Apr 13, 2010

Buy stock in Reynolds

The tin-foil company, that is.

Tam notes that more states are joining on to the Montana Firearms Freedom Act. If the commerce in question is intrastate and not interstate, the ICC (and the federal authority residing therein) isn't relevant - or at least that's the understanding I have of it.

While reading news earlier, I came across this bit:
Oklahoma tea parties and lawmakers envision militia

Hie thee hence and read, carefully. It's a relatively well-balanced article, and could be a tipping point. The idea of a state militia that is NOT subordinate to the national chain of command is certainly not new, but has passed by the wayside in recent decades. Here in NY it's the New York Guard. Most places, though (and that includes here in NY), the state guard is an unarmed "auxiliary" of sorts. They assist with logistics, planning, disaster relief, and so forth.

Oklahoma is talking about a state-level, state-sponsored, *armed* guard.

I don't find myself objecting in the least. Keep a close eye on it.

Then, since I wasn't really conscious of current events while it was happening, I went and skimmed the Wiki article on the collapse of the USSR.

Here's the three-paragraph summary. Tell me if you see any parallels...


The Soviet Union's dissolution into independent nations began early in 1985. After years of Soviet military buildup at the expense of domestic development, economic growth was at a standstill. Failed attempts at reform, a stagnant economy, and war in Afghanistan led to a general feeling of discontent, especially[citation needed] in the Baltic republics and Eastern Europe.

Greater political and social freedoms, instituted by the last Soviet leader, Mikhail Gorbachev, created an atmosphere of open criticism of the Moscow regime. The dramatic drop of the price of oil in 1985 and 1986, and consequent lack of foreign exchange reserves in following years to purchase grain profoundly influenced actions of the Soviet leadership.[1]

Several Soviet Socialist Republics began resisting central control, and increasing democratization led to a weakening of the central government. The USSR's trade gap progressively emptied the coffers of the union, leading to eventual bankruptcy. The Soviet Union finally collapsed in 1991 when Boris Yeltsin seized power in the aftermath of a failed coup that had attempted to topple reform-minded Gorbachev.

8 comments:

Ed Rasimus said...

The essential difference between the Soviet Union in 1985 and the US in 2010 is that the Soviets were seeing a perestroika or financial readjustment to LESSEN state influence coupled with a glasnost or openness to Western ideas and thoughts that fueled a desire for more of the same.

The US is seeing a hardening of government control/interference/regulation coupled with a closure to free thinking.

The Soviets were coming into modernity, America is recedeing from it. Two societies passing, one going up and one going down.

MeatAxe said...

Well put, Ed. It been often observed that a repressive regime is most vulnerable when it takes the lid off, just a little.

But I don't quite see the comparison with America.

The Soviet Union was a dungeon, with nearly every official utterance from the state on any subject a total lie. (Someone is going to point out in a witty way that this is the case with us, and while all government obfuscate and spin, the Soviets really were in a class by themselves, honest to God)

Consider also the number of bodies piled up by the Soviet leadership during the purges, the collectivization of agriculture, the mass re-locations of entire ethnic populations, to say nothing of the constant drumbeat of arrests, persecutions and executions for run-of-the-mill counter revolutionary activity.

Oceans of blood. A galaxy full of human misery.

You can see why the constituent republics were eager to get away.

I don't think we're quite there yet in the USA.

ZerCool said...

I won't say it's a perfect comparison by any means... but here's what caught my attention:
- strike military buildup and put in "social programs", at the expense of economic development
- stagnant economy
- Afghan war leading to discontent
- open criticism
- lack of foreign exchange reserves (how many billion in debt to China?)
- resisting central control
- trade gap leading to bankruptcy

No, it's not a perfect parallel. I wouldn't expect it to be. But there are too many similarities for me to just pass it off as coincidence.

DirtCrashr said...

The Left has the non-State Militia free-actors in Union Thugs, Anarchists, Eco-Activists and Heroic Freelance Socialists (thieves) to help shape the narrative.

jbrock said...

The Soviets were coming into modernity, America is recedeing from it. Two societies passing, one going up and one going down.

Back in the 80s, I read an obscure book called (IIRC) Dear America by one Karl Hess, a former Goldwater speechwriter turned libertarian gadfly. Among other things, he predicted that the USA and the Soviet Union would eventually pass each other heading in opposite directions.

YMMV as to whether that's happening, but every time I come to the States and have to deal with the Federal border guards and the TSA, I'm tempted to wonder.

WV: theasms. Nope. Don't know what's there; don't wanna find out.

Geodkyt said...

Unfortunately, any militia Oklahoma puts together is likely comprised of members of the militia of the United States. So, as an independant body, it's meaningless.

ZerCool said...

@ Geodkyt:
If by "members of the militia of the United States" you mean as defined in the Militia Act of 1903, then yes, they probably will be. That is, able-bodied males between 17 and 45. If you mean already serving in the National Guard or the Reserve, maybe, or maybe not.

However, history can serve up a few prime examples, the most prominent of which is none other than Robert E. Lee.

A serving officer in the Army of the United States, he decided his greater duty lay to his home state of Virginia and the South it was part of. "I shall never bear arms against the Union, but it may be necessary for me to carry a musket in the defense of my native state, Virginia, in which case I shall not prove recreant to my duty."

Worth remembering.

D.W. Drang said...

If the Sooners want to know how to set up a state guard, all they have to do is ask their neighbors to the south. AFAIK, Texas' State Guard is still active.
The one here in Washington AC is, well, there...