Tuesday 7 April 2015

Frightening Governments

The Habit Of Revolt: The moment the state ceases to fear the wrath of its own citizens, it will move with terrifying swiftness to reverse the equation. Until ordinary citizens once again learn the knack of frightening their governments, their governments will continue to frighten them.

SHOULD A GOVERNMENT be frightened of its people, or, should the people be frightened of their Government? If your answer to this question is that governments should, indeed, fear the wrath of those they govern, then you are a revolutionary. If you believe that it’s best to follow the rules and do as you’re told, then you are something else. In a world ruled, more-or-less fearlessly, by top-down governments, exactly what that may be is fast becoming the most worrying question of the twenty-first century.
There is some comfort to be drawn from the fact that rule by fearless governments is not yet universal. France, for example, has long been upbraided by free-market economists for not implementing the sort of disciplinary economic “reforms” with which the citizens of the English-speaking countries have long grown familiar. The reason why the French people enjoy such a generous welfare state; and why French workers are blessed with a 35-hour week; is, however, very simple. French governments are frightened of the French people. Any perceived threat to their rights, or to the benefits they have extracted from their rulers over decades and centuries, is met by the French people with action – on the streets.
Hardly surprising, perhaps, when one considers that the French national anthem, La Marseillaise, is forever calling upon the French people to take up arms against every blood-stained banner tyranny advances against them. Modern France, like the United States of America, was born out of revolution. Where the two great republics differ, historically, is over the desirability of repeating the exercise. For the French, revolution (or the plausible threat of it) has become a habit. For the Americans, once would appear to have been enough.
Which is not to suggest that the USA hasn’t had to deal with considerable and repeated eruptions from below. Writing in the latest issue of The Atlantic, American historian, Kim Phillips-Fein’s, article “Why Workers Won’t Unite” looks back at the great trade union battles of America’s past and asks: “Is there a new way to challenge the politics of inequality?”
Phillips-Fein’s explanation for the apparent passivity of contemporary American workers is that, unlike their immigrant ancestors, they have no experience of either the personal autonomy inherent in small-scale, artisanal production; or, of the essential (if impoverished) collectivism of the peasant communities from which so many late-nineteenth and early-twentieth century immigrants to the United States had fled. In her words:
“The new proletarians longed to restore the economic autonomy they had once taken for granted—and, not yet steeped in the culture of the marketplace, they believed this was possible. The factories, corporations, markets, and banks that they viewed as their oppressors were still so new that their endurance hardly seemed assured. Many workers imagined that sweeping transformations would continue. They felt that the horrific world they saw around them could not last, that they had the power to help usher in a more humane and egalitarian social order.”
One hundred years later, it is clear that Capitalism ain’t going anywhere. Equally obvious is the fact that the “more humane and egalitarian social order”, which the struggles of the grandparents and great-grandparents of today’s working-class Americans brought into existence, is rapidly disintegrating. Working peoples’ faith in “sweeping transformations” is, similarly, at an historically low ebb. When those at the bottom of the social pyramid cease to believe that change is possible, is it at all surprising that governments do everything within their power to further convince them that resistance is futile?
The New Zealand working class’s history of struggle and transformation, though nowhere near as bloody as the United States’, was much more successful. And yet, the New Zealand and US labour movements both find themselves representing less than 10 percent of the private sector workforce. Strikes in both countries are at an all-time low. The confidence in collective action that unleashes a strike, and the solidarity that keeps it going, being almost wholly absent from today’s workers.
For those young people in possession of marketable skills, the preferred method of self-advancement within twenty-first century capitalism is networking. The old adage – it’s not what you know, but who you know, that counts – has never been applied with more determination than today. That networking might represent a dramatic reversion to the self-advancement strategies of feudalism, is not a question that those who already find themselves enmeshed within an organisation where power flows, exclusively, from the weak to the strong, have either the energy or the inclination to consider.
For those without skills, King Richard II’s curt response to the defeated remnants of the 1381 Peasants Revolt: “Villeins [serfs] ye are, and villeins ye shall remain”, sounds cruelly appropriate.
It would seem that the habit of revolution, and the knack of frightening governments, are forgotten at the people’s peril.
This essay was originally published in The Press of Tuesday, 7 April 2015.


pat said...

think it would be fair to observe that revolution is born of desperation and fueled by opposition....the affluent west has not reached the flashpoint most recently demonstrated in the Arab or African states....yet

Guerilla Surgeon said...

As a counterpoint to that Atlantic article you should probably: look at some of the nutty right wing/survivalist publications. These Americans fear their government with a vengeance. Hence the insistence on the right to own weapons – short of mass destruction – and the great fear that Obama is coming to take them away from them. These are not necessarily libertarians mind – they don't seem to mind big government in some areas. Like keeping "coloured" people in their place, or interfering in women's contraceptive decisions. Exactly what they think they're going to do if the government comes to take the guns away I don't know. I don't think there's ever been a case of a "well-regulated militia" managing to fight off the forces of government, at least not without some sort of ideology, and a lot of help from furrin co-ideologists :-).
On the other hand I don't fear my government in the sense that I'm pretty sure they're not going to come knocking on my door in the middle of the night because I criticise them. And I think with the tiny Armed Forces that we have in this country, a popular revolution might have some chance of success. But it would have to be a damned sight more popular than the anti-Springbok movement :-). Popular enough perhaps that soldiers would refuse to fire on their mothers – hopefully. (I must confess that there were times when I would have loved to have opened fire on mine.) :-)

Guerilla Surgeon said...

