guns & purses (was Re: guns & crime)

Marco Anglesio mpa at
Tue Oct 17 16:07:15 PDT 2000

On Tue, 17 Oct 2000, Charles Brown wrote:
> You mischaracterize the mechanisms of this kind of resistance. There are
> only two places where technology and raw numbers are a likely measure of
> success in battle - the air and the sea.

And the ground, for that matter. To the best of my knowledge, while smaller forces have prevailed against larger ones when a large gap in technology or military doctrine has been present, larger usually beats smaller merely because it can outlast smaller. Consider the origin of the term "pyrrhic victory".

Like the quip goes, the race is not always to the fast, nor the battle to the strong, but that's the way to bet.

The idea that a revolutionary war can be fought and won form within is a romantic ideal, but I've yet to see it happening. There's a reason why the Virginia coast is littered with plaques dedicated to the French navy.

> superior US forces. Revolutionary battles never occur in a political
> vaccuum, and if you think that 101st Airborne wouldn't have defectors when
> ordered to fire on the Michigan Militia think again.

I daresay that it might have some defectors, but defectors don't bring their line organization over. Just their warm bodies. The Michigan Militia, in a hypothetical revolutionary war, wouldn't want for warm bodies; it would want for logistical support, heavy weapons, air support, and the like. Other posters have made a similar argument with respect to the historical example of Vietnam.

Bear in mind the following. During the October crisis in 1970, even Quebec-based units of the Canadian Forces imposed martial law with dispatch. True, the CF wasn't responsible for the more egregious abuses of power (the civil authority in the person of the Surete de Quebec was) during that period, but they didn't question their orders.

I can't see the US Army falling apart when imposing martial law on Michigan, either. Perhaps they *should*, by questioning the legitimacy of their orders, but they probably won't.


> Marco Anglesio | There is no premature anti-fascism. <
> mpa at | --Ernest Hemingway <
> | <

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