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[ED: Jon Stokes is a founder of Ars Technica and a former editor for Wired. He’s written about guns and technology for TechCrunch, AllOutdoor.com, TheFirermBlog.com and others. This post was originally published back in 2016 at Medium.com under the title, Confessions of a Progressive Gun Nut. When we asked Jon for permission to run it here, he asked that we make it clear that he “no longer qualifies as progressive anymore, given how far around the bend they’ve gone.” When we asked how he identifies himself today, he said he’s a “civil libertarian and a populist.”]

By Jon Stokes

The Moral Arc vs. the Vicious Cycle

The other camp, to which I confess to being a lifetime member, sees history as cyclical, with no real long-term trajectory. We take it as self-evident that there is nothing new under the sun. Human nature doesn’t change and humans keep re-learning the same painful lessons as species.

To those of us who are members of the “human relations go ‘round in a vicious, bloody circle” tribe, the concept of any sort of long-term positive trend in the way we relate to one another is not only lunatic, but actively dangerous.

A Costly Deterrent

Contradiction and Defeatism

The Way Forward

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  1. TL;DR Synopsis: False moral equivalency, followed by cherry-picked or outright falsified “facts” to support yet another self-important “humanities grad student” theory.

    • Perhaps a bit long, but the author inserted this tidbit:

      “It bears stating explicitly, because I’ve seen this come up time and again, that wanting to preserve private ownership of guns as a deterrent is not even remotely the same as actively preparing to shoot at police or American soldiers. [emphasis mine] Not every homeowner who keeps a large dog with a vicious bark is eagerly expecting to maul an intruder.”

      Very true, and I believe a core issue that – in an actual dire situation – would separate those who would fight for liberty from those who act only as keyboard kommandos.

      • Most probably wouldn’t be shooting at cops coming into their house. But if the average group of cops has to kick in 200 doors to enforce whatever unjust law, even 1% of pissed off homeowners deciding to use 00 Buck it is going to provide a MASSIVE deterrent.

        • I bring to your attention the Boston PD’s response toward its fellow residents after the marathon b0mbing. Stack teams using vulgar language while commanding children, grandmas, and even mothers with infants out of their homes at gunpoint. The BPD Chief openly stated he was explicitly overriding his townspeoples’ constitutional rights in the name of “community emergency”. Plenty of ejected people with cell phones taking video, but nobody actually refusing BPD entry.

        • Fighting cops at your door is a piss poor idea. You don’t fight an opponent where and when they are ready and strongest.

  2. A whole lot of song and dance jon boy without one word that defines Gun Control by its History of Racism and Genocide.

    • RE: “It happened in feudal Europe and feudal Japan. It happened in the antebellum South, where African Americans’ access to guns was severely restricted, and where slavery was enforced by gangs of armed whites. It’s happening right now less than a thousand miles to the south of me, in Oaxaca, Mexico, where a militarized narco-state is massacring disarmed civilians for protesting neoliberal policies that we in America invented, perfected, and exported.”

      I’ll give you a D- for the above jon however…The closest you came to the truth about Gun Control was down deep into your article where defining Gun Control by its history should have been first and foremost. That way readers can understand what they are stepping in before falling for Gun Control. Explain in detail what happened to those in tyrannical countries without any means of self defense and provide the details of their plight.

      Furthermore…Jim Crow Gun Control is just one of the many race based atrocities attributed to the democRat Party. Such Gun Control happened not only in the South but also in the North, East and West. Like nazi germany took Jim Crow Gun Control and erased Black and inserted Jew so has the mexico scenario you mentioned. Furthermore…The racism between the ears of the teen perp in Buffalo did not begin with him. It began centuries ago and it is obviously perpetual and it is attributed to the democRat Party.

      Besides the democRat Party itself, Gun Control is the last remaining symbol of racism in America.

    • He is not talking about gun bans , but does note the racist history of gun laws in the south. What he argues for is a prosperous society where guns will no linger be needed. Yes, he is a dreamer. And I think that the moral arc is circular, because morality does not change our basic, ingrained (genetic) characteristics that lead to violent responses to various stimuli. A Clockwork Orange is a vivid depiction of the world where the people are disarmed sheep and the police have all the power; hence I do not believe that we will see his utopia within many many lifetimes, if ever.