Further to that – many of those people who have lost faith in change, and who are at the bottom of the heap, get their news from Fox. Which according to the research, makes them less informed than people who listen to no news at all. This of course is encouraged by the right, because ignorance of the poor is bliss. And of course in the US, they are often hampered by a form of religion that wants them even more ignorant – if that's at all possible. Is this Marx's false consciousness? Can't be arsed going back to my ancient notes :-).

Nick J said...

"Meet the new boss, same as the old boss"....cynical but true. Its so Catch 22, if you want something then you have to get it, but (and there is always a but) be fearful of what you desire. And if you don't try then you will never succeed.

Constructive change is the central issue of our century where we are faced with an end to cheap energy and limited resources coupled with global warming. Revolution may be necessary if we are to have equitable social arrangements in a declining economy whilst facing these challenges. I cant see the old bosses making any effort toward equity or meaningful change. I fear the perfect storm will leave them unclothed. Yet that does not a revolution make. To make the revolution will require new thinking: more of the same by a new boss wont cut the mustard.

Nick J said...

Chris, a message as opposed to a post. Have a read of this: http://www.theautomaticearth.com/2015/04/theres-trouble-brewing-in-middle-earth/
Clearly demonstrates the failure of todays local NZ economic leadership and the need for a revolution in our thinking.

Brendan McNeill said...

Ah yes, France, the glorious workers paradise. Present GDP annual growth rate 0.3%, when compared to, oh I don’t know how about Serbia at 2.0% or Lithuania at 3.4% or even Azerbaijan at 5.8%.


What about their ‘current account balance’? France -58,970,000,000 Euro, whereas Azerbaijan is +13,280,000,000 Euro.

What about jobs for the workers?

France unemployment rate 10.4% and Azerbaijan 5.7%

It’s true the average wage in France is much higher than the former Soviet republic of Azerbaijan, but if you were having to bet on which country is best positioned to face the challenges of the 21st century, would it be the highly indebted France with a workforce raised on the bread of entitlement, reduced working weeks, extended holidays and early retirement, or on Azerbaijan who are cash flow positive with low unemployment and a the recent memory of where revolution and collectivization takes you?

Davo Stevens said...

There won't be a revolution until people have nothing left to lose. When that happens then the fertiliser will hit the oscillator.

Guerilla Surgeon said...

Ah... Brendan – the famous race to the bottom. I'm sure you'd like is all to be working on Bangladeshi wages? We'd be really competitive. And God help us, you know or you shored that Serbia and Azerbaijan and quite possibly Lithuania, but I can't be bothered checking are coming off very, very low bases. Japan, hardly a model of unregulated capitalism as an unemployment rate of 3.5%. The Dutch, also reasonably heavily regulated not much higher. Germany, one of the most heavily regulated and union friendly countries in the world, just over 5%. And while none of these countries are growing particularly fast, they have mature economies and are not starting at the bottom like your examples. Now to take one of your excessively free-market countries Estonia, GDP growth rate may be a point above France's, inflation a touch more, unemployment a fair bit less. That coming with that, a decrease in life expectancy due to the privatisation of health. Increases in TB but now going down slightly, much increased incidence of HIV. Not something you're likely to see in France. See, you can pretty much do anything with figures as you well know :-).

This is all remarkably similar to what you guys do about climate change, you will always start your comparisons with 1998, possibly the hottest year ever. Only believable for the ignorant.

pat said...

and yet Brendan 1000s will pay everything they possess and risk their and their families lives to live in that glorious workers paradise....and i wouldnt mind betting some are from Azerbaijan.

Anonymous said...



Try comparing apples with apples for a change.

Guerilla Surgeon said...

Silly me Brendan I forgot to mention yesterday. If you want a prime example of neoliberal nonsense, look at Kansas. Complete and utter financial and social disaster. Huge deficits, no real increase in industrial activity, and people being forced off what passes for medical insurance in the US, to the point where they will probably die. All this while the rest of the region's growing at about 5% PA. Education down the toilet, and in fact his policy has been declared unconstitutional, because it doesn't guarantee an adequate education. And he's managed to get rid of a government surplus of 700 million. :-) But of course that doesn't bother people like you, because you never suffer the consequences. Social engineering and radical experiment at the expense of ordinary people.

Brendan McNeill said...

Friends, you have missed the point of my post, which was to question 'which country is best positioned to face the challenges of the 21st century'.

One where its citizens are raised in a culture of debt and entitlement, or one where the citizens can still recall the bloodshed and horror of revolution and forced collectivisation?

France may yet have another revolution, but surely no one posting here would consider that to be a good thing?

Guerilla Surgeon said...

I love the way Brendan keeps stepping up, only to be shot down. I guess persistence is the way he's made his fortune :-).

pat said...

think you may need to work on a better line of examples for your points then Brendan

Guerilla Surgeon said...

I have found, in many of those citizens that remember collectivism, a rather sad overreaction and a leaning towards fascism. Just how this prepares them for the future I don't know.

I don't think Kansas is particularly well-positioned either :-). The proponents of this neoliberal nonsense tend to keep changing the goalposts and expanding the time period when prosperity kicks in. Just like Roger Douglas if you remember – we were going to be rich in three years, then he needed another three years and then it was all "well we didn't go far enough." And I guarantee if he'd had another few terms in charge this would have gone on – well, it could probably go on forever :-). You can't argue against this sort of crap, because it's simply not falsifiable.

Anonymous said...

