesterday, than on someone you see as an outsider. It is also harder to shoot at women and kids. It is also harder to shoot at someone who just peacefully walks along the streets and holds a candle in his hands than on some guy who throws stones at you.

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Re: A modern day revolution.

Postby proof_man » Sun Mar 30, 2008 11:50 am UTC

the people who would have most to gain by revolting would be those who suffer the most to preserve the high standard of living for the rest. these people are those who manufacture our cheap goods, gather our resources, and grow our food, yet receive the least compensation. they are underpaid for their work compared to the people they serve.

these people live overseas or are temporary migrants. most of the american proletariat now lives in china and latin america. this is a generalization with many obvious exceptions (so i'm looking for more than a few instances of McJobs as a counterargument), but i think it is still valid enough to make an argument as to why there will be no revolution in the US anytime soon. the two sides of power are the domestic upper/middle classes against the largely foreign working class and geography keeps them safely separated for the most part.

also: i don't think democracy will always cut it as a safety valve for revolutionary urges, especially if the unrest comes from economic problems.

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Re: A modern day revolution.

Postby SpitValve » Sun Mar 30, 2008 12:32 pm UTC

Strilanc wrote:The great thing about democracies is that before the people get pissed off enough for a revolution, an election comes around.


Counter-example: Thailand is/was a democracy, and they had a coup in just 2006.

Then you have places like Singapore, which are "democracies", with definite emphasis on the quote marks.

People have to realise that democracy doesn't solve all your problems. Except for Moscow and St Petersberg, Russia's economy hasn't really improved since the fall of the iron curtain.

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Re: A modern day revolution.

Postby Ours » Sun Mar 30, 2008 5:18 pm UTC

SpitValve wrote:
Strilanc wrote:The great thing about democracies is that before the people get pissed off enough for a revolution, an election comes around.


Counter-example: Thailand is/was a democracy, and they had a coup in just 2006.


1. Are you sure the majority of the Thailand people was in favor of that?
2. Before the coup democracy did not really work quite well, because a) the government was corrupt (if allegations were true) and b) elections were boycotted by opposition.


SpitValve wrote:Then you have places like Singapore, which are "democracies", with definite emphasis on the quote marks.
People have to realise that democracy doesn't solve all your problems. Except for Moscow and St Petersberg, Russia's economy hasn't really improved since the fall of the iron curtain.


You should put Russian's "democracy" in quotation marks too.

For a state to be called democratic the existence of elections is an essential but not a sufficient criteria.

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Re: A modern day revolution.

Postby Cycle » Sun Mar 30, 2008 7:49 pm UTC

You should put America's "democracy" in quotes too, seeing how we are only allowed to elect multi-millionaires.

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Re: A modern day revolution.

Postby btilly » Sun Mar 30, 2008 8:11 pm UTC

Cycle wrote:You should put America's "democracy" in quotes too, seeing how we are only allowed to elect multi-millionaires.

Not just that, but the last two elections were pretty blatantly stolen. And there is every reason to believe that the next, for example, will say that about a million black votes are "spoiled" and hence not counted. (That was one of the manipulations that happened in 2004 and on a smaller scale in 2000.)

Whether the fix will be big enough to keep the presidency in Republican hands is still to be determined. But there will be a pretty blatant thumb on the scales.
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Re: A modern day revolution.

Postby Blubb3r3ng3l » Mon Mar 31, 2008 12:12 am UTC

Azrael001 wrote:Except that many soldiers would have major qualms about shooting their country(wo)men and it can safely be assumed that there would be soldiers in the rebel group. They are not mindless automatons... yet.


having been a /k/ommando for some time (if you don't know what that is... don't sweat it) I can tell you that enlisted men in the US military have pretty ultimate faith in the word of the law. Asked to commit violence in their own country, most people in the military on that particular forum claimed they would break rank and cry foul. When further questioned about the legitimacy of this, seeings how they're basically pawns FOR the government, they said, pretty unanimously, that their own commanding officers would be the ones who would start the shift away from the government, not try to get their men to not do this.

