Saturday, July 5, 2014

An Armed Society is a Polite Society

In an on-line discussion I was participating in, one of the commenters stated categorically that an Armed Society was a Polite Society.  And this person was dead earnest about their belief.  That has stuck with me as emblematic of the insanity of the current gun control debate.  Turns out, not surprisingly, that it was a quote from my favorite Author, Robert A. Heinlein.  I learned a lot of my libertarian leaning from Heinlein and his books.  There are actually a couple of face book groups with that quote in their group name.
The whole quote is kind of illustrative:
“An armed society is a polite society. Manners are good when one may have to back up his acts with his life.”
There is a certain logic in this.  If you insult someone and do not apologize to their satisfaction, you could end up dead.  I guess that the fearful politeness that this engenders will make for a largely polite society.  Except of course, for those who wear body armor or are expert enough to win their duels.  If you are confident that you can best anyone you insult in the resulting duel, where is your motivation for mannerly behavior?  If you invent a newer, better, more lethal weapon, your need to be polite in society by this very definition goes down.  So someone who is disabled and not capable of that sort of personal combat, ends up being the one anyone and everyone can insult without fear of consequences.
To me, the inevitable result of that philosophy is a society of tiers where those who are physically capable, and who can afford the best equipment and the best training, will have no motivation to be polite, or at least will only need to be polite to those that might give them a close to equal contest.  You end up with a society of well armed and physically capable bullies preying on the rest of society

Not my idea of utopia.  Or even a polite society

1 comment:

badut karawang said...

Glad to be here, so many information to read.. great job (Y)