Simply, the rich are getting richer and the poor are getting nowhere, except for the streets of Auckland, whom the council want to remove.

We have a debt-fulled govt in power, and one that cares not for those with the least. Our most caring govt was the Lange one. NZ is regressing, fast. The elite act like Royalty!!

Loz said...

Brendan poses an interesting angle that (if anything) seems to validate Chris' argument.

Azerbaijan may well represent a model nation for the 21st century - as seen by the ilk of the new right. Its president was likened by US Embassy officials to a mafia crime boss and was recognised by the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project as the most corrupt person of the year in 2012. His family are major shareholders in large corporations with stunning property portfolios (in cities like Paris)!

The government of Azerbaijan bars protest of its citizens and has a track record of imprisoning journalists critical of its policies. Elections are considered to be fraudulent. Police are known to use torture, electric shock and threats of rape against the population. Tens of thousands of citizens have been forcibly evicted from their homes to make way for parks and luxury homes for the most wealthy.

Brendan suggests that, compared to France, Azerbaijan 'is best positioned to face the challenges of the 21st century. This may well be true if you believe Democracy is itself a threat.

The rights / entitlements of all citizens "life, love & the pursuit of happiness" or "liberty, equality & fraternity" have always been a bridge-too-far for those who enjoy privilege.

Brutus Iscariot said...

I'd prefer to use Switzerland as an example. Direct democratic participation by an engaged and industrious citizenry.

The French are lazy, feckless, self-entitled and unproductive.

David said...

A big difference between France and the United States was that the French Revolution really was one, overthrowing the established order in that country.

The American "Revolution" was simply overthrowing the colonial power that governed the United States. As well as a war of "Independence" it was also a civil war between those who wanted to stay with Britain and those who didn't. So America doesn't really have a revolutionary tradition to call on. In fact, it has mainly operated as a series of social oppressions by one group of inhabitants over others eg Indigenous Americans, blacks, Hispanics etc, that has been tempered by democracy which has accepted change when the alternative became untenuable. Not that I don't think America has lots of great things about it. It's just that it is based on exploitative capitalism of people and resources. But when it comes to entertainment, America reigns supreme.

Brendan McNeill said...

Dear GS and Co

We must never forget that there is a broad space between the Soviet revolution and forced collectivism of the 20th century at one end of the spectrum, and your deep concerns about the apparent horrors of the free for all Douglas years at the other.

This broad middle space is occupied functional families, personal endeavour and reward for effort. Yes, there will be people left on the margins, even as there are in any socialist paradise, Cuba, China, the old Soviet Union etc. However the net result of that middle ground where free citizens engage in the voluntary exchange of goods and services, has delivered the most prosperity to more people than any other economic system devised by mankind.

To pine for revolution and the great collective is to miss what is happening for the vast majority of New Zealanders today, who I might add prefer the status quo to your vision of bloodshed, and ruin.

Why don’t you join us? There is space for everyone and you would be most welcome.

greywarbler said...

Governments and corporates hand in hand and the unions and agitators for fair conditions against them brought to mind Joe Hill who was mentioned in something I read recently.
I listened once again to the song, Joe said organise to the end. And though the copper bosses shot him, He was alive in people'e memories and never died.
Paul Robeson and some historic clips.

We rationalise away and slide away from the point in NZ - not having enough spunk to stand up and have a say. People look at you! If a new broom was needed, people would be arguing about whether to bristle or not.

Guerilla Surgeon said...

There is a broad space Brendan, and I am on the left of it. But it's funny I don't really regard you as in that space somehow. Particularly as you regard the Douglas horrors has simply 'apparent'. To those people who suffered them, they are very real, and I think people have been scarred by it. Also not quite sure about your sanguine acceptance of the fact that people will be left at the margins. Just at the moment I'm reading "Infections and Inequalities" a book mainly about TB in Haiti and Peru. People much like you dismiss the very real ability to cure this disease among the poor as not "cost-effective." Hence people are left at the margins – and die. While the government spends hundreds of millions of dollars on fighter jets – "a bargain." So perhaps you could define what you consider to be the margins? What is your idea of acceptable marginalisation? Because you're postings so far haven't given me much confidence that you occupy any middle ground :-).
And perhaps you could give me your definition of a functional family. Except I think I probably know the answer to that one. 'A family is a married couple and children, (but not too many in case you are poor) headed by a man.'

Armchair Critic said...

The "forced collectivism" and "Douglas years" are not opposite ends of a continuum, Brendan, they are just different sheepskins on the same wolf. As such, there is no "broad space" between them.
Your first comment on this post made me want to ask you a hypothetical question. If unrestricted immigration between France and Azerbaijan were made legal, which way would the migrants flow and why?

Jigsaw said...

They certainly are 'ancient notes' CS and I dare say full of the same knee-jerk reactions that you display here! People you disagree with are at the least described as 'nutty' and usually worse.
If you look at Venezuela Chris (and most of the news media don't because they don't want to document the end of the socialist dream there) you will clearly see and government that is not afraid of its people but rather despises them and believes that it can batter them into submission.

Mark Hubbard said...

Yet your entire ethic, Chris, is to have a government force a Progressive ethic on all of us, including those who understand how evil that is. Plus you're on record as wanting the IRD to 'squeeze rich pricks until their pips squeak' in order to achieve your ideal of a society (my nightmare)?

Or aren't wealth creators, businesspeople, et al, people too?

Guerilla Surgeon said...