Basically, military men the nation (US) wide say, according to /k/ (and I trust them for having a good deal of military people) would eventually be the ones leading revolution, should a TRULY corrupt and treasonous takeover happen.

Don't believe me? Ask these folks.

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Re: A modern day revolution.

Postby tuba_king2341 » Mon Mar 31, 2008 3:04 am UTC

idont_know12 wrote:It's possible to have a revolution in America. You'd have to spend years of preparation, of course; establish an extensive, underground network of members, have everyone independently acquire several high-powered firearms with loads of ammunition and get expertly trained in each of them, construct/acquire lightweight body armour, then organize a single event in which many attacks are launched simultaneously against major centres of government. The most effective way of taking out the capital itself wouldn't be infantry, of course; you'd need to build a bomb. I don't personally know the channels to obtaion materials for making a nuclear or vacuum bomb, but it would ideally take out the entire city and the surrounding areas in one go. The bomb would probably have to be airdropped, not delivered "by hand".


This would never work in America. The intelligence branch of our government would catch any hint of this in an instant, and it'd be over right there.
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Re: A modern day revolution.

Postby Ours » Mon Mar 31, 2008 8:13 am UTC

btilly wrote:
Cycle wrote:You should put America's "democracy" in quotes too, seeing how we are only allowed to elect multi-millionaires.

Not just that, but the last two elections were pretty blatantly stolen. And there is every reason to believe that the next, for example, will say that about a million black votes are "spoiled" and hence not counted. (That was one of the manipulations that happened in 2004 and on a smaller scale in 2000.)

Whether the fix will be big enough to keep the presidency in Republican hands is still to be determined. But there will be a pretty blatant thumb on the scales.


Well besides possible manipulations, bending of rules or making them work in your favor, there is a fundamental problem when it comes to the system of how the US-president is elected.
Firstly not every vote counts the same (in comparison of voters living in different states). This is opposed to fundamental principles of democracy.
Secondly a person can legally be elected president of the USA having the majority of voters in the electoral college, but not having the majority of total population. In a worst case scenario there is a 51-49 vote in a sufficiently high number of states gaining majority of electoral college, but a 0-100 vote in all other states. Would that spark a revolution?
Disclaimer: This is not the only flaw in election systems around, but in this case the solution would be soooooo simple.

For further discussion of revolutions please specify whether we are talking about
a) revolutions carried by a vast majority of population
b) revolutions/coups executed by only a fraction of population not necessarily favored by the majority
c) both of the above? (Imho, I think you would have to differentiate)

Interesting fact:
The German constitution grants the right to rebel/resist passively and actively even using force against anybody that tries to abolish constitutional order/principles given that other means of resistance are unsuccessful.
I think it is the only constitution having such a paragraph?

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Re: A modern day revolution.

Postby mazzilliu » Mon Mar 31, 2008 8:29 am UTC

tuba_king2341 wrote:
idont_know12 wrote:It's possible to have a revolution in America. You'd have to spend years of preparation, of course; establish an extensive, underground network of members, have everyone independently acquire several high-powered firearms with loads of ammunition and get expertly trained in each of them, construct/acquire lightweight body armour, then organize a single event in which many attacks are launched simultaneously against major centres of government. The most effective way of taking out the capital itself wouldn't be infantry, of course; you'd need to build a bomb. I don't personally know the channels to obtaion materials for making a nuclear or vacuum bomb, but it would ideally take out the entire city and the surrounding areas in one go. The bomb would probably have to be airdropped, not delivered "by hand".


This would never work in America. The intelligence branch of our government would catch any hint of this in an instant, and it'd be over right there.

the funny thing is they would probably call them terrorists and the outside world would never see them again :D
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Re: A modern day revolution.

Postby Arancaytar » Mon Mar 31, 2008 9:10 am UTC

Ours wrote:The German constitution grants the right to rebel/resist passively and actively even using force against anybody that tries to abolish constitutional order/principles given that other means of resistance are unsuccessful.
I think it is the only constitution having such a paragraph?