    • “are” technological advancements

      “were” moral / philosophical / legal advancements, but a very long time ago

    • Yes, a spiral, but down, not up. Every time society moves from the right side of the toilet to the left, then back to the right, etc., the tendency is to move downward with each lap around the bowl, closer to the drain. One of these days…

        • Someone is familiar with the concept, could also go with a sphere where you keep the same radial distance but alter your vector slightly and rotate around the ball at different points while never getting anywhere but that one was a bit too messy and didn’t contribute much more to the idea…..also a bit depressing fir some. Either way progress isn’t always about going forward.

  3. “…by helping to usher in a new era of common prosperity…”

    Sounds collectivist to me.

    Who is providing the “prosperity?”

    How does reducing my own security equal “prosperity?”

  4. quote—————-But even the most ardent Second Amendment supporter must admit that the price of this deterrent is high and paid in blood. Every year, innocents die because people like me believe that an armed citizenry is the final guarantor of freedom.——-quote

    Right Wing fantasy and propaganda. Governments rise and fall because of many complicated factors and it is not the armed civilian that has any say in it one way or another. If one War Lord (George Washington) can throw out another War Lord , (the British Generals) he needs the financial and military backing of a force as powerful as the occupying British and that was France. In a way it was a war between France and Britain not the incompetent George Washington and his rag tag band of largely untrained and ill equipped hillbillies.

    It is far more complex than that in the 21st Century, not only are the worlds countries tied economically but their people are under surveillance 24 hours around the clock making it a fantasy that an armed militia could overthrow a government without key Generals betraying their own government, which is highly unlikely. Without that support and access to weapons the militia would run out of everything necessary to conduct a war. The only other alternative would be a foreign nation supplying aid as took place in 1776 when the French declared war on the British.

    Unrest and the threat of Trump establishing a dictatorship in the U.S. worried Canada to such a degree that it is heavily rumored they had plans to use their military to invade the U.S. to restore law and order and democracy in case of a Trump led take over.

    Below is not the full story but a peak into the minds of the Canadian Government.


    • Quote: Without that support and access to weapons the militia would run out of everything necessary to conduct a war.

      Yup, hit the nail on the head. Gotta have those guns and bullets if you want to band together to protect yourself against tyranny. Happy to have you agree.

      If you think Canada is going to invade over a Trump presidency…. I guess we’ll have to see what 2024 brings.

    • Good points. Yet, it neglects to consider our integrated economy.

      One guy, in a key place, can pull-the-plug on 1/3 of the country. Bring it to a grinding halt for weeks.

      Thousands, perhaps hundreds, of over-the-road truck drivers can shut down major metro areas without firing a shot.

      The modern day populist is far more powerful today than was the French peasant. And that power lies in pulling-the-plug on the food-and-fuel supply of the American voter together with the financial fuel of Those-Who-Would-Be-King.

      • The shame of contemplating the stopping of tyranny is that few people consider stopping the steps that lead to tyranny.

        It’s always “You think your AR can stop a drone missile once it’s fired at you?!”. Yet that logic isn’t applied to anything else. One could substitute any of the Bill of Rights for AR and the same outcome would still happen.

        Lots of things have to happen before said drones start launching missiles against American citizens on US soil. Jailing of journalists and political opposition, hard rigging of elections, secret police sent in the middle of the night, etc.

        Among the things that are likely to happen probably includes top Generals retiring and Governors announcing they’ll consider whether they should direct the State Guard to stop Fed drones from attacking citizens in their state. Contrary to dacian’s beliefs, having a large pool of armed citizens for state Governors and recently quit Generals to pull from is going to be more effective against tyranny than almost anything else

  5. The price of ANY liberty is paid for with danger. 4A and 5A mean that criminals might go free and that contraband might be successfully transported. 1A means that unpopular, destabilizing, or toxic ideologies might yet be perpetuated. Why would 2A be expected to be different?

  6. Bullshit.

    I like guns.

    I also believe that human history and progress is both cyclical and progressive (in the dictionary sense of the word, not the political one). We have come a long way, and we continue to advance. We have largely eliminated slavery, and we live in a nation so productive and prosperous that people can eat out of the trash as a lifestyle choice (freegans). We have healthcare for everyone, and have had for decades despite the lefts handwringing about the uninsured. We can cure diseases that a century ago were unstoppable. We have technology that could not even be dreamed of only 50 years ago. Our poorest live better than the kings of 3rd world nations and bygone eras.

