Good read - and yes there is too much of the ''soft'' - a middle-of-the-road deal would be better, with enough ''hard'' to maintain a tight ship.
This is a discussion on Hard People v. Soft People - Long, but worth it. within the Law Enforcement, Military & Homeland Security Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; http://www.sierratimes.com/07/01/21/Duke.htm Soft People, Hard People Selwyn Duke If the 1976 western The Last Hard Men has it right, we Occidentals metamorphosed into jellyfish sometime around ...
Soft People, Hard People
If the 1976 western The Last Hard Men has it right, we Occidentals metamorphosed into jellyfish sometime around the early twentieth century. Although this title is more movie marketing than historical statement, there may be something to it. After all, Robert Baden-Powell, a lieutenant general in the British Army, was motivated by the belief that western boys were becoming too soft when he originated the Boy Scouts in 1907.
Regardless of the origin and rapidity of our transition from he-men to she-men, one thing is for certain: We have become a very soft people.
When pondering this, I think about how it is now common to see men cry publicly. Just recently George Bush Sr. broke down while rendering a speech, something that was unthinkable a generation ago. Why, presidential aspirant Edmund Muskie saw his campaign scuttled by a few inopportune tears in 1972. And before you score me for not embracing the metrosexual model, remember the impression this gives the rest of the world. Feminization may be fashionable, but it doesn't engender respect among the more patriarchal peoples.
Then I think about our unwillingness to discipline our children, something to which our jungle-like schools bear witness. And should someone use punitive measures harsher than the euphemistically named "time-out" - something that may actually work - he is often excoriated for damaging the little darlings' "self-esteem." And a spanking? Perish the thought. We're told this could scar a child irreparably (although we seldom ponder the ravages of pickling a young brain with Ritalin), and the idea is so foreign to many parents they cannot even conceive of placing a hand on their cherubim's sanctified little posteriors.
In contrast, the people of the Third World - and especially the Muslim fanatics who have designs on the West - are hard as stone. We fret over the fact that Saddam Hussein endured some taunts during his execution, while next door in Saudi Arabia they may still chop off the hand of a thief. We cater to the religious wants of incarcerated terrorists, providing everything from the Koran and prayer rugs to desired foods, and the soft set still laments the terrible privation these poor victims must endure. In contrast, the terrorist's brethren often disallow the practice of other religions in the Abode of Islam. We let illegal aliens run roughshod over our nation, sometimes bestowing government benefits upon them, then still feel guilty about not exalting them sufficiently. In the Third World, however, foreigners are often treated like second-class citizens. Under the Mexican Constitution, one foreign-born will never enjoy the full rights of citizenship. In many Muslim societies, a certain kind of second-class status is reserved for "infidels"; it's called dhimmitude.
All this is not surprising. After all, luxury and living high soften the sinews and, regrettably, sometimes also the head. The hand that spends its entire existence inside a velvet glove will remain soft and delicate. The one wielding workmen's tools dawn till dusk becomes calloused and hard, more able to inflict injury and more resistant to it.
I know, I know what's coming. That's what makes us better than the nations in question, proclaim some, allowing themselves a rare foray into the realm of cultural superiority (what ever happened to the notion that all cultures are morally equal?). As for me, I'm not awash in moral relativism, but neither do I fall victim to blind cultural chauvinism. For, anyone who believes we have a monopoly on virtue is living in a fantasy-world of smug self-delusion. Don't get me wrong, we are better in some very significant ways, but also worse in a few ominous ones. We lack certain manly virtues, qualities on which national survival may hinge.
There is an immutable truth of human nature: When soft people clash with hard people, the soft are vanquished. That is, unless they become hard.
People may laugh. That's crazy, say they, we have the greatest military in the world, the most advanced technology, and a nuclear umbrella. Yes, that's true. But first, I don't claim we'll fall tomorrow, next month, or next year. Even more significantly, though, external enemies would not initiate our undoing. The fact is that no body, no matter how strong, imposing and well-armored, can survive an untreated disease metastasizing rapidly within. The smallest bacteria can kill giants as easily as dwarves.
And that is what ails us. Every time an action designed to preserve western civilization is taken or even proposed, a great internecine battle ensues. We capture combatants on the battlefield and then spend millions in legal fees debating whether to adjudicate their cases in civil or military courts. We rightly scrutinize Imams making a scene at an airport and then spend millions more arguing about so-called "racial profiling." And it's incessant. Every act nowadays, from singling out illegals for deportation and the suspicious for scrutiny to getting swatted by "Tigger" to a six-year-old boy giving a girl a peck on the cheek, is met with hand-wringing and a disproportionate reaction. And far too often litigation results, costing us valuable resources.
