A TED Talk from a Dutch Sheepdog

We all probably recall the essay which outlined the distinction between the Wolves, the Sheep and the Sheepdogs, but every once in a while you run across someone that epitomizes that, and is able to articulate it in an interesting an engaging way.

This Dutch General is pretty obviously a sheepdog, and this kind of idea is certainly good to get in front of a TED audience. TED might be stuff that white people like, but that Video has 143,000 views. I watched this wondering what people like @CSGV and the “peace” movement generally think about statements like this?

Hat tip to Clayton Cramer for the video

12 thoughts on “A TED Talk from a Dutch Sheepdog”

  1. While much of what he says is indeed good, he talks about the state having a monopoly on violence. Start listening at the 10 minute mark.

    That idea scares the living dog feces out of me. Some of the worst mass murders of the last 100 years occurred because countries, some of which were democratic (at least at first), held a pretty solid monopoly on the use of force.

    1. Yes… I don’t agree with that. But Europeans have a very different conception about their relationship to their governments than Americans do.

    2. I was initially worried about that and researched it a bit. In most of the writing I found on the concept of “state monopoly on violence” self defense is recognized. The real focus seems to be more on concepts of capital punishment, war, and preventing the rise of warlords and the like.

      1. That’s still not necessarily a good thing: I wasn’t talking about individual self-defense, though it’s hard to see how the state having a monopoly on legitimate violence leaves open a door for that: The instrumentality most effective for self-defense, the gun, is generally not available in countries like that.

        More importantly, however, when the state holds a monopoly on force, the citizens are at the mercy of the state. There is no chance to fight back. While this is a very small risk with a democratic government, it isn’t a non-zero risk, and indeed there are historical examples of democratic states becoming despotic in a pretty short amount of time.

        That is the real danger: Even if you added up all the murders in the United States for the last 100 years, it would still be less than 1/10th what just the Nazis did to the Jews, Gays, Gypsies, etc. Criminals are small potatoes. Even the most ardent psychopathic killer is going to strain to get into a 3 digit body count (most never get past double digits). It takes government to get those counts into six figures, and that is the real reason why the US has a Second Amendment: It’s part of the checks and balances inherent in our system, providing the capability to resist tyranny, both foreign and domestic.

        And remember, you don’t actually have to be able to win. You just have to make it expensive enough that the other side won’t try it in the first place.

      2. Daniel Pehrson: exactly: more than focusing/obsessing on an individual RKBA (or the common self-defense exception), the most important thing about a “state monopoly on violence” is that it was a critical transition from “self-help”. I.e. if you or yours are wronged, you don’t take personal revenge (very possibly starting a cycle), you go to the state to deal with it. Results in a much more peaceful society among other things.

        1. Harold, kindly tell me then what happens when it is the state itself that is the criminal?

          If the state has a monopoly on violence, you end up with things like the Holocaust, The Holomodor, The Cultural Revolution, the killing fields of the Khmer Rouge, etc. I can list many, many such examples, starting well over 200 years ago and up to the present day. Countries that have a fairly robust tradition of private arms ownership generally don’t have oppressive governments, and when it is attempted in those sorts of countries (generally by outside forces), it almost always fails in a bloody fashion. Maybe not immediately, but eventually.

          That’s not to say that every nation that maintains a monopoly on lethal violence will mass murder its citizens or some subset thereof. Lack of a personal right to keep and bear arms doesn’t inevitably lead to that, but it does make the potential cost for the government lower. And while a government might be democratic *NOW*, none of us can predict what might happen 25, 50, or 100 years from now. A person coming of age in Europe in 1900 couldn’t have guessed at the carnage they would witness over the next 45 years. It would have been unfathomable to them that upwards of 78 million of their neighbors would be killed, not by the actions of individual criminals, but because of government actions, before they would be retirement age.

          Always remember that lesson.

          1. Please; I’m talking about a very important transition made from tribal/clan oriented societies to more modern ones. Obviously if at some point (generally much later, although not, say, in Japan) that results in the people getting disarmed it’s a step too far, but surely you see the utility of establishing criminal and civil justice systems?

  2. Yes he’s a sheepdog, for his Master: the monopolistic state, and the monopoly of force of the state. He’s basically saying the reason for lower crime rate is because citizens do not have the legitimacy of force, only government does, hence lower crime rate.

    Typical European fascist brainwash.

  3. A sheepdog raised by wolves is a…wolf…at least in this case. Actions speak loudest.

  4. Yes, he is talking about the State military preventing wars in other countries.

    He is not talking about citizens stopping crime in their own back yard.

    The State has its place, but that is outside the borders of the State. Inside the borders, is another matter.

    The 2nd Amendment takes care of that problem.

    Other than that, a very good video, and God bless his soldier, and a speedy recovery to her.

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