    And yet the cycle of oppression and collapse continues, and will continue. The corrupt will always be corrupt and rot society from within. There will always be those who desire power, and those who believe they know best how everything should be run. And the left, the so called “progressives” are these people. They are the ones chipping at the very foundations and cornerstones of our great civilizations and undermining all of our progress.

    We have the evidence, the studies and experiments have been done. The thing that makes any nation great and prosperous is freedom and a free market. And the cornerstone of freedom and free markets is an armed citizenry equal in strength to it’s own limited small government (really no government at all, but I will gladly go along with a minuscule night watchman state).

    And even if all of that were not true, and even if we lived in a world with no crime, violence, or oppression I would still love guns, and I would still own them and not give them up.

    • I know a lot of “experts” that were convinced that we’d never see a superpower invade a sovereign nation in this day and age…that Putin was “just posturing against NATO.”
      My response at the time was–Putin is going to do whatever the thinks he can get away with…which likely means he’ll wait until after the Olympics and then try to go into the Donbas region.

  7. The idea that the government has drones and tanks would be really effective if militias line up in matching uniforms and go on hours or days long marches to battle. Of course, this idea is silly because if a drone has launched a missile at you, no amount of speech, religion, ability to gather, promises of a fair trial or any other freedoms will save you. It’s not just an AR that fails in the face of a tank shell launched at your face, it’s EVERY single thing enshrined in the Bill Of Rights. Unfortunately, there does not exist a liberal in the entirety of the world capable of applying their own logic evenly.

    The idea that a gun can be an effective tool against tyranny is really well made if one of the steps towards tyranny involves government enforcers door to door. Few helmets cover the face and little in the way of body armor covers the crotch.

    When you can gather, you raise the cost of tyranny because it’s difficult to carry out atrocities in the dark. The same is true for speech and press. When you can defend yourself, you raise the cost of tyranny because fewer government Brown Shirts are willing to put their life on the line.

  8. I don’t know about arcs and circles. Except what I learned in HS geometry. I do remember how to read English very well. The 2A says what it says.

  9. A paranoid fantasy of a bygone era? They’re screaming right at this very moment that totalitarian fascism is coming to the US because Trump, abortion, MAGA, “science deniers”, free speech, institutional racism, borders and police. They act as if the greatest tyranny the world has ever seen is just a op-ed away.

    My opinion on guns isn’t rooted in history or presupposed on the future. I like guns. I like shooting them. I want to live as free a life as possible. History, the future, other nations, other states, other people can all ESAD. This is my life. One and only. The totality of the universe may have only begun on my birthday and all lights will go out the day I die. I still like my guns.

    • The Left hold the view that the idea that the United States could descend into a tyranny is a paranoid fantasy while at the same time arguing repeatedly that the United States is on the verge of descending into a tyranny.

  10. Arc?🤪

    What part of “Shall NOT be Infringed” can’t this moron understand. 🤔

    • I suspect that the author believes the founding fathers felt that guns were necessary because history is cyclical. Under this belief, prosperity leads to complacency leads to mass poverty leads to tyranny. Therefore the ability to defend yourself against tyranny should be enumerated and protected. Something he specifically agrees with by the way.

  11. Had to go back to the beginning italics to understand this was from 2016 (probably early 2016) after I read that “moral arc” progressives think the rise of fascism is some silly paranoid gun nut fantasy – the counter to that being summed up as “Trump”.

    Of course those same people think their moral arc towards “justice” involves fighting “fascism” through unelected bureaucracies & big tech corporations run by billionaires in tight with the Davos crew, who set up “disinformation boards” and “social credit scores” while mandating medical treatments compelled by state force ChinAustralia-style, all of which totally isn’t fascism.

  12. History doesn’t repeat 100%, but it sure rhymes.
    And disarmed people were enslaved or killed. That’s the simple truth history has to offer.