Wow, I didn't know that.

Of course, such a "last-ditch" paragraph is kind of ceremonial at best. It attempts to make a law for a situation where the government is violating those same laws. If the government, which by definition is responsible for enforcing the laws, refuses to abide by them, then the only possible way to enforce those laws is by force (ie. revolution, civil war) - and in war, a lot of laws become shells of paper.

At best, this would make a difference once the whole thing is over and everyone gets together at some international court.
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Re: A modern day revolution.

Postby Arancaytar » Mon Mar 31, 2008 9:12 am UTC

mazzilliu wrote:
tuba_king2341 wrote:
idont_know12 wrote:It's possible to have a revolution in America. You'd have to spend years of preparation, of course; establish an extensive, underground network of members, have everyone independently acquire several high-powered firearms with loads of ammunition and get expertly trained in each of them, construct/acquire lightweight body armour, then organize a single event in which many attacks are launched simultaneously against major centres of government. The most effective way of taking out the capital itself wouldn't be infantry, of course; you'd need to build a bomb. I don't personally know the channels to obtaion materials for making a nuclear or vacuum bomb, but it would ideally take out the entire city and the surrounding areas in one go. The bomb would probably have to be airdropped, not delivered "by hand".


This would never work in America. The intelligence branch of our government would catch any hint of this in an instant, and it'd be over right there.

the funny thing is they would probably call them terrorists and the outside world would never see them again :D


... and in this case they'd be right.
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Re: A modern day revolution.

Postby Ours » Mon Mar 31, 2008 11:42 am UTC

Arancaytar wrote:
Ours wrote:The German constitution grants the right to rebel/resist passively and actively even using force against anybody that tries to abolish constitutional order/principles given that other means of resistance are unsuccessful.
I think it is the only constitution having such a paragraph?


Wow, I didn't know that.

Of course, such a "last-ditch" paragraph is kind of ceremonial at best. It attempts to make a law for a situation where the government is violating those same laws. If the government, which by definition is responsible for enforcing the laws, refuses to abide by them, then the only possible way to enforce those laws is by force (ie. revolution, civil war) - and in war, a lot of laws become shells of paper.

At best, this would make a difference once the whole thing is over and everyone gets together at some international court.


Of course you are right, but due to the fact that Germany had to learn bitter lessons from history, that paragraph was inserted. It primarily aims at protecting the core principles in the first 20 articles (basic rights) of the constitution.
But one should remember a government can do wrong but still be not directly violating any laws.
A dictatorship can not only arise by a violent coup d'etat but also by slowly shifting towards it passing laws that cut citizen rights piece by piece. You can even found a dictatorship on the people's will (let them vote for giving up all the power in favor of the dictator until his/her death).
People tend to be surprisingly willing to give up rights if it seems to be for a good case like coping with threats (real or imagined) to the nation. Of course every future government decides to use the provided instruments only in the intended way. But wouldn't it come in handy if the government could use these tools to help getting elected again? Well, no government would do that? Sure?

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Re: A modern day revolution.

Postby Gunfingers » Mon Mar 31, 2008 1:26 pm UTC

This has been done at least once, probably more. See? I'm almost certain there was another thread on it, too, but couldn't find it in the two minutes i spent looking.

My answer remains "In the unlikely event that conditions in a modern western democracy ever get to the point that the government needs to be forcibly removed it will be. In no country is this more true than in the US, where there are 9 weapons for every 10 people."

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Re: A modern day revolution.

Postby Iv » Tue Apr 01, 2008 5:12 pm UTC

Has there been any successful revolution where the power in place had armored tanks in control ?

I think we really need to take a sword vs. shield approach here. Before the XVIIIth century, armored knights could fight a crowd without fear of spears, swords, arrows. One noble was enough to tackle a 20 man group. Guns gave crowds a huge advantage over the previous situation. Guns, unlike swords, can be effective with a very short training and number always bring advantage.