You've never seen my notes jigsaw. But they were the result of lectures from pretty rigorous academics. Not prone to knee-jerk reactions, and not Marxists either. Though they didn't have the knee-jerk reaction you have to his ideas.
Wealth creators are not the rich. They tend to squirrel their stuff away. Research shows that wealth creators are small business people and their workers. The rich are definitely people, but the rich can afford to pay more tax. And so they should.

Davo Stevens said...

I couldn't let the comments by Jigsaw and Mark Hubbard go by without comment.

Jigsaw; Venezuela is a democracy and the majority of the people want that style of Govt. They are having problems right now because of the low oil price. Much the same as we will have with the lowering price of dairy products.

Wealth Creators Mark? Big business is not a wealth creator and never was or is. It's the Consumer that creates wealth but only when they have disposable income to spend. No disposable income -- no businesses large or small. Surely even you can understand that little bit of logic!

I personally am somewhat tired of the corporate welfare that pervades our economy. Why must my hard-earned tax go to subsidising your workers because you are too miserable to pay them properly? That's corporate welfare mate.

Why should my hard earned tax go to subsidising some rich landlord because you are too miserable to pay your workers, who create your wealth, properly?

Guerilla Surgeon said...

SOME people I disagree with have nutty beliefs jigsaw. I make no secret of the fact I regard their beliefs as nutty. But some people can make a reasoned case, in which case I don't describe them as nutty. But you'll never be able to resist that dig will you :-). However, I can change my mind. If you ever start making reasoned cases I will most certainly put you in the other category.

Anonymous said...

We must never forget that there is a broad space between the Soviet revolution and forced collectivism of the 20th century at one end of the spectrum, and your deep concerns about the apparent horrors of the free for all Douglas years at the other.

I love how you have "left-wing = stalinist" and "right-wing = rogernomics." The obvious implication being that leftists secretly want to kill millions and rightists merely preside over "apparent horrors".

It'd be like me saying that there is a middle way between the free-market policies of General Pinochet and the "apparent horrors" of the Swedish Welfare State.

Guerilla Surgeon said...

Jigsaw – you keep bringing up Venezuela, as if (with a knee-jerk reaction) I/we approve of everything that their government does. I certainly don't.
Dammit I'm posting on the wrong thread :-). Still I'll cut and paste them into the correct one. Starting with this one, because it doesn't really matter that much what order you read them in. But what many of you right wingers forget about Venezuela is that while the middle-class (what YOU tend to call "the people".) tends to have hated Chavez, the poor didn't because he raised many of them out of poverty. In contrast to the US where literally millions live in poverty, with the concomitant nutritional deficit, and diseases such as TB, which should have been wiped out years ago.
To be honest, I'd rather live in a society where people got enough to eat, even if the middle-class can't get enough toilet paper.

Guerilla Surgeon said...

Don't know how that confusion over my posts happened :-).
"Or aren't wealth creators, businesspeople, et al, people too?"
Suggest you get rid of the strawman :-). Or at least find a decent one.

Guerilla Surgeon said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mark Hubbard said...


Perhaps try reading my post again, then retorting to what I wrote, rather than what you hoped I wrote.

For a start I never defined big business - whatever that is - as wealth creators. And even if I had, that was not my point: Chris's header post was.

Sanctuary said...

In the age of the increasingly authoritarian capitalist surveillance state the most likely forms of early resistance are going to be inchoate riots (like we saw in London) and desperate lone wolf attacks, think Ashburton WINZ murders with political slogans. Thus far, I doubt our government would heed these sorts of canaries in it's political coal mine, so the next step after that will be frankly political assassinations of leading politicians. An elite responds to this two ways. A wise elite, as Mr. Trotter has pointed out, has the fear of God put into it and, whilst talking tough, makes just enough concessions to save itself. A stupid one creates a police state.

Davo Stevens said...

Apologies Mark, I mis-read what you posted.

The thrust of what I was saying is that there is so much bull surrounding 'Big Business' and 'Wealth Creation'. They don't create 'Wealth' in a consumer economy. Rather they extract it and send it elsewhere where they can get bigger returns on it. None of which benefits our economy here.

Jamie said...

All you commies dreaming of a revolution might just get one...


Whether it's quite the workers paradise y'all dreaming of is another matter

In other news Interpol Secretary General Ronald Noble said that armed citizens in open societies need to be able to defend themselves and others against terrorist attacks.

“Societies have to think about how they’re going to approach the problem (of terrorism),” Noble told ABC. “One is to say we want an armed citizenry”

Read more at http://www.wnd.com/2013/11/interpol-chief-citizens-need-guns/

Guerilla Surgeon said...

a. You said "rich pricks"
b. Chris never said they weren't people. Just that they should pay more taxes.
c. I did say it was a poor straw man :-).
d. Making people pay more taxes is not treating them as nonpersons.

Jigsaw said...

GS - I guess using old varsity notes is some sort of substitute for thinking for yourself.....

Jigsaw said...

I have never assumed that anyone is a complete supporter of the Venezuelan government-I would hesitate to put anyone in such a low category but the fact is that it gets mentioned so little in the left leaning press and even less in Chris Trotter's columns that it's worth asking while the silence on the subject. Especially when we are discussing governments who hate their people.

Guerilla Surgeon said...

Jamie! You're back! With more of the same old rubbish from those absolutely mad websites you frequent. And now you want to arm the populace. Oh Jesus Christ have you no fucking sense at all. Just a couple of things you might want to think about.