  13. The author questions how could smart people be so stupid, then begins drifting into said stupidity in his wishes that the “moral arc” is real and that prosperity will render need for guns obsolete. He also engages in a major logical inconsistency: If prosperity makes humanity so happy and cheerful that there is no more “need” for guns, then what is the problem if people have guns? Because we’ll be at a point in which no one is prone to violence, and so therefore what problem is it with people having all the guns and ammo they want? BUT BUT…people could be prone to violence! Then we’re NOT at a stage in which the “moral arc” has advanced.

    My dream for my young daughters and their future children is that the progressives’ faith in the Moral Arc ultimately proves justified. With every nasty glimpse I get of a nascent American fascism, I pray that history really does have sides and that my fellow civil libertarian “gun nuts” and I will be judged harshly by future generations for being on the wrong one. To have history condemn me because I wasted the lives of the innocent and most vulnerable in a pointless effort to secure freedom against a threat that never materialized is the best possible outcome for someone in my position. And boy, does that suck.

    You lost me here. Why would any intelligent person in the future “judge harshly” current believers in the right to keep and bear arms as a bullwark against tyranny if there ultimately turns out to be a moral arc towards more and more goodness? Even if that is the case (which I don’t believe because it makes absolutely no sense and sounds monumentally stupid in the extreme), it is perfectly understandable why people would support gun rights in the here and now. If I got transported into this magical future where morality had advanced and there was no more human evil and the people were being judgmental of me for my support of gun rights in my time, my response would be along the lines of, “What are you people, a bunch of idiots? In my time period, the vast majority of human history has been one of violence and oppression and there is no reason to believe it will stop, so of course I would hold the belief in the right to arms that I do.”

    I also disagree with the author on this whole idea that a prosperous society renders obsolete the right to arms. First off, prosperity is fragile. Natural disasters, civil unrest over various things, economic crashes, pandemics, etc…can render civilization non-existent for periods of time. Two, as the author said, human nature doesn’t change. The desire for power of politicians is as great as it always has been. This is not going to change unless you’re talking at least tens to hundreds of thousands of years into the future at a minimum in which humans MAY evolve to be more peaceable with one another.

    And the price of the right to arms is not constant bloodshed. These mass shootings are a relatively recent phenomenon but yet the guns used have been around for decades. So something else is responsible. Violent crime in the inner cities has other causes that are separate from guns.

  14. The Bill of Rights, all of it, is hands off and the government has no authority to modify or remove any of them. Any and all politicians that try to transgress on our Bill of Rights are traitors to our country and should be removed from office, stripped of their citizenship and exiled from the U S.

  15. The “nasty American fascism” is coming from those who believe in a “moral arc,” those who “have faith in Progress and Perfectibility.”

    Such has it always been. Ideology trumps all to these people. More proof? The unfolding global disaster just weeks away. The “progressives” are willing to sacrifice tens of millions to starvation rather than pump more fossil fuels out of the ground, so more food can be planted and transported to scores of countries.

    Tens of millions sacrificed to the Cult of Climate Change.

    Pure Evil.

  16. Humanity has not advanced in the civilized world except in technology, political institutions to create societies that function the least badly, and concepts of human rights that people understand, but NONE of that has changed human nature. Human nature is WHY we have those political institutions in the first place.

    As for the argument that an armed population can’t check a tyranny, a small force of people against a professional military won’t succeed, but a population of tens to hundreds of millions against a military very much can make it absolute hell for said military to try and establish control over said nation. The right to arms serves as a counterweight to the government’s otherwise possessing a monopoly on force. It changes the calculus in the relationship between a people and their government. It is the ultimate reminder that the People are the Sovereign and the State is the servant.

    • A modern military relies on a secure line of logistics to get fuel and parts to its tanks, planes, ships, drones, whatever. In a civil war scenario, lines of logistics are inherently insecure. The enemy is already inside of your infrastructure and well-motivated to disrupt it. You don’t have to blow up a tank that can’t move for lack of replacement parts, or shoot down a plane or drone that can’t take off for lack of fuel.

  17. Magnificent! Tragically, it’s far about the intellectual capacity of most who might read it; on each side of the debate.

    TL:DR The best I can offer is the instruction given to us by Our Lord Keynes: “In the long run, we are all dead.”

    So much for staking our hopes and dreams on the inevitable arc of history.

    • Which part do you find most magnificent? Dismissing personal responsibility as a “limp bromide” equivalent to “blame the gun”? The idea that the last few decades represent a “positive moral arc” rather than the decay of constitutionality? Perhaps the objective mathematical falsehood that the net outcome of gun rights is “innocents die”, when even the antigun CDC acknowledges the opposite?