Armored tanks made the situation in favor of dictators again : a single tank can face hundreds of protesters without harm done to it. Nowadays, revolution seems to unfold in the following way :
1st day : gathering, victories for the crowd, burning of buildings, police car.
2nd day : far more people gathered but armored reinforcements arrived and repression begins.

Today, in order to be effective, a revolution would have to be able to storm the government in the first day, before reinforcements can arrive. But dictators often are aware of this and are surrounded by heavy weapons wherever they go.

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Re: A modern day revolution.

Postby adrian » Tue Apr 01, 2008 5:37 pm UTC

TheStranger wrote:Using England as an example...

Let's say a few towns in northern Scotland decide that they've had enough of those prissy Brits. They shoot all the Brits they can find, and then refuse to pay any more taxes.


Scots are Brits. They'd be shooting themselves.

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Re: A modern day revolution.

Postby mosc » Tue Apr 01, 2008 7:42 pm UTC

I think this thread is relevant to the discussion. Specifically we discussed that a modern day revolution would not be the right course of action (at least in the US and other similar countries) because the avenues for political change are still open without resorting to violence.
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Re: A modern day revolution.

Postby ekzrated » Tue Apr 01, 2008 7:58 pm UTC

mosc wrote:I think this thread is relevant to the discussion.
Link doesn't work for me.

Might be network settings, tho...
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Re: A modern day revolution.

Postby mosc » Tue Apr 01, 2008 9:25 pm UTC

doesn't work for me either but I bumped it.
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Re: A modern day revolution.

Postby Yakk » Tue Apr 01, 2008 10:16 pm UTC

So who/what is on what side?

Are the army/police on the side of the government? Or are they neutral?

How dedicated are the revolutionaries or the status quo folk?

If the army and police and 45% of the population where on one side, and 55% of the population where on the other, and both where willing to do what it took to win and never comprimise, the status quo would probably win a Pyrrhic victory. (Ie: entire cities would be destroyed)
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Re: A modern day revolution.

Postby 4=5 » Tue Apr 01, 2008 10:48 pm UTC

mosc wrote:I think [url=http://forums.xkcd.com/viewtopic.php?f=8&t=16497]this thread[/url] is relevant to the discussion. Specifically we discussed that a modern day revolution would not be the right course of action (at least in the US and other similar countries) because the avenues for political change are still open without resorting to violence.

let me try
http://forums.xkcd.com/viewtopic.php?f=8&t=16497
copy and paste it

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Re: A modern day revolution.

Postby Akula » Wed Apr 02, 2008 2:44 am UTC

Iv wrote:Has there been any successful revolution where the power in place had armored tanks in control ?

I think we really need to take a sword vs. shield approach here. Before the XVIIIth century, armored knights could fight a crowd without fear of spears, swords, arrows. One noble was enough to tackle a 20 man group. Guns gave crowds a huge advantage over the previous situation. Guns, unlike swords, can be effective with a very short training and number always bring advantage.

Armored tanks made the situation in favor of dictators again : a single tank can face hundreds of protesters without harm done to it. Nowadays, revolution seems to unfold in the following way :
1st day : gathering, victories for the crowd, burning of buildings, police car.
2nd day : far more people gathered but armored reinforcements arrived and repression begins.

Today, in order to be effective, a revolution would have to be able to storm the government in the first day, before reinforcements can arrive. But dictators often are aware of this and are surrounded by heavy weapons wherever they go.


Which where the principals of guerrilla and strategic warfare come into play. All the tanks, helicopters, and jets in the world are worthless if they don't have fuel, ammunition, and spare parts. And so you do not fight against the platoon of tanks overlooking your town. You blow up the trucks carrying fuel and ammo and spare parts. Or better yet, you blow up the fuel and ammo dumps. Now the tanks only have what's on them. Eventually they run out of fuel and bullets. Do you know what you call a tank that can't move or shoot? A sitting duck.