And let's be very clear: Every dollar in currency and passion we spend on litigation is one less we have to fight those who would see us in ashes. This means fewer resources - in terms of not just money but also attention and zeal - to secure our borders, ensure domestic tranquility and root out terrorists within and without. A united people would confront threats as a monolithic front; we are expending ourselves fighting a cold civil war. And the end result is that the lawyers get richer, we get weaker, and the hard people, waiting and watching in the darkness, laugh louder.
Lest I be misunderstood, I don't suggest we become the Hunnish Empire. It's noble to recognize that Saddam Hussein's tormentors might have demonstrated more dignity. It's a sign of civilization to expect our troops to behave as professional soldiers, not rampaging warriors. And it's most divine to realize all God's children are valuable in His eyes. But to the excesses of justice, correction or interrogation, we react not with measured admonition but with hysteria. Our civility should be the fruits of manly virtue, but it's the putrescence of pusillanimity.
And here I think of Chesterton's profound description of our condition:
"Nowadays, we have Christian values floating around detached from one another. Consequently, we see scientists who care only about truth but have no pity, and humanitarians who care only about pity but have no truth."
The Muslim world is one extreme, we are the other, the humanitarians who have no truth. Why can't we control seven-year-olds, prosecute a war efficiently or strike fear into the hearts of criminals? It's all for the same reason. We're soft-headed pseudo-humanitarians to whom the kind of action or punishment necessary to deter evil behavior seems medieval. This is why we had a national conniption when teenage vandal Michael Faye was to receive a typical Singaporean punishment, caning, for his misdeeds. We should bear in mind that you can walk Singapore's streets safely in the dark of night. The same cannot be said of ours.
Oh, this is just the price of freedom, some say? They are wrong. This is the price of abused freedom.
You may think I'm missing the boat, that the problem lies not with the weak but with the malicious, those who are the enemy within. And, of course, but for their meddlesome hands, we wouldn't be at this precipice. But a minority tyrannizes only at the deference of the majority. For instance, if enough of us rejected the media that disseminated footage of Abu Ghraib far and wide while refusing to show Muslim beheadings, we'd not have reporters who were more internationalist than nationalist.
And a juxtaposition of Abu Ghraib and Muslim beheadings tells the tale, as too many of us are epitomized by panties while our adversaries are by swords. While they bat nary an eye at the torture of an innocent, we eat ourselves alive over the humiliation of the guilty. But what is truly humiliating is when the hard people laugh, watching the soft people play the fools, bray at one another, and commit cultural suicide.
And make no mistake, they laugh. Why do you think the Mexican government distributed literature instructing its citizens on how to best violate our southern border? Why did Islamists issue advice on how to play the victim card in the American legal system? They don't tolerate such under their dominion, but they know about our lawsuits, protests, pandering politicians and capitulating clergy. They know the game. They know us. And they don't really think we're barbaric or unjust.
They just think we're weak and stupid.
Soft people and hard people, two sides of the same world. Of course, we were harder too, a long, long, long time ago. But it would be nice to find that happy medium, something that seems ever elusive. A bane of man is that he jumps from blind prejudice to blind tolerance and back again, without ever making a stopover at the ethereal land known as enlightened distinction.
Will we find it within ourselves to strike that balance? That is doubtful. But what is fairly certain is that we won't much longer have the luxury of being a soft republic. With enemies on both sides of the gate, it's only a matter of time before we see a 9/11 that is not a 9/11, but 9/11 squared. Thus, to use a play on Otto Von Bismarck's metaphor, we can proceed with a velvet glove, but within must lie an iron fist. We have no other choice. Unless, that is, we fancy death a viable option.
When you've got 'em by the balls, their hearts & minds will follow. Semper Fi.
Good read - and yes there is too much of the ''soft'' - a middle-of-the-road deal would be better, with enough ''hard'' to maintain a tight ship.
Chris - P95
NRA Certified Instructor & NRA Life Member.
"To own a gun and assume that you are armed
is like owning a piano and assuming that you are a musician!."
http://www.rkba-2a.com/ - a portal for 2A links, articles and some videos.
How true. The hardened world views us as weak and inefective, and therefore of no consiquence.
When you accept mediocrity you sow the seeds for future failure.
One should never confuse good fortune with good training.
Illegitimus Non Carborundum. In God we trust.
Excellent read. I found my thought wandering back to the fall of the Roman Empire, both the social "fall", as well as the military defeats.
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"A man without ethics is a wild beast loosed upon the world" Albert Camus
Of course, Hitler was convinced his "hard" Aryan nation would make mincemeat of the "soft" Americans & Brits. He was disabused of the notion.