      The evil of punishing firearms ownership (which is neither unethical, nor harmful to the rights of others) is as self-evident as the meaning of 2A. Neither depends in any way on this windbag’s fanciful theories.

  18. Hmmm, if this piece had been written by George Lucas we could re-title it “Attack of the Strawmen” – the cognitive dissonance is strong in this one. Circular arguments about infinite arcs…

    But he did get some of the basic things correct – the most telling (and oddly prophetic, from a certain point of view) being the American Left’s inevitable movement towards a statist/Fascist stance. As soon as you’re willing to sacrifice individual liberty for some sort of chimeric collective “peace, prosperity and justice” the endpoint is, inevitably, tyranny. The transition of the American Left from “never trust anyone over 30” and “fight the power” to “the more rules and regulations enforced by the government the better” really shouldn’t come as too big of a shock to anyone who’s paid even casual attention to history.

    The word “enforced” being key here since ALL laws are based on the threat of force and the supposition that the government has a monopoly on applying that force – the only characteristics that defines a “good” law are it’s morality and degree of consensus. And since the left has nearly successfully dismantled any kind of common moral framework they’re now working feverishly on discarding the very idea of “consensus” (even the concept of consent of the governed is considered nonsensical – see the recent unpleasantness over the current pandemic).

    The basic human right of defense of family, self and property is indeed the bulwark supporting the rest of our classically liberal civilization – once that’s gone, as other commenters stated, the rest of your enumerated rights can be easily dispensed with by the unequal application of force. The Bill of Rights makes for a pretty ineffectual bomb shelter.

  19. I am a former reader of Ars Technica. I don’t miss it.

    This is an interesting way to view things. It feels more like looking in from the outside though.

    There is a point reached where each of two sides can no longer communicate. From my point of view, it’s freedom loving Americans vs. leftist lunatics lead by the nose by evil. The Washington Democrats are NOT royalty to be worshipped and bowed to. Most of them have mental issues. Too many people will hear what they say and blindly follow as if they could not possibly be doing anything wrong.

    Well, THAT is NOT how we do things in this country.

  20. Interesting thoughts and theories in this writing. I would like to add a couple of thoughts of my own.

    With regard to not being a match for the militarized powers of government… nothing says we have to target planes, ships, drones or tanks of the military machine. That may come in time as the rebellion escalates and gatherers more and better munitions, but initially I imagine the targeting of supply depots, fuel depots, and personnel more than the military weapons systems. It has worked well for much smaller armed contingency of countries like North Korea, North Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan, et al. It’s called guerrilla warfare and it is effective.

    With regards to circle versus arc theories… who is to say that the deterrent effect of an armed populace hasn’t kept government in check by stifling its ability to be as oppressive as history knows it to be. Giving them cause to temper their oppressive tendencies because they aren’t committed enough to sacrifice their lives, or the lives of their loved ones, for their cause.

  21. “The same federally coordinated police forces that are called in to crush popular protests with batons and pepper spray, that gun down the innocent in their homes in no-knock raids, that execute unarmed black men in the streets, and that confiscate citizens’ cash and valuables without due process of law, are exalted as practically invincible by the anti-gun left.“


    Really? Police crush “popular protests”? …

    Uh, you mean the same police that were ordered to stand down by leftist mayors while Burn Loot and murder were allowed to rampage the country?

    The police that “execute unarmed black men”? Right…

    I see where your loyalties lay. You’re another brainwashed leftist who simply likes guns and doesn’t trust in some mythical more arc.

    Good for you for skepticism in that regard but you seriously need to re evaluate some of these statements.

    Furthermore, you seem paranoid of fascism but say nothing of communism. An ideology just as evil.

    I think your too busy trying to score political points with your liberal friends while talking up the RTKBA but in the process of doing so you are forgetting that the left is a serious danger to liberty in this country and simply don’t know or are ignoring the facts that prove this. Of which there are volumes of information on that subject.

    I could go on, detailing where you are correct (because you do get a fair amount correct) and incorrect, but you probably don’t care and won’t bother trying to learn more anyway.