1. How on earth are all our Swiss dead shot rifleman going to fight off tanks, helicopters and fighter planes? Just a thought.
2. What do you think is going to happen when every half arsed,half trained idiot with a gun comes across a group of terrorists large or small who are shooting indiscriminately at other people. In other words Jamie, have you thought about how to tell the good guys with a gun from the bad guys with a gun? Are all these idiots going to make sure that there is nothing behind the targets? Or are they just going to blaze away and add to the carnage. Just another thought.

You know, there's never been a mass shooting stopped by a good guy with a gun. Even when a good guy with a gun was on-site. And even then the good guy with a gun was normally a policeman. The only case I could ever find – and I have argued this with a lot of Americans – of a civilian good guy with a gun, the guy very sensibly did not fire because behind the shooter, was a crowd of civilians.
And while I'm at it, the Swiss don't regularly carry guns with them at the supermarket. There are lots of guns, they are strictly controlled though. As is ammunition. And yet they still have the highest gun murder rate in Western Europe.
Jesus Jamie this is one of your dumbest ideas. The wild west on steroids. Fuck words fail me.

Jamie said...

1. How on earth are all our Swiss dead shot rifleman going to fight off tanks, helicopters and fighter planes? Just a thought. G.S

The army would have anti-tank/anti air weapons....Duh

"2. What do you think is going to happen when every half arsed,half trained idiot with a gun comes across a group of terrorists large or small who are shooting indiscriminately at other people"

The terrorist would get killed

"In other words Jamie, have you thought about how to tell the good guys with a gun from the bad guys with a gun?" G.S

The bad guys would be the ones shooting unarmed civilians, women and children

"You know, there's never been a mass shooting stopped by a good guy with a gun" G.S


Anything else bud???

Guerilla Surgeon said...

Jigsaw, I hardly think that using some old lecture notes to check up on a fact I've forgotten is "not thinking for myself." I think your desire to get these jabs in is rather destroying your focus and concentration to be honest. :-) Perhaps if you attacked my ideas rather than your perception of my personality?
I don't know what left leaning press you read, but I find the occasional story about Venezuela. In fact there was one mid-March on Salon. I guess it's more relevant in the Western Hemisphere, but then it's a fairly obscure South American country, whose main claim to fame is that it doesn't kowtow to America. So why it should get a lot of column inches in New Zealand I don't know. And considering Chris generally writes about New Zealand politics am not quite sure why he should give it much space either.
Mind you, there is almost no left-leaning press in this country so if it doesn't get much attention it's your fault :-). Perhaps you should write to one of our newspapers and get them to do a feature on it.
Gosh they've just done one in January. Well – not really done it, just pinched it from the Washington post so it's more of a hatchet job really. Amazing what a quick Google search can do.

Davo Stevens said...

Well put GS. I have to add the adage, "Big gun --small penis."

In the US states where guns are allowed to be carried, more people die at the hand of crims who get the gun from the owners.

I have seen them strutting around packing heat on their hips. If they only realised that they look stupid doing that. Walking around a mall with a machine gun is idiocy to an extreme. How the hell are they going to use them in a crowded mall?

Jamie said...

"I have seen them strutting around packing heat on their hips. If they only realised that they look stupid doing that. Walking around a mall with a machine gun is idiocy to an extreme. How the hell are they going to use them in a crowded mall?" Davo 'Vietnam combat veteran' Stevens

Criminals and terrorists are cowards who seek out soft targets, tell me who is the softer target - a bloke openly carrying a pistol or the bloke not carrying a pistol???

You Davo Stevens as a 'Vietnam combat veteran' trained and proficient in the use of firearms would know the full-auto function is a waste of bullets in most circumstances, certainly in a crowded mall???

Guerilla Surgeon said...

Well Davo, just as well I only have small guns then. Jamie, you never ever look beyond the obvious. If you seen the link at the bottom of your page and actually clicked it, you would have got a reply without bothering me.

And if you'd cared to search further:



Can you imagine what is going to be like if everyone is armed? Jesus Christ it doesn't even bear thinking about.

You also don't listen, I did say that most of those good guys with a gun were policeman. As the link I posted above shows. The gun lobby in the US does this all the time. They never really research deeply. At neither do you. Because if you did you would realise that although the Swiss are required to keep their assault rifles at home in their wardrobe usually, they don't often have anti-tank weapons or anti-aircraft weapons tucked away. They're kept at an armoury or barracks. But even so your article didn't mention anti-tank weapons they just said would be met by thousands of accurate rifleman or some such.

And fuck me you have obviously never been in a situation where you had to fire a gun under confusing circumstances. I have, and it's not easy. In the US even the police can't seem to do this properly as shown in New York when nine innocent bystanders were shot because the police didn't check their sightlines. So once an armed populace starts doing it God knows what's going to happen.
Simplistic answers like 'they are the ones killing innocent civilians' just don't work. You have to make the decision in the split second, you see an armed guy, are you going to wait round until you figured out who he is shooting at? No, the untrained person is going to blaze away anyone with a gun, which will include any other armed fuckwit whether he's a bad guy or not. Not to mention that under stress you get tunnel vision and can't often seem much more than the target let alone what's to one side of it or behind it. Or buck fever, which means you see things that don't exist.
Sorry Jamie these ideas are plain mad.

Guerilla Surgeon said...

Hey Jamie, he's on account of what happens when it's just police rather than armed civilians.

Guerilla Surgeon said...