This is how you fight not just a guerilla war, but it is good practice for any war. See the use of submarines in WWII. Forget the air battles... Britain was nearly brought to it's knees by the U-boats in 1940. The RAF came within a razors edge of having no fuel and no bullets. Perhaps a few more boats sunk in the north atlantic, and the war goes completely the other direction. On the otherside of the world, the US Navy's submarines successfully choked the Japanese Empire to death. By the end of the war, the Japanese had only a handful of boats big enough to even leave coastal waters.
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Re: A modern day revolution.

Postby Yakk » Wed Apr 02, 2008 3:22 am UTC

And guerilla warfare doesn't work if either:
A> The attackers don't care about civilian casualties, or
B> The guerillas don't have support of the civilians.
One of the painful things about our time is that those who feel certainty are stupid, and those with any imagination and understanding are filled with doubt and indecision - BR

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Re: A modern day revolution.

Postby Puzzlemaker » Thu Apr 03, 2008 4:32 am UTC

The problem is, there has to be something to get the people who really don't care about political situations into action. That's mostly limited to things that affect their lives, like poverty or drafting.
RezardVareth wrote:Bad argumentation can be painful to answer, but responding with empty logic just perpetuates the cycle.

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Re: A modern day revolution.

Postby btilly » Thu Apr 03, 2008 5:30 am UTC

Iv wrote:Has there been any successful revolution where the power in place had armored tanks in control ?

Not to bring up what may feel like ancient history to a lot of you kids, but there were a whole succession of such revolutions. Better yet, they were carried out by largely unarmed people!

I am talking, of course, about the collapse of the Iron Curtain at the end of the Cold War.
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Re: A modern day revolution.

Postby Iv » Thu Apr 03, 2008 7:04 am UTC

btilly wrote:I am talking, of course, about the collapse of the Iron Curtain at the end of the Cold War.


Well, from what I know, the leaders (in the case of the Berlin Wall at least) did not send tanks and it was a conscious decision to "let go". I am not aware of a case where they sent in the tanks and failed to restore order. All the "revolutions" I see in the Iron Curtain collapse are pacific ones and when they succeed it was only because of the leaders decision not to crush the crowd.
Had Staline been in the Kremlin instead of Gorbatchev, things would probabl have been different.

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Re: A modern day revolution.

Postby Yakk » Thu Apr 03, 2008 8:06 am UTC

Yeltsin. On the tanks. In Moscow.
One of the painful things about our time is that those who feel certainty are stupid, and those with any imagination and understanding are filled with doubt and indecision - BR

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Re: A modern day revolution.

Postby Ours » Thu Apr 03, 2008 8:11 am UTC

Iv wrote:
btilly wrote:I am talking, of course, about the collapse of the Iron Curtain at the end of the Cold War.


Well, from what I know, the leaders (in the case of the Berlin Wall at least) did not send tanks and it was a conscious decision to "let go". I am not aware of a case where they sent in the tanks and failed to restore order. All the "revolutions" I see in the Iron Curtain collapse are pacific ones and when they succeed it was only because of the leaders decision not to crush the crowd.
Had Staline been in the Kremlin instead of Gorbatchev, things would probabl have been different.


Of course it is hardly possible to stop the tanks if send in. This is why a perfect revolution is all about making it as hard as possible for the leaders to send in the tanks. Of course a lot is dependent on outside factors, but staying peaceful in protest helps.
It helps too if,
- protesters consist of average people, not an seemingly isolated group (like students, hippies, ...)
- law enforcement and army consist of average people

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Re: A modern day revolution.

Postby Ours » Thu Apr 03, 2008 8:30 am UTC

Yakk wrote:Yeltsin. On the tanks. In Moscow.


As I recall,
- tanks were send in by people who attempted a coup d'etat.
- Yeltsin was not the revolutionizer but part of the constitutional government
- Yeltsin climbed on the tank AFTER the commander of the tanks declared its loyalty to the constitutional government


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