  22. This man claims to be a Christian but ignores the history of the Bible and the world. Men are sinful creatures and commit evil all the time. God destroyed the Earth once because of man’s evil. He’s going to do it again. The only restraint on evil is salvation through Jesus Christ. That’s why the Founding Fathers used the Bible to create our Constitution. But they also said it would only work if we had an educated and moral people. Unfortunately, the communists control our education (indoctrination) system and, consequently, our people are ignorant and less moral day by day. The right to keep and bear arms is the only thing restraining these godless commies from enslaving us all. But they’re going to keep trying no matter how many people have to die. I will resist those efforts.

    • The only form of government mentioned in the Bible is monarchy and tribal chiefs. Instead, our form of government was formulated through a study of various forms of government through history, with a strong emphasis on Aegean and Roman governments, with modifications in an attempt to avoid the deterioration of those governments into monarchies by limiting the power of the government over the people and the states. No church, no religion is referenced in the document, and the first ten amendments have no corollary in other constitutions. Although one would hope that our political leaders would be moral, being moral is not a requirement of being elected or serving, a fact that is all too obvious from the low moral qualities of most of our elected representatives.

  23. I heard many classmates babble similar nonsense at college. I heard similar nonsense babbled at me by Leftist/fascists ever since (dacian, MinorIQ, that would be a reference to your idiocy). A lot of big words, and “lofty” sentiments, and very little practical analytics.

    The reality is that YOU, as an individual, are responsible for your own safety, freedom, etc. SCOTUS already told us that “the government” has no duty to protect us. Reality tells us that it has no ABILITY to protect us. If some dimbulb (like dacian the stupid) wants to sit and trumpet the “ineffectiveness of armed resistance”? Knock yourself out, dimbulb. If some other dimbulb (MinorIQ) wants to tell me that all criminal psychopaths are white guys like me, I laugh and ignore them (after mocking them).

    At the end of the day, if I’m not willing to protect my life, family, and freedom, why should anyone else?? If I don’t value those things, how can I expect them to?

    Pretty simple equation, really – if I want it, and don’t value it enough to achieve it for myself, and rely on someone else to provide it to me, that person/entity owns me. F*** that shite, Homie don’t play ‘dat.

    dacian the stupid, MinorIQ, MAYBE you are right (I doubt it; you never have been before) and I may be crushed by the awesome force of the US gummint . . . the same US gummint that can’t find it’s @$$ with both hands, a map, and a flashlight. I’ll take my chances, and I like my odds.

    The bottom line is, Leftist/fascists, I will not comply. I will not surrender my firearms, no matter what idiot, unconstitutional laws you pass. I’d rather insist on my INHERENT rights than cede authority over my life to the likes of dacian the stupid and MinorIQ the half-wit. My guns are available any time you feel like taking them. Pack a lunch, boys, you’re going to need it.

  24. Not really. It comes down to whether you think Man has a natural right (freedom) to armed self defense, or whether you’re wrong and think it’s a privilege granted by the government. Simple as.

  25. better headline:
    how you view the second amendment
    depends on whether you view schindlers list
    as a cautionary tale
    or a how to manual

  26. If history were an arc, then there would be no need for–and constant reminders of–the old but still true saw that he who cannot learn from his mistakes is bound to repeat them, a saying as applicable to groups/governments as it is to individuals.

  27. ” dispute about the usefulness and legitimacy of the constitutional right of private citizens to keep in their homes the tools of violence as a last bulwark against tyranny”

    Ass backwards – the prog overlords clearly understand (as every budding totalitarian in history) the armed American is the main impediment to forcing they utopian down our throats. For our own damn good. And like it coolie

  28. I think the author hasn’t thought deeply enough about the non-contradiction between the long arc and the cyclical nature of history.
    I think the moral arc of the universe bends toward justice, but I think that history tends to repeat, and when it doesn’t exactly repeat, it tends to rhyme.

    There’s no reason I can see to believe that the repeating cycles of human behavior can’t or won’t follow a long arc toward a more morally acceptable outcome.

    Of course, that definition depends on who you are.
    At present, full-on anarchy would be far more morally acceptable to me than the child-raping, baby-murdering clownshow that’s running the country, so I admit to some degree of bias.

  29. Is this what a graduate level degree in a soft science gets you? Logical holes you can drive a Mack truck through? Or is homeboy just being too fuckin’ nice to everyone and thereby tripping over himself?