Mass shooters may or may not be cowards. But they don't seek out soft targets. Neither do terrorists necessarily. Mass shooters normally commit their crimes at some place that has annoyed them. Often their place of work, or school. Sometimes a church or synagogue. They often ignore the presence of security guards, because they're mad.
The Columbine shooting for instance. There was armed security on site. All that did was to drive the shooters to another part of the school.
Are you suggesting we arm all the teenagers in high schools? Fuck – having brought up teenagers and having worked with teenagers no way would I go near any school where the students were armed – almost of the teachers for that matter.. :-)
Waste of ammunition? Since when have people who go to shoot up a mall worried about wasting ammunition.
Tell you what Jamie, tell us about your experience with firearms, I'd just LOVE to know.

Jamie said...

Cowboy cops with poor weapons discipline have been trigger happy for a long time now, that is not new news to me

"Most of the 147 victims of a terror attack on a Kenyan university on Thursday died execution-style as they lined up waiting for their turn to be shot, a senior Kenyan government source has told The Telegraph."

"Some students were killed as they spoke to their parents on the telephone."


Guess mother jones didn't get the memo

If y'all think the Yanks, the ANZUS Treaty, or the NZDF will be able to protect us then you are a fool

Kiwi's are gonna have to do it themselves

Prepare for the worst and hope for the best - we only got half that right

Strength in numbers

Davo Stevens said...

Jamie, why don't you engage your mind before you spout your bullshit? Think man and better still, learn to read and comprehend English.
I said nothing about "spraying bullets around" those are your words not mine.

Now go back and read what I wrote and this time try to keep up.

You will get no more responses from me until you start to show some common sense and a little respect for others who disagree with you.

Guerilla Surgeon said...

Jamie, stop quoting crap from places that are basically at war. The nearest group of armed terrorists to us – secret fundamentalists Christian nutcases aside – is thousands of miles away.
I still want to know what your experience with firearms is. I shall continue to respond, because you're spouting bullshit, but please answer my question. I figure from the way you talk, you must have been in the SAS, or the FBI hostage rescue team. Please confirm.
Nah – I don't really believe that funnily enough – if you had any experience with firearms at all you wouldn't be quite so sanguine about half trained people blazing away in malls :-).

pat said...

am wondering if Jamie may be the nom de plume of one Cameron Slater?

Guerilla Surgeon said...

An interesting thought Pat, Slater is a little more coherent? Perhaps? And I've never heard him use the word y'all. But then I haven't seen much of his writing, partly because I've been modded out of existence on his website :-). I just wonder how OLD he is.

Jamie said...

Here is a couple of me doing my thing so wonder no more pat



I have a very basic understanding of military affairs and was never in the SAS. My service pales in comparison to Davo 'the Vietnam combat veteran' Stevens. My apologies for not being able to keep up with you

I will reiterate my initial point and be on my way

I believe there are greater threats to NZ than terrorists or spree shooters. Namely Chinese-communist occupation


With the waning of US power NZ can no longer rely on them to defend us. Kiwis gotta do it ourselves and basing NZ's defence and foreign policy on the Swiss model (not the US model) would be the way to go

Now I'm sure the politicians, the military brass, the
bureaucrats will say this is not something to worry about....However I do not share their optimism

Jamie said...

P.S I guess G.S and I do have something in common. I tried raising this issue of NZ's defence with Cam Slater and I guess he doesn't wanna know. He blocked my one and only comment on his website. I sent him an email, he didn't respond.

Guess I'm too right-wing for him...Oh well

Guerilla Surgeon said...

Your military service consists of being in a volunteer fire brigade? Or are you just being coy Jamie? Still haven’t had answers on whether you served in the Armed Forces, or what your experience with firearms is. A simple yes or no would do with the first one. And surely you wouldn't be taxed by a quick rundown of your firearms experience?
For instance mine includes hunting for rather a long time. Rifles – cut down SMLE and BSA single shot .22 as inherited from father.
More recently, a 7mm 08 Remington 788 – very accurate but rattly magazine.
.284 Winchester – hand built by Din Collings, who I might say, took about two bloody years to get it finished :-).
Winchester 44-40 trapper barrel – cops looked a bit askance at that but legal.
All these since sold as I'm getting a bit old.
However I still own:
.22 Ruger,
.22 Magnum marlin – stainless steel, heavy barrel
.22 LR of indeterminate manufacture which I really must get rid of.
All these because I still go after rabbits, hares, and the occasional wallaby.
Naturally, when I was in the cadets at school, which was compulsory at the time, I fired the SMLE, the Bren, and something they called the SLR, which I think is probably the FN FAL.
See how simple it is? Perhaps you could do me the courtesy of something similar.
I also come from a military family. Luckily I managed to escape it :-). But I can count two grandfathers, one step grandfather, seven great uncles, and my father all in the Armed Forces at one stage or another. Some joined up because there was a depression they would get free food. Some joined up because there was a war on and they felt adventurous or simply wanted to defend the country. One or two actually liked the life.

One thing you've got right as you have a very basic understanding of the military affairs. One thing the Swiss have going for them is mountains and mountain passes. Block them and you can hold out for as long as your food and ammunition does :-). One thing New Zealand has going for it is thousands of miles of open ocean. And as of now, and in the foreseeable future, the Chinese do not have the ability to cross this and invade New Zealand in any force. The only country that does basically is the United States.
And your knowledge of geopolitics is abysmal as well. Obama has (allegedly) decided to focus more on the Pacific area, and God help us confront China more. This may or may not be a good thing.
And as I get tired of saying, if it is in America's interests to defend us they will do so whether we like it or not. If it is not they won’t no matter how much we beg.
The Swiss model is interesting, and I wouldn't mind if we did some more compulsory military training of young people. But the idea of giving people an assault rifle to take home, even though access to ammunition is fairly restricted, relies on having a socially conservative, obedient, and generally law-abiding population. Which the Swiss have but we don't.

pat said...

i stand corrected Jamie...no way CS could hide in that frame....GS ,CS may be a little more coherent though having read some of his e mails released by rawshark there was a very similar gung ho shoot em up theme and the coherence waxed and waned....was hard to resist the question

Davo Stevens said...