Kruschev declared the "hard" Soviet Union would bury the "soft" west. Wrong again.
"We're paratroopers. We're supposed to be surrounded!" Dick Winters
I fear that with the mentality of Today's United States of America, Hitler and Kruchev, might have had a better shot. Thank God we were alot "Harder" back then.
I agree that there is a problem with becoming soft, but saying that our problems are somehow worse because we aren't hard on crime is funny. There are countries on Earth that have lower crime levels than us with softer punishments (crime is mostly cultural imo).
Deterrance doesn't work on criminals. Even in Saudia Arabia where thieves have their hands removed, they still have thieves (and in a lot of cases, the ME countries have higher crime rates than us). No matter what you do, there will always be bad people. That's just a fact of society. Always has been, always will be.
We should always err on the side of freedom and liberty.
Last edited by SammyIamToday; January 23rd, 2007 at 06:57 PM.
...He suggested that "every American citizen" should own a rifle and train with it on firing ranges "at every courthouse." -Chesty Puller
Someday the fanatical muslims will 'awaken the sleeping giant'.
"If we loose Freedom here, there's no place to escape to. This is the Last Place on Earth!" Ronald Reagan
it also brings to mind, a few years ago, in the army times (newspaper) it was reported that they changed basic training in order to get more recruits. the drill sergeants are no longer aloud to yell or respond harshly to the privates as to alleviate the "scary" part of joining the army thus making it look my appealing in hoping to increase it's numbers. if that's not going soft, i don't know what is.
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Unfortunately, in the real world (as most of you know), when the SHTF and you need people to act "NOW"....there will be yelling and chaos.
In Iraq...I have a SPC who I thought was pretty weak--turned out when the S DID HTF, he was a freakin' warrior...
Back here at home, I had an E-6 miss his test day ("got lost")...and began to tear up and cry. I wanted to vomit. Instead, I left it with my Chief (CTRC) to square away.
Our parents and forefathers fought hard and bled, so that we their children today and tomorrow could live & love softly.
Todays results are what they dreamed of and died for. Were they wrong? I don't think so nor do I have the nerve to slap them in the face.
There was never a time when the US was all 'hard' anyway, thats fodder from movies and fictionalized historical accounts of cowboys, trappers, and so called mountainmen.
We've always had metrosexuals and they will always be with us. Men wearing wigs, long hair, makeup, tights, and finery in general include amongst its ranks our countires founding fathers. As well those same men and many others fought tooth and nail with the English, in between sipping and spilling tea as well as slapping the faces of those who insulted them with frilly goat skin gloves. Would anyone dare say they were not hard men? I think not .
How a man dresses, smells, what he does for work, watches on TV, how he lives or what he believes in in general is not what makes him hard or even respectable. Because he's shed tears in public is not something he should be ashamed of either. Even as I am no fan of George Bush Sr., that man in specific is definitely not soft. He has done thigns for this country that 100 men have not and could not collectively have the backbone to support. His record is well known and easy to look up for those that do not know. IMHO he's more than earned the right to get choked up and shed tears of pride toward his son when speaking toward his own record.
Welcome to the real world, men feel pride as well as sorrow and do infact have emotions aside from rage, elation, and lust.
It's easy enough to talk about being hard and how the hard men live.
I hear of it often in modern music rap, rock, and country too. It's all so much talk though. Hard men don't just talk the talk, or walk the walk, or even wear the right branded boots & clothes. They live, survive, thrive, or even die hard. Some hard men come home to their family and keep the hearth fires warm and their kin folks bellies full. Others travel to foreign countries to fight foreign wars, evean as they might not agree with the politics, because that is their duty and belief. Some hard men will never be known for or called on to show their hardness publicly, but alas they will be and were there if an when the chips are down.
A so called hard man is easy to tell from others. He's the guy thats been there, does or did that, and has the t-shirt too along with the respect of his family, friends, and/or community at large.
What one should think on is not if or how hard others might be, but if they themselves are hard enough...
I've had the pleasure of spending quite a lot of quality time with some of the young men and women that are back from Iraq and had been there several times. You will not find a better group of individuals real soon. ( even looking back to former conflicts ) They are well motivated, believe in what they do, mission orientated, and the people that they are in with are family to them. With all the tech stuff it takes mind power as well as the other things that makes a warrior. The generation of video games that these people grew up on worked to their advantage. Hand-eye coordination, puzzle solving, and if they had a little home training in respect. ( which my son did ) Most seem to adapt and do well in the military. After several combat deployments these young people are young in body only. Take these young men and women lighty at your own peril.