History is Made By Determined Minorities

This is a very interesting read, with lessons for the gun rights movement:

This idea of one-sidedness can help us debunk a few more misconceptions. How do books get banned? Certainly not because they offend the average person –most persons are passive and don’t really care, or don’t care enough to request the banning. It looks like, from past episodes, that all it takes is a few (motivated) activists for the banning of some books, or the black-listing of some people. The great philosopher and logician Bertrand Russell lost his job at the City University of New York owing to a letter by an angry –and stubborn –mother who did not wish to have her daughter in the same room as the fellow with dissolute lifestyle and unruly ideas.

The same seems to apply to prohibitions –at least the prohibition of alcohol in the United States which led to interesting Mafia stories.

Let us conjecture that the formation of moral values in society doesn’t come from the evolution of the consensus. No, it is the most intolerant person who imposes virtue on others precisely because of that intolerance. The same can apply to civil rights.

Read the whole thing. The question for us is, “who are more intolerant?” If we’re going to come out on top as a movement, we have to be intolerant of their intolerance. We have to be as insistent that we be left alone as those who believe we ought to be interfered with.

What made me very uncomfortable with this article was that I believe he’s right, and I’m becoming less convinced gun owners have it in us to drive the culture. Sure, I do believe we’ve been successful at growing the culture. But I believe there is a lack of awareness among the new arrivals that everything we have today is a result of a few tenacious and stubborn bastards, many of whom are dead and or getting old. Who will replace them?

11 thoughts on “History is Made By Determined Minorities”

  1. Its a great point- a small passionate minority can sway the majority. We’ve seen it time and time again. But I don’t believe gun owners are liked that. Look at what we’ve accomplished! How many states now allow concealed carry compared to ten or twenty years ago? How many states now allow concealed carry without a permit? We’ve made a ton of strides, because we’ve changed the culture. And that will continue.

    I’m less worried about gun owners than the population in general. People don’t care about liberty, but about hand outs.

    1. Amen. I read that article and took it to a very different conclusion that Sebastian did.

  2. After reading Taleb’s conclusion that a very determined 3 or 4 % of the population is all that is needed to change the wind, I couldn’t help but smile and think that our old dearly departed friend Mike V. would have come to a very different conclusion than yours.

    We may be quiet, but we are here. I don’t like or trust Trump, but there is simply no way that I will be voting for an outright blatantly corrupt and crooked anti-gun politician. In our beloved country, you are supposed to at least pretend that we are not a third-world banana republic. Things haven’t gotten so bad yet that she can ignore this age-old political advice.

    Like Mike always used to say, it won’t matter because we will not be voting ourselves out of this one. No country has ever repaid its national debt. What the Brexit and Trump phenomenon are showing us is that there is a massive drop in the world’s confidence in the public sector (a.k.a. the government), and a clear sentiment against things as they are. Politicians will run out of other people’s money much faster than than their ability to pay all of the promises they’ve made. There are some serious change of winds headed our way. As the NSSF numbers show, people can feel it in the wind.

  3. i will just add a couple of things I have heard or read. Not my own words. ” A squeaky wheel gets the grease.” ” The first duty of any politician, is to get reelected.”

  4. The “intolerant of intolerance” strategy has something to say for it. Think about the game the left’s SJWs are playing. What happens when you engage in any of the following activities on a typical Socially Conscious college campus, in a number of stores, in a public school, etc?
    – Display gun related signs or wear gun-related clothing
    – Admit you carry (or even own) guns, especially non-Fudd guns
    – Open carry (gasp!)

    Major employers, public space owners (such as mall property managers), major nationwide chains (Target, Starbucks, etc), the educational apparatus, etc are all very hostile cultural places for gun owners. Social media is trending that way as well. Read about Larry Correia’s treatment in the publishing industry.

    The left has created an environment that is intolerant of 2A norms.

    We have allowed them to do so. In fact, even in conservative jurisdictions, we support many such entities with tax dollars (muh schools!), tax breaks (muh jobs in muh district!), restrictions on concealed and open carry beyond simple trespassing charges (if someone wants to ban carry, make them do searches and trespass folks), and so on.

    A few states are figuring it out and playing more cultural hardball. Scott Walker’s efforts to break the back of the public sector unions is a good example. Texas’ recent campus carry legislation is another.

    But culturally we’re still way too tolerant. Gun owners are routinely socially shamed and professionally stunted if they “come out of the closet” in a good number of fields. For some reason we all too often decline to do the same to liberal Tories.

    1. “Gun owners are routinely socially shamed and professionally stunted if they “come out of the closet” . . .” I think this is a good point; and, it’s one we PotG can directly influence. Each of us can decide for ourselves whether we will stand-up and be counted.
      Too many of us use the excuse of “operational security” in refraining from displaying an NRA decal or 2A bumper-sticker. I’d rather discourage a home invasion with the implicit threat of an armed response even at the risk of a slight increase of a burglary.
      I advocate conspicuous concealed-carry. I have a t-shirt with an orange dinosaur with very short arms. The legend reads “Licensed to carry small arms”. The message is clear – and humorous. Even liberals have chuckled and commented that they like my shirt.

  5. Don’t underestimate the power of a few when they choose to stand for a cause. Conservatives, gun rights in particular, thought we could buck history by being amenable for small trades for peace. We became the proverbial Chamberlains, unaware that our opponents wanted more than the little bits we gave up. They want control of every aspect, and we blithely assigned good intentions and refused to fight. Look to see where that has gotten us.

    This is also a gleaming opportunity. Even with Clinton 2 as POTUS (or is that Clinton 1+?), the office has no power in the face of determined, unrelenting, and uncompromising opposition. In general, whomever decides to not “go for the jugular” generally looses. Experiments with non-2A local politics shows this to be the case, even when the odds are decidedly not in your favor. No matter what, take the fight to your opponent, make them defend, make them fight and pay for every scrap. Eventually they will give up or die trying (of old age). Open carry, sue for your rights, convince your political representatives that they need to support our cause (2A in its true sense). Be a headache to those who prefer to strip us of our rights. They deign no less than that to us.

  6. The fight over gun control in the United States has always been a battle between tiny minorities. The vast majority of the public doesn’t care about the gun issue because they think it has no effect on them.

    The analogy to Prohibition is a good one. The anti-gunners are the modern inheritors of the puritan disease, the same disease which energized the anti-saloon league and the alcohol prohibitionists (to the grief of the entire nation).

    But we, tiny minority that we are, still outnumber the enemy by at least 10 to 1. The only real power the enemy has is from billionaires money and an outsized megaphone provided by the Ruling Class News Media.

    And every day we undermine the ground the enemy camps upon, as new members join the gun club. As more people are favorably exposed to the gun culture.

    1. Your reference to Prohibition resonated with me. Observe that the “Puritan disease” drove the nation to adopt alcohol Prohibition IN SPITE of the facts that it lacked (overwhelming) popular support and the murder rate soared. Today, that same disease manifests in the war on drugs with its lack of (overwhelming) popular support and association with gun violence.
      What is it – in our social and electoral process – that enables such Puritan urges to exert control in the face of skepticism and evidence of adverse consequences?
      There is no reason to be encouraged by the repeal of alcohol Prohibition. The motivation, in that case, was to resume collecting excise taxes. Repeal was not primarily motivated by a recognition of Prohibition’s failure or social consequences. Observe that the war on drugs has long outlasted alcohol Prohibition and is similarly resistant to popular opposition or recognition of consequences.

  7. “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.”

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