    I’m not going to pick it apart as I might have in the past. I simply don’t have the time.

    Look, when you actually spend time talking to these people about a range of topics you discover that there are two types of Progressive both espousing the same idea but that not all of them believe it. One of those types, I’ll call it Type 1, believes this. The other, Type 2, sees it as a means to an end in getting power.

    Type 1’s seem to really believe that history has some sort of end point in utopia. IMHO, they’re ignorant and foolish but generally well intentioned. They do a good job of suckering in Sally Soccermom and Dadbod Dave. In short, they’re John Lennon type dreamers “Imagining” a perfect future because it’s nice.

    Such people are not mean or malicious but they don’t pay a lot of attention so they can only focus on superficial aspects of problems. They tend not to think in a long-term way, sometimes not past the next few minutes (if that far ahead), and they tend to be quite easy to manipulate because they’re, generally, pretty poorly educated in the ways of the world.

    Type 2’s on the other hand, who tend to be the powerbrokers, politicians, department heads, HR directors and top level administrators, are nasty pieces of work preying on the Type 1’s purely for personal/political power (or both types of power). They are, knowingly or not, (but mostly knowingly) Marxists who embrace the concept of power in the “interim”.

    What I mean by “interim” requires a touch of explanation. Under Marx’s ideas Communism would start as a totalitarian state which would then achieve Utopia and the government would naturally fall away as people had learned how awesome Utopia was and learned the proper way to act to maintenance Utopia. No one would misbehave in ways that damaged society because, why would they damage the Utopia that they were raised in? It is, afterall, perfect.

    This Utopia is the end of the “arc” for Type 1’s. Quite a number of people buy into this idea. Why exactly, I’m not 100% sure but I’d point back to Nietzsche here yet again. In a way, they are in fact chasing heaven on earth to replace a feeling they’d normally have gotten from religion. While not perfect, a misplaced religious impulse explains the vast majority of such people’s behaviors.

    For Type 2’s, however, Utopia is the start of a nothing more than a marketing campaign directed at Type 1’s and everyone else. These people have no interest in society reaching a state of perfection, or at least not the one they profess to want to reach. They [probably] know that reaching such a state is impossible but even if they believe that it is achievable they don’t want it anyway. Their utopia is very different. Hardened cynicism mixed with narcissism, entitlement and delusions of grandeur all show up with these people and they want the totalitarian government that exists between “now” and “then”. For them, this interim state is the goal because they want to/believe they should control that totalitarian state. Forever. Like Hitler’s 1000 year Reich, but longer.

    For the rest of us, it is the sorting out of which people are in which group that’s the problem. Type 1’s basically are in need of an education. Type 2’s are a different kettle of fish. For a long time I’ve hoped that they can be effectively corralled. Today I doubt this is possible. They’ve taken over just about everything. The last time such people did this the answer was found at Nuremberg and the platform of a gallows.

    Make no mistake. These people, the Type 2’s, are dangerous in the extreme. They are more than willing to use violence, as they have in the past, and aim to do so if given the chance. They cannot be reasoned with and they will not stop. They are zealous, entitled and absolutely convinced that they are correct. So correct, that you should die to prove their point.

    Again, sorting is an issue. As I’ve pointed out here many, many times, proper propaganda (a good Dilated Peoples song btw) creates a prison in someone’s head which they believe to be their castle. When you attempt to break them out they’ll often reflexively defend against what they perceive to be an attack. This has been one of the major effects of public schooling since the 1960’s and this is by design. One can see this in the way public schools pervert math to the ways that Leftist academics attack Egyptology because the 10 Commandments *shouldn’t be in courtrooms*.

    Many of these arguments are parroted by the Type 1’s to some degree too. This can make it quite difficult to separate the 1’s from the 2’s. Nevertheless, such sorting must be accomplished.

    Happily, much of that sorting is already underway organically thanks to a president who’s either demented or takes daily heroic doses of hallucinogens.

      • Strych9 is one of the sharpest people you will ever run across.

        One of those legitimately scary-smart people.

        And boy, am I ever happy he’s on our side… 🙂

    • {Strych9 asking the author of the article}

      “Is this what a graduate level degree in a soft science gets you?”

