Wednesday, February 20, 2013
Tempus Fugit, Aeternitas Manet (Time flees, eternity dwells)
Democide: Socialism, Tyranny, Guns and Freedom
Democide is the elimination of a despised group by a government. It includes genocide, politicide, and other forms of state-sponsored mass murder. The hated minority headed for extermination may be defined by religious, racial, political, class, cultural or other attributes. Between 200 and 260 million people were the victims of democide in the 20th century, several times more than were killed in international wars during that period.
The first widely studied modern democide occurred in Turkey between 1915 and 1923, when the Turkish government decided to eliminate the country’s Christian minority, primarily ethnic Armenians and Greeks who had Turkish roots extending back to before the Islamic conquest. Two million Christians were murdered on forced marches into deserts without water or food. This democide occurred in view of Western reporters, who took photographs and posted contemporary wire reports. The fact that the democide was known outside Turkey did not deter the Turkish leaders.
The Armenian Genocide, as it has become known, was also widely known inside Turkey, where the majority Muslim population either supported or at least passively tolerated the democide. It was impossible to miss the sight of thousands of Christians at a time being rounded up and force-marched through towns and into the burning deserts on one-way trips.
Stalin and Hitler both noticed the lack of world reaction to the democide of Turkish Christians and planned accordingly. In the Soviet Union, Stalin’s henchmen purged millions of “kulaks” (farmers deemed to have too much wealth), intellectuals, businessmen, and anyone who had ever traveled outside the USSR or even had had contact with foreigners.
In Germany and Nazi-occupied Europe, Hitler proceeded with his own “final solution to the Jewish problem.” Where the German national socialists simply eliminated Jews as quickly as possible in mass graves and gas chambers, Stalin’s international socialists deported their “class enemies” to Siberia, where they were put to work in Gulag slave-labor camps, with years of torture through cold, malnutrition and brutal working conditions preceding the release of eventual death.
Stalin also devised another means of democide when he ordered the forced starvation of the Ukrainians, and five million more innocent victims were added to his totals. In Communist China seventy million people were the victims of democide, murdered by overwork in slave-labor camps, by direct execution, and by regional forced starvation. Millions more were victims of democide in Pakistan, Cambodia, Rwanda, North Korea, and many other countries.
Democide, as the name implies, does not happen in the dark of night without any awareness of it in the country where it occurs. The Turks knew the Christians were being mass murdered. Average Germans were fully aware of what was happening to the Jews between 1938 and 1945, and a large majority either actively supported or at least tolerated it. (I strongly recommend reading Hitler’s Willing Executioners: Ordinary Germans and the Holocaust, by Daniel Goldhagen, to fully appreciate the wholehearted German support for the Jewish democide.)
Today, we sometimes hear that the Second Amendment has outlived its usefulness, that it is a relic of our barbaric past and is no longer needed in the modern era. Horrific mass shootings by deranged individuals are cited as the primary reason for Americans to surrender their most effective firearms and rely solely on a state monopoly of force for their protection. This government-dependent attitude is shortsighted, historically ignorant, and extremely dangerous.
In each of the cases cited above, a necessary preliminary step on the road to democide was the confiscation of privately owned firearms. In Turkey, “reasonable” gun control laws enacted in 1911 permitted the democide of two million Turkish Christians a few years later. In Germany, the “commonsense” 1928 gun control laws of the Weimar Republic preceded Hitler’s Holocaust by a decade.
The Weimar politicians did not intend for their gun control laws to lead to the slaughter of millions of people, but it is an historical fact that those gun control laws permitted the Nazis to carry out their Holocaust. How? By making it economically and militarily feasible to round up and mass murder entire towns without any significant resistance.
In fact, the Nazis quickly learned that they needed only a hundred ordinary military policemen to exterminate towns of a thousand Polish Jews in a single day. Contrast that fact with the Warsaw Ghetto uprising. If the Jews had not first been disarmed, using previous gun registration lists as a map for confiscation, the Holocaust would not have been possible.
