Force: The Action of the Weak
You know how I know how to effectively fight an insurgent or revolutionary force?
Because I’ve studied the histories of countries and societies, seeking what worked and what hasn’t worked at producing long term stability and positive relations within a given society.
Force only spoils the relationship and can only be skin deep in terms of its success rate. It only is a short term solution and it leaves the whole society angry and broken amongst itself and towards the faction or group within the society that is causing the initial conflict through their actual actions. The only way to definitively crush a rebellion is to make sure the rebel factions have no legitimacy and no friends or empathy from the rest of the society around them. You can only crush militarily an armed and isolated group who is perceived by the general public as causing the problems. Otherwise, the authorities will never have peace or rest, and exacerbate the situation until they are forcibly removed from power and position within their society or they genuinely and effectively correct the problem(s) that they’re causing within the society.
If you admit your mistakes, take action that effectively changes the situation, and genuinely comprehend, listen to, and respect the wishes and needs of the public, you will achieve something that no leader can ever achieve through force, even if it means your stepping down from power. You only get power because people give it to you; you never receive it automatically or through a position or title. Not really, never actually.
Such as it was that the peasants of Europe rose against the feudal landlords to establish their imperfect Republics and Democracies. Such as what happened to the Chinese Emperors when they ran afoul of their own people, or the hunter-gatherers of the world when confronted with hostile and hyper-aggressive individuals within their group.
Such was the Englishman’s experience everywhere in the world. The put downs did not break the will of the people they conquered, and it did not stop them from gaining independence (by hook or by crook) and the whole of the empire from collapsing.
Such was it was in Ireland. Such is what it is everywhere. Such is how it will be in the future, no matter what you may do to make it actually be other.
Think about it.
If history, across societies and times, confirms this to be the case, then it could be a natural law of society and a natural law of governance. We seem to think that there are no links between action and effect, that we can do anything when we and if we have power or more power than another person. The obligations are the same, the consequences of your actions remain in place that you have to live with.
Therefore, it’s technically in no one’s interest to use force against another element or person in a society so long as they lack the legitimacy to do so. Even then, if illegitimate people use legitimate force against legitimate people, they tend to lose that power and authority through their own illegitimate actions, behaviors, and perceptions.
Thus, governing is a science and an art, where there are natural laws and better and worse options on the objective, empirical level. The art is in the communication with and handling of the public and people in the public, the science and technicalities are in the actual actions that are taken. The best politicians are like family doctors, who work regularly with the people and patients who fall under their care. The best policy makers and advisers are like surgeons who do technical work and less public relations.
You cannot force a people or a person to follow a certain procedure or regimen in medicine without causing severe harm and trauma for that group of people or individual. The same applies in politics, governing, and international relations.
A shame more people don’t think about things like this.
Think about it.