      He’s a founder of Ars Technica. Ever read the comment section of Ars?

      Type 2 to the *bone*…

      • I have not looked at that site for a long time.

        Some time back I decided that the old “hot for teacher” porn reviews in the comment section on slashdot (back in Web 1.0 days) were more enlightening than anything Ars had ever posted and were generally more humorous too.

        As seems to be the trend, most things named in Latin these days are overhyped, banal garbage masquerading as intellectual something, something circlejerkery (exception granted to Arc’Teryx). Exactly the sort of thing I’d expect from someone who bought one of the more modern “college Latin dictionaries” where they try to create terms for everything from “aircraft carrier” to “cellular phone” because… reasons.

        I will note however, that it’s unusual to find someone who uses “ten-dollar words” [generally] correctly and still can’t logic their way out of a wet paper bag. Usually where logic is this lacking the diction is just word-salad that says nothing.

        Then again, maybe he’s just good with a thesaurus…

  30. The original monarchy was God. If monarchs were all angels of God we could have one. Monarchies are great when you have a good king and terrible when you don’t. The Founders created the government we have based on the failure of a monarchy and man’s sinful nature. David Barton has a video that is now on youtube called, “America’s Godly Heritage.” It’s only about 50 minutes long and is a great primer on why our country was formed the way it was.

  31. Contrary to what is often assumed, the 2nd Amendment to the U.S. Constitution neither defines nor grants a Constitutional right. Rather, it refers to a preexisting right that should be protected against suppression by the State. The Amendment explains the reason that the right should be protected…because a militia being necessary for a free State, protecting the right is for State’s own good…to remain free. This preexisting right that is being protected is at its root one of self-preservation…a right long preceding the invention of firearms.

    Just as with the nine other original amendments, the second describes a right that is already held. Even without the second amendment, individuals hold and retain the right to protect themselves from all evils regardless the nature of that evil.

    It is clear, to anyone who has researched the Federalist and anti-Federalist papers, and the other timely writings of the founders, that the natural right described by the 2nd Amendment is, at it’s core, based on the right of self preservation and self defense (of life and liberty and property). The right to self defense includes defense against any form of tyranny, and any degree of tyranny. It matters not whether that tyranny is brandished by an individual or a group of individuals, and regardless the offenders affiliations. This would include defending one’s self and ones interests against not only common criminals, but also invaders from an outside political entity or rogue political division of one’s own city, county, or country.

    In the 2nd Amendment, the Founders included a reference to the Militia as an important and valuable example of why arms should be owned, distributed, and maintained by the “people”. Within the context of self defense, firearms are part of a natural sequence of arms technology…when threatened with a rock, one should acquire a bigger rock, when with a club, a larger club, etc. It’s foundation being that of self-preservation and self-defense, the right to keep and bear arms is by default an individual right.

    The founders assumed a default recognition of the right of self defense and self preservation. In the second Amendment they are concerned with preserving a free State and relying on the militia for that protection. The need for the individual to keep and bear arms is a tactical matter to avoid having an entire arsenal confiscated or destroyed.

    Individual citizens have the right…and perhaps the duty…to maintain a state of readiness and ability, sufficient to overthrow tyrants, or to put down the aggression of an enemy. In the context of the militia, we can infer that the right to keep and bear arms implies arms of sufficient likeness and capacity to overcome the force of the tyrant. The founders assumed that the people would have access to the same weaponry as any potential military enemy, including the military of the new forming Federal Government.

    It is also important here to understand the meaning of the often mentioned phrase “dangerous or unusual” when discussing the types of weapons that might be acceptable. In the context of the militia, the term “dangerous” is addressing weapons that are difficult to operate safely, that might pose risk to friendly troops, or that are prone to catastrophic failure. The term “unusual” refers to weapons that require specialized knowledge to use or require ammunition or parts that are not readily available and that cannot be easily devised.

    The great document that is our Constitution enumerates a finite set of powers that the people grant to the Federal Government and specifically leaves all other rights, permissions and powers to the States and to the “people”. The amendments that comprise the Bill of Rights are just that…amendments…and they were added to appease those who feared it might not be obvious that certain rights are natural and inherent in our being.

    So, we can argue over the meaning of the amendments and even remove them altogether from the Document, but doing so has no effect on the existence of either the rights described or any that are not described.


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