Now that is much better Jamie. Much less pejorative.

Also very paranoid though, the Chinese aren't going to invade NZ when they can and are just buying us out.

I still fail to see how it fits in with men mostly strutting around a mall flashing an automatic rifle. Any determined villian with a hand gun could take them out before they even had a chance to use it. Those men are taking paranoia and raising it to an art form.

The Swiss model has it's advantages too but the is a considerable difference between them and us. Firstly, when a Swiss man reaches the age of 20, he goes into an intensive training course on weaponry for 6 weeks. At the end of that he gets issued with a military rifle and 100 rounds of ammo. The rifle must be locked away when not in use and he has to account for any ammo he uses each year. The allowance is 20 rounds for target practice, any more and he's in doo-doo! The target shooting must be done at a recognised range and he must get a form signed off by the Range Master.

Switzerland and NZ have different problems. The former is a mountainous country that is land-locked, NZ is a country that is a cluster of islands in an open ocean. The defence of which is almost impossible.

The US Constitution states that people have the right to bear arms WITHIN A WELL-REGULATED MILITIA!! That doesn't mean they can wander around in a cafe with guns on their hips or strut through a mall with an automatic rifle.

Jamie, you need to see some-one about that paranoia, it's doing your head in.

Guerilla Surgeon said...

Actually Davo, the Supreme Court has decided that the right to bear arms is an individual right and they've rather junked the well regulated militia stuff. Still, if Obama ever gets his act into gear and some of them die off this could change.
But there are a number of states which have now passed open carry or concealed carry laws which means people can and do wander through places with weapons – as long as they're white. There are now groups of people deliberately wandering round children's playgrounds yelling out "this is my gun and you can't do anything about it." Apparently even the NRA think this is silly.
Sorry, spend a fair amount of time on American websites debating gun laws :-).

Jamie said...

'Your military service consists of being in a volunteer fire brigade? Or are you just being coy Jamie? Still haven’t had answers on whether you served in the Armed Forces' Cadet G.S

Go ahead fill ya boots...


'I also come from a military family' Cadet G.S

Join the club...


Wow G.S you've had all that access to weaponry and you haven't gone round shooting people....And here you are arguing that armed citizens kill people???

"The Chinese aren't going to invade NZ when they can and are just buying us out." Davo 'Vietnam combat veteran' Stevens

Short sighted, shameful, and dangerous behaviour on our leaders part I say

I am sure the Maori failed to foresee the dangers to their land when the Europeans showed up. I can't help but think if a simple bloke like me can see the dangers ahead why others can't???

Davo Stevens said...

I know GS the "Regulated Militia" bit is still ignored by gun nuts though.

I too come from a Military family. my Mother's brother died in WW I and my Paternal Grandfather fought there too and survived. My Dad and his three brothers all fought in WW II, one was severely wounded and died a few years after it was over. Another uncle died in the invasion of Crete and is buried there.

I have a .22 cal CO2 air rifle, I use for possums and rabbits. A Weatherby 30-06 with a 5x scope for deer. And a matched pair of Greener side by side Shotguns that I got from my father.

My Dad was Canadian and I have Canadian citizenship too.

" I can't help but think if a simple bloke like me can see the dangers ahead why others can't???"

That's called a hallucination Jamie. Bordering on Paranoia.

Outside of Tibet, China has never invaded it's neighbours. They went into Tibet because their important rivers all source from there and they wanted to protect their water supply.

Compare that with the US and it's 480 permanent military bases all over the world and a heck of a lot more temporary bases too and work out who the aggressor is - it ain't China or Russia!

If they ever decided to invade NZ they would swarm all over us like a nest of fire ants. They have about 7 million men in their military and a further 15 million trained reservists available too.

Guerilla Surgeon said...

Jamie why can you never give a straight answer? I'm presuming that your military experience is zero. I'm presuming that you are in fact related to someone on that website, but you don't make it clear.
You haven't said if you've ever fired a gun, let alone know anything about them. So I'm assuming you never have.
And you still don't read what I have written. So I'm putting in the same complaint is Davo.
I never said that people with guns go around shooting each other. Could we just get that clear. What I said was if everyone carries a gun, and tries to stop bank robberies or attacks on malls or mass killings or whatever, there will be mayhem. Quite possibly more innocent people will die than if everyone just runs away.
I've told you why this would happen. But you haven't come across with any evidence to the contrary, and just ignored/misinterpreted the whole statement.
And armed citizens do kill each other. Particularly if there are no checks on who gets armed. You'll notice that the murder rate, and gun murder rate is much higher in the US than it is here. Switzerland, for all its controls has a higher gun murder rate than most of the rest of Europe, simply because its citizens have access to guns.
I had to undergo a proficiency test, background checks, interviews – both me and my wife, some sort of half pie 'psychiatric' assessment, and get two upstanding citizens to say I was worthy to own firearms. In much of the US you go along to a gun shown and buy one.
So I'm calling bullshit, you know nothing about guns or firearms, you know nothing about shooting, you've never been in a situation where you had to shoot anything. So please stop spouting all this utter crap about it.
And while I'm on the subject, please give us your assessment of the Chinese Navy's capacity to help its army invade New Zealand. In my opinion, and I think Davo's it's nil, and will remain nil for a long time.
Christ they can barely cross the strait and invade Taiwan. It's not as if they've got the British and American fleet of June 1944 here. You just spout off this crap without knowing any of the technicalities.
Ach – like Davo I don't think I'll bother responding too much either, until you've actually done a bit of research, and start reading what I write. You're full of it.

