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Saturday, June 28, 2014

Warlords



Someone always steps into a power vacuum. I'm sure that comes as a disappoint to all the Anarchists out there. Anarchy seems fun and all. It even works. During the early days of a disaster, people tend to pull together and do what's right, no leaders or chain of command necessary. So Anarchy works, for a time, here and there.

Over the long run . . . Well, anyone know of a long term functioning Anarchy? Something encompassing more than a handful of people in an isolated area? If you know of one I'd love to study it.

When centralized governments fall or are too week to enforce their will, warlords arise. Sooner or later the biggest, toughest bunch of bullies fills the power vacuum. Every failed state has them. They come in different flavors. Many are not much more than bandits. On the other extreme, the warlords become the government. Parts of Mexico are plagued with narco warlords who control and manage significant territory. They run whole towns and regions.

Syria and Iraq have a warlord smörgåsbord. There are bandit warlords, tribal warlords, religious warlords -every opportunist imaginable. Once they get done fighting the remains of the central government, they'll most likely turn on each other. These guys all climbed to their positions over a mountain of skulls, so don't expect diplomat solutions. They won't play nice together for very long.

Do you know one of the reasons Putin is so popular in Russia? He brought the crime lords under control. For a number of chaotic years Russia was run by the the crime warlords. They filled the vacuum left by the collapse of the USSR. Putin destroyed some. Others he brought into the government. In the end, he got the chaos caused by competing warlords under control. While it is not exactly a Jeffersonian Democracy, Russia is stable and functions.

When Rome fell, the barbarians split it up and ruled the remains as warlords. Over time, the more successful warlords ended up running whole countries. That's the origin of much of Europe's royalty. Their ancestors were the most talented warlords.

Don't be too quick to celebrate the demise of corrupt and inefficient central governments. The warlords that replace them will most likely be much worse. Putin has shown that an iron hand can reign in the warlords, but at a harsh price.

Are those our only two choices? Squabbling warlords or police state? There has got to be a third way. I'm too nice and getting too old to be a warlord, so I'd really like a third option.


-Sixbears


12 comments:

  1. "...really like a third option." Doubt there is one. Tribalism or 'us vs. them' is a social animal trait. Always has been, always will be; along with a few other nasty traits that are characteristic of the species.

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  2. No, I don't think there is, Sixbears. Republicanism (the form of government, not the party) is a Utopian dream that lasts only as long as a nation retains its morals. We've lost ours, so I'm afraid that it's all downhill from here.

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    1. I do yearn for the days of a representative republic. For a time, the US was a special case.

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  3. A third option, one that has considerable merit is to ignore and forget the rest of the world and just apply your principles of living to your immediate location. You, yours and those around you... you might even get to be lord of your own domain. Should you desire to....

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    1. I do my best to ignore the world, but sometimes it does not ignore me. Good advice, none the less. In the end, everything is local.

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  4. I do hope that we can find a happy medium here, but I won't hold my breath!

    Sometimes we have to choose the lesser of two evils, I guess.

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    1. I don't know about you Hermit Jim, but I'm getting really really tired of the lesser of two evils. Humans are supposed to be smart. There has to be a better way.

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  5. need a warlord to help you become better at being your own government?

    consider little old me.....


    Wildflower

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    1. Soon as the job opens up, I'll give you a call.

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  6. Duh! Of course there is a third option... extinction...

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    1. Dang! You are right. How about a forth option then?

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