by Nathan Barton
As usual, we don’t really have any idea what is going on, but it is clear that Turkish citizens are losing still more of their freedoms. The coup may have been real (if executed with total ineptness) or may have been done by Erdogan to create better conditions for his expanding power. Either way, normal people in Turkey are losing liberty and more. Not that Turks have ever had a LOT of liberty, but still…
A correspondent shared this quote with me: “Popular revolt against a ruthless, experienced modern dictatorship, which enjoys a monopoly over weapons and communications, … is simply not a possibility in the modern age.” This was said by George F. Kennan (1904-2005). He was, politely, a FedGov advisor, diplomat, political analyst, and Pulitzer-prize winning historian, and made this statement in 1964. Put crudely, he was a shill for the FedGov and statists.
Although he is often quoted to demonstrate that revolt is “impossible,” I view his statement as explaining what is necessary for revolt to be successful. And in the 50+ years since he said this, there HAVE been successful revolts, time and time again: Russia, Poland, Czech Republic, Tunisia, to name just a few. Many have been across “ruthless modern dictatorships.”
Which is exactly what the Erdogan government in Turkey is today, and which the regime in DC smells like, more and more. As does the regimes in France, Germany, the UK, and even Canada. Modern dictatorships are often “elective” and have learned from the heavy handed dictatorships of the past. There is no longer any need to have North Korea or Zimbabwe or DDR style 99% elections: a simple majority or even a simple plurality is enough to “legitimize” the regime. And even preferable: it keeps the hoi polloi down and the radicals quieter.
Elections are a moot point. What are NOT are Kennan’s triad: experience, monopoly on weapons, and monopoly on communications. I do not know if all three are essential, or if only two of three are enough, but I suspect that the absence of ANY of these weakens the regime enough to let a revolt succeed with enough effort, dedication, and reasonably good conditions.
And as we see in the Ummah (Islamic world) today, monopolies of weapons AND communications are very difficult to achieve and maintain. The same is true all over the world, and new ways of circumventing these monopolies are being developed all the time. The problem with weapons is that there are always weapons available from some place, from some one. The world arms trade is ubiquitous. And not just in small arms. And high-tech, advanced weapons systems (fighter-attack aircraft, tanks (panzers), cruise missiles, deadly drones, even nuclear weapons) are all vulnerable to damage and destruction by relatively low-tech means, especially sabotage. You can take out an aircraft or a tank with a glass bottle holding gasoline and a rag. You can hack cruise missiles, drones and nuclear warheads. Hammers are often pretty useful, too.
Communications have changed enormously in the last three decades. The days of government or big business (media) monopolies are gone, and many of the techniques used to neutralize their monopoly in the past are just not used anymore (but they still exist): codes and ciphers and subversion and bribery are all still possible. Censorship is, really, pretty easy to work around, with encryption and all the other tools available (some of which are nearly lost arts, admittedly, like Ham Radio Packets). In 2016 we have so many ways around government communications dominance – even in the field in combat – that it is mostly a matter of learning how.
Which brings us to the third Kennan item: experience. Whether everyday dictatorships (like Mugabe in Zimbabwe) or totalitarian ones (like Kim in North Korea) or hidden ones (like the squatter in DC), experience is telling: and it is something that fades with time and the generations: consider the success of 2nd or 3rd generation dictators like Assad or Baby Doc. And it can’t just be “general” experience: experience WITH those weapons and communications are necessary. And it is not just the peak of the pyramid that needs the experience: it is the entire security apparatus and bureaucracy. Failure even at a very low level can result in a revolt succeeding.
It is important to understand that dictatorships, that tyrannies, are short-lived, even if they enjoy wide public support: they collapse sooner rather than later, at least by the standards of history if not our individual lives. The Nazis lasted 12 years, the Soviets (incredibly) 74 years, the EU a mere 14 years. Their time WILL come, and the key for those living under them and seeking to revolt successfully against them is to be prepared to take advantage of the right time and events: to make sure that monopolies do NOT exist in communications and weapons, and to weaken and reduce the experience of the dictators, whether elected or not.
Erdogan apparently recognizes this in Turkey and is seeking to take advance (and false-flag) action to prevent a significant threat of successful revolt among his own Turks (while continuing to ensure that Kurds and Armenians and others are firmly under his thumb). This coup may have been a great big FBI-style sting operation, or even a false-flag op. It certainly has given him an opportunity that even Raum Emmanuel must envy.
Is it going to be a surprise to see something similar happen in Europe? Not just a Brexit but open rebellion and revolt? Opportunities for tyrants are ALSO opportunities for those who revolt against tyranny.
Which makes you think about what the RNC and DNC and the rest of this election cycle to choose a new Massa in the Fifty States provides as far as opportunities for tyrants seeking to maintain and increase their power, eh?
And finally, what are YOU (and I) doing to prepare for it?