Likewise in the Soviet Union and in every other case, democide was preceded by “reasonable and commonsense” firearms registration, followed eventually by gun confiscation and then by the extermination of a despised minority population.
During the past two centuries, while America has avoided tyranny, Turkey, Germany, Russia and the other nations mentioned above have spasmodically lurched between monarchs, democratically elected leaders, and often quite popular dictators, allowing them frequent opportunities to commit democide against their unwanted minorities.
The situation is fundamentally different in America, because we have a centuries-old tradition of private firearms ownership guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the Constitution. The Second Amendment does not “grant” us this right; it puts into writing our God-given natural right to effective self-defense, including armed defense against tyranny.
“Pure democracy” has been described as two wolves and a sheep voting on their dinner plans. The two wolves might see this election as an expression of their highest democratic values, but for the outnumbered sheep, pure democracy is highly problematic. On the other hand, a republic has been described as two wolves and a well-armed sheep voting on dinner plans. The well-armed sheep can veto the outcome of the dinner election simply by brandishing its firearm. The sheep has inherent rights as a sovereign individual, including the right to self-defense, a right that cannot be stripped away by a simple majority vote.
So, when a democratically elected American president speaks of “fundamentally transforming” his country, and of his need to act outside the constitutional framework, the population should be on guard. When that leader begins to push for strict new “commonsense and reasonable” gun control laws, including national firearms registration in the name of “public safety,” the citizenry should be on high alert.
Can any glib politician, pundit or ivory tower academic give us an ironclad guarantee that tyranny will never arise in the United States? Not even a popular tyranny, like those of Ataturk, Stalin, Hitler or Mao? Can anyone assure us that today’s “commonsense” gun registration lists will not be used for future gun confiscation? Of course not.
The future may be unknowable, but history is well understood, and American gun owners know and understand the history of democide in the 20th century. That is why they will never accede to what is currently portrayed in the predominantly left-wing mainstream media as “commonsense and reasonable” new gun control laws.
While American gun owners lament and regret the inescapable fact that deranged individuals in a free country may on rare occasions murder a dozen or a score of unarmed victims, they also understand that government democide murders by the million. And in every case, tyrants can conduct these democides only after disarming their unwanted minorities, rendering them helpless to resist murderous government pogroms.
American gun owners will never permit this historical pattern to be repeated in their country, because they understand that the government’s heavy hand will be kept in check only as long as they are armed. Ask yourself: Were the Armenians, the Jews or the kulaks treated better, or worse, after they were disarmed and rendered helpless by their oppressors, who thereafter held an absolute government monopoly on armed violence? The answer is too obvious to require elaboration.
Naive utopians and other “low-information voters” might not understand the historical pattern, and we don’t expect them to bother to learn it. Cynical and dishonest “progressives” who do understand the historical pattern cannot yet reveal their ultimate goal of creating a disarmed and helpless American citizenry. Nevertheless, millions of Americans understand their hidden aim with crystal clarity, seeing through the false sincerity of power-hungry leftist politicians who are actually Marxist wolves dressed in Democrat sheep’s clothing—for now.
But unless and until these secret Stalinists and sundry other “progressives” can figure out a way to disarm Americans, they cannot execute their historically standard final solution to the “reactionaries-standing-in-the-way-of-utopia” problem. And this is a thorny problem for them, because tens of millions of Americans, disbelieving their deceitful bromides, will stick to their guns no matter what.
Unlike the Armenians, Jews, kulaks and other exterminated peoples, Americans who support the Second Amendment will never be disarmed quietly by government edict prior to meekly boarding a train to a socialist “reeducation” camp. They will not be taken at government gunpoint on a one-way forced march into a desert or a Zyklon-B “delousing shower,” simply because they foolishly agreed to be disarmed by their future oppressors in the dubious name of “public safety.”
If American “progressives” truly intend to disarm the American people, they will have to do it the hard way, by taking their bullets first, one at a time. As the 300 Spartans announced to the vastly larger Persian army at Thermopylae, “Molon Labe!”