Guerilla Surgeon said...

Davo, I'm sure the Chinese would swarm all over as if they could get there 7 million odd troops over here. But they just don't have the lift capacity as they put it. They might have in another 25 - 50 years, but at the moment I doubt they could put a hell of a lot on our shores at all. Certainly not if the US decides to defend us :-). And if we forgotten about those stupid frigates and invested in submarines :-).......

Davo Stevens said...

I agree GS, Jamie's posts are pejorative for a reason, not to create a discussion but to cause an argument.

Nz has no worries about being invaded by China or any other power either. We are insignificant in the grand scheme of things. It's just paranoia on his part.

Having seen men strutting around a mall in Houston with an auto rifle is ridiculous and they just look stupid, dangerously stupid in my opinion. As I pointed out earlier; and villian with a hand gun could take them out with little trouble. Too many places for some-one to hide in a mall, so their purpose is a non event.

Jamie said...

"That's called a hallucination Jamie. Bordering on Paranoia." Davo 'combat Vietnam veteran' Stevens

Maybe it is...or maybe you're being naive, but if you want peace prepare for war

"Compare that with the US and it's 480 permanent military bases all over the world and a heck of a lot more temporary bases too and work out who the aggressor is - it ain't China or Russia!" Davo 'combat Vietnam veteran' Stevens

The US empire ain't gonna last much longer with the debt load they are carrying

"If they ever decided to invade NZ they would swarm all over us like a nest of fire ants. They have about 7 million men in their military and a further 15 million trained reservists available too"
Davo 'combat Vietnam veteran' Stevens

Compared to 4 million armed and military trained Kiwi's on home soil if the NZ's defence policy was changed to the Swiss model. I would fancy our chances. They would have a hell of a time sustaining an invasion this far from home

"Jamie why can you never give a straight answer? I'm presuming that your military experience is zero. I'm presuming that you are in fact related to someone on that website, but you don't make it clear." G.S

Your presumptions are wrong. That is my website and you saying I got that from a relative is ridiculous. You can see my service record on the post dude. 4 1/2 years NZ Army Regular force, which is more military and operational experience than you or the last 10 Ministers of Defence combined.

Here is my pick for the next MOD...


"You haven't said if you've ever fired a gun, let alone know anything about them. So I'm assuming you never have."


IW Steyer, C9, GPMG, 9mm Sig Sauer, M14, various shotties, 303's, 22's

I never had to shoot anyone thankfully

"You'll notice that the murder rate, and gun murder rate is much higher in the US than it is here."G.S

That couldn't have anything to do with their drug war or their militarised police forces now could it???

"Switzerland, for all its controls has a higher gun murder rate than most of the rest of Europe, simply because its citizens have access to guns." G.S

Got some stats to back your claims bud, I say you're wrong.

I found this (I know Wikipedia isn't always to be trusted)


Switzerland is well down the European list, only slightly higher than NZ with 5 more murders.

"And while I'm on the subject, please give us your assessment of the Chinese Navy's capacity to help its army invade New Zealand" G.s

Hard to tell with the Chinese-communists. I'm no expert. They are certainly building up their blue-water navy. Maybe they are 5-10 years away from being a naval superpower, might be more

I found these reports although it's probably best to take them with a grain of salt



"Ach – like Davo I don't think I'll bother responding too much either" G.S

Good:) You would both be doing me a favour. You two could give aspirin a headache

Guerilla Surgeon said...

At last some straight answers. You realise just posting website doesn't tell me it belongs to you right?
Again you didn't read what I said. I didn't say it was your relative's website, I said you might be related to someone on it. There were photographs of a number of people there, and you just said that was you doing your thing. How might you know what your THING refers to? Again, a simple hey this is my website would have sufficed. Particularly as I'm reluctant to go to your websites these days they contain so much paranoia.
Still, at least you were banned by whale oil. Though I find it difficult to believe it's because you were too right wing :-). Who can read THAT idiot's mind.

Davo Stevens said...

Much more informative this time Jamie.

I don't know what the state of the Chinese Navy is nor do I care but I'm willing to bet that you don't know either. You are trying to convince us that they are just waiting in the wings to pounce on poor ole NZ. So they are going to ignore re-claiming Taiwan, not invade the Philipines or Papua New Guinea (which I might add is rich in natural mineral resources) and sail their Chinese Junks down here to invade us. Get a grip man!

You got slung from the Blubber Oils site doesn't surprise me either but not because you are too right wing and more to do with that paranoia you apparently suffer from.

Now I'll give you a short lesson in Politics, it is circular, the further left you go the more right you become and the further right you go the more left you become. Where they meet you get FASCISM!! China is not Communist Jamie - it's Fascist!! There has never been a Communist run country in the world EVER!! They are or were Fascist!

Go and get some help with that destructive paranoia you suffer from. I have read the sites you post and they are nothing more than idiotic paranoid rants.